The Promised End
July 10, 2022 Preacher: Luis A. Cardenas Series: Daniel - ENG
Topic: English Passage: Daniel 12:1-13
We have finally come to the conclusion of our study in the book of Daniel. There was trouble and turmoil under Babylon and Persia, and God promised that there was still more trouble left to come. But despite those difficulties, God had a final message of hope and triumph. Let’s read Daniel chapter 12, verses 1-13.
1 “At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. 2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; 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 behold, two others stood, one on this bank of the stream and one on that bank of the stream. 6 And someone said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream, “How long shall it be till the end of these wonders?”
7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream; he raised his right hand and his left hand toward heaven and swore by him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time, and that when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end all these things would be finished. 8 I heard, but I did not understand. Then I said, “O my lord, what shall be the outcome of these things?”
9 He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end. 10 Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand. 11 And from the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1,290 days. 12 Blessed is he who waits and arrives at the 1,335 days. 13 But go your way till the end. And you shall rest and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days.”
In our last study in Daniel, we saw that chapter 11 was an extended prophecy concerning the future of God’s people. Israel was going to be overrun by a new king, and then it would be stuck in the middle while there was war between a king in the south and a king in the north. Basically, Israel was in for a grueling future. And it would not end soon.
Historically, we have seen the challenges Israel has faced, and we know that a greater challenge is still to come.
The end of chapter 11 describes a time when a ruler would come whose kingdom would be marked by power, perversion, and persecution. God tells Daniel that this ruler will come with military might and oppose the people of God. He will exalt himself above every other god, he will reward those who are loyal to him, and will kill those who oppose him. That is a reference to the one we call Antichrist—the final global ruler who, I believe, is still to come.
Some people get very interested when we start to talk about the end times, and there are some who get uncomfortable. They don’t like to think about the kinds of horrors that God will unleash on this world in the last days. But God wants His people to know about it. He wants us to be prepared, and He wants us to be confident. That’s true for Christians today, and it’s true for the remnant of the nation of Israel who will trust in Him.
Though pain and persecution mark our lives, they are not the dominating characteristics. They are not the end of the story. Like I said to you last time, the vision god gave Daniel was a triumphant vision, and we see that much more clearly in chapter 12.
Instead of panic and terror, God wants us to have hope and confidence. Even though suffering and persecution will come upon God’s people, we need to look past that and remember what else awaits us. That’s how we can continue in hope and in holiness.
What is it that awaits us? What does God have in store for His people? That’s the question Daniel 12 helps us answer. No matter what you see in the news or in your own life, you need to remind yourself of these truths so you can be strengthened and encouraged, and strengthen and encourage one another. What has God promised us? Let’s answer that question as we look a little more closely at chapter 12.
First of all, we see that God’s people have divine protection. Divine protection. Look with me at verse 1.
At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book.
Remember, this is a continuation of chapter 11. Whenever you come to a new chapter in the Bible, keep in mind that apart from the Psalms (which don’t really count as chapters anyway), those chapter breaks are not original. They were added later to help us find specific passages. So, when you come to a new chapter, don’t forget about what came before.
When verse 1 says “at that time… there shall be a time of great trouble,” that’s talking about the time of a final Tribulation under Antichrist. Antichrist will be empowered by Satan, and his reign will include a great persecution against God’s people. More directly, he will be against the nation of Israel.
In all, the time of Antichrist’s dominion will last 7 years. It will begin with a time of world peace with people believing this man has brought an end to all wars. He will restore Israel’s worship on the Temple Mount. Halfway through those seven years, however, Antichrist will turn against Israel. He will break the covenant he made with them. And the second half of his reign will be, like this verse says, a time of great trouble. Jeremiah 30:7 calls this “a time of distress for Jacob.”
But God will not abandon His people. The archangel Michael, whom we’ve already met back in chapter 10—this powerful servant of God—is with them. Verse 1 tells us that he has charge of Daniel’s people. Just like there are evil, demonic angels over the nations and systems of this world, God has also placed Michael over the nation of Israel. He's there to watch over them and to protect them.
Turn with me for a moment to Revelation chapter 12. I want to help fill out our understanding of this time. Go to the final book in the Bible—Revelation chapter 12. The Apostle John gets a sweeping vision of human history, and it highlights the conflict between Satan and the people of God. Look at what it says. Revelation 12.
And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. 2 She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth.
