THE TIME OF THE END
What Happens At The End
Chapter 12 opens with the words “at that time”. (Remember: the chapter and verse designations are not in the original text. They are added later for convenient reference. So, in the original text, these words would come right after verse 45’s statement that “he shall pitch his palatial tents between the sea and the glorious holy mountain.” At that time must mean, then, the time when the Antichrist has come to the area around Israel, killing tens of thousands. (11:41)
When this occurs (the coming of the king to the glorious land, Israel), Michael shall arise. He is the powerful angel in charge of Israel(12:1) In 10:13, he is called “one of the chief princes”. You would think Michael’s arrival would mean a cessation of attacks on Israel. But the opposite happens. Daniel is told there will be a time of trouble such as never seen before in Israel. Jesus used similar language in Matthew 24:21-22. His primary reference seems to be the destruction of the temple by the Romans in 70 A.D.
Yet in this trouble, deliverance does come for God’s people. Many shall be delivered. What are they delivered from? They are delivered from the power of Satan. They do not fall, but endure in faith. They are the wise of verse 3. Some will run to and fro, but not find wisdom because they are wicked. This is an allusion to Amos 8:11-12. Proverbs 1:7 tells us the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.
Who is delivered? Who are the wise? It is those who believe. It is those whose names are found written in the book. (12:1) What is the book? It is the book of life.
The first time we hear of this book is in Exodus 32:32. This is immediately after the incident of the golden calf. Moses asked God to forgive the Israelites. He volunteers to have his name blotted out of “our book that you have written”. But God affirmed that those who rejected him were the ones who would be blotted out of his book. (32:33)
Psalm 69:28, David asked god to blot the names of his enemies out of the book of the living and not enroll them among the righteous.
In Luke 10:20, Jesus told the disciples to rejoice that their names are “written in heaven”.
Paul, in Philippians 4:3, said referred to his fellow workers as those whose names are in the book of life.
John tells us in Revelation 8 that all on earth will worship the beast except those who hames have bee written in the book of life from the foundation of the world.
And, finally, the judgment scene in Revelation 20 shows the Book of Life being opened. All whose names were not found in the book were thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-15) Edward J. Young wrote that “The reference is to the elect, those predestinated to everlasting life.” So, this scene refers to deliverance to eternal life for all those who believe in Jesus. Not only those alive at the time are delivered, but those who died as well. They will experience resurrection. Those who are dead (sleep in the dest of the earth) will, if they are believers, rise to everlasting life. (Daniel 12:2) They are the wise. (12:3) They will shine like the brightness of the sky above, and those who turn many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever and ever. Paul said a similar thing to the Thessalonians. He said those who are asleep, meaning dead, will rise in Christ as well as those who are alive at the time. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-15)
But others will be raised to shame and everlasting contempt. (2) As Revelation 20 shows us, the will experience the lake of fire, which we call Hell.
At the end of this instruction, Daniel is told by the man clothes in linen to seal the book until the time of the end. The words must be protected for future generations to read. It would become more understandable as time progressed. For example, we have looked back at history these last few weeks and seen the prophesies fulfilled in the Persians, Greeks and Syrians.
How Long Is It Until The End?
We would all like to know when the world will end. We want to know if we will live to see Jesus return. Who would not want to be here to see Jesus return? We think that, but in doing so, we often forget the troubles that will come at the end.
Daniel did not ask the question, but someone asked it for him. Two men appeared on opposite banks of the stream. The man dressed in linen rose above the stream, as if he is ascending to heaven. These two persons are likely angels. Maybe angels are as interested in the timing as humans are.
The man dressed in linen answered. He did so by taking an oath. He raised both hands toward heaven and swore by the Lord (him who lives forever) that it would be for a “time, times, and half a time” and that these things would be finished when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end. (7) It is commonly assumed that a “time” is one year and “times” is two years. That idea is helped along by verse 11. The word for time “moed” is never translated as “year” anywhere in the Old Testament, though. It is used to mean an appointed time or an assembly of people.
One thing we ascertain for certain: the times of suffering are limited by God. They are for a set time. They will not go on forever.
Daniel may not have understood the timing either. He wrote “I heard, but I did not understand”. (8) So, he asked what will be the outcome of these things? The response was again to seal up the book until the time of the end.
the man also reiterated that many would be pure and be saved, but the wicked would act wickedly. (10)
He also addressed the timing again. This time he said thee would be 1,290 days from the time the regular burnt offering is taken away, and the abomination set up. That is 3 and one half years if you use a 365 day year. This again shows a limited time of suffering, as opposed to a perfect 7 year cycle or even a 70 year cycle.
Revelation 11:3 and 12:6 seem to look back to this idea, but use the number 1,260 days, which would be three and one half years of 360 days.
The man then tells Daniel that one is blessed if he waits and arrives at the 1,335 days. The is 45 days longer than 1,290 days. But, we are not told why. Nonetheless, the idea is that the faithful must wait until God’s time of the end to receive their blessing, even if it seems that the end should come and has not.
Daniel is told to go his way till the end. Like all of our spiritual ancestors, Daniel died and was buried. His spirit is in heaven awaiting the resurrection. He was promised rest, which likely means his time in heaven.and he was promised to stand in his allowed place at the end of days. That place is with the redeemed of the ages in the new earth where no more persecution or pain will occur.
This world is broken. It cannot be fixed. Human beings cannot fix it. It must be recreated. God will do that. He will do that in his timing, not ours. Our job is to be faithful to God no matter what happens between now and the end.
This is not the end of all things. But it is the end of our study of Daniel. Thank you for being faithful until the end of this study. May God strengthen you to be faithful to the end of all things so that you may stand in your allotted place with the redeemed of the ages.
Come Lord Jesus. Come.