Daniel 12 - The Finale Prophecy Sealed Until the End

Turn in your Bibles to Daniel 11:40;

 

“At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through. 41 He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon. 42 He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43 He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels. 44 But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many. 45 And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him.

 

“At that time Michael shall stand up,

The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people;

And there shall be a time of trouble,

Such as never was since there was a nation,

Even to that time.

And at that time your people shall be delivered,

Every one who is found written in the book.

2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,

Some to everlasting life,

Some to shame and everlasting contempt.

3 Those who are wise shall shine

Like the brightness of the firmament,

And those who turn many to righteousness

Like the stars forever and ever.

 

4 “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”

 

5 Then I, Daniel, looked; and there stood two others, one on this riverbank and the other on that riverbank. 6 And one said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?”

 

7 Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.

 

8 Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, “My lord, what shall be the end of these things?”

 

9 And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. 10 Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.

 

11 “And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. 12 Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.

 

13 “But you, go your way till the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days.”

 

May God bless the reading of His word.

 

Let us pray.

 

Previously we saw how this unnamed entity, who was in charge of fighting against the prince of Persia and who will also fight the prince of Greece unfolds the future of two entities, the King of the North and the King of the South.

 

I have to apologize for my misunderstanding of the text last week. As you will see, there is a great deal of referring backward and forward between he and him and the king of the north and the king of the south. In the shuffle I misunderstood the NET Bible translator's comments about the king in verse 36 to mean that the “king” was not necessarily the king of the north. But further comments show that it is the him and that this means that the attack of the king of the north in verse 40 is a counterattack against the king of the south.

 

I had to address this section somewhat hurriedly last week, so I'd like to go back and look at these kings especially in the context of the apocalyptic prophecies.

 

The first thing to look at is that the king of the North and the king of the South represent the two great kingdoms that excel after the break up of Alexander's kingdom into four.

 

First let's talk about the two kingdoms that are really of no consequence. These are the kingdoms of Cassander and Lysamichus. Cassander's empire did not last long and was integrated into the Seleucidian empire within 26 years of it's formation. The fate of Lysamichus' kingdom is the same, capitulating to the Seleucid empire in 281 BC.

 

So that leaves really two kingdoms. One of these kingdoms, Seleucidian empire, is to the north of Israel, and the second, the Ptolemic empire, is to the south.

 

So what areas did these kingdoms comprise.

 

The northern kingdom, before it's defeat of the Cassanderin and Lysimachian empires. The historian Appian tells us;

 

Always lying in wait for the neighboring nations, strong in arms and persuasive in council, he [Seleucus] acquired Mesopotamia, Armenia, 'Seleucid' Cappadocia, Persis, Parthia, Bactria, Arabia, Tapouria, Sogdia, Arachosia, Hyrcania, and other adjacent peoples that had been subdued by Alexander, as far as the river Indus, so that the boundaries of his empire were the most extensive in Asia after that of Alexander. The whole region from Phrygia to the Indus was subject to Seleucus.[16]

 

Wikipedia also tells us this interesting fact;

 

Starting from the 2nd century BC, ancient writers referred to the Seleucid ruler as the King of Syria, Lord of Asia, and other designations;[14] the evidence for the Seleucid rulers representing themselves as kings of Syria is provided by the inscription of a certain Antigonus son of Menophilus, who described himself as the "admiral of Alexander, king of Syria".[15]

 

We know that Seleucid empire is the kingdom of the North because of the fulfillment of prophecy by one of it's kings, Antiochus Epiphanes, in the first abomination of desolation which we have talked about extensively and which occurred in 167 BC.

 

The other kingdom which grew and remained relatively unmolested by Seleucius' attempts at expansion is the Southern kingdom. This is the kingdom of the Ptolemy's who became the Pharaohs of Egypt. In fact, Cleopatra was of the Ptolemic line

 

The Ptolemaic Kingdom was founded in 305 BC by Ptolemy I Soter, who declared himself Pharaoh of Egypt and created a powerful Hellenistic dynasty that ruled an area stretching from southern Syria to Cyrene and south to Nubia. Alexandria became the capital city and a major center of Greek culture and trade. To gain recognition by the native Egyptian populace, they named themselves the successors to the Pharaohs. The later Ptolemies took on Egyptian traditions by marrying their siblings, had themselves portrayed on public monuments in Egyptian style and dress, and participated in Egyptian religious life. The Ptolemies had to fight native rebellions and were involved in foreign and civil wars that led to the decline of the kingdom and its final annexation by Rome. Hellenistic culture continued to thrive in Egypt throughout the Roman and Byzantine periods until the Muslim conquest.

