About Jesus Steve Sweetman
This Section - Chapter 12
The End Times (ch. 12:1-13)
I begin this chapter I would like to insert an article I've written on verse 4
to help explain what the world "knowledge" means.
Some of you might
remember Alvin Toffler's 1970 book entitled "Future Shock".
Toffler outlined the acceleration of knowledge throughout human history.
He noted that in the first seventy years of the 20th century
we accumulated more knowledge than in history past.
Of course, Toffler's book has long since been outdated.
It's now estimated that knowledge doubles every one and half to two
One of my dad's favourite
Bible verses speaks of an acceleration of knowledge.
His King James Bible says; "Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge
shall be increase" (Daniel 12:4). My
dad understood the word "knowledge" to mean knowledge in general.
Allow me to suggest something different.
An angelic looking being
informed Daniel about the end of days with the following words.
"At that time, Michael, the great prince that protects your people (Israel) will arise. There will be a time
of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then.
But at that time your people ( .
"knowledge" is translated from the Hebrew word "da'ath" in
Daniel 12:4. The meaning of
"da'ath" clues us in a bit to what kind of knowledge is spoken about
here. "Da'ath" is a
specific kind of knowledge. It's
not the type of knowledge that remains in one's head, leads to technological
advances, or simply informs. "Da'ath"
is the specific knowledge that enables one to make wise discerning judgments.
That's why the text speaks of those who are wise.
The text gives us a clue
to when this increase of knowledge will take place.
The words "at that time" in Daniel 1:1 refers to the time of
the end. Jesus confirmed this when
He quoted this passage as part of His end time discourse in Matthew 24:21.
The text also clues us in
a bit concerning what we should associate this knowledge with.
Daniel is told that Michael, the great angelic protector of Israel, will rise. I suggest the increase
of knowledge has something to do with Michael rising at the end of this age in
support and defense of Israel.
I propose that the
specific increase of knowledge spoken of here relates to knowledge that enables
us to wisely discern the events leading to the end of this age.
This is a time when Michael supports and defends Israel; wise people will lead many to righteousness in the most horrific era in human
history, and, men and women will rise from the dust of the earth to eternal life
or eternal damnation.
An example of increased
prophetic knowledge was seen when the first of the Dead Sea Scrolls were
discovered just a few months before Israel
became a nation in 1948 in fulfillment of prophecy.
This discovery produced a wealth of new knowledge.
For example, a 29 foot long scroll of the oldest entire book of Isaiah
was unearthed. This scroll differs
little from the book of Isaiah we hold in our hands today.
It's no coincidence that an important prophetic book outlining
Throughout the centuries
liberal scholars have thought the New Testament was written in some kind of
weird Greek because it differed from Classical Greek.
Well, the Dead Sea Scrolls unearthed everyday documents that were written
in the same weird Greek the New Testament was written in.
We now know that the New Testament was written in the common street level
language of the day. There's nothing
weird about the New Testament, and archeology has proven that to be true.
Liberal scholars have
attempted to debunk
aren't the only source of increased knowledge.
As western Christians we may consider ourselves the cream of the
Christian crop concerning Biblical issues, but that's debatable.
Culturally and linguistically speaking we are so far removed from the
Bible that it puts us at a distinct disadvantage in understanding Biblical
issues. When we attempt to understand the Bible from our 21st century
western minds, we fail miserably, but don't be disheartened.
Historians and linguists are discovering cultural and literary knowledge
that clears up many Biblical issues for us.
In Mark 13:33 Jesus commanded, not
suggested, us to watch and pray for the
signs leading to the end. Jesus
would not have told us to watch in ignorance.
As a matter of fact God views ignorance as being the road to destruction
(Hosea 4:6). For this reason Jesus
clued us in on many end time events, but beyond that, the increased knowledge of
Daniel 12:4 is obtainable for us today. We
have the opportunity to be the most knowledgeable, wise, and discerning,
Christians in history, especially when it comes to Biblical prophecy.
Let's avail ourselves to the
Daniel 4:12 increase of
knowledge. As the Hebrew word
"da'ath means, "we'll be the wiser for it".
