The players in prophecy
If you haven’t yet, I suggest you read the previous post, Introduction to the book of Daniel
This post, we’re going to go through the two central players that show up in prophecy and how to recognize them throughout prophetic scripture.
Jesus in prophecy
Did you know Jesus shows up in the book of Daniel? This isn’t widely taught, but you can recognize him if you take the time to look.
Remember the story of Daniel’s friends in the fiery furnace? If not, you can read it in Daniel 3. The summary is that the King, Nebuchadnezzar, had built a statue and commanded all his subjects to bow to it. We’re not sure where Daniel is at this time, but his three friends refuse to worship this idol, and so Nebuchadnezzar throws them in the furnace as punishment. But, when he looks in the furnace, he doesn’t see them burning. Instead he sees four men, not just the three he threw in, and he says the fourth is “like the son of God” (Daniel 3:25). Jesus shows up in the furnace to deliver these three men. He shows up in Daniel’s vision as well.
In Daniel 10:5-6, we see someone who
- Is girded with fine gold
- Has eyes like torches of fire
- Has feet like polished bronze
- Has a voice like the sound of a multitude
We know this is Jesus, because He is given the same description in Revelation 1:13-16:
- Has a golden band around his waist
- Eyes were like flame
- Feel like fine brass
- Voice like the sound of many waters (remember, water symbolizes people
Now, some will teach that Jesus never “visits” Earth prior to his birth, but this isn’t the case. Over and over again we see Jesus showing up throughout history. His role as deliverer is not simply limited to his crucifixion and second coming.
The book of Micah tells us that while Jesus was born in Bethlehem, that’s not his origin, that He pre-existed His birth, that his “goings forth” are old, “from everlasting” (Micah 5:2). Furthermore we know from Colossians 1:14-16 that Jesus was personally involved in creation, it says that “all things were created through Him”. And Paul tells us that Jesus was with the Israelites in the desert during their Exodus (1 Corinthians 10:1-4). There are other examples, but we can stop there for now.
Jesus’ opponent is given many names in scripture, including in prophecy. He is called the light bringer, day-star, dragon, serpent, devil, Satan, the deceiver of all humanity, and rightly so (Isaiah 14:12, Revelation 12:9). We’ll see during the course of this study on prophecy that Satan is a master deceiver, constantly creating counterfeits to God’s creation, making what is true appear false and what is false appear true.
He was created as an angel, perfect in every way (Ezekiel 28:12-15) until he began to lust for God’s power, and thought he could make himself god (Isaiah 14:13). Eventually he is cast down from heaven (Revelation 12:7-9) and falls to the Earth in defeat knowing his days are numbered, he works hard to deceive God’s people (Revelation 12:12). Along with his minions, he seeks to deceive people by setting up counterfeits of God’s kingdom (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). They work miracles in order to make people believe they are from God (Revelation 16:13-14) and we know he’s successful, we see it in our world, and Jesus himself tells us it will be so (Matthew 24:24).
And what about those who follow God completely? Those he targets for all out war (Revelation 12:17). This isn’t a physical fight, fought with guns or swords, but rather a spiritual battle. Not against flesh and blood, but instead we fight against principalities, powers, spirits, present darkness, against the forces of wickedness in the supernatural world (Ephesians 6:12).
So, how do we fight back? How can we stand against demons, spirits and fallen angels? Well, the Bible tells us to put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:11) which consists of:
- the belt of truth
- the breastplate of integrity, moral rectitude, right standing with God
- the boots of preparedness by knowing the gospel of peace
- the shield of faith which will protect you from Satan’s arrows
- the helmet of salvation
- and the sword of the spirit which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:14-17)
That’s why we study the the Bible. It is the sword of the spirit with which we can fight back. It teaches us about salvation, shows us what to have faith in. It prepares us by giving us the gospel of peace, instructs us in how to live with integrity before God, and ultimately shows us the truth. With this we can see through the deceptions of Satan, of which there are many, even in our own churches. Want to know how to recognize them? Then stay tuned. He’s been working for long time to counterfeit God’s plan, and sadly has done an incredible job at it. You may be surprised to see what he’s accomplished.
Next post we’ll really start into Daniel and start going through the story, seeing what warnings the book of Daniel has for us in the end times.