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Wars, Rumors of Wars & the Last War - Part 3

Tom Pennington • Daniel 11

  • 2020-09-20 PM
  • Daniel
  • Sermons


Tonight, we want to come back to Daniel 11. People love to watch things like the Marvel movies and to read apocalyptic literature that includes a villain. That villain is usually a powerful world ruler; usually it's a person of supreme intellect, powerful presence, diabolical cunning, a natural leader, a military genius, and, of course, always a ruthless, bloodthirsty, murderer. You know, of course, that such a person already exists in the supernatural realm. It's the fallen Angel, Satan, whom our Lord said, in John 8, was a murderer from the beginning. He is the antitype against which all types of such villains have to be measured. But the portrayals in cinema and literature of a future evil leader are, in fact, faint echoes of an actual human ruler who will come to power someday on this planet. He will be the embodiment of evil. He will be the antitype of history's worst rulers. He will be Antiochus Epiphanes, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and all of the world's evil dictators united in one man. And this embodiment of evil has a name. Most often, he is referred to as the Antichrist. Tonight, in Daniel 11, we meet this monster and his evil world empire.

Now it comes in the middle of a larger section. You remember that were in Daniel's final vision which begins in chapter 10:1, runs all the way through the end of chapter 12. The prophecy that is within this vision extends from the time of Daniel all the way to the future Kingdom of God. Here is an outline just to remind you of these final three chapters. Chapter 10 through the first verse of chapter 11 is the introduction to Daniel's final vision; that sort of gives the circumstances, the occasion, and all that transpired setting up that vision. And then beginning in Chapter 11 verse two and running through the end of the book, you have the content of Daniel's final vision. And there are prophecies regarding a number of things. There are prophecies regarding Persia in simply one verse (11:2), prophecies regarding Greece, and Alexander the Great, and those who came behind him, as we've studied together in verses 3 through 35.

The passage we come to tonight, prophecies regarding the Antichrist (chapter 11:36 through 45). And then chapter 12, most of chapter 12 verse one through verse 12, regard the great tribulation. And then, finally, the last verse of this book is a prophecy concerning the Prophet Daniel himself. So that is an overview, a glimpse, of this final vision of Daniel.

Now, tonight, we come to the prophecies regarding Antichrist. This paragraph begins in verse 36 of Chapter 11 and runs all the way down through verse 45. All that we have studied so far in Daniel 11, was prophecy to Daniel when he heard it 500 years before Christ. But everything we have studied so far, has now been fulfilled and so, for us, it's history looking back. For Daniel, it was prophecy. But with verse 36, we jump from Antiochus the 4th Epiphanes, who reigned over Syria in the years 175 to 163 BC. We jump from him, in verse 35, all the way into the future, in verse 36, into our future.

Now, when you look at it, however, let's be honest that the transition isn't immediately obvious at first glance. Look at how verse 36 begins: "Then the king will do as he pleases..." If you were just reading through this passage and you weren't paying close attention, you weren't reconciling it to other passages, you might immediately think, Oh this is just more about the king, Antiochus, that we have already been studying. How do we know that isn't true? How do we know that verse 36 isn't merely continuing to describe Antiochus, who existed prior to our Lord Jesus Christ?

Well, there are several arguments that support a change in persons between verse 35 and verse 36. Let me give them to you because this is an issue that's out there. If you read much, you'll come across arguments that say, No, no this is just more about the same guy Antiochus. Let me tell you, it can't be, and here's why. First of all, the data about this person in verses 36 to 39 cannot be reconciled with the history of the man we know as Antiochus. For example, in verse 36, Antiochus did not exalt himself above every other God. Verse 37, he did not show disregard for the God of his fathers. Verse 38, Antiochus did not worship a god his fathers did not know. And verse 45, he did not die in Israel but in Persia. So, you can see the data that's recorded here in these verses doesn't fit the life of Antiochus.