I believe this woman represents Israel. The 12 stars point to the 12 tribes of the nation. This woman’s birth pains represent the expectation of a coming Messiah. He would come from Israel, and the people were waiting for Him.
Throughout all this time, however, you’ve got Satan seeking to thwart God’s plan. Satan opposes God. Look at verse 3.
3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems. 4 His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it.
That great dragon is Satan. And I believe his tail sweeping down the stars represents His initial attempt at rebellion before mankind fell into sin. At that time, Satan caused one third of the angels to fall with him. Ever since then, Satan has fought against God’s plan. Verse 4 says he wanted to devour the woman’s child. Satan and his demons were trying to stop the Messiah from accomplishing God’s plan. That happened with Herod when the babies were killed, and the opposition continued, even through the possession of Judas who betrayed Jesus.
Verse 5—She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, 6 and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.
Jesus, who will come again to rule over the world, after He died and resurrected, didn’t stay here. He ascended to the Father. But that didn’t stop Satan from opposing Israel. John’s vision jumps forward to the end of this world’s history, and he describes Israel hiding in the wilderness. I take that as a reference to the Israelites who will flee the nation once Satan’s king comes to power and his wickedness is revealed.
And how long does John say Israel is going to be in hiding? One thousand, two hundred, sixty days. You divide that by 30, which is the length of a prophetic month, you get exactly 42 months. You divide that by 12 months in a year, you get exactly 3 ½ years. It’s the same chronology we’ve been seeing in Daniel.
Now, in Daniel 11 we saw that there is a connection between earthly warfare and heavenly warfare. That was true in Daniels’ time during the Persians and the Greeks, and it’s going to be true during the time of Antichrist. Let’s keep reading in verse 7.
Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, 8 but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
What does that mean? It means that Satan and his demons are going to be barred from heaven. If you remember from the story of Job, Satan can spend his time on the earth, and he also has some access to the place where God dwells. Once this great war breaks out, Satan is going to be kicked out of heaven, and he and his demons will focus more of their attention on the earth. That’s part of the reason things are going to be so bad. But in all this, God’s people will have divine protection. Michael will protect God’s people. Those Israelites who are faithful to the Lord will be protected. Look at Revelation 12, verse 13.
13 And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.
That’s the very same wording we saw in Daniel 7. And we see it again in Daniel 12. That’s 3 ½ years, not just of severe persecution, but of divine protection.
Go ahead and turn back to Daniel chapter 12. Due to the Lord’s divine protection, the end of verse 1 says that Daniel’s people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book.
God has a list of all who belong to Him. And He watches over them. The people of God have been promised divine protection.
Now, faithful Israel is going to have a special protection in the last days, but what about us today? For us at this point in time, God is still watching over us. But that protection doesn’t mean nothing painful is going to happen to us. It doesn’t mean we aren’t going to die tragically, from a human perspective. If that were the case, we wouldn’t have Christian martyrs. We wouldn’t have men like Stephen or the Apostles.
But God’s protection means that nothing can happen to us that has not already passed through the sovereign hands of God. And God is watching over us. Sometimes, that might even include sending an angel to protect you. We can’t be sure of when that is, but Hebrews 1:14 says His angels are ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation.
God has angels who are instrumental in answering prayer, protecting God’s people, and even bringing judgment on God’s enemies. We have a divine protection. Most of all, even if we die, we are protected eternally, and we cannot lose our salvation.
Looking now at verse 2 of Daniel 12, once Antichrist’s reign is ended, we see a second gift waiting for God’s people. There is divine protection, and there is eternal recognition. Eternal recognition.
Look at verses 2 and 3—And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.
A foundational element of the Christian faith is that there will be a resurrection. We will all rise from the dead.
Now, just to fill you in on my personal position. I don’t think everybody is going to be resurrected at the same time. Revelation 20 speaks of two different Resurrections, and my view on the Rapture adds another one. Now is not the time to talk about all that because that’s not Daniel’s emphasis. The main point here is that, one way or another, everybody will be raised from the dead.
Jesus taught this in John 5:28 when He said, “Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.”
Jesus talked more about hell than anyone else in the New Testament. And he taught that God’s judgment against the ungodly would be marked by fire and darkness.
Here in Daniel, the focus isn’t the pain of judgment, it’s on the shame of the judgment. Notice, again, the consequence of the wicked in verse 2. They will be resurrected to shame and everlasting contempt. The words there point to something that is absolutely despised and hated. This is something that is repulsive and repugnant.
