Friday, November 18, 2022
The ancient Prophet Daniel, through Holy Spirit-inspired visions and dreams, and an angelic messenger from heaven, disclosed many events of the end-times. The events Daniel saw were overwhelming to his physical being, so much so that at one point he confessed, “Then I, Daniel, was overcome and lay sick for several days. Afterward I got up and performed my duties for the king, but I was greatly troubled by the vision and could not understand it” (Dan. 8:27). Similarly, the Prophet John, an Apostle of Christ, was likewise overcome and was minded to worship at the feet of the angel who brought him end-time revelations, and John confessed, “I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, ‘See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy’” (Rev. 19:10). Understand that, that kind of human response is synonymous throughout Scripture when true prophets heard from God, and not the flattering speech of false, self-serving and deceptive prophets of today. The true prophet is measured by Deut. 18:22. The true prophet today speaks what’s written in Scripture for the edification and strengthening of the saints, and not fruitless notions and tantalizing conjuring’s from deceived, praise-seeking men and women who tickle and entice the ears of ignorant souls unable to discern prophetic truths.
Today we’ll focus on Daniel 12:1–13, and I will insert at different points comments and other prophetic Scriptures that help us understand the prophet’s message. This passage relates to the last forty-two months of this present age which are the last 3 1/2 years of tribulation that Jesus called “great tribulation” (Matt. 24:21). That will be a very difficult time for true believers, for Christ’s “elect” (Matt. 24:31), the “one body” (Eph. 4:4) of believers. Those are the last forty-two months wherein those who are “counted worthy to escape” (Luke 21:36), flee to the safety and provisions of God as we await the “last trumpet” (1 Cor. 15:51–52), at “the last day” (John 6:40, 44), when “the Lord Himself will descend from heaven” (1 Thess. 4:16), when “we shall all be changed – in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” (1 Cor. 15:51–52). May we who, by faith know Christ, be prepared to endure to the end and lead unbelievers to salvation faith in Christ Jesus. For those so prepared, Jesus Christ is preparing eternal mansions, John 14: 2–3.
For the mid-point of the tribulation, the Holy Spirit said “And at that time Michael [Strong’s H4317 ‘one of, the chief, or the first archangel’] shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; [true saints, true Jews, Gal. 3:29; Rom. 2:28–29] and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. [The time Christ called “great tribulation” Matt. 24:21] And at that time your people [Strong’s H5971 the “nation, people; people, nation” being true Jews of God] shall be delivered, [when Christ gathers together “His elect”] everyone who is found written in the book. [“the Book of Life” Rev. 20:12, 15; Rev. 21:27; and Rev. 22:19. Verse two transitions to the end of the 3 1/2 years of “great tribulation” at the resurrection] And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, [John 5:28–29] some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. [Verse three is the eternal glory of the saints] Those who are wise [like the five wise virgins of Matt. 25:1–13, who “endure to the end” Matt. 24:13 as Christ taught] shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever” (Dan. 12:1–3).
At verse four the message is profound, “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” (Dan. 12:4). The prophet’s message was not intended to be understood by him, but was specifically reserved for “the time of the end” when people would rapidly traverse the earth and knowledge increased. Anyone with true Christian faith clearly understands that this unequivocally identifies the days in which we now live, not even to mention the many faithless acts of those who pursue anti-Christ agendas. In our own U.S. federal government, the Democrat Party has officially divorced itself from the God of the Bible, all while earth-bound knowledge is increasing at an exponential rate. I believe that because the immediate past mid-term elections did not yield the prophesied red wave across America, in coming months the Republican Party will align itself more with radical Left agendas because they see its popularity, albeit immoral and ungodly, it’s what unbelievers want.
Then, at the middle of verse seven, the message again regards the “great tribulation”, “that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; [3 1/2 years] and when the power of the holy people [God’s holy people, true saints] has been completely shattered, [confirming the truths of Dan. 7:21 and Rev. 13:7] all these things shall be finished” (Dan. 12:7b). Then the prophet said “Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, ‘My lord, what shall be the end of these things?’ And he said, ‘Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, [my bold emphasis: this why the tribulation is necessary, and believers made to endure it to the end, because many who profess Christ today are not vested in the end-time truths and testimony of Christ, but the seven-year tribulation will cure much lukewarm and Laodicean unbelief] but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand” (Dan. 12:8–10), for in the tribulation the wise will know the truth and be like the five wise virgins of Matt. 25:1–13.
Then, once more, the prophet returns to the beginning of the “great tribulation” saying, “From the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, [by Antichrist] and the abomination of desolation is set up, [as Christ taught at Matt. 24:15] there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. [which is thirty days beyond the 1,260 days of Rev. 12:6, 14, after which the Spirit says] Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days. [A total of seventy-five days beyond the “great tribulation” of one thousand two hundred sixty days] But you, go your way till the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days’” (Dan. 12:11–13). On one day in that 75 day timeframe, the exact day of which no one knows, Matt. 24:36, the Lord Jesus Christ will gather together His elect in the resurrection rapture “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24:29–31), just exactly as Christ taught.
True prophets have never been popular because they prophesy God’s truths, a burden with which very few are entrusted. And at the start of the tribulation, “I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. [Unlike the finely dressed and flattery speech of false prophets today] And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire” (Rev. 11:3, 5–6). [My bold emphasis]
To demonstrate just how disliked and even hated the true prophets of God are, Jesus said to the religious establishment of His day, “Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. In fact, you bear witness that you approve the deeds of your fathers; for they indeed killed them, and you build their tombs…that the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation, from the blood of Able to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the temple” (Luke 11:47–51). But today, false prophets suffer nothing from the religious establishment, but are given lofty position and high praise. As in ancient Israel, false prophets today are highly esteemed by contemporaries of little to no spiritual discernment, because they speak frivolous and ear-tickling prophecies that create another Jesus, rather than the Jesus of the Bible, but we are tasked with discerning them.
Drawing from the recent 2020 general election when Donald Trump was not re-inaugurated in January of 2021, many false prophets, enjoying wide acclaim, boldly declared, “Thus saith the Lord, President Trump will return as the President of the United States by this or that date”, and others prophesied that those responsible for a rigged election would be jailed or court martialed by this or that date. Yet, every one of those prophesies failed, none of them came to pass! Such prophetic presumptions are very displeasing to Almighty God who said, “But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die. And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’ – when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him” (Deut. 18:20–22). Yet sadly, false, self-appointed prophets deceive the hearts and minds of many.
False prophets make false excuses as to why their prophecy failed. But to the credit of a few, some came to their senses and confessed that they had not heard from the Lord, repenting, and asked forgiveness. So, we bless the Lord God for His Word of grace and promise that “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (1 John 1:8–10). Therefore, let all who name Jesus Christ by faith confess the truth.
Marlin J. Yoder