Secondly, the details about the person in verses 36 to 39, do in fact fit very well with what's said elsewhere about the Antichrist, and we're going to see that as we walk through this passage together. Thirdly, the events in this paragraph, occur at the end of human history. Notice verse 40: "And at the end time". Also, what's described in this paragraph, occurs at the time of the distress or the tribulation (12:1); that time when Antichrist rules and that is immediately followed by the 2nd coming, according to our Lord in Matthew 24:21. In addition, the resurrection occurs soon after this man's reign (12:2).

There is a fourth reason we know there's a change in persons with verse 36. Verses 36 to 39 introduce us to this man and his character which is completely unnecessary if it's Antiochus; we just spent a whole paragraph studying him.

Number five: a leap as we take between verse 35 and 36, a leap in time over a large block of history, that is consistent with what happens in other places in this chapter. For example, back in verse 2, just one verse, verse two, describes 205 years of history in the Persian empire. Then, between Xerxes in verse two and Alexander the Great in verse 3, there's more than 100 years that passes. But, of course, the quintessential example of a verse in which there is a huge block of time inserted, has to be Isaiah 61:2. You remember our Lord quoted Isaiah 61 at His hometown synagogue in Nazareth. He says, "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me [He has sent me] proclaim..." You remember the Gospel and He presents that in several metaphors. Between the first half of Isaiah 61:2, which describes the first coming of Jesus Christ, and the second half of verse two of Isaiah 61 is the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ. So, between halves of a verse is at least 2000 years and is going to be longer if the Lord tarries is coming. So, this happens in prophecy. It shouldn't surprise us here.

Number 6: Antichrist has been already discussed in Daniel several times. We've met him and I'll point that out to you. We met him on several occasions. And so, it's not unexpected to run into him again here. And he's been connected with Antiochus before so it's not uncommon to see the transition from Antiochus, who is like the tiny thumbnail sketch of Antichrist, and to see them connected here as well. And then a seventh argument is this view, as Young puts it, is the traditional interpretation of the Christian Church. The Church fathers took this - Chrysostom, Jerome. In fact, Jerome writing 1600 years ago of this passage says, "Those of our persuasion believe all these things are spoken prophetically of the Antichrist who is to arise in the end time." And even today scholars, the majority of today's scholars, both premillennial and amillenial, interpret this passage of the Antichrist.

So, with verse 36 then, the Angel has finished his history of Antiochus and begins to describe a man that Antiochus was merely a thumbnail sketch of, a faint echo of, and that is the Antichrist. Now, Scripture mentions Antichrist often. Here in Daniel alone, we met him back in Chapter 7:8, 11, 20-22, 24-26. And then in 9:27, he was the Prince who is to come. And now, here, the Angel reveals the details about this future world ruler in 11:36-45. In the New Testament, we meet Antichrist in several passages as well. Paul talks about him and 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12. In 1 John, John refers to Antichrist or the spirit of Antichrist several times - 1 John 2:18, 22, 1 John 4:3, 2 John 7. And there is a large description of Antichrist in Revelation 13:1-10, 18. And then his destruction is recorded in Revelation 19:19-20. These are the passages in the Scripture that unfold the career of this future world ruler. Now, when you look at those passages, the Scripture identifies him - we could say the biblical names for Antichrist are varied. In Daniel 7:8 he's called the little horn. In Daniel 9:26 - the Prince who is to come. In Daniel 11:36, here, he's simply called the King. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3, he's called the Man of Lawlessness and the Son of Destruction. In 2 Thessalonians 2:8, he's called the Lawless One. And in 1 John and in 2 John, he's called the Antichrist. And then in Revelation 13 and 19, he's called the Beast, or in Revelation 13, the Beast coming out of the sea. The idea is, here is a world ruler who is beast like in his character, in person, arising out of the sea, meaning the sea of humanity, and he will come on the scene with power.

