We finish our series on The Book of Daniel by exploring the themes of resurrection and condemnation and how they compare with the message of Revelation. The beautiful and unique value of The Book of Daniel is the mix between a narrative hero and a prophetic vision. Daniel provides us with an example of how to live out the messages of both the book of Daniel and Revelation: to be a faithful witness and don’t fear death.
So Michael has a specific assignment to protect Israel. And he’s the one who came and fought for the angel who was trying to get through and give Daniel the interpretation of the dream after he had been stalled for 21 days.
A time of trouble for Israel such as never was
And there shall be a time of trouble,
Such as never was since there was a nation,
Even to that time.
Now just think about some of the things that have happened to Israel. They had the Babylonian captivity. Hundreds of thousands of people killed, city destroyed, and everybody yanked out and taken to Babylon.
They had the Assyrian captivity. Shiloh, which was their center of worship destroyed. And people scattered all over the earth. They, actually, have never come back. The first time they came back was 1948.
And then they had 70 A. D. when Romans came in and destroyed the city. Again, large numbers of Jews killed.
And, then, of course we had World War II and the Pogroms in Russia. What is it—6 million Jews exterminated. And that was on the way to the final solution where they were going to get rid of them all.
And what the Bible here says is “a time of trouble never like anything that’s ever happened before.” That’s kind of sobering, isn’t it?
This tribulation period, this great tribulation, we saw some descriptions like the percentage of the earth that’s going to die and some of the things that’s going to happen. It’s going to be like nothing anybody’s ever seen. It’s going to be horrific. And God’s telling us this is coming.
Everyone who is found written in the book shall be delivered
But everyone who is found written in the book will be delivered. Let’s look at that. We saw that in Revelation 2. It looks like this is Revelation 13:7. We’re talking about the antichrist here.
It was granted to him—the antichrist—to make war with the saints and to overcome them.
So a lot of people are going to die during this great tribulation period.
And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.
Verse 8. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life—
There’s going to be some people that don’t worship the antichrist and the prophet and that’s the people written in the book, the Book of Life.
Daniel 12:2. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,
So resurrection is going to happen during this time of the end.
Now this is kind of interesting because it doesn’t say everybody’s going to be resurrected. But Revelation seems to be clear that there’s a resurrection of everyone, but it doesn’t all happen at the same time. And we’ve already seen that to some extent. Jesus is the first fruits of those who have risen. He was resurrected. And the rest of us will follow. So there’s at least one that goes way before the rest of us.
But Revelation 20:5 indicates that there’s a first resurrection and a later resurrection.
But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
So there’s a resurrection that happens that’s a special blessed resurrection. I suppose it’s kind of like the resurrection of Jesus where he is resurrected as kind of a special resurrection of the first one that is a promise to the rest of us.
But you know the damned will be resurrected too because everyone is going to eventually be resurrected, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. That’s pretty clear. There’s going to be some who have everlasting life, some who have everlasting contempt.
Again, we saw this in Revelation. Now what’s hard for us is that even though this is explained in binary terms, if you put the Judgment Seat of Christ in there—and the reality that if we follow in sin, we put ourselves back in contempt even though we’ve been delivered from contempt—that we suffer the judgment that is reserved for people who are not believers.
It starts right here on earth because as Romans 1 says, the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against ungodliness on whoever commits sin. And the judgment in Romans 1 is God giving us what we want. And we have these appetites in our flesh that don’t change. And we have a new nature with new appetites. And these things are clashing. We all live this every day, right? And when we choose the appetites of the flesh we get the consequences of the flesh.
That doesn’t mean our new nature’s changed. It doesn’t mean we’re not justified in the presence of God because that is something we had nothing to do with. What it does mean is we’ve put ourselves back into contempt, back into slavery, back into condemnation. And we bring it on ourselves.
Matt gave us a great testimony a couple of weeks ago with his struggle with alcohol. And Matt said, “I chose this, and I’ve reaped the consequences of it.”
Does that mean Matt is not made in the image of God and a new creation in Christ? No. but it does mean that he put himself back under condemnation. He had a few troubles from it, didn’t you, Matt? Yeah, just a few, right?
