Bible Study

Book of Daniel

Chapter 12, Part 54

Chapter 12 is the conclusion of Daniel’s vision that began in chapter 10.  In 10, Daniel received a great vision of the glorified Jesus.  “Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude” (Daniel 10:5, 6).

The chapter division between 11 and 12 is in the wrong place.  The break should occur at 12:3, not 11:45 as the prophecy continues in one vein. 

V. 1 – “And at that time shall Michael (Michael means ‘who is like unto God.’) 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.”  Remember, Michael is the angel “which standeth for the children of thy people.”  He’s strong and mighty. 

The Jews are heading for a “time of trouble” again because of the hardness of their hearts against Jesus.  “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble, but he shall be saved out of it”(Jeremiah 30:7).  Jesus will defeat the anti-Christ which is controlled by satan and the Jews will be delivered.  That is, those who believe in the Christ and are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob” (Romans 11:26 ).

V. 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.”  We must take this verse literally.  I Thessalonians 4:16 says, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel (Michael), and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first…”  It matters how you live your life, and for whom you live it.  It matters to your eternity, just as it matters to the chosen race, the Jews.  Sadly, many of both parties will end up in hell for eternity because of bad choices, namely, rejecting the Savior. 

V. 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.” 

“And they that be wise…” is not referring to common sense for worldly things, but to spiritual wisdom.  The wise person knows the Savior and follows Him.  “If any man defile the temple of God , him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.  Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.  For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness” (I Corinthians 3:17 -19).  Some “famous” people out there are so wise that they are teaching that there are many ways to God.  That wisdom is folly and will cost them eternal separation from God.

“…shall shine as the brightness of the firmament…” Those who believe in the virgin birth of our Savior and proclaim Him to the end will shine with the Light of God from within.  Our resurrected bodies will be like that of Jesus and we will be righteous and without sin.  “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Matthew 13:43 ).

“…they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”  Those of us who share the gospel and turn people from the way of sin, which is death, will shine as the stars.   Only God through Christ can bring righteousness to us.  Only by sharing “the good news” with others can we turn them to God, admit their sin, and seek forgiveness. 

For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!  (Romans 10:12-15)

Bible Study

Book of Daniel

Chapter 11, Part 55

V. 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.”  Here we find Daniel being admonished to “shut up” the words of these prophecies and to “seal the book.”  It’s easy enough to misunderstand what that means.  It could be that the Lord didn’t want Daniel to ever tell anyone what was contained in his vision, but that doesn’t make sense.  Why would God give such clear revelation of the future and not want it known?  I think it means that Daniel wasn’t to give these messages to the common people as they would have used it to blaspheme God.  The Torah, or Old Testament, was written for the saints, therefore, these words were not shut up against them as far as reading them went.  It makes more sense that Daniel was not to interpret the messages for them as the time had not yet come for their fulfillment.  This explains why the Book of Daniel has always been hard to understand and why the “Bible scholars” disagree on when it was written.

This is the opposite of what the Lord told John in Revelation 22:10 , “And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.”  This time, the revelations that are so similar to the ones given in Daniel are to be made open to all.  John’s prophecies are to be interpreted and shared with every nation, tribe, and tongue as their last warning of the coming Tribulation.  Daniel’s prophecies were hidden for the time of the end.  John’s were open for the end of time.  Even though Daniel’s Book was closed and sealed, all the prophecies contained within its pages have been or soon will be completely fulfilled. 

“Many shall run to and fro and knowledge shall be increase.”  Again this takes on two connotations.  Does this mean that people will be globe-trotting?  Does it mean transportation will have made moving about so much easier that everyone will be doing it?  Yes, it could mean that.  There are in this world many modes of transportation to move us about.  There are personal vehicles, buses, trains, boats, and airplanes.  However, I believe the meaning in this Scripture is more about how they will run to and fro through the Scriptures seeking and finding the prophecies and understanding them.  You all are part of that to and fro running to increase knowledge because you are here to delve into the Scriptures to understand their meaning.  We know the time is short and we want to know what to expect, for us and for the left-behinds.  The Scriptures tell us to search (study) the Scriptures, and prophecy is one of the things we should deeply search.  In order to develop the mind of Christ in us, we must, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Timothy 2:15 ). 

