THE TIME OF THE END
DANIEL -- Chapter 12
AIM: To impress upon pupils the seeming nearness to the second coming of Christ and the importance of being ready to meet Him.
POINT OF CONTACT: How long do you think it will be until Jesus comes back? In our lifetime? 100 years? Do you know what=s going to happen when He comes? Explain, I Thessalonians 4:13-18.
INTRODUCTION; This chapter still deals with the vision that was partly recorded in Chapter Eleven, which ended with the revelation that the Anti-Christ would come to his end. So this chapter teaches some further truths about the end time period, about things that would be evident before Jesus comes back and after he comes back.
I. The Great Tribulation - Vs. 1-3.
1. The Terrible Times--Vs. 1. Michael is the special angel in charge of protecting and helping the Jews. "There shall be a time of trouble such as never was." This has not occurred yet. It will occur during the last 3 2 years of the tribulation when the Anti-Christ will break the covenant with the Jews. Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15-26. This period is called the "Great Tribulation" and the 7 year period is called the "Tribulation."
So, Daniel is told that at the time of the Great tribulation, his people--the Jews--would be delivered. "Those written in the Book" refers to those who would remain true to God and not worship the Anti-Christ during that period.
2. The National Awakening--Vs. 2. This awakening is not a physical resurrection but a national resurrection as referred to in Ezekiel 37. Israelites, as a nation, are asleep among the nations of the world. The nation of Israel will be resurrected (Isaiah. 66:8). Many of the Jews will go back to Palestine (and many already have since May 15, 1948, when Israel became an independent state) and during the tribulation some will be true to God and some will worship and follow the Anti-Christ. The latter will live in shame and contempt forever. The former will have everlasting life.
NOTE: It is important that we be on God's side during our life.
3. The Rewards--Vs. 3. "The Wise" are those that teach others, by their lives and their words, that God's ways and the ways of righteousness are best. The Primary application here is for the Jews of the last days but there is an application for us.
NOTE; The wise are the same in our age and especially soul winners. Proverbs 11:30. Abundant and Glorious rewards will be given the wise.
II. The Character of the End Time - Vs. 4
1. The book of Daniel was to be sealed up and its prophetic truths not understood until the time of the end which refers to this present age of the Great Parenthesis and the Tribulation. The Jews still do not understand the prophecy of Daniel except those few who have accepted Jesus as their Messiah.
The prophecies of Daniel are understood in our age because of the revelation we have from the New Testament. Someone has aptly said,
"The New is in the Old concealed,
The Old is by the New revealed."
2. The End Time Activities
A. Many shall run to and fro. The Holy Spirit here reveals that during the Tribulation and the time preceding it, would be a period of widespread and distant traveling. In just 40 years we've come from ox carts to rocket ships. Airplanes are being built that will carry 400 and 500 people. Many are running to and fro.
B. Knowledge shall be increased. This is the second sign that characterizes the end time and our age. Knowledge is increasing more rapidly now in every field, than ever before. e.g., science, medicine, agriculture, engineering, etc. From the time of Christ until 1890, the knowledge of the world doubled. From 1890 until 1935 it doubled again. From 1935 to 1955 it doubled again and now it is doubling presently every 3 to 5 years. Knowledge is increasing at an unbelievable rate.
C. A Sign from Jesus -- Matthew. 24:37-40.
What characterized Noah's age? Genesis. 4:17, 19-24.
Six Things :
(1) An Age of City Building -- Cain built the first city. Vs. 17. Eighty years ago about 75% of all people lived on farms and in small cities and now 75% or more live in cities.
(2) An Age of Polygamy -- Lamech was the first polygamist. Vs. 19. Our divorce rate is increasing at an alarming rate.
(3) An Age of Development in Agriculture -- The beginning of cattle raising. Vs. 20. We have seeming miracles occurring in agriculture. Hybrid corn, milk production, discovery of DNA, cloning of animals and plants, etc.
(4) An Age of Development of Music .-- Jubal was the first to handle the harp and the organ. Vs. 21. We live in an age of music.
(5) An Age of Metallurgy -- It was the early antediluvian iron and steel age. Vs. 22. Man today is developing metal alloys and compounds of unbelievable strength and durability, enhanced by the increased knowledge of chemistry and computer technology.
(6) An Age of Crime -- Lamech follows Cain and kills two men. Vs. 23- 24. Our crime rate is steadily increasing.
With all of these signs so easily discernible, we must be living close to the second coming of our Lord which will usher in the tribulation.
III. The Length of the Great Tribulation and Succeeding Events -- Vs.5-12
vs. 5-6 -- The man clothed in Linen seems to be descriptive of Christ (the Mighty Angel of Revelation 10:1-10).
Vs. 7 -- "How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?" How long shall it be that the Great Tribulation (with all of its horrors) will last? How long will the holy people (the Jews) be scattered and then they be delivered?
The answer: a time -- one year; time -- two years; and a hal f -- six months (totaling 3 2 years or 42 months). Cf. Revelation 13:5.
Vs. 8 -- Daniel (though told, so that he could record it for other people's benefit) did not understand the revelation of the Great Tribulation.
Vs. 9 -- God would not reveal more, so that he would understand but informed him the words were for the time of the end.
Vs. 10 -- God did reveal to him that many would be purified and made white and tried. During the tribulation many Jews will be saved, go through many trials, and many will be martyred. Revelation 7.
"None of the wicked shall understand but the wise shall." During the tribulation, those of the Jews who follow the Anti-Christ will not understand.
Vs. 11 - 12 -- We have three periods of time recorded in this chapter: all of them beginning with the middle of the Tribulation.
Vs. 7 -- Forty-two months or 1,260 days the Anti-Christ will greatly persecute the Jews and then Jesus will come. Revelation. 19:11-19.
Vs. 11 -- Forty-three months or 1,290 days.
Vs. 12 -- 1,335 days or 75 days after the coming of Christ. Scripture does not throw much light on these two periods although there are many interpretations.
After Jesus comes, there will be a period of time necessary to clean up the debris of the Battle of Armageddon. Also, there must be the Judgment of the Gentiles (Matthew 25:31-46) and the Judgment of the Jews (Ezekiel 20:33-38.) These things no doubt will take place after our Lord's coming and before the Millennial Reign will begin. So, "Blessed will those be who are still living and who enter into the Millenium."
IV. Daniel's Glorious Lot - Vs. 13
Now Daniel is instructed to finish his years without worry. He is told he will have a rest and that he will stand (that is, be resurrected) at the end of these things. Daniel had lived his life for God and had been faithful to God for over 70 years. Now he could look forward to a great reward.
NOTE: Even a seemingly long life on earth is but a short period in the light of eternity. If God permits us a long life, how blessed it will be to be able to look back over a life of faithfulness and to look forward to an eternity of rewards.
Thus Daniel is given in chapters 11 and 12, a revelation of end time events that he did not understand but which we in our age can understand. These truths are a great comfort to us that are saved. To the unsaved, these truths should stir them to a realization that they need to be saved NOW. II Corinthians 6:2. Jesus is coming soon: Are you ready to meet Him?