The structure of The Prophet’s Code, as discussed earlier, is much like the ripples in a pond. When you throw a rock in a pond, there is an immediate splash. But something else occurs. There is the beginning of a ripple effect across the pond. The ripples on one side of the splash are mirrored by the ripples on the other side. This is how the book of Daniel is also structured. There is a center to the book, which is easily found by recognizing that the book of Daniel was written in two different languages.
Chapter one is written in Hebrew, chapters two through seven are written in Aramaic, and chapters eight through twelve are in Hebrew. In the diagram below, notice how the chapters on either side of the center have the same emphasis:
Daniel Chapter One (written in Hebrew): The sanctuary in Jerusalem is defiled.
Daniel Chapter Two (written in Aramaic): There are four different metals in the king’s dream.
Daniel Chapter Three (Aramaic): The erroneous worship of the golden image.
Daniel Chapter Four (Aramaic): King Nebuchadnezzar overcomes his pride.
THE CENTER OF THE BOOK
Daniel Chapter Five (Aramaic): King Belshazzar is overcome by his pride.
Daniel Chapter Six (Aramaic): The erroneous worship of king Darius.
Daniel Chapter Seven (written in Aramaic): There are four different beasts in Daniel’s vision.
Daniel Chapter Eight (written in Hebrew): The sanctuary is cleansed. See Daniel 8:14
While the book of Daniel begins and ends with the Hebrew language, the center of the book is written in Aramaic. Why is the book structured in this fashion? By finding the very center of the book, we are able to discover the central issue in the great controversy between good and evil. Then with each ripple effect from the center, we are introduced to a new subject. These new subjects add to our understanding of the great controversy between Christ and Satan. What are the subjects covered by The Prophet’s Code? They are the same questions we found in the Revelation.
Daniel Chapter One (written in Hebrew): How does God deliver his people from evil?
Daniel Chapter Two (written in Aramaic): How does God judge evil?
Daniel Chapter Three (Aramaic): How does God war against evil?
Daniel Chapter Four (Aramaic): What is the origin of evil?
THE CENTER OF THE BOOK
Daniel Chapter Five (Aramaic): What is the origin of evil?
Daniel Chapter Six (Aramaic): How does God war against evil?
Daniel Chapter Seven (written in Aramaic): How does God judge evil?
Daniel Chapter Eight (written in Hebrew): How does God deliver his people from evil?
The Origin of Evil: Chapters Four and Five
From the above diagram, we find that the center of the book encompasses chapters four and five. In these chapters, we find the story of two Babylonian kings. There is king Nebuchadnezzar in chapter four, and king Belshazzar in chapter five. Both are dealing with the problem of pride. In the end, Nebuchadnezzar overcomes his pride and acknowledges the authority of the true God in his life, saying, “Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.” Daniel 4:37
Belshazzar, on the other hand, never gave his heart to the true God, and he perished in his sins. The prophet Daniel had warned Belshazzar, “O Belshazzar, [thou] hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this; But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; . . . and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified.” Daniel 22, 23.
God had given king Belshazzar many opportunities to turn from his prideful and wicked ways, but he refused. Then came the decree, “Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.” Daniel 5:27. “In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.” Daniel 5:30
Why are these two stories found in the center of The Prophet’s Code? It is to reveal the central issue in the great controversy between Christ and Satan. What is the central issue in the great controversy between good and evil? We can answer that question with an ancient story.
Before the creation of our little world, Lucifer was a loyal angel in heaven. He was an archangel. He dwelt in the very presence of God. No other created being had been as blessed with such abilities and authority as Lucifer.
“Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so; thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. . . Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.” Ezekiel 28:14, 15, 17
Lucifer was a created being. He was created to hold the office of “the anointed cherub” on the holy mountain of God. He was perfect in his thoughts and feelings. But then his thoughts began to change. His “heart was lifted up” as he adored his own beauty, brightness, and wisdom. His reasoning abilities became corrupted. He began to attribute his talents and beauty to himself, rather than to the Lord God who created him. In short, Lucifer became self-centered and prideful. In fact, he became so prideful, he desired to be equal with God.