A couple weeks ago, my wife and I got home after being gone for a few days. I don’t know exactly what happened, but something had fallen out of a trash bag into the bottom of our garbage can. And it sat outside under the burning sun for a couple days. When we got home, that trash can stank. It reeked. It was disgusting. You did not want to be anywhere near that.
That kind of disdain will be part of the eternal judgment for those who reject Jesus Christ. They will be cast away in their filth and they will experience everlasting shame and derision.
The final verse of Isaiah speaks of a redeemed people in a new heavens and a new earth, and it says they will go out and look upon the bodies of those who rebelled against the Lord. And it says, their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh. For all eternity, they will be disgusting and ashamed.
Now, what about those who won’t be judged forever? What’s the alternative? Verse 2 says they will be raised to everlasting life. Then, verse 3 expands on that a bit by describing their character and the outcome. These were the wise. These were the ones who turned many to righteousness. These were the ones who knew the truth, walked in the truth, and proclaimed the truth of God. What will happen to them? They will shine like the stars forever and ever.
Listen, if you claim to believe in Jesus Christ, verse 3 should be a description of your life. If you think you’re a Christian, but you don’t walk in holiness, and you’re not instrumental in helping others walk with Christ, you better do some serious self-evaluation. Do you truly believe in Christ? Have you surrendered to Him as Lord? Because if you haven’t, what awaits you is the judgment of the wicked.
But if your life is marked by wisdom and holiness and a desire to see others come to Christ, you will shine like the stars forever. A theological term for the resurrection of God’s people is glorification. Sin will be completely removed, and we will have a new body. No more weakness. No more pain. You will be a star.
Today, we use the word “star” for some people, right? We use it for athletes and musicians and actors. We even hear people talk about “star power.” To be a star means you’re recognizable. You’re famous. People want to be around you.
In Hollywood, if you’re famous enough, you even get a literal star placed on the sidewalk with your name on it. That way, people remember you for generations. To be a star is the exact opposite of shame and contempt.
Those who have trusted in Christ will one day be marked by honor and recognition and glory. This is what awaits the people of God who have been faithful to Him.
And what an encouragement this is to us. We want to walk in holiness and wisdom. We want to tell people the truth of Jesus Christ. But in doing that, the world rejects us. The world mocks us. They say we’re stupid and backward. They say we don’t really understand how life works.
But in the end, they will recognize that we had the truth. There will be no more shame for Christ’s people; there will only be eternal glory. Amen? That’s our hope. We will rise again, and the truth of God will be vindicated forever. We will have an eternal recognition.
Now, having given Daniel that message, God instructs Daniel to guard it. Look at verse 4—But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end.
That instruction doesn’t mean to keep it a secret. If that’s what God intended, we wouldn’t be studying Daniel today. The command there means, “Protect this message. Preserve it.”
It’s like what happens today with historical artifacts and famous works of art. You display them for all to see, but you lock them up behind glass and a security system. This matters. This is valuable. This is precious. Don’t change it.
Why not? Because people are going to be depending on this truth, especially at the time of the end. the end of verse 4 says: Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.
That increased knowledge is going to come because of Daniel’s message. People in this world are going to be running around looking for answers, looking for a solution, and God says Daniel’s message is going to give it to them. This will bring knowledge and wisdom. When the end comes, whoever has the word of God, and particularly the message of Daniel, and I would add Revelation, is going to have true insight into what’s happening. This is a precious, valuable message.
I skipped over a lot of the details of the vision in chapter 11, but like I told you, historians have been able to look back and see that many of those prophecies were fulfilled in the time of the Greeks.
I think the same kind of thing is going to happen during the Tribulation. A lot of the mystery and speculation with Daniel and Revelation are going to go away, because the faithful generation of that time will be seeing it happen in real time, and they’ll be able to match it to the word of God.
Along those lines, we can add a third gift to God’s people. We have a divine protection. We have an eternal recognition. And thirdly, we have an unearthly comprehension. An unearthly comprehension.
The world is going to be looking at all this from a natural perspective, but the people of God will have a heavenly perspective.
In speaking of the Scriptures, Psalm 119:97 says this—Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. 98 Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me. 99 I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation. 100 I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts.
That’s going to be true at the end of this age, and it’s true today as well. You don’t need to be intimidated by all the degrees someone has hanging on their wall, or by all the letters after their name. True wisdom, a true comprehension of life, comes from the word of God. Those who have this book and give themselves to it will have true understanding.
