Today: [Daniel 12] Are We in the End of Days? In Daniel 12 the angel continues expounding to Daniel with end of days with references to specific time frames calculated in prophetic days that represent specific periods of years. Many have attempted to fix these dates in time and have only managed to wrongly predict the coming of Christ. In studying these things for ourselves we will see that ultimate understanding of these cryptic declarations is something that has been sealed for us to study and to contemplate, but not to twist to some unwise conclusion.
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[Dan 12:1-13 KJV] 1 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. 2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame [and] everlasting contempt. 3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. 4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, [even] to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. 5 Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river. 6 And [one] said to the man clothed in linen, which [was] upon the waters of the river, How long [shall it be to] the end of these wonders? 7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, which [was] upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that [it shall be] for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these [things] shall be finished. 8 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what [shall be] the end of these [things]? 9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words [are] closed up and sealed till the time of the end. 10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. 11 And from the time [that] the daily [sacrifice] shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, [there shall be] a thousand two hundred and ninety days. 12 Blessed [is] he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. 13 But go thou thy way till the end [be]: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.
Chapter 11 of Daniel reviews fulfilled prophecy up to the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD and then describes what chapter 10:25-27 describes as “the prince that shall come” identified as the anti-Christ who will oppose the saints of God at the conclusion of the dispensation of man. Chapter 12 continues saying that at that time Michael “the great prince which stands for the children of thy (Daniel’s) people” which shall precipitate a time of trouble such as never to be seen in human history. The reference in v. 1 concludes with the statement that “at that time” Daniel’s people shall be delivered, “every one that shall be found written in the book”. The question is, who are these people and what is this book? V. 2 goes on to describe a general resurrection, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Turning our attention to the subject of a “book” that contains the names of the saints who are thereby spared, we find that this is number 5 of 14 references to the book of life in the scriptures. Now the question we might ask is, if Daniel’s people are to be written in the book of life, does that mean that Jew’s names are in the book of life whether or not they are born again? Jewish authorities believe that one’s name is placed in the book of life through Jewish heritage and good works, but we know that good works do not save us. Therefore the deliverance referred to in Dan. 12:1 refers to those who are children of God by faith as Paul stated in Galatians 3:26 and Romans 2:28:
[Gal 3:26 KJV] 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
[Rom 2:28 KJV] 28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither [is that] circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
At the time of the end v. 3 tells us that “they that be wise” will shine in the brightness of the firmament and turn many to righteousness, even as the stars for ever and ever. 1 Cor. 1:30-31 tells us that Jesus is both our wisdom and our righteousness. The shining with the brightness of God speaks of the baptism of fire that has yet to be released upon the earth. We have the sign of salvation in water baptism, and the experience of the baptism of the Holy Ghost but we do not yet see the redemption of the body through the baptism of fire which we have taught on at different points in our exposition of the scriptures up to this point.
Many question whether there will be a mighty salvation revival in the end times. It is common for teachers and leaders to downplay the idea of looking for a massive, earth shattering outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our day. The suggestion is that to expect something more than what we are experiencing now is a hallmark of immaturity and that those who are looking for a greater outpouring of God should grow up and realize that we have all of God available to us now and shouldn’t look for anything further. Yet v. 3 says that there will be something that will occur, by way of personal witness by those who are “wise” that will turn so many to the righteousness of Christ as to be as innumerable as the stars. That may not be what we see happening around us, but it is clearly inferred prophetically in v. 3 of Dan. 12.
Now in v. 4 Daniel is commanded to seal the book that he has been shown by revelation and not to discuss it further. The book and it’s understanding is not shut forever, but will be opened at the time of the end when “many shall run to and fro” (modern transportation) and knowledge shall be increased (the information age). From reading this verse we see that we are in the age when the sealed aspects of the book of Daniel are being opened to those who are looking and yearning to understand its deeper meaning and what it has to tell us about the unfolding purposes of God.
Daniel then in v. 5-7 hears an angel declare that this end of all things will be brought about in a time, times and half a time. What does this mean? Those who interpret this from a historical context understand this to mean a 1260 day, or 1260 year period of time (using a day-for-a-year principle). This time frame is expressed in 7 different passages of scripture in various ways (time, times, and half a time, 42 months, and 1260 days). One interesting theory is that of a 18th century writer by the name of Robert Fleming who proposed that the 1260 year time frame would end in 2018 (and then presumably, the time of troubles come with the advent of the anti-Christ). Famously, 7th Day Adventists believe that this time frame ended in 1844 to coincide with the failed prediction of their founder that Christ would return in 1844.
Most theories regarding this time frame conclude with some reference to a corrupted papacy of the Catholic church giving rise to an anti-Christ figure. The important thing to remember before getting in theological trouble with this passage is the fact that v. 9 tells us that this thing was hidden from Daniel and sealed up to the “time of the end” which leads us to believe that if we have to come up with complicated and convoluted theories regarding this time frame it is because it has not be unsealed for our understanding yet. Nonetheless v. 10 tells us that what will be happening in spite of the works of darkness is that many will be “purified and made white and tried” when the wicked shall do wickedly commencing from the time that the daily sacrifice was taken away (by Antiochus Epiphanes in the intertestamental period) to the present day. Our responsibility however is to wait – as v. 12 tells us “blessed is he that waits…” as Jesus said in Matthew 24:
[Mat 24:13 NIV] 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
In view of that admonition, our assignment, as Daniel’s is to go on our way knowing that whatever comes we will stand before God at the end of our days.
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