 

It's important to note that both the Seleucid kingdom and the Ptolemic kingdom contained parts of Syria. The Seleucid held the northern, and the Ptolemic, the southern.

 

So now we're caught up, and hopefully, as we described these kingdoms the awesome power of God's holy word became more alive to you.

 

More than that, perhaps you can understand why things like the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and the rise of Islam are so important in the context of our Christian worldview.

 

Remember, the prophecy says that the king of the North will not overtake Edom, Moab and Ammon. The areas of these countries border Israel to the east, and are the north eastern part of modern day Egypt and Jordan. But Egypt will not be unscathed, Daniel is told;

 

the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43 He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels.

 

Though it's merely speculation, the easiest way for this to happen would be for the king of the north to invade Egypt from the sea or to come through Israel. This army would then have to push south to get to Ethopia and west to get to Libya.

 

Opposition will arise against this action, which if you think about it, should cause us to question the claims of “one world government” that we seem to talk about in the context of the Anti-Christ. Certainly he will control a strong and consolidated presence, but the appearance of considerable opposition from the north, which would be Russia, and the east which would be Iran or even China both of whom have alliances with the Iranians.

 

So we read;

 

But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many. 45 And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him.

 

Then we read;

 

“At that time Michael shall stand up,

The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people;

And there shall be a time of trouble,

Such as never was since there was a nation,

Even to that time.

And at that time your people shall be delivered,

Every one who is found written in the book.

2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,

Some to everlasting life,

Some to shame and everlasting contempt.

3 Those who are wise shall shine

Like the brightness of the firmament,

And those who turn many to righteousness

Like the stars forever and ever.

 

Remember, Michael is the prince of Israel in the spiritual realm. His rising up represents the conquering of the son of perdition and the completion of God's plan for this fallen Earth.

 

As we've talked about before, there is has been a common misunderstanding of the place of true Israel and its people. Some of the pillars of the Christian faith have mistakenly claimed that the promises in God's word to the nation of Israel and the Jewish people were given over to the Church, but we very clearly see hear the physical land of Israel, and the people who Michael is the prince of being rescued and being delivered, not based upon their heritage, but based upon their name being written in “the book.”

 

After this revelation, Daniel is told;

 

“But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”

 

So now we come to an interesting thought, could it be that we are in the time when Daniel was told that the book would be unsealed?

 

The site Mental Floss tells us;

 

Critics of early steam-spewing locomotives, for example, thought “that women’s bodies were not designed to go at 50 miles an hour,” and worried that “[female passengers’] uteruses would fly out of [their] bodies as they were accelerated to that speed”—which, for the record, they did and will not.* Others suspected that any human body might simply melt at high speeds.

 

For thousands of years men were constrained by the speed of horses, the winds, and the tides. As a result the average person didn't travel in more than a 5 kilometer radius from their homes. Today we routinely travel hundreds or even thousands of miles at speeds that would have killed us according to our forefathers.

 

We are certainly running too and fro.

 

As for the increase of knowledge, even 20 years ago, when I first came to Montana, I submitted to the audience of a keynote speech that I gave on technology, that the Internet might represent the second aspect of the time of this sealing, a time when “knowledge shall increase.”

 

In this time, of dashing to and fro, in this time of the increase of knowledge, suddenly we see the rise of a god who any Arabs ancestors did not know, a god named Allah, who is not, by the way, the same God that Christians and Jews worship. Turkey is aligned with ISIL in a bid to restore the caliphate of the Ottoman empire, while Russia and Iran are backing the current regime of Baashar al Assad in the country of modern day Syria.

 

Could the king of the North be far away?

 

We aren't the only ones to ask though are we? In verse 5-6 we read;

 

5 Then I, Daniel, looked; and there stood two others, one on this riverbank and the other on that riverbank. 6 And one said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?”

 

We see a similarly clothed individual in Ezekiel 9:1-4. He is one destined to mark those to be saved during the final destruction of Jerusalem. We read;

 

Then He called out in my hearing with a loud voice, saying, “Let those who have charge over the city draw near, each with a deadly weapon in his hand.” 2 And suddenly six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with his battle-ax in his hand. One man among them was clothed with linen and had a writer’s inkhorn at his side. They went in and stood beside the bronze altar.

 

3 Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple.[a] And He called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer’s inkhorn at his side; 4 and the Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.”