Skip down to verse 10. God repeats this message to Daniel. Verse 10—Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand.
Those who pay attention to the word of God will have an unearthly comprehension.
Now, as we wrap up this vision and the entire book, we continue to get divine wisdom for the end times. Let’s keep reading in verse 5.
5 Then I, Daniel, looked, and behold, two others stood, one on this bank of the stream and one on that bank of the stream. 6 And someone said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream, “How long shall it be till the end of these wonders?”
That’s not asking: how long until the Tribulation starts? That’s asking: how long is this time of severe testing going to last? When is God going to complete His plan for Daniel’s people?
Verse 7—And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream; he raised his right hand and his left hand toward heaven and swore by him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time, and that when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end all these things would be finished.
There’s that same length of time—3 ½ years. That’s the second half of the Great Tribulation. And God not only gives the chronology, He reminds us about the purpose. The Great Tribulation isn’t just Satan bringing evil upon the world. It isn’t just God judging the world. It is God humbling a people so that they will turn to Him.
The power of the holy people will be shattered. Israel will be humbled, and who will they turn to? They will turn to Jesus their true Messiah, the Christ.
And Daniel, apparently, doesn’t get it at first. He still has questions. Verse 8—I heard, but I did not understand. Then I said, “O my lord, what shall be the outcome of these things? 9 He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end.
In other words, God responded with: “Daniel, that’s all your going to get. Trust the message. Study the message.” And again, verse 10 promises that God’s people will have understanding.
The end of Daniel’s book, the end of God’s message to him, gives him a final chronology. And it’s a reminder that even though God’s word is accurate and precise many times, there will still be times where we need wisdom and patience. God’s people need to trust and wait.
Look at verse 11. The angel continues—And from the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1,290 days. Blessed is he who waits and arrives at the 1,335 days.
What does this mean? Like I’ve told you, my preference is to take things at face value. The second half of Antichrist’s reign is going to be 1,260 days. That’s 42 months—3 ½ years. But now, the angel has two more numbers larger than that. One thousand, two hundred ninety days is one extra month. And then 1,335 days is another 45 days, or another month and a half.
Why in the world does the angel add on two and a half months? We can’t be dogmatic about this; we aren’t completely sure, but the key here may be that word “blessed” at the end of verse 12.
According to Revelation 18, 19, and 20. After the Tribulation, Christ comes to put an end to Antichrist and his armies. He resurrects those who were martyred. He binds Satan in the pit. He raises the wicked to life, and He judges the nations. There will also be what is called the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
Then, once all that is complete, we get what is called the Millennial Kingdom, when Jesus and His Bride rule over the earth for 1,000 years. Revelation 19:9 says “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” Revelation 20:6 says, “Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the … Resurrection!” That is those who will reign with Christ for 1,000 years.
So, if the blessed ones of Daniel 12:12 correspond to the blessed ones of Revelation 19 and 20, those extra days that were added could be a time of transition. Just because we know what’s next on God’s calendar, doesn’t mean it’ll come immediately after. Sometimes, there’s a little gap in between. These extra days could be a gap between the Tribulation and the Millennial Kingdom. The world was in chaos under Antichrist, and evidently, it will take some time to be put back in order under Christ and His people.
We also know from Jesus’ teachings, as well as Paul’s letters, that Christ will a lot to His people special places of honor and authority in the Kingdom.
And one seat of honor will go to Daniel. Look at verse 13. Here are God’s final words to him—But go your way till the end. And you shall rest and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days.
Let me just close by reminding you about one final gift for God’s people. And that is a glorious commendation. There is divine protection form God and the angels. There is eternal recognition when we shine like stars. There is unearthly comprehension from God’s word. And lastly, there will be a glorious commendation.
God will reward you. Like Matthew 25 tells us, your Master will say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much.”
If you have trusted in Christ, you will be rewarded. You will be given a special position to serve in Christ’s kingdom. There’s some mystery there as to what that is going to be exactly, but what you need to know is that it will be more than worth the effort.
So, with that, I’m would like to close simply by reading 1 Corinthians 15:58. Just like Daniel, the Apostle Paul understood that there would be a Resurrection. Just like Christ rose from the dead, so will all who trust in Him. That Resurrection compelled him to preach and to suffer for the name of Christ.
Paul understood that God was protecting him. He understood that God would grant him eternal glory and an eternal reward. And so, here what Paul says. And with this we’ll close. First Corinthians 15:58—Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
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