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” Isaiah 14:12-15
Of course, Lucifer could never be God. No created being could ever be equal with God. But what would make a created being think that he could be equal with God? It would be founded upon some very faulty and self-centered pride. The Bible says, “Pride goeth before destruction. . . When pride cometh, then cometh shame.” Proverbs 18; 11:2.
Pride has a way of blinding us to our own weaknesses and limitations. It often keeps us from admitting that we have been wrong. It does, in fact, expect others to change. It is a very self-centered spirit that focuses on our own security, wants, comforts, pleasures, and joys.
How bad is pride? Was it not the pride of Cain that led to his murderous act towards his brother Abel? Was it not the pride of Babylon that led to her eventually destruction? Was it not the pride and jealousy of the religious leaders that led to the crucifixion of the world’s Redeemer?
In these last days, a haughty and apostate power will arise. It is said of her, “How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.” Revelation 18:4
Tragically, nearly the whole world will worship this haughty and prideful apostate power. The Bible says, “all the world wondered after the beast [the apostate power] . . . and they worshiped the beast.” Revelation 13:3, 4
How prideful is this apostate power? “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies. . . . and he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.” Revelation 13:5, 6. This apostate power blasphemes against God by claiming to have the authority of God.
What are the tragic consequences for worshiping this apostate power? “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world….If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God.” Revelation 13:8; 14:9, 10
Obviously, the subject of pride is of no little matter. It is wrought with eternity consequences.
Of course, the opposite of pride is humility. Though Christ was equal in divinity to His Father, He “made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:6, 7
What a contrast between the haughty spirit of Lucifer [Satan] and the self-sacrificing love of Christ. What a contrast between the humility of Christ and our own prideful spirit.
Pride is a prison filled with self-importance and self-centeredness. It has as its companions, the spirit of anger, jealousy, and discontentment. But it is more than a prison, it is a destroyer. As the Bible says, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” If we do not overcome our pride, it will overcome us. It will become our executioner.
As we will learn throughout our study, we cannot change ourselves. But God can change us. It all begins with forgiveness. As the Bible says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9. If we confess our sins, He will keep His promise to forgive us. But there is more. He will also cleanse us from all unrighteousness. This is the good news of the gospel. We are more than forgiven, we are changed. We cannot change ourselves, but we can exercise our power of choice to serve God. When we place our will on the side of Christ, He will work in us and change us into His own altogether beautiful character. Our pride is taken away, and we receive His humility. This is the great exchange in the plan of redemption.
When I give my sins to Christ, He takes them. In return, I receive His righteousness through the work of the Holy Spirit. In this way, we are being daily transformed into the image of God’s dear Son. This is what it means to be a Christian.
Tragically, Lucifer refused to repent of his pride. He had no more desire to be like God in character. He wanted to be his own god. As such, he set his foot upon the path of destruction. That path led to open rebellion against God.
“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon [Lucifer]; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Revelation 12:7-9
I will never forget those initial days when I first accepted Jesus as my personal Savior. Joy filled my heart knowing that God had forgiven me of all my sins. Exceeding joy filled my heart to know that God loved me. But I also remember those hours of weeping. I thought about the fall of Lucifer. I contemplated the tragic fall of this covering cherub who dwelt in the very presence of God. He knew everything about God that a created being could know, and yet, he walked away from God. Nay, more, he would use all of his talents to work against God.
If Lucifer had only remained faithful to God, then this whole controversy could have been avoided. One-third of the angels would never have been lost. Our little world would have never known of sin, disease, and death. We would not have known of jealousy, envy, discontentment, discouragement, an unforgiving spirit, a fault-finding spirit, and malice. We would have only known of love, goodness, meekness, and joy. But now, vast multitudes of the human family, numbering in the billions, will be lost for eternity. Why? It all started with self-centered pride in the heart of one created being, Lucifer.