Pastor Jim May says about knowledge:

Even before the days of the Internet, one “Think Take” put forth this statement concerning knowledge: Knowledge is exploding at such a rate--more than 2000 pages a minute--that even Einstein couldn’t keep up. In fact, if you read 24 hours a day, from age 21 to 70, and retained all you read, you would be one and a half million years behind when you finished.

Now, since the beginning of the Internet, I wouldn’t be surprised that the growth rate has grown by 1000%, with more knowledge being presented on any given subject, in a single day, than what could have been shared in a year not 50 years ago.  Of course, the increase of knowledge doesn’t affect everyone equally, and there are some that choose to remain blissfully ignorant.

How can man find the truth when he chooses to deny the Truth.  Remember, Jesus said of Himself, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.  No man cometh unto the Father but by Me (John 14:6).  This denial of the Truth causes them to be, “"Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (II Timothy 3:7).

V. 5-7 – “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.  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?  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.” 

“Other two” refers to two other angels that had come to the meeting with Daniel.  They were there to do the Lord’s bidding.  Daniel had not seen them before as his focus was entirely on the one giving him the prophecy, Jesus, clothed in linen as a demonstration of His priestly position and a sign of His holiness.  Now he becomes aware of the other two and their positions on either bank. 

One angel asked Jesus how long it would be until all these prophecies the Lord had spoken would be fulfilled.  Jesus, the Truth, held His right hand up to swear an oath and His left hand toward heaven to denote He was swearing by God, or by Himself (Deuteronomy 32:40).  We must remember that the things spoken of here are going to take place during the Great Tribulation, or second half of the Tribulation of seven years.  So, the answer is 3 ½ years, or when the “scattering” of the Jews is complete.  This could mean the scattering by God of the Jews during the Great Tribulation or the scattering by satan of the same during his great persecution of the Jews during that period of time.  I believe it a combination for all this will take place at the same time. 

“And these things shall be finished.”  After the scattering of the Jews, the Great Tribulation will end and the first resurrection of that time will begin.  We had the first resurrection of the saints when Jesus died on the cross.  “And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many (Matthew 27:51-53).  This resurrection will be of the goats and sheep.  “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left (Matthew 25:31-33).  The sheep are those written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, the goats are not written there.  They are the ones who continually denied the sovereignty of the Christ and refused to bow before Him and accept Him as Savior and Lord of their lives.

V. 8 – “And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?”  The voice of the Lord was as a trumpet, loud enough for all to hear. Daniel heard Jesus then, but didn’t understand what He meant by the “times, time, and half time” (Mo’ed; a fixed time; a season appointed, Strong’s #4150) which brings the ending of the suffering of the Jews.  I’m sure he wanted desperately to understand what would be the end of the time for the Jews and what signs they could watch for to know it was coming, but Jesus told him that it’s not for him to know, but is sealed up for a later time.  Daniel’s question, “O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?” allows us to see his heart.  He wanted to know how things would end for his beloved people.  He knew that Israel was about to be released from the captivity, but these prophesies made it obvious that the end of their suffering was not yet at hand.  The four hundred years under the rule of other nations’ kings was God’s recompense for their failing to observe the Sabbath for many years before.  What’s coming to them is in the far distant future is the “scattering” of the Great Tribulation when the Jews will know and finally understand Whom they have denied.  It will be their last chance to get it right. 

I believe the Lord gave this Word to Daniel for two reasons. 1. Daniel was faithful and pure of heart, therefore, would make a copy of these prophecies accurately even though he didn’t know what they meant.  2.  The prophecies were given millennia before the actual events would occur.  Those seeing them fulfilled during the Great Tribulation would understand that the King of kings had spoken them as a warning, and now they were coming to pass.

V. 9 – “And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.”  At this time, Daniel was an elderly statesman.  Jesus told him to resume his normal life and that he should not trouble himself about the visions nor share them with anyone outside the faith.  Can we agree that Daniel must have spent the remainder of his days contemplating what the Lord had given him?   “The words are closed up” until that day of the Lord when the end of all suffering and the scattering of the faithful Jews will end.  Even if Jesus explained to Daniel what was to come, he would have no comprehension as he would have noting to compare it to.  We see that in John’s revelation with his symbolic interpretation of the events and the tools that will be used during the Tribulation.

