STUDY OF DANIEL
As you may recall from the last lesson, the latter part of Daniel 11 was a prophetic view of the far future of Israel and the impact of the antichrist upon Israel. Chapter 12 is a continuation of the same vision that started in Daniel 10.
The first three verses of Chapter 12 of Daniel deals with the last half of the tribulation, and then merges into the millennium of blessing, and touches on the great white throne of judgment and eternity. The last ten verses fill in some very specific details and events to the close of the seven-year tribulation period.
Daniel 12 can be subdivided into three major sections:
* The time of trouble and Michael standing up for the children of Israel.
* The resurrections.
* The final words and sealing up the book.
“At that time Michael shall standup, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people… .”. The flow of time is a continuation of the events occurring in verse 45 of Chapter 11. The antichrist has entered Israel and is about to desecrate the temple. This event is the mid-point of the tribulation period occurring 3 1/2 years into the seven-year agreement. At this point, the antichrist will proclaim he is God, and demand the whole earth to worship him. Israel rejects his claim, and turns toward Jesus Christ as their Messiah.
“Michael shall stand up”. The archangel Michael is reintroduced here. The first mention of him in the Bible occurred in Daniel, Chapter 10, where he helped the angel Gabriel resist the demonic “Prince of Persia”. We now see him intervening on Israel’s behalf at the middle of the tribulation period. Michael and his angels are finally permitted to engage satan and his angels.
“The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people”. In addition to his role as a spiritual warrior, Michael has a special job in protecting Israel.
“There will be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation… .” The time of trouble will be a worse “time of trouble” than Israel has ever experienced before.
“At that time your people shall be delivered… .”
This promise is not for every last person of Jewish heritage, but for those who are found written in the Book.
Here, we see the resolution of resurrection of the dead and a promise for the righteous. “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt.” The Bible clearly teaches two resurrections; one for the saved and one for the damned. and Revelation
“But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the Book, until the time of the end: and… .”
The angel now instructs Daniel, stop the Book. The Book of Daniel is intended for an end time audience. The Book would be closed to understanding until the time of the end. Daniel has revealed enough to us, so that the Book needs to be sealed until the end of time. We have seen Daniel reveal to us, up to this point:
A) A world ruler, utterly opposed to God.
B) A world war, which defeats the ruler.
C) A time of great tribulation for Israel lasting three and one-half years.
D) Deliverance for the people of God after the tribulation.
E) Resurrection and judgment.
F) The reward of the righteous.
Again, the question is asked, “How long will the time of trouble be?” And again, the answer is “That it shall be for a time, times, and half a time.” This takes us back again when this was asked in Daniel, Chapter 10.
In Daniel sees two angels talking, and a third man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river. One of the men on the bank said to the man clothed in linen, “How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?” He asked the question not for the benefit of the angels, but for Daniel’s benefit and our benefit. At this, the man clothed in linen held up his right and left hand to Heaven and said that “It shall be for a time, times, and half a time.” The man in linen is telling the two angels, at the conclusion of the 3 1/2 years (The second half of the tribulation period) and when Israel’s own power is completely shattered, prophecy will be accomplished. Only after Israel’s own power is shattered will they rely on God’s power, and the word of the Messiah who was rejected by the nation, and now awaits their acceptance
Then in Daniel 8, Daniel says, “And I heard, but I understood not… . What shall be the end of these things?”
At this point, Daniel is instructed “Go way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.” This message is for end time audience. The words in Daniel apply to all generations, but its complete understanding will be left to the time of the end. God has a plan, and His plan is down to the intricate detail.
God knows and is in control of the future. Everything that God has predicted has come true exactly as He predicted.
Therefore, we should believe and trust that the things He has predicted for the future will one day occur exactly as God has declared.
The most important time for christians is the here and now. Our study of the end-times shouldn’t distract us from the opportunities of today. God has commanded us to love our neighbors as ourselves. and share His gospel with the world. God will take care of the future; we still have work to do here and now.
This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t continue to study God’s word regarding the end-times and pray for wisdom, as we seek to discern what God is revealing to us.
One thing we can be sure of regarding the end-times: Jesus will come again and if we have a relationship and believe in Him, we will one day be with Him in Heaven. Let us not allow ambiguous details of His return to deter us from living wholeheartedly for Him right now or from loving our fellow christians.
It is my prayer, that we can all absorb this, live it and teach it, and that all of this will inspire us to seek a closer walk with our Savior as we see the nearness of His coming.
THIS CONCLUDES THE STUDY OF DANIEL!