This self-centered pride is the central issue in the great controversy. But it points to an even bigger issue, namely, the issue of authority. Lucifer’s pride led to his self-sufficiency. It led him away from God. It led him in open rebellion against God. It led him to make that finally and fatal decision to never again submit to the authority of God.
We find that same controversy going on in every human heart. Will I, or will I not, submit to the authority of God? That is the central issue. This is what we find in the very center of The Prophet’s Code.
In chapter four, we find the pride of king Nebuchadnezzar. He attributes all of his talents, wealth, and success to himself. He said, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?” Daniel 4:30
It is true that Nebuchadnezzar was the human agent that added many beautiful features to the city of Babylon, but Nebuchadnezzar was not the one who created the marble, the gold, the timbers, and the many other materials that went into these magnificent buildings. He did not create the labor force and the ground upon which these buildings stood. In fact, he did not even create himself. Nebuchadnezzar, like the rest of the human family, was born with a wonderful intellectual capacity. He had a mind that could envision the construction of beautiful buildings. He had a mind that could see a great construction project to completion. All of these abilities and mental faculties had come from God. But he did not worship or acknowledge the very God to whom he owed his existence. You might say, he fell into the same trap as Lucifer. He began to look at himself and became exceedingly prideful.
But in the end, God would bring the king to his senses. And before Nebuchadnezzar died, he did acknowledge the supremacy of God’s will. He would submit to the authority of the one and only true God. As Nebuchadnezzar said, “Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.” Daniel 4:37
How God Wars Against Evil: Chapters Three and Five
The first ripple effect from these central chapters is chapters three and five. These two chapters are on opposite sides of the center. They both describe different forms of erroneous worship, and they both focus on the same God who wars against these evil powers to rescue His faithful servants.
Chapter Three: The erroneous worship of the golden image. How God wars against evil.
Chapter Four: King Nebuchadnezzar overcomes his pride. The origin of evil.
THE CENTER OF THE BOOK
Chapter Five: King Belshazzar is overcome by his pride. The origin of evil.
Chapter Six: The erroneous worship of king Darius.How God wars against evil.
While it is important that we understand the origin of evil as described in chapters four and five, it is also important for us to know how God wars against evil powers in our world. After all, we want to cooperate with heavenly agencies in our battle against evil.
In chapter three, God permits the Babylonians to build their golden image made of gold. He permits them to pass a law that forces all to worship the image. He permits them to draw worshipers through false leaders, false religious music, intimidation, legislation, and peer pressure. He even permits the Babylonians to throw His servants into a fiery furnace. But in all of this, we see God rescuing His faithful servants. Instead of preventing His people from experiencing persecution, He abides with them and strengthens them in it. In the end, we never hear of the golden image again.
In chapter five, God permits the Persians to pass a false religious law requiring the worship of the king for thirty days. God permits these evil leaders to plan their jealous scheme against Daniel. He permits them to deceive the king. He permits their satanic plan to become law. He permits Daniel to be thrown in the lion’s den. But again, God delivers His faithful servant from evil men.
The king sends forth a decree that the God of Daniel is “the living God, and steadfast forever, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall be even unto the end. He delivereth and rescueth, and He worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.” Daniel 6:26, 26
Due to God’s intervention, Daniel is delivered, the king acknowledges the supremacy of Daniel’s God, the wicked men are destroyed, and the entire Persian realm hears about the greatness of the God of heaven and earth.
In God’s war against evil, His designs are not to destroy, but to save. He uses the proclamation of truth, the testimony of His faithful servants, and the unmasking of evil. [We will study this theme more fully in the commentaries.]