Daniel 4:12 increase of
knowledge. As the Hebrew word
"da'ath means, "we'll be the wiser for it".
know return you to my commentary.
need to recognize that chapter 12 is a continuation of the last two chapters.
Weíre not moving to a new subject in this vision.
the angel appears here as one who protects Godís people, which in context is Israel. We thus need to acknowledge and
understand the importance of
verse 1 we see a time of great tribulation that had never been seen in the
world. Jesus picks up on this
statement in Matthew 24 and Mark 13. This
is clearly in reference to what has been called the Great Tribulation as seen in
the book of Revelation. Jeremiah
30:7 calls this time the "time of Jacobís trouble" because it is
meant to bring Israel
to her knees in genuine repentance. In
Zechariah 13:8 we note that two thirds of the
in verse 1 that Michael is the great protector of Israel. Note also that he rises to his
feet at the end of this age. I
believe when he rises to his feet it is in support and defense of
2 speaks of a resurrection. Those
who sleep in the dust will be raised. Some
people will be raised to everlasting life and others to everlasting contempt. You should note that "many" will be raised to eternal life, but
not all. The doctrine of Universal
Salvation for all is not Biblical. You
should note also that those who are raised in this particular context are Jews.
resurrection appears, or seems to appear, after the Great Tribulation in this
passage. As a side note some
prophetic Futurists believe in a pre-trib rapture, but this is not a rapture.
This is the resurrection of the dead.
Some who hold a pre-trib rapture believe that only the church will be
raptured. Believing Jews get
raptured at the end of the tribulation period when Jesus returns.
They say this because it appears that the Great Tribulation is all about
to her knees in repentance. Yes,
the nations of the world are judged as well, but one of the main reasons for
their judgment is due to their unfriendly treatment of
verse 3 we see those "who are wise will shine"
Those who are wise are those who pay attention to these prophecies and
give themselves to the God who gave these visions to Daniel.
Those who are wise win others to salvation.
This should show us how important the prophetic aspect to the Bible is. Understanding
Biblical prophecy, as hard as that is, takes wisdom that only the Lord can give.
verse 4 Daniel is told to "seal up the scroll" that contained the
events of the end of this age. The
scroll was to be sealed up until the end comes.
It is important to note that in Revelation 5 Jesus rips open the seals of
a scroll. It's my thinking at
present that the scroll Daniel was told to close might well be the same scroll
Jesus opens. Also, the Apostle John
is told to unseal a scroll in Revelation 22:10.
This might well be the scroll that Daniel is told to seal up.
last part of verse 4 says that many will go here and there and that knowledge
will increase. As time goes on, we
travel here and there more than ever before.
Knowledge is increasing at a rate faster than ever.
Here, in 2014, they say that knowledge is doubling every eighteen to
twenty four months. Such
knowledge in Daniel's day took hundreds of years to double.
scholars donít believe this verse is talking about us travelling and gaining
in knowledge. Some people believe that the knowledge that is spoken of here is
the knowledge of prophecy, since prophecy is the context in which these words
are written. Many ways of thinking
concerning prophecy in past centuries have now been disputed because of modern
events and discoveries that werenít available to those in the past. The
formation of Israel
in 1948 is one big event that is important in Biblical history.
I tend to see the travel and knowledge spoken of here as being prophetic
knowledge as I've stated in the beginning of this chapter.
verse 6 Daniel asks "how long will it be until these astonishing things are
fulfilled?" The angel in
the vision replies by saying that these days will last for a time, times, and
half a time. We havve noted this time
period before to be three and a half years.
Each time represents one year.
people believe the Great Tribulation lasts for seven years while others see it
lasting three and a half years. Many
Futurists see this time, times, and an half of time as the Great Tribulation
itself, or, the last half of the seven year tribulation period.
It just depends on how long you think the Great Tribulation lasts.
is interesting to see what happens during these three and a half years and why
they take place. The angel in the
vision says these things happen until the power of the holy people is broken.