And that’s the way with any sin of the flesh. There’re all the same whether it’s greed or worry or gossip or anything else. We do that to ourselves, and there’s a price to pay for that.
And then we go to the Judgment Seat of Christ. And then the Judgment Seat of Christ reveals whether our works were a bale of hay, that when we put it in the fire it burns up; or whether it’s gold, silver, precious stones, and when we put it in the fire it turns into amazing jewelry, the crown jewels.
Shining like stars
And that’s what this next verse is about.
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.
Now we’ve never seen this reward before. But think about this: After studying this, I went out in the yard last night, as I do every night, to take our dogs out. And I just looked up in the sky, and you know, it’s the same stars every night, the same stars. They change some as the seasons go, but it’s just the world changing; is not the stars changing. And that’s the picture he’s giving here.
If we are wise, we turn people to righteousness with the way we live. And what example are we being given of what that looks like? A tax collecting bureaucrat and a corrupt administration. Daniel.
If we just do our jobs, whatever it is—nursery worker, mom, government official, business person, engineer, or craftsman, retail worker—whatever it is—mom, dad. If we just do that job the way God’s asking us to do. He’s saying I’m going to take these jewels that were refined in the fire, and I’m going to put them up there where everybody sees them every night for the rest of eternity. Tada! You get that?
But, if not, then, not!
So, the way we live our lives, even though there’s no question about whose child we are, if we believe—being born into this world has no contribution by us—who we become has everything to do with the choices we make, with the perspective we choose, with whom we trust. The three things we control.
And if we do those things well, not compared to other people, but compared to what gifts God gave us. To whom much is given much is expected. To whom little is given, little is expected. God’s going to grade on the basis of what we have, not on what we don’t have.
And, if we are faithful and we are the faithful witnesses and do not fear death, loss, rejection, if we turn to him when our problems are revealed, he’s going to make us shine like a star. That’s pretty amazing.
Shut the book
But then he says, verse 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.”
Well, that certainly describes the era that we’re in.
You know, Christopher Columbus, only 500 years ago, discovered America from the Roman world. It took him two months to get over here. I looked up some “what would that voyage cost?” I got anywhere from half a million to 40 million dollars in today’s value.
And estimates are that knowledge doubled about every hundred years. Knowledge would double about every hundred years during that time period.
Well, today I looked up the flight from Miami to Barcelona. Nine hours for under 400 bucks! Many are going to and fro. You can travel in this world amazingly.
Not only that, knowledge today is increasing, doubling every year. Not every hundred years, every year. And with all the advent of artificial intelligence, estimates are that soon it will be doubling every 12 hours.
We now have artificial intelligence where the computers are reading all the research and compiling it and making applications. And when your doctor wants to know some kind of cancer diagnosis, they pull up something on the computer, and they’ve got the latest research already digested by Watson. It’s crazy what’s going on. And we’re really at the very front end of that.
So it certainly could be this era.
And he says, “Shut this up. People aren’t going to really understand what this looks like until that era.”
Verse 5. Then I, Daniel, looked; and there stood two others, one on this riverbank and the other on that riverbank.
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?”
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.
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, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.
“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.
Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five 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.”
End of book.
Times, time, and half a time
So, what is time, times, and half a time? Well, we’ve already seen this. We’ve already seen this in Daniel. In Daniel 7:25 this phrase shows up. And we’ve gone through this before in the Revelation series. But real briefly, if you look at the time, times, and half a times in the context that that’s in, that certainly seems to be the second half of the 70th week, which we know is 42 months or 1260 days.
Blessings if you wait
So then the question is, well then why are we blessed if we wait until 1290 days? That’s 30 days more than all the Revelation times? So you have to wait an extra month. And then you’re really blessed if you wait another 75 days which is 1335 days.
So what happens in that 30 days, and what happens in that 75 days? Well, you already know what my answer is going to be, right? It doesn’t say. It just says we’ll really be blessed if we wait that long. I think what that’s telling us is don’t start ticking it down and say, “Okay, I only have to be faithful until this point.”
And we tend to do that, right? We tend to do that. Okay, my parenting’s over now. I’m a grandparent, so I’m going to spoil these kids rotten so when I hand them back to the parents, it makes it really a lot harder on the parents, and I’m getting them back. I’m abusing my own children and my grandchildren.