Now let me give you just a brief overview of this man in his career. We're not going to look in detail at all these things. We've seen some of them already in Daniel. When we study Revelation, we'll see a lot more. But let me just give you a brief overview of this man in his career. First of all, he is a human being. Make sure you're clear on that. He is a person just like you and me. He is a Gentile. He lives and rises to power, it seems that he will, just before the rapture. Before the tribulation begins, he will already be on the world stage and be growing in power. He will become the last and greatest world ruler of all time. If you want to know what he's like, as I mentioned to you last time when we were studying Antiochus Epiphanes, study the life and career of Antiochus, and then multiply what you find and you will begin to get just a faint glimpse of this man. He will be arrogant, cruel, vicious, a profoundly evil man. He will be a schemer, a deceiver, a habitual liar. He will be utterly ruthless. He will actually be responsible for the torture and deaths of 10s of millions of people before his career is done. At the beginning of the seven-year tribulation, he will truly assert himself. He will either, shortly before or at the rapture (somewhere in that time frame), he will rise to true world dominance. And he will enter into a treaty at that time, the beginning of the tribulation with Israel. We saw that back in Daniel 9:27. And then 3 1/2 years into that tribulation, at the midpoint of the tribulation, he will break that treaty. He will desecrate the temple in Jerusalem by setting up an image of himself as the only object of worship. Both Daniel and our Lord refer to that as the Abomination of Desolation, an event that was prefigured by the actions of Antiochus Epiphanes in desecrating the temple of his time and setting up a statue of Zeus. When Antichrist breaks the treaty with Israel, in the middle of the tribulation period, he will implement a policy of massive persecution of the Jewish people and of those who become Christians after the rapture. He will ultimately be destroyed by Christ at the second coming. That is a thumbnail sketch of his career.

Now, with that overview, let's look in more detail at what we learn here in Daniel 11. Now, the Angel begins by describing Antichrist and his career as history's last world ruler; history's last world ruler. In these verses, verses 36 to 39, we meet this man. And make no mistake, he is the most evil, godless tyrant who has ever lived. Let's see what he's like. Verse 36: "Then the king will do as he pleases..." It's interesting, similar expressions are used of God, of Persia, of Alexander the Great, and of Antiochus. The idea here is that he will demand that everything be done as he chooses. And in his arrogance, he will believe that he can do whatever he chooses to do with impunity, without the restraint of any moral code, without religion, without God. Verse 36 goes on to say why: "...and he will exalt himself and boast against every god..." He will have no god but himself. He will, in other words, be an atheist. One commentator writes, "So thorough going is his egotism that he has no option but to be an atheist." Here's how Paul puts it in 2 Thessalonians 2:4, "[He] opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship..." Did you hear that? "[He] opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God." He has no time for religion, he has no belief in a divine being, and he takes such authority and power over the world that if any being in the universe is worthy of worship, it has to be him. Verse 36 goes on to say: "he will exalt himself and boast against every god and will speak dreadful things against the God of gods [the true and living God]". Monstrous, by the way, is a Hebrew word that means "extraordinary or shocking". Back in Chapter 7:8, he's described as having a mouth uttering great boasts. In Chapter 7:25, it says he will speak out against the Most High. Revelation 13:6 says, "…he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His Tabernacle that is those who dwell in heaven." As Leon Wood writes, "This person will speak things against God that will be unique to himself." Think about the people you have heard pronounce curses against God. Nothing you have heard, or will ever hear, will rise to the level of what this man will say. This person will speak things against God that will be unique to himself in degree of insolence and self-exaltation. You've never met someone who said, there are no gods and if anyone on this planet is worthy of worship it's me. That's exactly what he will do.

Verse 36: "…and he will be successful [prosper] until the indignation is finished, because [for] that which is determined [decreed] will be done." Now the word indignation, here, is often used in the Old Testament of God's wrath. And back in chapter 8 verse 19 it's used of the tribulation period. So, in other words, what this verse is saying is that Antichrist will continue to prosper until the very end of the Great Tribulation. According to chapter 9 verse 27, that's seven years and that's when God's wrath is finished. But notice the last line of verse 36. I love this. "…for that which is decreed will be done." Christian, find comfort in that! The Angel reminds Daniel and us that every detail of human history, listen to me, every detail of human history, including even the rise, successes, and ultimate fall of Antichrist, is all under God's control.

