Read Daniel 11:29-39. What is this power that arises after pagan Rome?
Daniel 11:29-39 refers to a new power system. Although this system stands in continuation with the pagan Roman Empire and inherits some characteristics of its predecessor, at the same time it seems to be different in some aspects. The biblical text says that “it shall not be like the former or the latter” (Dan. 11:29, NKJV). As we look further, we find that it acts as a religious power. It aims its attack mainly at God and His people. Let us look at some of the actions perpetrated by this king.
First, he will act “in rage against the holy covenant” (Dan. 11:30, NKJV). This must be a reference to God’s covenant of salvation, which this king opposes.
Second, this king will produce forces that will “defile the sanctuary” and take away the “daily sacrifices” (Dan. 11:31). We noted in Daniel chapter 8 that the little horn casts down the foundation of God’s “sanctuary” and takes away the “daily sacrifices” (Dan. 8:11). This must be understood as a spiritual attack against Christ’s ministration in the heavenly sanctuary.
Third, as a consequence of his attack on the sanctuary, this power places the “abomination of desolation” (NKJV) in God’s temple. The parallel expression “transgression of desolation” points to the acts of apostasy and rebellion by the little horn (Dan. 8:13).
Fourth, this power persecutes God’s people: “some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end” (Dan. 11:35, NKJV). This reminds us of the little horn, which cast down some of the host and some of the stars and trampled them (Dan. 8:10; compare with Dan. 7:25).
Fifth, this king will “exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods” (Dan. 11:36, NKJV). Unsurprisingly, the little horn also speaks “pompous words” (Dan. 7:8, NKJV), even against God (Dan. 7:25).
|Other similarities could be mentioned but, considering what we read in Daniel chapters 7 and 8, who is this power, and why is it so important to us, despite social pressures, to stay firm in our identification of it?|