Saturday, June 20, 2009

Daniel 12

In chapter 12 we start with a scene in heaven. Michael stands up. This would sound as though he is sitting down doing nothing and stands up to do something, but this is not what this is saying. The definition would indicate that he stands still or ceases to do what he has been doing. In other words, he has been moving around doing something and is told to stand up or stand still, as you would say to a person whom you want to stop moving around. We know from previous Scriptures that Michael fights on behalf of Israel. He is their prince, and that is reiterated here also. It says he is the great prince who stands (represents and fights) for Israel. He was the one who was called to fight the prince of Persia (this could be Satan due to this being the throne of his reign on earth at this time, or it is one of his highly placed minions whose area of authority is Persia). We know that he fought Satan for the body of Moses in Jude 9. He seems to be Satan’s counterpart and the one who contends with him, as Satan is not the counterpart of Christ, as some seem to believe. Christ is God’s Son. Satan is merely a created being who was the top angel. Now Michael is the archangel. Since Israel has always been the main target (now along with Christians) of Satan, it is Michael with whom Satan constantly battles.

When Michael ceases to fight against Satan, he will no longer have anyone restraining him from doing what he wants to do to Israel and the saints, and there will be a time of trouble such as has never been since the nation of Israel was born. Notice that it is when Michael stands still or up and ceases to fight, as he has been doing for millennia, that this time of great trouble starts. That time is known in Scripture as the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7). In Jeremiah it is referring to a time that comes sometime after the return of Israel to the land and its becoming a nation. There follows a time of great trouble such as never has been the like before. Both of these events (here in Daniel and in Jeremiah) are the same event, so it is commonly referred to as the time of Jacob’s trouble. At that time the Jews will be delivered, (we will find this again in Revelation) at least those whose names are found written in the book (presumably the Book of Life) and who will accept Christ as their Messiah when he returns. Then those who sleep in the dust (are dead) will awake (are resurrected). Some to everlasting life, and some to everlasting shame and contempt. We will find when we study Revelation that there is 1000 years between these two resurrections. Notice that the time of Jacob’s trouble, (which in other verses will be labeled the tribulation) is mentioned before the resurrection (which includes the rapture) occurs. We will also find out more about what goes on at this time between Michael and Satan when we get to Revelation.

Now those that are wise (understand God’s word) shall shine brightly (really stand out as God’s people) and those who lead those to the Lord will shine as the stars forever. Daniel is told to shut up the words and seal the book as it is for the time of the end. This book is not to be understood until the time of the end. This would verify that the prophecies, although fulfilled in many ways, are still to be fulfilled. Many will run to and fro, and knowledge will be increased. This can be taken two ways. Literally, many do run to and fro across the world. Our transportation allows this today. And knowledge has increased dramatically from Daniel’s time. Our technology would seem miraculous to them. Another way of looking at this verse is less literal and more spiritual. People will go back and forth in the Scriptures looking for answers, and their knowledge will increase because of it. Either way works.

Daniel then sees two more angels. One of them asks the angel that has been telling all of this to Daniel how long it will be until the end of all that he has been describing. The angel in linen swears by God that it will be for a time, times, and a half. We have already run into this phrase in a previous chapter and know that it means there will be 3 ½ years from the time antichrist has power over the people until it is all finished. Daniel says that he doesn’t understand what is being said and he asks what the end of all of this will be. He is told to just go about his business as usual, that the words are closed (not going to be revealed) until the time of the end (the end times). Many will go through trials to be purified and made white, but the wicked will continue as always and not have a clue as to what is going on. But the wise (people of God who study) will understand what is written in the Bible prophecies. Then he gives Daniel a timeline. From the time that the daily sacrifice is stopped by antichrist and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. Those who wait and come to the thousand three hundred and thirty-fifth day will be blessed (we will see what this means later). Then Daniel is told to carry on, for until the end he will “rest” (die in the Lord and wait for the resurrection) and take his place at the end of days.

There are several time references that we really need to remember from this chapter. We have already run into the 3 ½ years, but it is reiterated again that there will be 3 ½ years in which antichrist will have power over the people to persecute and kill them. Now we are given two more lengths of days, 1290 and 1335.

So from Daniel we have learned that there is a literal 7 year period in which God will wrap everything up and then issue in righteousness. That halfway through that time antichrist stops the sacrifice, desecrates the temple and sets up an abomination of desolation. He also at this time sets himself up as God.

At this same time something happens in heaven as Michael is suddenly told to stand back out of the way and Satan is given free reign without restraint. Because of this, there will be a time of trouble (Jacob’s trouble or tribulation) such as the world has never seen before. We know from previous chapters, as well as this one, that the saints will be given over to antichrist’s hand to be persecuted and killed for 3 ½ years and then he will be judged, (so this is talking about the last half of the seven years). We know that after the abomination of desolation that those who are wise shall fall in order to be purged (another reference to the last half of the seven years). Since we know that this time of persecution (time of Jacob’s trouble) appears to start when antichrist stops the sacrifice and declares himself God, it is apparent that whatever happens in heaven when Michael is told to stand still, precipitates this abomination of desolation and the start of the time of Jacob’s trouble. As we get into the New Testament scriptures, we shall see that indeed this is the order of events. Then we have the resurrection occurring.

From the time that the sacrifice is stopped halfway through the seven years, we are told there will be 1290 days to the end. This number is important in helping us to decipher something in Revelation so we need to keep it in mind. Those who make it to the 1335th day are blessed. This is 45 days later. Why would there be a blessing for reaching this day? We shall later see that this day is already a special day for Israel, and it will most certainly be a blessing to those who reach it.

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