Chapter 6: Emphasis on God’s Very Elect
Daniel 11 is the history and prophecy of the warring kings of the north and south. Its time frame begins before Christ’s first coming and ends at His Second Coming. However, Daniel was written for the end time, so that is where the time frame is mostly focused (Daniel 12:4, 9). And now we have moved into the specific “last end” (Daniel 8:19) of the end-time period.
Now notice how deeply God’s very elect are embedded and emphasized within Daniel 11 and 12.
“And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits” (Daniel 11:32). The word exploits means heroic acts. The very elect “stand firm and take action” (Revised Standard Version).
Our six-year court battle with the Worldwide Church of God over the right to print Herbert W. Armstrong’s writings is an example. The Philadelphia Church of God won that battle, when it looked like we had no chance of winning. God gave us the victory. Why? Because we need Mr. Armstrong’s writings to teach the foundational part of our message. Mr. Armstrong “restored all things” (Matthew 17:10-11)—all the major doctrines of God’s Church. People cannot understand our message without first comprehending his. Now the copyrights to Mr. Armstrong’s writings belong to us. (If you are unfamiliar with this story, request a free copy of our booklet Habakkuk.)
“And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days” (Daniel 11:33). God’s very elect instruct many of the Laodiceans (Christ’s lukewarm Church) and the world. The word “instruct” means to turn minds to discernment and understanding. “The word inculcates the concept of distinguishing between good and evil” (Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible). Only God truly knows how to distinguish between good and evil! Nobody else does! In the midst of billions of people, only a few thousand teach God’s true message. This tiny group instructs many, but only small numbers submit to God. However, the message is a witness to all the world (Matthew 24:14). That means God will still use our message to bring them to repentance. This is only the first stage.
Here we see a small group of people with a God-sized message. The whole world should heed today. But most people won’t become converted until Christ returns.
Our work is about God and His message. So is the book of Daniel. The whole world should heed now. They will turn to this message—it’s just a matter of when.
We instruct many. That means God gives us new and old revelation “to reach the largest audience possible,” in the words of Mr. Armstrong. We must reach out to God’s Laodiceans and the world.
“Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen [helped] with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries” (Daniel 11:34). The Laodiceans have fallen in this spiritual war. God, through us, gives them a little help, because most of them refuse to repent—even though some fake repentance “with flatteries.” Most of the Laodiceans were against us in our court battle for God’s revealed truth. Many even became antichrists and fought against Christ and the pcg. (This is explained in our free booklet The Last Hour.)
Amid World Empires
God’s perspective is exciting beyond words. In the midst of warning countries and world empires, God emphasizes His very elect most of all! They are right at the center of this history and prophecy.
Can we see how important the work of the pcg is? We all need God’s perspective on this subject. Daniel 11 describes the clash of world empires. But the spotlight is still on God’s Church. Even Church division is discussed. God wants His people to know how important they are in His eyes. Nobody takes precedence over God’s people.
In the midst of geopolitical turmoil, God gives striking details about His own Church! “And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed” (Daniel 11:35). Now God directs His warning specifically to those doing the daily (His Work). Verse 33 says many will fall. That refers to the Laodiceans. Here it says some. So even some of those who understand and are doing God’s Work will fall.
God is warning the end-time Philadelphians directly! Daniel said this was for a “time appointed.” It’s for a specific time period—our time. And right up to the very end, some among us will fall. Haven’t all in God’s Church seen that happen? The word try in verse 35 means to smelt, like smelting metal. It means a fiery trial. Even when people come into this remnant and understand the truth, they can still fall.
Should we be shocked if some few leave? God says it will happen right up to the end. We are in a war. And in a war, there are casualties. Will you be a casualty? It will happen “even to the time of the end.”
This is dangerous knowledge. Eternal life is at stake for God’s people. In the midst of world calamities, God reveals that this small, loyal remnant will have spiritual war casualties. But if we stick with God, we will never be a spiritual casualty.
God reveals a great deal of detail here about His own Church. That is because what we do has eternal consequences.
And all this was prophesied well before the first coming of Christ!
“But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things” (verse 38). First of all, in the phrase “God of forces,” god should not be capitalized. This man is worshiping a god that his spiritual fathers did not know.