This means that Israelís humanistic and self centered power will be broken and they will return to
their own God. This is in fact the
end goal to the Great Tribulation as I've mentioned.
verses 8 through 10 Daniel is confused and doesnít really understand.
He asks the angel in the vision for more details but Daniel is told to
close the vision and seal it up. Here
we see the word "seal" again. Daniel
is to preserve this vision, and to close it up.
Itís like this angel tells Daniel to just lay this aside for a future
date. Until then the righteous will
be righteous and the wicked will the wicked.
words are very much the same as what John is told in Revelation 22:10 and
following. Here John is told not to
seal the vision up. He was told to
let those who are holy be holy and those who are wicked be wicked.
This is very similar to what Daniel was told, although John is told to
keep the vision open, as to say, "Itís time to start thinking about these
things." This clearly tells me
that in these New Testament times we should be attempting to understand Biblical
We now come to the closing verses of the book of Daniel and what they exactly mean is hard to know. Verse 11 speaks of the abomination of desolation that we saw back in Daniel 11:31. In Daniel 11:31 Daniel foretells the day when someone would desecrate the temple, which is called the abomination of desolation here. Many prophecies have a double, or even a triple meaning. Antiochus Epiphanes was a Greek king that ruled from 175 to 164 B C. He sacked Jerusalem and offered a pig, an unclean animal, on the altar in the temple. In one sense of the word, his actions fulfilled this prophecy. However, in Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14, Jesus spoke of this abomination of desolation as if it was still in the future. Some suggest that this prophecy was fulfilled when Rome sacked Jerusalem and the temple was burned. That might well be a secondary fulfillment, but, I believe the primary fulfillment of this abomination of desolation is fulfilled in Revelation 13 when the anti-Christ puts an image of himself in the temple to be worshipped.
speculated for a long time about these verses.
There are two sets of times mentioned here. First is twelve hundred and
ninety (1290) days that is the time that the sacrifices are abolished and the
abomination of desolation takes place. Most
prophetic Futurists say this is at the half way point of the seventieth week of
Daniel. That is to say, the last
seven years of this age. The
inference is that there are twelve hundred and ninety (1290) days from that
middle point of a seven year tribulation to the end of the age.
This is also seen in the book of Revelation.
So, according to this math, there are thirty extra days after the
tribulation and return of Christ.
this, Daniel is told of another period of time lasting thirteen hundred and
thirty five (1335) days. Heís told that blessed are those who wait out this
period of time. This is an extra
forty five days beyond the above twelve hundred and ninety (1290) days, or an
extra seventy five days beyond the 1260 days found in the book of Revelation.
So, we have a total of seventy five days that weíre not sure what
happens which appears to be after the Great Tribulation and return of Christ to the
new earth. There is lots of
speculation about these seventy five days. If
you are not good at math, you most likely didn't even catch what I just said.
This is hard thing to get your head around. It
takes some heavy duty thinking.
According to the book of Revelation, the last half of
the 7 year tribulation is 1260 days. Many Prophetic Futurists call these
1260 days the Great Tribulation. It starts in the middle of the 7 years
when the anti-Christ sets up his image in the temple at
13 closes Danielís book. He i told to go his way. The visions he
received are now over. Heí would receive no more. He would soon go to
his rest, meaning, he would soon die. At
the end of all things he would rise to receive his inheritance.
learn a lot from the book of Daniel, and maybe some of what we learn causes us
to question many things. Whatever we
learn or donít learn we know that God has a time table.
Certain things will happen at the end of this age at predetermined times. The visions
of the Book of Daniel have been
laid out for us to consider and learn from.
As time goes on, all of these visions will become progressively clearer
to us. Jesus told His disciples in
John 16 that they did not understand what all He was speaking about, but when
these things took place, they would remember and understand.
This is the same with Biblical prophecy.
We do not understand it now, but as each year passes, we'll understand
better than ever.
May you be a student of Biblical prophecy. It takes up a huge section of the Word of God. In Mark 13:33 Jesus actually commands us to watch and pray about the events leading to the end. In other words, he commands us to be students of prophecy. So I will be that student.