Verse 37: "And he will show no regard..." The idea behind this is, he's not going to act like most people. He's not going to think like most people. He will show no regard, as most people do, for the gods of his fathers. In other words, he's going to completely reject the religion of his ancestors. Now, since this man, as we've already discovered in Daniel, will come from either a continued or a reconstituted version of the Roman Empire, according to chapter 7, the religion of his fathers (of his ancestors) would be one of two things. It would either be the pagan religions of ancient Rome, or more likely, it will be some form of Christianity.

"He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the desire of women..." Now, there is a lot of disagreement about what that expression means; a lot of ink spilled in commentary. So, here a few of the most common views. Some think it means that he will be a homosexual; others that he will not be interested in romantic or sexual relationships with women. Others believe that he'll have none of the qualities that women especially admire - qualities such as mercy, gentleness, and kindness - he'll be utterly bereft of those. But remember the context. What is the verse, in which this phrase occurs, talking about? On both sides of this expression, this verse is talking about his relationship to God. And so, the most likely interpretation, is that he will have no regard for the one every Jewish woman desired to bear, the Messiah. If as it appears, he rejects Christianity, he will also reject Christianity's God. He'll reject Messiah.

Verse 37 goes on: "nor will he show regard for any other god..." Notice the word, other, is added by the translators. "...nor will he show regard for any other god; for he will boast against them all." Again, the Angel stresses that he is an avowed atheist. He doesn't believe there are gods. And in the deluded egotism of his own mind, he will demand that everyone on earth worship him instead of the gods of their ancestors. We learn in the Book of Revelation that all the religions of the world will merge into the worship of this final world ruler, Satan's counterfeit for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It will be fascinating to hear and to understand, when that day comes, maybe our Lord will explain it to us even as we're in heaven or maybe we'll get to watch over the battlements of heaven and see it unfold, it will be interesting to see how this man is going to sell that to all the religions of the world. But somehow, he will present himself as the fulfillment of each of the world's great religions and they'll buy it. Antichrist and his false Prophet, that revelation introduces us to, will be very successful in encouraging the people of this world to worship Antichrist. Listen to Revelation 13:8: "All who live [dwell] on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written since the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slaughtered [slain]." All who dwell on the earth will worship him. Clearly, some will do so under compulsion. Others will do so because they truly see the embodiment of human rebellion against God in this person. So, he will be utterly irreligious and atheistic. But you know what? We were all made to worship. He was made to worship. And so, when we refused to worship the true God, we don't stop worshiping. We find other gods to worship. As Calvin observed, "The human heart is an idol factory."

Verse 38: "But instead he will honor a god of fortresses, a god whom his fathers did not know..." Now, a "god of fortresses", is somewhat like our English expression "the god of war". That's the idea. Kyle writes, "The god of fortresses is the personification of war and the thought is this: he will regard no other god but only war. The taking of fortresses he will make his god and he will worship this god above all as the means of his gaining world power." So, in other words, don't think of his truly thinking war is a god. But he will, for all intents and purposes, make warfare his god, his object of worship. Verse 38 goes on to say: "…he will honor him with gold, silver, precious [costly] stones, and treasures." Just like those who worship idols, Antichrist will make offerings to his gods. He will honor the god of war, the god of military power, with lavish spending. He will devote a huge percentage of his gross national product to military spending. This will allow him to increase the number and sophistication of his weapons and the size and strength of his army. E.J Young writes, "For religion he will substitute war and war he will support with all that he has."