 

If this is the same man, then there is another clue that the man that Daniel is speaking to may be Our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

As we discussed when we studied this passage in Ezekiel in our study of the book, Matthew Henry tells us;

 

This man was clothed with linen, as the priests were, and he had a writer’s inkhorn hanging at his side, as anciently attorneys and lawyers’ clerks had, which he was to make use of, as the other six were to make use of their destroying weapons. Here the honours of the pen exceeded those of the sword, but he was the Lord of angels that made use of the writer’s inkhorn; for it is generally agreed, among the best interpreters, that this man represented Christ as Mediator saving those that are his from the flaming sword of divine justice. He is our high priest, clothed with holiness, for that was signified by the fine linen, Rev. 19:8. As prophet he wears the writer’s inkhorn. The book of life is the Lamb’s book. The great things of the law and gospel which God has written to us are of his writing; for it is the Spirit of Christ, in the writers of the scripture, that testifies to us, and the Bible is the revelation of Jesus Christ. Note, It is a matter of great comfort to all good Christians that, in the midst of the destroyers and the destructions that are abroad, there is a Mediator, a great high priest, who has an interest in heaven, and whom saints on earth have an interest in.

 

His position over the river could also be a clue as to His position as reigning over the multitude of nations.

 

What he tells Daniel is of great importance and is in keeping with the nature of the man in linen with the inkhorn in Ezekiel. Verse 7 tells us;

 

Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.

 

This phrase time (one), times (two) and a half a time is the 3 ½ that we have seen expressed in other ways in the study of the end time. It is the 1260 days, it is the 42 weeks. It is the time that this monsterous son of perdition will reek havoc upon the world, persecute the saints, sit upon his throne in the Temple mocking our God and performing the abomination of desolation which our Lord Jesus Christ foretold, referring not to that act already performed by Antiochus Epiphanes, but to the ultimate act that will be performed by the Antichrist in a manner that makes Epiphanes' desecration look pale in comparison.

 

We understand this 3 ½ years well. It has been established and prophesied throughout the Old and New Testament, but it was not clear to Daniel and so we are told in verse 8;

 

8 Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, “My lord, what shall be the end of these things?”

 

God's beloved prophet did not understand that which he was being told. It was sealed even from him. God answers Daniel's request for clarification with these profound words;

 

9 And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. 10 Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.

 

11 “And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. 12 Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.

 

13 “But you, go your way till the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days.

 

First, the message is only for the wise, the redeemed. No one who is not redeemed will understand the message of Daniel, it will be as foolishness to them.

 

Second, the time of suffering will end 1290 days from the taking away of the sacrifice and the abomination of desolation. The difference between the 1260 days or three and ½ years and the 3 years and 7 months which Daniel refers to here isn't really explained. One thought is that the persecution, or 3 ½ years starts 30 days after the abomination of desolation. Another thought is that the final 30 days are when God's wrath is poured out as depicted in the pouring out of the vials which the Apostle John describes seeing in Revelation 16.

 

Third, 75 days after the abomination of desolation, an event will occur that bless all those who wait and come to that day.

 

Finally, Daniel will rest, a euphemism for dying, but he will awaken to receive his inheritance.

 

If you confess Jesus as your Lord these final words of Daniel may speak to you as they have never spoken to anyone before. I believe sincerely that these verses are being unsealed as God promised they would be in the end times.

 

If you have not confessed Jesus as Lord, I urge you to consider Daniel's prophecy in the light of current events. What other book, written approximately 2600 years ago depicts the very state of our world at this moment with such a high degree of accuracy?

 

But the Bible does not just speak of the future on Earth. It also tells us of our spiritual condition and testifies to the standard which God has imposed upon His creation.

 

The Bible tells us that we are all sinners and that the wages of sin is death.

 

Before you get put off by that term, understand that it is a term that describes disobedience to God. If you have ever done something that God doesn't want you to do , or if you have ever not done something that God wants you to do, then you have sinned.

Thus, you deserve to die.

 

But death is not simply ceasing to exist, rather it is existing eternally in that place that Jesus calls the outer darkness, where He says there is crying and gnashing of teeth.

 

If the truth of your spiritual condition is starting to weigh upon you, don't be alarmed. God is awakening your spirit and is giving you the faith to confess Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead.

 

Embrace this truth, confess Jesus as Lord, and be saved.

 

For Romans 10:9-13 tells us;

 

...if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”[f] 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”[g]

 

Won't you do it today?

 

 

Let us pray.

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