Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
There's a chapter in the Bible that no one seems to know for sure how to understand (fully), and yet it's as much a part of the Bible as is John 3:16. And moreover, it's in the book that Jesus singled out as the one we should "read" and "understand"--Daniel (Matt. 24:15). The contested chapter: eleven.
Why would the Holy Spirit inspire words that create such widespread speculation and guessing? Paul prayed that we might not be "tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive" (Eph. 4:14). It's not our job to "shut up the words and seal the book" of Daniel because we are now living in "the time of the end" when "knowledge" about what it means "shall increase" (Dan. 12:4). God did "seal the book" once, but only temporarily until "the time of the end." And that's where we are. Now the book is "open."
Daniel 11 is full of wars and strife, but in the middle comes the "Prince of the covenant" who is crucified (vs. 22). When the "end" comes, He ceases His High Priestly ministry, to "stand up," which is an idiom for "begin to reign" as King (11:2; 12:1, KJV). "And at that time," said the angel, "Thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book" (the same book that John saw as "the Book of Life," Rev. 13:8). Daniel is in perfect sync with Revelation, which also carries a special promise to any one who "reads" it, or even listens to it being read (1:3).
The Holy Spirit will teach us the full meaning of Daniel 11 when He is ready; meanwhile, 12:3 tells us what to do now rather than try to make a name for ourselves as new interpreters: "Those who turn many to righteousness [shall shine] like the stars forever and ever." Don't be afraid of Daniel 11; turn your attention to chapters 1-10, 12--they're clear.
The gospel shines in Daniel; help someone see it. Give Bible readings; the Holy Spirit will bless your effort. Trust Him.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: September 9, 2004.
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