Verse 39: "And he will take action against the strongest of fortresses with the help of a foreign god..." He won't merely amass weapons and armies as kind of a showcase. He will use them to attack and subdue the strongest nations and their greatest fortresses. Now, the foreign god mentioned there in verse 39, is the god of fortresses, verse 38, "whom his fathers did not know". I mean even the Romans were religious. They were into war, but they were religious. They had all the pantheon of the Roman and Greek gods. But not this man. Verse 39 goes on to say, "...he will give great honor to those who acknowledge him and will make [cause] them rulers over the many and will parcel out land for a price." Just like Antiochus did, as we saw last week, Antichrist will use lavish, financial rewards and bribes to establish and to maintain support among the peoples that he subjugates. He will give great honor to those who acknowledge him, that is, those who recognize his authority and vow their allegiance to him. What will you do for them? Notice he will cause them to rule over the many, that is, he'll give them positions of leadership. He'll make strategic appointments. And he will parcel out land for a price. He will even give those who are faithful to him conquered territories to rule for the price of their allegiance and probably also for payoffs and political favors. That's the man who's coming. Listen, let me just be honest with you. If you don't like our two choices for president this fall, think about this. This man will be the future ruler of the world - history's last world ruler.

That brings us to history's last world war - history's last world war. Verses 40 to 45. Verse 40: "And at the end time". We're about to see a conflict and the conflict that we're introduced to in the following verses, will happen at the end of time. In fact, verse 45 tells us that this battle will end with the defeat of Antichrist in the land of Israel. And 12:2 tells us that immediately after the defeat of Antichrist will come the resurrection of Old Testament saints. Verse 40 goes on to say, "And at the end time the king of the South will wage war [collide] with him, and the king of the North will storm against him with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships..." During the tribulation, God will allow Antichrist to achieve the goal of ruling over every nation on this planet. Revelation 13:7 says, "authority was given to him over every tribe, people, language, and nation." Notice "given to him". God allows it to happen. And so, he literally rules the world. But as God, in the second half of the tribulation, unleashes His full fury, the fury of His wrath, and the world as we know it begins to unravel, there will apparently be a growing dissatisfaction with the rule of Antichrist. And the result appears to be that various portions of the world will revolt against his rule and attack him and his forces. That's what's described here. Notice "chariots, cavalry, and ships". By the way, understand that when this language is used, this is merely the ancient representatives of whatever modern counterparts happened to be the weapons of war at that time.

Now the reference to north and south, in verse 40 - that has to refer to the north and south of Israel, just like it did in the days of the Greeks earlier in this chapter. Most scholars are in agreement of the King of the South. The King of the South likely refers to the ruler of Egypt and an Arab bloc of nations that he will lead. But because of the wording of verse 40, there is some ambiguity there are two differing views of who the King of the North is. Some say this king will lead a second confederation of nations from the north of Israel and, just like the King of the South, will be revolting against Antichrist. And so you have these two allies, these two confederacies of nations, one from the south of Israel, one from the north of Israel, attacking Antichrist on two fronts. That's possible. I'm not going to say that that can't be true. But it appears to me more likely, and I think the weight of the evidence rests and the weight of the scholars rest on a second view. And that is that the King of the North, here in verse 40, is Antichrist himself and his allies. Now if that's correct, let me read verse 40 as we should read it and understand it. Look at verse 40 with me: "And at the end time the king of the South [that is the leader of Egypt and a confederation of nations that he leads] will wage war with him [that is with Antichrist], and the king of the North [Antichrist] will storm against him [the King of the South] with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships. Okay that seems to be the way this should be read. And verse 40 goes on to say, "…and he [that is Antichrist] will enter countries, overflow them, and pass through." So, what you have is you have the leader of Egypt and an Arab bloc of nations apparently revolting against Antichrist and his rule as the world begins to unravel. Antichrist will respond to the attack from the King of the South with devastating force, and he will invade all of the countries that attack him, and he will, notice the wording, overflow and pass through. In other words, he will flow through those countries like a flood.