How God Judges Evil: Chapters Two and Three
In chapters two and seven, we have two prophetic chapters. In king Nebuchadnezzar’s dream found in chapter two, we have four different metals representing the rise and fall of empires, from Babylon, to Medo-Persia, to Greece, then to Rome. In Daniel’s vision found in chapter seven, we have four different beasts. These beasts correspond perfectly to the very same rise and fall of nations.
Head of gold represents Babylon.
The silver breast and arms represent Medo-Persia.
The brass belly and thighs represent Greece.
The legs of iron represent Rome.
The lion represents Babylon.
The bear represents Medo-Persia.
The leopard represents Greece.
The fourth beast represents Rome.
Clearly these two chapters are tied together by prophetically referring to the same rise and fall of empires. They both are written in Aramaic. But what else do they hold in common? Notice the emphasis on judgment in the seventh chapter of Daniel:
There is the Ancient of days, the Father, and His throne. (verse 9)
“The judgment was set, and the books were opened” (verse 10)
Jesus is escorted to the Father to begin the judgment. (verse 13)
“Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints.” (verse 22)
“But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his [antichrist’s] dominion.” (verse 26)
In Daniel chapter seven, we have a description of the judgment. The throne of the Father moves into the Most Holy Place of the heavenly Sanctuary “like the fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire.” (verse 9). Billions of angels are in attendance as “the judgment was set, and the books were opened [for judgment].” (verse 10). Jesus, the Son of man, is escorted by “the clouds of heaven,” and the angels bring Him to the Father. The judgment now begins, because all judgment has been given to the Son. See John 5:22
In chapter two, we have God judging the nations. Where we might ask is the great nation of Babylon? It lies desolate. Where is Medo-Persia? It too is destroyed. The same is true of the Grecian and Roman empires. All these nations had an opportunity to do the right thing. But when they failed, God permitted their fall and another nation took their place. These nations failed, not because they lacked wealth and decision-making power. They failed because they misappropriated their wealth and power.
Judgment is a major theme in the book of Daniel. After all, Daniel’s name means “God is judge.” In this book, we find the rise and fall of nations and God’s judgment of them. We find a description of the judgment scene with the Ancient of days, the Son of man, the angels, and the books from which we will be judged. We find a time prophecy pointing to the day God will begin to judge the world. See Daniel 8:14. And we find the time when God will have finally judged every man, woman, and child. See Daniel 12:1.
So far, we have viewed the chapters written in Aramaic, which paired up as follows:
Daniel Chapter Two: Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of four different metals.
Daniel Chapter Three: The erroneous worship of the golden image.
Daniel Chapter Four: Nebuchadnezzar overcomes his pride.
THE CENTER OF THE BOOK
Daniel Chapter Five: Belshazzar is overcome by his pride.
Daniel Chapter Six: The erroneous worship of the king.
Daniel Chapter Seven: Daniel’s vision of four different beasts.
We will now turn our attention to the chapters written in Hebrew. As we continue to follow our ripple effect from the center, we find chapter one (written in Hebrew), and chapter eight (written in Hebrew). Both of these chapters have a focus on the sanctuary. Consider the following references in chapter eight:
The ram, symbolically representing Medo-Persia in this prophetic chapter (See Daniel 8:20), was also a sanctuary animal. It was most notably offered at the time of Passover.
The goat, symbolically representing Greece in this prophecy (See Daniel 8:21), was also a sanctuary animal. It was most notably offered on the Day of Atonement.
We have the little horn power magnifying “himself even to the prince of the host [Jesus Christ], and by him [by this little horn power], the daily sacrifice [or daily mediation of Christ as our High Priest] was taken away, and the place of his [Christ’s heavenly] sanctuary was cast down.” Daniel 8:11.
The question is asked, “How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?” Daniel 8:13
The answer is, “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Daniel 8:14
As we can see, the eighth chapter of Daniel, often refers to the sanctuary. We find the sanctuary “cast down,” “trodden under foot,” and “cleansed.” We also have two notable sanctuary animals, namely, the ram and the goat. We also have Jesus as our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary.
