woman wondering September 10 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading: Daniel 10, 11, 12

What’s Next?

We all have curiosity as to what will happen in the future, both in our lives, the lives of our nation, and even that of the world. People listen to political commentators, professors of history and philosophy and other prognosticators, and even consult tarot cards, palm readers, and horoscopes. The Almighty God of heaven and earth, creator of all things, and Sovereign of the universe, does not leave us in the dark. His Word, the Bible, reveals many things that will happen in the future, and we can trust him. Shouldn’t we consult him first and foremost? Daniel did.

The Jews had been in exile in Babylon for more than seventy years, being expelled by God for their sins in the land of Israel. Then, under the providence of the almighty, merciful, and gracious God, and in answer to Daniel’s prayer, the Jews were allowed to return to Israel to rebuild their temple. Now an old man, Daniel asked God, what’s next for Israel? He fasted and prayed for three weeks before he received an answer. How long are we willing to seek God for answers to our prayers?

In answer to his prayer, a messenger came to Daniel to give him understanding regarding a future vision of what will happen to his people. Some theologians think this was Jesus Christ because of the similarity of his appearance to Daniel with the similarity of the appearance of Christ given in Revelation 1:13-15. Others believe he could not have been Jesus because he was a messenger that had trouble conquering the prince of Persia (probably a powerful demon in Satan’s army). However, somehow this messenger gave physical strength to Daniel when he fainted at the sight of him and was weak and trembling. Was this the Christ or an angel like Gabriel? We do not know. Angels are messengers and ministering spirits (Hebrews 1:14), and angels are at war with demons. We need to understand that we are in a spiritual conflict and be prepared (Ephesians 6:10-18). Demons do not want Israel, God’s people, to prosper, and demons do not want God’s adopted children (everyone who has accepted Christ as their Savior from sin and hell) to prosper. This strange man told Daniel many things about the future of the Jewish people. To understand what he said we must first know about the format of most Bible prophecies (more...)

According to the messenger (Daniel 11:1-35) four more Persian kings would rule and then would be defeated by Greece (history reveals these Persian kings to be Cambyses, Pseudo-Smerdis, Darius I Hystaspes, and Xerxes or Ahasuerus). Alexander the Great would come to power conquering Persia and every other nation and do as he pleased, until suddenly he would die in 323 B.C. His four succeeding generals would have territorial wars, and Israel would be caught in the middle. During the wars between the Ptolemies and Seleucids (kings of the south and kings of the north respectively) she would be trampled on and devastated for a long time. Afterward, one Seleucid general would seize power by intrigue and bring much trouble to Israel. History reveals this madman to be Antiochus Epiphanies. He would desecrate the temple by placing an idol of Zeus in the temple and offering a pig sacrifice on the altar. Antiochus Epiphanes served as a prototype for the Antichrist who will arise in the end times (Daniel 8:23-26; Daniel 12:1-2, 11; Matthew 24:3-25; and 2Thessalonians 2:2-12). This is quite possibly the Satanic-empowered beast written of in Revelation 13:1-18.

Though not mentioned by name in Daniel 10-12, a reference is made to a fourth kingdom in Daniel 7:19-27, which we know from history to be the kingdom of Rome. When the kingdom of Rome would come to power after Greece, she would rule the whole known world. She would bring rule and order and an enforced peace. This would all happen in preparation for the appearance of Jesus Christ.

None of the events of Daniel 11:36- Daniel 12:13 have happened yet, but because all other prophecy has been fulfilled literally, it is expected that these will as well. In future days Israel will be in a great time of tribulation for three and one half years (the latter half of the seven year tribulation, recorded in Revelation 6-19, and spoken to Daniel as times, time, and a half of time). The first half of the tribulation period will be a time of peace for Israel after a peace treaty is sucessfully negotiated with the nations. Once again there will be daily sacrifices in a new temple until the treaty is broken. Other scriptures mentioned earlier reveal that a beastly world leader will rule with more power than all the other kingdoms of the earth. Troops and armory will move against Israel, and she will be threatened with annihilation until Jesus Christ himself comes back suddenly to destroy them and save her (Ezekiel 38). He will then rule and reign from Jerusalem (The Bible Knowledge Commentary of the O.T. by Walvoord and Zuck, © 1985, pp. 1367-74).

What’s next for our nation? What’s next for our lives? The answer to that all depends on how we respond to prophecy. If we live oblivious to God or in opposition to him, God will judge us either in this life or the next. If we respond with a fear of the LORD, repent and seek him for salvation, and if we conduct our lives in holiness and righteous living, God will be merciful and gracious to us, protect us, and perhaps even prosper us. Psalm 33:12 says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance.” (NIV) Is your God the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth, and the rewarder of those who diligently seek him? Do you want a forgiveness, peace, and spiritual life? (more...)

Lessons to live by:

  • Seek the LORD earnestly and do not depend on anything or anyone else to determine the future.
  • Learn to be a student of Biblical prophecy to understand what is coming next.
  • Have a proper response to prophecy: Live in fear of the LORD and repent of your sins. Seek his mercy and grace. Walk in his ways in all holiness, righteousness, humility, justice, and mercy, and you will be rewarded.

Today’s Bible memory verses: Psalm 37:37-38 “Consider the blameless, observe the upright; there is a future for the man of peace. But all sinners will be destroyed; the future of the wicked will be cut off.” (NIV)

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