V. 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.”  Here Jesus gives Daniel a little bit of an explanation.  For us, we know this translates to mean, if you take Jesus as Savior, you are saved for eternity, if not you are lost for the same eternity.  Only those in Christ who have the Holy Spirit can understand. 

This cleansing was predicted in Zechariah 13:8, 9, “And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.”  These are the Jews who will eventually acknowledge Jesus as Lord and will be written in the Book of Life.

The others are those spoken if in Isaiah 32:6, 7, “For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, and to utter error against the LORD, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail. The instruments also of the churl are evil: he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaketh right.” 

“The labour of the righteous tendeth to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin” (Proverbs 10:16 ).

All these things in Daniel are written for the Jews first, but can you see the application of these in the secular world?  Hypocrisy is rampant in almost all businesses and in the church, and now in our government.  People “utter error against the LORD” as they blaspheme His precious name.  Spiritual leaders “make empty the soul of the hungry” when they fail to preach or teach the Truth of the Gospel of Christ.  This deficiency in the pulpits will “cause the drink of the thirsty to fail.”  That is, people who hunger and thirst for the Word will not be fed or given drink from it, but rather a watered down version of truth that makes everyone able to attain the ultimate eternal existence.  This leaves people thirstier than originally. 

V. 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.”  The temple was destroyed in A. D. 70 as predicted by Jesus, “Not one stone will remain on another” (Matthew 24:2).  But during the first half off the Tribulation, the anti-Christ will allow the Levitical priests to reconstruct the temple and resume their daily sacrifices.  After the first 3 ½ years, 1,290 days, he will once again defile the temple when the image of the beast is installed within the walls and no more sacred sacrifices will be offered.  Jesus is telling Daniel that the worst time in history for the nation of Israel will be when the abomination, the beast, is set up and that it will last 3 ½ years.  Sadly, the people will first have had 3 ½ years of total peace in their land as the anti-Christ  plotted and planned his take-over of Jerusalem and the temple. 

Then, “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months” (Revelation 13:5).  At the end of this Mo’ed (appointed time), 1,290 days, the time of the Gentiles will be fulfilled, the Israelites will have freedom from another cruel ruler (anti-Christ).   Armegeddon will be finished, the judgment of the nations done and anti-Christ and the false prophet will have been cast into the Lake of Fire and satan will be bound for a millennium.  Jesus will have returned to earth physically with His resurrected and Tribulation saints to reign for 1,000 years. 

V. 12 – “Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.”  Wait, what’s this number?  We haven’t seen this anywhere in Scripture before! How does this dateplay into the Great Tribulation?  1,335 days from the meiddle of the Tribulation brings us to the Feast of the First Fruits.  Bible teacher, Amy Bickel, says:

“Every year on the Feast of First Fruits the Jews were to bring the first portion of their harvest as an offering to God. These first fruits were a pledge of the greater harvest to follow, and the offering of them was a way of expressing trust in God’s provision. Just as He provided the first fruits, so He would also provide the rest of the crops the people needed. But there is deeper spiritual meaning behind this feast. Just as Passover commemorated how God saved the first born male Jews from death in Egypt , the Feast of First Fruits marks the day that God led the entire Jewish nation through the waters of the Red Sea .”

The going down into and the coming up out of the dry bed of the Red Sea is symbolic of death and resurrection.  So, 1,335 days is a date for a time of resurrection.  “But Christ has indeed raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.  For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.  But each in his own turn, Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him” (I Corinthians 15:20 -23).

V. 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.”  Daniel has been a faithful servant of the Lord all his life, doing the bidding of heaven.  He also spent many hard years serving various rulers and traveling the kingdom on the kings business.  His work now finished and the Lord comforts him by telling him to make his plans for death knowing that he would “rest” from all his hard labor and stress only till the resurrection. “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them (Revelation 14:13).

Let’s labor till the Master calls us home.  Our good works which prove our salvation will follow us to heaven and be counted as righteousness for us. 
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:8-10).

Bless this Book of Daniel, Lord and all who read and study it. Next week begins the studies in The Book of Psalms.