How about chapter one, does it also refer to the sanctuary?
The book of Daniel opens with Nebuchadnezzar’s siege on Jerusalem. The Babylonian king would, in fact, besiege Jerusalem three times. It was during the third siege in 587 BC, that the sanctuary in Jerusalem was destroyed.
Concerning the first siege in 605 BC, we find Nebuchadnezzar taking “a part of the vessels of the house of God [vessels from the sanctuary]: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the [sanctuary] vessels in the treasure house of his god.” Daniel 1:2
We find Daniel purposing in his heart not to defile the temple of his body. “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s mean, not with the wine which he drank.” Daniel 1:8
The Scriptures often refer to our body as the temple of the Holy Spirit. Paul wrote:
“What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16
“And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” 2 Corinthians 6:16
While the Babylonians were able to rob and destroy the literal temple in Jerusalem, they were not able to overcome the temple of the Holy Spirit. While God permitted the Babylonians to destroy the literal temple, He would protect His faithful servants from being overcome with sin.
In the first chapter of Daniel, we find God delivering His servants from sin. God is able to deliver us from all iniquity. As we study through the commentaries, we will learn wonderful lessons in overcoming evil.
What does the eighth chapter teach us about overcoming evil? We are introduced to a very evil power known as the “little horn.” He would “magnify himself even to the prince of the host [Jesus Christ].” In other words, this apostate power would present himself as the mediator between God and man. But the servants of God understand that their Mediator is Jesus Christ alone. Paul wrote, “For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5
Victory over evil begins with knowing that there is only one Mediator between God and man, namely, Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only one who could be the Mediator between God and man, because Jesus is both. As the Son of God, He is able to represent God to man. As the Son of man, He is able to represent man to God. He is the God-man, and there is none other.
When we acknowledge that Jesus is our only Mediator between us and the Father, we are able to rely upon His merits and power. If we were to allow mere men to become our mediator between God and man, we have absolutely nothing.
We find the “little horn” also taking away the “daily sacrifice.” As followers of Christ, we know that Jesus is interceding on our behalf daily, hourly, moment-by-moment. We find heavenly agencies working tirelessly on behalf of suffering humanity. But the little horn power wants people to look to their false sanctuary, priesthood, doctrines, and arbitrary power. What a contrast!
Jesus as our High Priest is able to save us to the uttermost. As Paul wrote, we have “a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself [Jesus Christ] hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor [help, assist] them that are tempted.” Hebrews 2:17, 18
Mere men cannot absolve you of your sins, nor can they give you power to overcome sin. But Jesus, is our heavenly High Priest, who is more than able to deliver us from evil.
Where is Jesus our High Priest? Paul wrote, “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. . . . We have such a high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” Hebrews 4:14; 8:1, 2
Does it matter who is your High Priest? Of course, it matters greatly. There is only one High Priest who was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin. Paul wrote, that we have a High Priest who “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:15, 16
You have the power of choice to go to an earthly priest, but he has no power to give you. He is, like all of humanity, a helpless human agent in need of divine help. Every religious leader, if he is true, will point you to Jesus, not to himself.
So how do you overcome evil in the eighth chapter of Daniel? You accept Jesus as your only Mediator. You accept Jesus as your only High Priest of the Christian faith. You receive pardon and power from Him. We will study further on this in later chapters. But for now, I just want us to see that the book of Daniel is written in this beautiful inspired structure. This inspired structure, that I refer to as The Prophet’s Code, will answer four very important questions for us:
How does God deliver His people from evil? (Chapters One and Eight)
How does God judge evil? (Chapters Two and Seven)
How does God war against evil? (Chapters Three and Six)
What is the origin of evil? (Chapters Four and Five)
Christ Versus Antichrist: Chapters Eight Through Twelve
Some have asked, “What about the final chapters written in Hebrew. Are they part of The Prophet’s Code?”