Why do we think that way? No, we don’t check out. We have a different role to play, but it has the same goal.
I want my kids to grow up and be able to make wise choices and have understanding. If they make bad choices, that’s up to them, but I want them to know how to make wise choices. Why? I want them to shine like the stars of the heaven.
Many shall be purified
And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
Verse 10. Many shall be purified—
This word purified is really interesting. It’s also translated chosen. It’s also translated clearly or manifest or condition.
In Ecclesiastes 3:18, it says, I said in my heart, “Concerning the condition of the sons of men, God tests them, that they may see that they themselves are like animals.”
This is condition. And so people are going to have a condition that they are white. They’re going to be shown to be pure, like these stars. And how do they get there? They get there from refining.
We see this word in several places.
Judges 7:4. But the Lord said to Gideon, “The people are still too many; bring them down to the water, and I will test them—Same word.
I want to make sure that we’ve got the right people that are set apart to stand with you against hundreds of thousands of soldiers, and only 300 of them have the courage to hold up nothing but a lamp in the middle of the night.
I’m going to choose these people. I’m going to test them. And we’re going to do that at the pond.
2 Samuel 22:31 As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven.
This is the idea that you’re tested and shown the quality that you are.
In Nehemiah we see this same word that’s translated goldsmith. So someone that takes ore and turns it into something pure.
That’s what difficult circumstances do. Amen? They demonstrate who you really trust. They show, what perspective are you going to choose? Are you going to choose a perspective that says I need to be in control here, or are you going to choose a perspective that says I know God has it for my best? It doesn’t make it stop hurting, but I know that that’s true. And you start working through that.
You know, the best way—this is psychology now—the best way to change your mind is by acting. If you start taking action on something you believe, even if it doesn’t feel right, your mind starts merging with what your actions are.
Obedience is actually the path to change who you trust. All these things, all these choices act together. And that’s what’s going on here.
So Daniel, he was refined. His friends were refined. They were tested. They were purified.
And he tells him at the end, “You’re going to have an awesome inheritance.” You. This is an interesting word here. It’s translated in most places lot. Like when Israel came and they said we’re going to divvy up the land, and they cast lots. That’s this same word. Your assigned portion.
See, all of us, we have a job to do. God has already assigned us a job. And what we’re doing is determining whether we’re qualified. Are we going to go to our training and get into that job?
You know, Dave did a really great job earlier with the fiery trials of boot camp. And the guys who wouldn’t do boot camp can’t take their assigned job in the army. Even though it’s nine weeks. They go from boys to men in nine weeks. Why? It’s because they give them fiery trials so they can prove their capability. And that’s what is going to be happening here in the end times.
But this principle applies to us now. We know that from the rest of the scripture.
Daniel was faithful all his life
So Daniel, a man who went through fiery trials, multiple phases of his life. He was faithful as a teenager. He was faithful as a young man. And he was faithful as an old geezer. He was faithful in Babylon. He was faithful in Persia. He was faithful when he was high, like the third ruler in the kingdom. He was faithful when he was over the magicians. And he was faithful when he was outcast and nobody, and he was just sitting on the sidelines.
No matter what his lot, he said, “I will trust God, and I will continue to trust God.” And he even prayed. He did his things that he did normally even when his life was at stake.
Well, we know that he’s going to have an inheritance. For me, I don’t know what my inheritance is going to be. I don’t know how big my hay bale is. I don’t know how many jewels I have. But what I do know is it’s not finished yet. Whatever it is, it’s not finished yet.
This, I think, was pretty much at the end of Daniel’s days. It’s kind of like Paul. I kind of know what my life has amounted to at this point because I know it’s about to end. My life’s been poured out like a drink of water.
Our lives are still in front of us as far as we know. So what are we to do? Well, just keep on being faithful. Don’t fear death. Don’t fear rejection. Don’t fear loss. And if we do, then there’ll be an inheritance for us. And we will shine like the stars in the heavens.
Isn’t that a cool thought?
Thanks for listening to our series, A Study of Daniel. Everything we face in life is a call to courage. Those who take up the cause of character and serve The Kingdom of God faithfully are victors in the end. Join us as we continue to pursue the truth of God’s Word in our next series: Exile & Return.