Verse 41: "He will also enter the Beautiful Land [at the very same time Antichrist will invade the land of Israel] and many countries will fall." Now, notice the word countries in our text is added by the translators. It's in italics. It's added. So, literally verse 41 says, "many will fall". So, what he could be saying, here, is that many countries in the Middle East will fall to Antichrist's war machine - that's possible. Or, he could be saying many Jews will fall in death when he enters the land of Israel. I think that's probably more likely. I mean Zechariah prophesies that 2/3 of the Jews in Israel will die during the tribulation. Clearly, many of them will die at the hands of this man. Zechariah 14:2 says, "For I [this is God speaking] will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be taken, the houses plundered, the women raped, and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be eliminated from the city." So, there's a time coming when he will unleash his fury, Antichrist will, on Jerusalem and on Israel. But in all of this, some areas of the Middle East will be spared. Verse 41: "…but these will be rescued out of his hand: Edom, Moab, and the foremost of the sons of Ammon." The area represented by those countries is modern Jordan. So, Jordan will escape the brunt of his attack, either because it's an ally or because it happens not to be in his immediate path.

Verse 42: "Then he will reach out with his hand against other countries, and the land of Egypt will not escape." Antichrist is not going to be content with that little land bridge of Palestine. He will look to extend his reign and control to Egypt and to the the block of Arab nations to the South that the King of Egypt leads.

Verse 43: "But he will gain control over the hidden treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt..." By defeating Egypt and the block of Arab nations that are with Egypt, Antichrist will gain access to all the riches of Egypt likely including the vast oil reserves of the Middle East. And Libyans and Ethiopians will follow at his heels - that's modern Libya, Ethiopia, and Sudan. He will subdue them. They will become his allies and, literally the Hebrew text says, they will follow in his steps.

Verse 44: "But rumors from the East and from the North will terrify him..." So, in the middle of these massive victories as his war machine rolls on, rumors will disturb or alarm him. Apparently, these are reports of new attacks that are coming against him and his interests. And notice, these attacks will come from nations in the East. That's also mentioned, as we'll see in Revelation 16:12. Other attacks will come from the North, possibly the invasion that's prophesied in Ezekiel 38 and 39 - Russia and those environs. Verse 44: "…and he will go out with great wrath to eliminate and annihilate many." In response to these new attacks from the East and North, in rage he will initiate a counterattack intended to destroy and, literally, to devote to complete destruction many. He will be absolutely furious. Can you imagine a man of this ego when he hears that people are not respecting him, and his power, and his authority? He is going to be furious, enraged with great wrath to destroy and to devote to complete destruction those who have raised their hand against him.

Verse 45: "And he will pitch the tents of his royal pavilion between the seas and the beautiful Holy Mountain..." Antichrist is going to confront these converging armies in the land of Palestine - says he will pitch his tents or the tents of his royal pavilion. In other words, he will establish his headquarters between the seas, likely between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea and, notice, the beautiful holy mountain. That's clearly a reference to Mount Zion where the old temple stood and where the new tribulation temple will stand as well. So, he will establish his military headquarters and, it's hard to be absolutely certain, either between the Mediterranean and Jerusalem or, more likely, between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea at the beautiful holy mountain. Apparently, Antichrist will use the temple in Jerusalem for his military headquarters.

How would you expect such a dramatic scene to unfold? If you were watching a Marvel movie you would expect a battle to rage on for the next 45 minutes and for the good guys to almost lose before they win. But watch how this story ends. Verse 45: "…yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him." With those few words, the life and career of the evilest man in history ends. Dale Ralph Davis writes, "His obituary is so terse, so brief, so abrupt that it's dismissive - a fascinating treatment for a deity who conquered nations and oppressive saints. He is wiped off the stage of history in a mere six Hebrew words." Sinclair Ferguson writes and puts it this way, "His defeat will be as inauspicious as his rise to power was meteoric. There is a devastating, presumably deliberate, anticlimax to the progress of evil. In fact, the Lord will consume him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him with the brightness of his coming." 2 Thessalonians 2:8 - Christ will simply [wooh] blow him away. And it will be as anticlimactic as that. Ferguson writes, "If we make parody TS Eliot's The Hollow Men, this is the way the Antichrist ends not with a bang but with a whimper." Think about this. Now, really put yourself in the story. Here is this a incredibly, powerful ruler. He is at the very top of his power. When he has defeated the great armies of the East and the North, when he has destroyed Israel, when it seems he has defeated all of his enemies, and all that's left is permanent world domination (the fourth Reich), he will come to his end.