Let us again, reaffirm that chapters eight through twelve are written in Hebrew. According to The Prophet’s Code, the final chapters would be divided as follows:
Daniel Chapter Eight
Daniel Chapter Nine
Daniel Chapter Ten (THE CENTER OF THE FINAL CHAPTERS)
Daniel Chapter Eleven
Daniel Chapter Twelve
According to this structure, chapter ten would be the central chapter. Chapters nine and eleven would then be on opposite sides of the center, as well as, chapters eight and twelve. What is the emphasis of these finals chapters? Chapter ten focuses on the cosmic conflict between Christ and Satan. Chapters nine and eleven, and chapters eight and twelve, emphasize the conflict between the ministry of Jesus and the work of antichrist.
The Cosmic Conflict: Chapter Ten
In chapter ten, we find the evil agencies of Satan endeavoring to frustrate the plans to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple. Why does Satan work so hard to prevent the rebuilding of the temple? Because the sanctuary service was an acting out of the plan of salvation. Every one of those slain lambs prefigured the coming of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. The work of the high priest, prefigured the work of Jesus as our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary.
This chapter begins with an introduction to Cyrus, the king of Persia. Cyrus had made a decree in 537 BC, that enabled the Jewish people to begin the long process of returning to Jerusalem and rebuilding the Temple. See Ezra 1:1–4. But the devil aroused the Samaritans to exercise fierce opposition against the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the temple. They would try to influence Cyrus to withdraw his support for the Jews.
Daniel sought the blessing of God through three weeks of fasting and prayer for His people. Then Daniel sees a heavenly visitor. Who might this be? It is the Son of God. The description of Jesus in this passage is similar to the one given in Revelation 1:13-17. In this description, Jesus is described as “a certain man,” meaning “one man.” As we know, there is only One who could have paid the price for the sins of the human race.
Daniel alone “saw this great vision, and there remaineth no strength” in him. Then the angel Gabriel touches Daniel and brings him out of his deep sleep. Gabriel reassures Daniel that he is greatly beloved of God and by all the heavenly hosts.
The battle between good and evil rages on. What will Cyrus decide? Will he continue to support the Jews? “The prince of the kingdom of Persia” was satanically at work.
The Hebrew word for “prince” is sar. This word is never used in reference to a human king. It may refer to a chief servant or commander of the king, but not to the king himself. Therefore, the “prince of the kingdom of Persia” is not in reference to Cyrus, who is called the “king” in verse 1.
The word is often used in the book of Daniel in reference to supernatural beings. See Daniel 8:11, 25; 10:13, 21; 12:1. Therefore, we could conclude that the “prince of the kingdom of Persia,” was nothing less than an evil angel assigned to the Persian kingdom. It may be in reference to Satan himself.
This gives us some insight to the workings of Satan. First, Satan’s rebellious organization is bent on influencing leaders all around the world. Second, evil angels are assigned to tempt men where they are weak and susceptible. Third, these evil angels are specialists. Some are assigned to tempt men with evil thoughts, immoral acts, and even poor decision-making.
The battle continues for twenty-one days. Then Gabriel declares, “but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.” Daniel 10:13. It is the presence of Michael that decides the outcome. Cyrus chooses to continue his support of the Jews. Heaven gains the victory.
What an insight between the forces of good and the forces of evil. Satan’s plan is unmasked. He was working so hard to prevent the rebuilding of the temple. He has always worked diligently to misrepresent the plan of salvation. And he always will.
He is particular interested in blinding us to the ministry of Jesus. He hopes to blind us to the work of Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary above. To accomplish this, Satan has set up antichrist as a major religio-political force in our world. Chapters nine and eleven, and chapters eight and twelve, will now focus on the ministry of Jesus in contrast to the work of antichrist.
