Daniel Chapter 12
12:1 “At that time Michael, the great prince who watches over your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress unlike any other from the nation’s beginning up to that time. But at that time your own people, all those whose names are found written in the book, will escape.
“At that time” apparently refers to the Day of the Lord, the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, and the Great Tribulation, all referring to the last 3 1/2 years of the great tribulation, that “70th week”. Nevertheless all those Jews whose names are in “the book” will experience rescue. Again, referring to Daniel’s people, the Jews. The church doesn’t seem to be in view here. This is part of the reason many believe the church will be raptured before this time.
2: Many of those who sleep in the dusty ground will awake — some to everlasting life, and others to shame and everlasting abhorrence. 3: But the wise will shine like the brightness of the heavenly expanse. And those bringing many to righteousness will be like the stars forever and ever. 4: “But you, Daniel, close up these words and seal the book until the time of the end. Many will dash about, and knowledge will increase.”
Daniel was to preserve this revelation until the end of time (or the “time of the end,”) the last half of the Tribulation period. Therefore, we have this revelation in the bible today. Daniel was also told by the angel that much was to happen and knowledge would increase by the end time. Although we still can’t completely understand these prophesies, and there is much difference in opinion by those who study them, we do have much more knowledge because much of it is now history to us. This chapter is a continuation of chapter 11 and we know from history about many of the people and events described in chapter 11 with the Media Persian, Greek, Roman kings, kingdoms and wars. And we know about Antiochus Epiphanies, the one who put idols in the Temple in Jerusalem and desecrated the alter there, sparking the Jews to organized and take back their land. We believe him to be the type of the Antichrist to come. Except the Antichrist will be allowed much more power, even world dominance for a short time.
5: I, Daniel, watched as two others stood there, one on each side of the river. 6: One said to the man clothed in linen who was above the waters of the river, “When will the end of these wondrous events occur?” 7: Then I heard the man clothed in linen who was over the waters of the river as he raised both his right and left hands to the sky and made an oath by the one who lives forever: “It is for a time, times, and half a time. Then, when the power of the one who shatters the holy people has been exhausted, all these things will be finished.”
Daniel now saw two other angels, beside the one who had been giving him the prophesies. Two standing on either side of the Tigris River and one asks the other a question, how long it would be before the end of these terrible events concerning the Jews would be over. The answer? 3 & 1/2 years, which you recognize as the last half of the 7 year Tribulation Period. “time, times, and half a time”. A time is believed to mean one year, times meaning 2 years and half a time meaning half of a year. This marks the end of the Antichrist. He will terrorize the world, especially Christian converts and Jews for 3 & 1/2 years.
8: I heard, but I did not understand. So I said, “Sir, what will happen after these things?” 9: He said, “Go, Daniel. For these matters are closed and sealed until the time of the end. 10: Many will be purified, made clean, and refined, but the wicked will go on being wicked. None of the wicked will understand, though the wise will understand. 11: From the time that the daily sacrifice is removed and the abomination that causes desolation is set in place, there are 1,290 days. 12: Blessed is the one who waits and attains to the 1,335 days. 13: But you should go your way until the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will arise to receive what you have been allotted.”
Daniel is still having a hard time understanding this and asks again. The answer is basically that some of this will remain unclear until the time comes. But when the time does come, it should be clear to all whom have read the bible what is taking place. (Those who don’t read the bible have no interest in what God has to say). Again people will be reminded, as we are from the historical perspective, that God’s word is true and what he says will happen will happen. What is known is all that will need to be known to those who are living on earth at the time these events unfold. Many will recognize the events they are seeing are biblical.
The troubles coming on the earth, and especially on the Jews, will cause many to turn to the Lord in faith. The wicked, however, will continue to act wickedly and will not understand what is happening. 1 Corinthians 2:14 says “The unbeliever does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for them are foolish to him. And he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned”. The wise, who have insight because they pay attention to divine revelation, will understand what is happening. In the Old Testament, and in Scripture generally, a wise person is one who lives in the light of divine revelation, and a fool is one who ignores it. This verse provides motivation to pay attention to what God has revealed and to study it carefully. It should also help us avoid thinking naively that the passing of time and the fulfillment of prophecy will cause bad people to change their ways. Humankind will not get better and better in spite of what postmillennialists and social evolutionists believe. Also “Social Justice” won’t make everything right. Only the return of Jesus Christ will make that happen.
It will indeed be an awful time for those living during that time. Revelation 13:10 says: “If anyone is meant for captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed by the sword, then by the sword he must be killed. This requires steadfast endurance and faith from the saints.”
Verses 11 and 12 seem to be more information for Daniel concerning the last 3 & 1/2 years of the tribulation period, and Daniel is given assurance that even though he will die, he will be resurrected. In all of this scary news he had gotten, I’m sure these last words to him brought him some comfort. God would again rescue Daniel, this time from the grave.
We are reminded in this book of Daniel that the rule of governments, kings, presidents etc in this world will not continue forever. Jesus will return, and we believers will be with him for eternity.
Isaiah 11:9 says “They will no longer injure or destroy on my entire royal mountain. For there will be universal submission to the Lord’s sovereignty, just as the waters completely cover the sea.”
As Christians, we can look forward to Christ’s return and pray for his coming. Matthew 6:10 says: “May your kingdom come, may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.
We can see as never before how God has fulfilled His predictions exactly in the past. Much in the book of Daniel has come to pass. This gives us great confidence as we anticipate His faithfulness to those promises that still remain unfulfilled. Christ will come again. May we spend some time this week thinking about how that should affect our thinking, plans and actions.
This is the 44th bible lesson since starting due to covid preventing us from gathering in Sunday School. Now that we are at the end of Daniel, and Tony is restarting Sunday School lessons outdoors for us, this will end up these weekly lessons. I hope they have encouraged you to continue with your bible reading. Hope to see all at Tony’s lessons.