“In his estate” means he’s sitting in the seat of the God of gods. This is a parallel prophecy to 2 Thessalonians 2:4. He’s in God’s seat saying that he is God—not by his words but by his deeds! For the word estate, the margin says stead. (Gesenius’ Lexicon says “in his place.”) He’s in the place of Christ. This is happening in God’s sanctuary. This man betrayed God.
The “god of forces” is Satan leading his demon army. Satan and his fallen angels have been cast down to this Earth (Revelation 12:9, 12), and they are more wrathful than ever before because they know their time is short. God is about to cast them into outer darkness.
This demon army fights God’s Church—spiritual Israel—most of all. Then it attacks the nations of Israel. These demons are stirring up the Gentiles against America, the Jews in the Middle East and the British peoples. Their activities are going to intensify until they destroy our nations.
God has chosen His very elect to warn the nations of Israel. This is the message people must heed. They can heed either now—or after the worst punishment ever. There is no escaping this message if we are to be in God’s Kingdom. God’s message is in their midst. But most will not listen until it is physically too late.
“And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them” (Ezekiel 33:33). They finally learn that there was a prophet of God in their midst—not several prophets, only one—after the Tribulation has struck.
Look again at Daniel 11:41: “He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.” The last part of this verse is interesting. In addition to sparing Edom and Moab, God will spare the chief of the children, or sons, of Ammon. The word chief means “with regard to time, first fruits” (Gesenius’ Lexicon). This undoubtedly is referring to God’s people, whom the Bible calls the “firstfruits” to be harvested in God’s plan (e.g. James 1:18). These people will be saved out of the beast’s hand.
Understand the context here. To this point in Daniel 11, we have seen how Satan has literally destroyed a whole Church of God spiritually, except for the few who understand and who instruct many. Satan could not get to the very elect spiritually. So now he tries to get to them physically, through the beast. But God will protect us from the wrath of Satan the devil. He will save His little sanctuary of strength.
“But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many” (verse 44). Tidings out of Russia and China only expedite the beast power’s plans to “destroy, and utterly to make away many”—or, as the Companion Bible says, “to devote many to extermination.”
Remember, this is all one vision. There is a chronological flow here, so don’t let the chapter break distract you. “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book” (Daniel 12:1). It says “at that time.” When? At the time of the clash between the king of the north and the king of the south. Shortly after that clash, God’s people will be delivered. Then the king of the north will attack America, Britain and Israel (Hosea 5:5).
The archangel Gabriel is still dictating this message. He refers to the archangel Michael, who stands up for the “sons [it should read] of thy people.” He stands for the sons of God—this is a military expression. He is armed, and he takes his stand, ready to fight. That’s his job. Unless we know what Michael’s role is, we will not be protected.
The great archangel Michael stands up for spiritual Israel, which is God’s very elect. They are taken to a place of safety just before the worst time of suffering ever.
Only the loyal “sons” are protected. The Laodicean rebels failed to honor their Father (Malachi 1:6). They are not protected. This is all about God’s Family. That is what the gospel is—the good news about the coming Family of God. The whole world has the potential to be part of that Family. The suffering is to help all mankind reach that goal.
We instruct many about their potential in the God Family. This is their only hope in a hopeless world. Most people today fight against their own breathtaking potential. Soon all that will change. Christ is about to return!
In the midst of clashing empires, God emphasizes the mind-dazzling potential of mankind. They don’t see that potential yet. But a small remnant do. They are preparing now to teach the whole world—billions of people!
Our message is pulsating with transcendental hope. God wants us to dedicate our lives to getting this message out.
Michael the powerful archangel has already risen up to protect God’s very elect. Our need for that protection will intensify in the troubled times ahead. Will that protection include you?
God protects those saints who “turn many to righteousness” (Daniel 12:3). This is in the context of the king of the south. Getting out this message is the purpose for which we understand God’s revealed truth. Our work is to give people a chance to turn to God. Those who do not turn will still be a witness to God’s message. The coming suffering of the Great Tribulation and Day of the Lord will finally awaken them. They will know how to repent because of our message. God rewards us as no other saints. We are to become the Bride of Christ—and to shine like the stars and the brightness of the firmament forever!