Christ versus Antichrist: Chapters Nine and Eleven
On either side of chapter ten, we find chapters nine and eleven. In these chapters, we will find a clear contrast between the character of Jesus and the character of antichrist:
Jesus confirms the “covenant” (9:27)
Jesus is the “prince of the covenant” (11:22)
But, antichrist forsakes the “holy covenant” (11:30)
Antichrist is “against the covenant” (11:32)
What is the “holy covenant”? Paul wrote, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them.” Hebrews 10:16.
The Father covenanted to give His only Son as the sacrifice for our sins. He kept that covenant. Jesus covenanted to die for our sins. He kept that covenant. Now God desires to write His law upon the hearts of all who have accepted His Son as their personal Savior. Will God have such a people?
It is written, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12
The only way to keep the commandments of God is by the faith of Jesus. After all, Jesus kept His Father’s commandments by faith.
But antichrist is in opposition to this covenant, for he himself has forsaken the covenant. In the end, antichrist looks to be worshiped by his fellowmen. As the Revelator wrote, “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him [antichrist], whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Revelation 13:8
Of course, if you worship antichrist, then you have broken at least the first commandment, which reads, “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” Exodus 20:3. If we worship anyone other than God, we have broken the commandments.
Paul describes antichrist as “that man of sin, . . . the son of perdition. Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God [sitteth within the Christian community], showing himself that he is God [or, that he has the authority of God within the church].” 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4
Paul goes on and calls him “that Wicked” one, which is also translated as the “lawless one.” 2 Thessalonians 2:8
Clearly, antichrist is against the priestly ministry of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary, and against God’s commandments. What a diabolical power!
Let us continue our study on the many references to Christ and antichrist in these two chapters:
Daniel Chapter Nine
“Messiah cut off” or crucified” (9:26)
“Messiah cut off, but not for Himself” (9:26)
Daniel Chapter Eleven
“the prince of the covenant [Jesus]” is broken [crucified] (11:22)
But antichrist “shall exalt himself” (11:36)
Antichrist shall “magnify himself” (11:36)
What a contrast! The Son of God becomes the Son of man. He humbles Himself to die for the sins of the world. In contrast, antichrist, the lawless one, exalts himself.
Jesus shall “anoint the most Holy” (9:24)
Antichrist “shall pollute the sanctuary” (11:31)
Jesus anoints the heavenly sanctuary with His own blood. Ever since His ascension into heaven, He has interceded on our before as our faithful and merciful High Priest. In contrast, antichrist has polluted the minds of men in understanding the truth of Christ’s ministry in the heavenly sanctuary. He has, in part, done so by setting up a false priesthood, a false temple, with false doctrines, and a false gospel.
Jesus makes “reconciliation for iniquity” (9:24)
Antichrist shall “do wickedly” (11:32)
It is the life of God’s dear Son that alone can provide that reconciliation. Only He who was equal with God the Father, could pay the price of our sins in breaking God’s law. No angel or mere human being could have paid that price. Therefore, the offerings, and functions of antichrist cannot provide any reconciliation with God. They are as worthless as the offering of Cain. Hence, the work of antichrist only leads to more wickedness.
He brings “in everlasting righteousness” (9:24)
Antichrist places “the abomination that makes desolate” (11:31)
What a contrast! Christ brings in “everlasting righteousness” by His sinless life. By living a sinless life in our sinful flesh, He can make us righteous too. But antichrist cannot make anyone righteous. His abominable claims to forgive sins is blasphemous. His claims to the highest authority within the church is an abomination. The work of antichrist leads to only one thing, namely, desolation. There will be much more for us to study when we come to these chapters. But for now, we can see that there are many references to Christ and antichrist in these chapters.
Christ and Antichrist: Chapters Eight and Twelve
There are many evil powers in our world, but God has chosen to unmask the work of antichrist in these prophecies. Inspiration wants us to see the contrast between the character of God and the character of Satan. God wants us to see the outworking of His principles in the life of Daniel and his three Hebrew friends. In contrast, God wants us to see the outworking of the principles of Satan in the lives of the enemies of Daniel, and in the description of the antichrist power. There is, dear reader, an eternal difference.