How does that happen? It happens when the Lord returns. Look at 2 Thessalonians. 2 Thessalonians 2:8: "Then that lawless one will be revealed [this is who we're talking about. Listen to how it's put.], whom the Lord will eliminate [slay] with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming." You know what that means? It doesn't mean he's going to blow. It means he'll speak. That's why in Revelation 19 it says a sword comes out of Jesus' mouth. It doesn't mean there's a real sword coming out of His mouth. It means He fights His enemies with His words. He just - like He spoke creation into existence, He speaks and His enemies are destroyed.

The battle in which Antichrist will be defeated will be fought in Israel, specifically, the Book of Revelation tells us it will be fought in the Valley of Megiddo. Some of us have had the chance to be there. It's the battle of Armageddon. Revelation 16:16: "And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon." That is the Valley of Megiddo. And according to Revelation 19, there the Lord will defeat Antichrist and all of his enemies with the sword which comes from His mouth, His Word. Daniel 7:11 describes his defeat this way: "Then I kept looking [Daniel says] because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until the beast was killed, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire." Here's how John the Apostle puts into Revelation 19:20: "And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire, which burns with brimstone." And he came to his end.

What are the lessons of this passage for us? Very briefly. There are several. First of all, Daniel 11 serves as a major apologetic for Scripture as supernatural revelation and for the God of the Bible as the true God. Why is that? Because in the first 35 verses of this chapter, the part that's history now but that wasn't history when it was written - in the first 35 versus there are 135 specific prophecies all of which were perfectly and literally fulfilled and can be corroborated by a study of history. No human being could have so accurately predicted the history contained in those verses. It had to be from God. Secondly, Daniel 11 serves as a theological primer on God's omniscience, omnipotence, and sovereignty. For God to know and to ensure that such details occur in history, means that He must have all knowledge. But not only all knowledge. He must have all power to bring what He knows to completion, to fruition. Complete power over human history. Thirdly, Daniel 11 serves as an assurance that the prophecies still unfulfilled will be fulfilled with the same precision. Listen, what we have just studied, we may look back and I may have missed a point here or there. We might have misunderstood something, but the larger picture will be fulfilled just as precisely as what's gone before, has been. Number four: Daniel 11 serves as a reminder that God will preserve and ultimately vindicate his people. Just like with Antiochus, it looked like all hope was lost. So, it will look during the tribulation when this incredibly evil man rules the entire world. And yet from the breathless mouth our Lord destroys him. And then finally, Daniel 11 serves as a constant encouragement that our Lord Jesus Christ will win and will reign forever. Go back to Daniel 7. I just want to remind you. Daniel 7 describes the end of this man but it describes something more important. Daniel Chapter 7:11. I read it a moment ago. "Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking [this is Antichrist]; I kept looking until the beast was killed, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire." Now go down to verse 13: "I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a son of man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him." Our Lord, by the way, claimed this passage was speaking of Him. "And to Him was given dominion, honor, and a kingdom, so that all the peoples, nations, and populations of all languages might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed." Listen Christian, Jesus Christ wins. And He will reign forever and ever.

Let's pray together.

Father, we are so grateful that in Your goodness You have told us what's coming. Lord, we may not live to these days - we certainly may. But if we don't, regardless, we find such help, such comfort, here. Thank You for the powerful reminders that we've just looked at together. And Lord thank You, most of all, for the reassurance that You are on Your throne, that You are the Ancient of Days, and that You have promised that one day You will give the kingdoms of this world to Your Son. And He will reign forever. Lord, forgive us. Forgive us for being driven by fear as we read the news. Forgive us for fear of the future and wondering how things are going to unfold, even our own country. Lord remind us that You are the Lord of history and that everything that's happening will move ultimately to this last great world ruler, the worst of all, whom our Lord will slay with the word of His mouth and establish His own kingdom forever. Comfort our hearts, strengthen our faith, and help us to live in light of what's coming. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen!