MP3: The Mighty Angels of Daniel 12
Hosts: Nathan Jones & Vic Batista
A Message of Light and Hope
Vic Batista: We’re continuing our study of the book of Daniel, picking up anew in Chapter 12, as we marvel over what God’s mighty messenger angel prophesied to Daniel about the future.
One of our goals in teaching this series in Daniel is to share our love of Bible prophecy by bringing the joy out of it. Bible prophecy is not all gloom and doom, but rather about hope in the soon victory of the King of Kings.#BibleProphecy is not all gloom and doom, but rather about #hope in the soon victory of the King of Kings. Click To Tweet
Nathan Jones: So many people concentrate on the Tribulation and the horrors of it all and the difficulties of our current time period, but doom is not what Bible prophecy is specifically about. The message of Bible prophecy is: Jesus Christ wins! And, because He wins, we believers in Christ win through Him. We are God’s children, bought by the blood sacrifice of God’s own Son. What a great message! The Gospel is meant to express a wonderful message, bringing light and hope.
Vic Batista: Now in Daniel 12, we are going to be looking at this incredible chapter which leads us into some amazing future predictions, such as the rise of technology and travel. Exciting!
So Far in the Story
Vic Batista: Let’s first briefly recap Chapter 11 to provide the background to Chapter 12.
Nathan Jones: Well, we actually have to travel back to Daniel 10 to find out what is going on with Daniel 12, because that’s where the story starts. Remember that we found Daniel deep in prayer. The old prophet was fasting and waiting for some message or vision from God. He waited and waited and waited until 21 days had passed. By that time, Daniel was beginning to get discouraged and thought he wasn’t ever going to receive a message from God to answer his questions about Israel returning from exile in Babylon.
All of a sudden — whoosh! Daniel’s visited by a mighty angel sent by God Almighty. The angel, possibly Gabriel himself, explained the hold up. He revealed the Prince of Persia, likely a demon lord, delayed his travels and that Michael the Archangel had to intercede and help rescue him. We garner quite a glimpse into the world of spiritual warfare from the angel’s explanation. He revealed to Daniel that he expected to arrive three weeks earlier, but he was held up by satanic forces. We learn from that revelation that the circumstances concerning angelic warfare can be bound in time.
The angel finally gets to his message from God for Daniel, and it’s a series of prophecies that reveal what will happen in history long after Daniel but still in the BCs, a time period titled the Intertestamental Period. This period covers the 400 years of silence between the books of Malachi and Matthew, a time when God proclaims no new revelation to the people of Israel nor through them to the world.
The angel provides an actual, detailed, play-by-play account of the future warfare between two of Alexander the Great’s generals and their descendants. Alexander stands apart infamously for conquering the known world around 300 BC. When he died, young and suddenly, Alexander’s empire split into four regions. General Ptolemy took the south and was based in Egypt. General Seleucid took the north and was based in Syria. They and their descendants create dynasties, and these dynasties duked it out back and forth for ultimate power, with a weakened Israel stuck in the middle.
The Evil of Antiochus
Nathan Jones: Now we make our way into Daniel 12. We’ve passed the Intertestamental Period prophecies. The messenger angel unexpectedly leaps over the millennia of the Church Age, the age in which we are now living, and starts telling Daniel what will happen in the far, far future of the last days, also known as the end times. These prophesied end times we know from the teachings in the New Testament concern Jesus Christ’s return to set up His earthly kingdom.
Vic Batista: We are leaping into the future at the end of Daniel 11 and into Daniel 12. We are passing thousands of years into the future, at least to Daniel. That future actually marks our current day and not so distant future.
Nathan Jones: Yes, the angel’s transition to me is rather sudden, and quite frankly, really weird, because he explains in great detail a few hundred years of Intertestamental history but then jumps to explaining the Antichrist. But, first, we must stop at a prophesied Seleucid ruler by the name of Antiochus Epiphanes.
The angel portrays this mad ruler who oppressed the Intertestamental Jews as a type of Antichrist. In his obsession to Hellenize the Jews — make them Greek in culture and immorality — he desecrated the Jewish Temple by sacrificed an unclean pig on the altar. He also set up a statue of Zeus in the Holy of Holies and demanded the Jews worship it. He caused what’s known as the Abomination of Desolation, meaning he abominated the Temple and made it ceremonial unclean, so in response the Jews desolated, meaning they poured out of Jerusalem and fled into the wilderness.
This story begins the Maccabean Period, a period when the Jews were greatly persecuted, but bravely fought back and earned some of their independence. If you read First and Second Maccabees in the Apocrypha, they tell the history of what happened during that time period.
Antiochus Epiphanes horrific character was then used by the angel to explain what the end times world ruler will act like, whom the Bible calls the Antichrist. The kinds of evil that this megalomaniac will commit reflect similarly to what Antiochus committed against the Jews.
For the Antichrist to also desecrate the Temple one day, the Jews will have to rebuild it. A Third Temple must one day be built a top the Temple Mount because the Antichrist is prophesied in Daniel 9:26-27 to desecrate and causes the abomination that causes desolation all over again.
Vic Batista: I recommend folks check out the books of Maccabees, found in the Apocrypha. Look those over and learn about the Maccabee family’s epic struggle against Antiochus and his army.
Nathan Jones: Right, you won’t find Maccabees in our 66 book Bible. The Apocrypha contains separate books, most of them were written during the Intertestamental Period. They weren’t included in the canon of Scripture officially by Protestants, though they remain included in Catholic Bibles. The reason being the Apocrypha cannot be found in our modern-day Bibles is because the authorship of those books was highly questionable, some of the storylines were not historical, and some of the doctrines these books taught weren’t in tune with what Jesus taught. But, we can look at the Apocryphal books as historical books, maybe true, and maybe some fiction, but certainly not an inspired member of the Bible. The Maccabees present very good historical accounts of that time period, though, corroborated by archaeological study.
Vic Batista: Wonderful recap! We now see God’s mighty angel weaving a mix of prophecy that became history as recorded throughout the Bible. The book of Daniel achieves that especially well.