Let’s take a moment to view the close association between chapters eight and twelve. Both of these chapters have the same setting, and they use the same words and phrases.
Vision by a river (8:2, 16)
Two holy ones speaking (8:13)
Jesus between the banks of the river (8:16)
“How long shall be the vision. . .” (8:13)
“the daily sacrifice was taken away” (8:11-13)
“the transgression of desolation” (8:13)
“wherefore shut thou up the vision” (8:26)
“host to be trodden under foot” (8:13)
“the prince of the host” (8:11)
“Unto two thousand and three hundred days” (8:14)
Vision by a river (12:5)
Two holy ones on either side of the river (12:5)
Jesus upon the waters of the river (12:6)
“How long shall it be to the end of these wonders” (12:6)
“the daily sacrifice shall be taken away” (12:11)
“the abomination that maketh desolate” (12:11)
“shut up the words, and seal the book” (12:4)
“to scatter the power of the holy people” (12:7)
“Michael, . . . the great prince” (12:1)
“that it shall be for a time, times, and a half” (12:7)
“a thousand two hundred and ninety days” (12:11)
“thousand three hundred and five and thirty days” (12:12)
Besides sharing similar words and phrases, we can see that the theme of Christ verses antichrist is continued. In chapter eight, antichrist is known as the little horn, who “magnified himself even to the prince of the host [Jesus Christ].” Daniel 8:11
Who is Jesus? He is the “prince of the host.” What is Jesus doing as “prince of the host”? He is in the heavenly sanctuary serving as our Mediator and High Priest. Therefore, when antichrist magnifies himself as the “prince of the host,” he is presenting himself as the mediator between God and man. He presents himself as the highest authority within the Christian community. He pretends to play the role of Christ. Let us take a moment and look at Christ’s ministry in the eighth chapter of Daniel:
Christ has a Heavenly Sanctuary and He is truly our High Priest
On the 2300th day we have the cleansing of Christ’s heavenly sanctuary (8:14)
There is a “place,” or foundation, to Christ’s sanctuary. (8:11)
• The foundation of Christ’s sanctuary and ministry is His divinity and humanity.
There is a “daily” mediation to Christ’s ministry on behalf of suffering humanity.
There are three numbers associated with Christ’s ministry.
• “Unto two thousand and three hundred days” (Daniel 8:14)
• “Seventy weeks, . . . after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off” (Dan 9:24, 26)
• “. . .to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days” (Daniel 12:12)
Now, let us consider some of the references to antichrist in his opposition to Christ’s ministry:
Antichrist is against Christ’s Sanctuary and Christ’s High Priestly Ministry
We have antichrist, the little horn, troddening “under foot” Christ’s sanctuary. (8:13)
We have antichrist trying to “cast down “the place of his [Christ’s] sanctuary.” (8:11)
Antichrist is “against the daily sacrifice.” He is against Christ’s daily mediation as our Priest. (8:11-13)
Therefore, antichrist is a false mediator, with a false priesthood, a false temple, and a false gospel.
There are three numbers associated with antichrist.
• “Time, times, and half a time” (Daniel 7:25; 12:11; Revelation 11:2, 3; 12:6, 14; 13:5)
• “a thousand two hundred and ninety days” (Daniel 12:11)
• “Six hundred threescore and six (666)” Revelation 13:18
As we go through this great prophetic book, we will draw even more lessons from these chapters. But for now, it is important to understand that there is a clear and perfect structure to the book of Daniel. This structure teaches us that God is a God of order and perfection. This structure also teaches us that there are at least four main questions that will be answer in this book:
What is the origin of evil?
How does God war against evil?
How does God judge evil?
How does God deliver us from evil?
Then, of course, the book draws a clear contrast between the character of Christ and the character of Satan. It draws a clear distinction between the ministry of Christ and the work of antichrist. And finally, it makes a clear distinction between those who serve God and those who serve Him not.