Berean Bible Corner

DANIEL CHAPTER 12

This chapter forms the completion of the vision which started in chapter ten. In chapter ten we read about the hold up which had taken place and the struggle between the powers of darkness and of heaven. Chapter eleven gave us rather good historical detail and covering the same period in history as Daniel seven and eight, and which was based on the metallic image of Daniel two.

The end of Daniel eleven showed the final acts and terminal point of the king of the north which is a further development from the unsuccessful iron and clay mixture of Daniel two and which is further revealed in Revelation 13 and 17.(check with Revelation study part V). The deadly wound had been healed, Papal world influence had been revived but the nations becoming disillusioned turned against this power and burned it in the flames of fire, see Rev.17:16 and Daniel 7:11. In that manner Papal power under its symbol of King of the North comes to an end without any helper, Dan.11:45

 

This act of burning will take place in the last day of the time of the end. We have seen how this power got a deadly wound inflicted at the time of the end, Daniel 11:40; Rev.13:3. The wound would heal; the nations would give their full support, Rev.13:3; 17:13 but it all will turn out to be a great disappointment a disillusioning, turning against this power and destroying it. But it will be too late to turn to God and get into harmony with His ways and principles. Probation has been closed.

 

Daniel twelve opens with informing us what will take place in heaven at that time that is the time when this Anti-Christ papal power will come to an end. Anti-Christ means the power or system, smoothly talking in favour of Christ but in practice doing things different from Christ and thus becoming ‘Anti’ or a power which acts in place of Christ doing everything its own way in place of what Christ wants it to be.

 

Time in Daniel 12:1 is not related to a specific hour or day but a space of time or period. In the period of time as mentioned in the latter part of Daniel eleven a few other things will take place as we will notice.

 

The first item is that “Michael will stand up”. Before we deal with that we have to decide ‘who is this Michael’? According to Cruden’s Concordance we have this name five times in the scriptures.

Daniel 10:13    Michael coming to help Gabriel

10:21   Michael in the act of helping

12:1     Michael standing up from the place where he was

Jude 9              Michael in dispute over the body of Moses

Rev12:7           Michael and His angels at war in heaven with Satan and his angels

After reading these scripture passages it comes immediately to our mind that Michael cannot be any other person than Jesus Christ. But we should test this further. The name Michael means “Who is like God”. The only one like God is Jesus. He told his disciples in John 14:8-11 “If you have seen me you have seen the Father”. According to Daniel 10:13 Michael is a chief Prince, and Jude calls Him the Archangel which is similar as we find it in 1Thess.4:16 where the Archangel’s voice is associated with the voice of the Lord Himself who is Jesus Christ.

 

In Rev.12:7 we find Michael at the head of the armies of heaven in battle with the armies of Satan and gaining the victory over Satan and his angels. Who else could be victorious in such a battle than Jesus Christ? Joshua meets the same person as the captain of the host, Joshua 5:14 and he worshipped Him. Angels refuse to be worshipped, read Rev.19:10 and 22:8, 9. But Michael, the chief Prince or the Captain of the host accepts worship to Himself.

 

Our trusted Daniel commentator Dr.Bill Shea writes the following:” Michael is the Great Prince (Dan.12:1) who rules over all the heavenly host and who cares for God’s earthly people. As we know from Jude 9 and Revelation 12:7 Michael is Christ”. (Shea p.269)

 

McCready Price also equates Michael with Jesus Christ (Price p.325).  Doukhan does the same in his book, page 186. Matthew Henry commenting on Daniel 12:1 writes it is Jesus Christ the great Deliverer of Hs people.

 

The second item we notice in Daniel 12:1 is that Michael stands up. If He stands up it is evident that He must have been sitting down. We find in Hebr.1:3 and 8:1-3 that Jesus Christ is sitting at the right hand of the throne of the majesty in the heavens or precisely in the heavenly sanctuary. Christ occupies the position of Priest or High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary. He is not sitting on a chair but sits in that position. We use the same in our terminology, parliament sits or rises. Read also

Eph.1:20 and Col.3:1

 

The third item in Dan.12:1 is that Michael stands for the children of thy, Daniel’s, people. NASB reads “stands guard”, and NRSV reads “protector of thy people”. Berkely uses the word “defender of his people”, same in the French translation. We can say He is the mediator or advocate of His people, read 1Tim.2:5; Hebr.8:6 and 1John 2:1. Sitting on the right side of the Father in the heavenly sanctuary Christ occupies the position of High priest, Mediator and Advocate for His people. This is a great encouragement for true believers here on earth that they have such a representative in heaven. Believers in Christ are not left to fend for themselves but they have Jesus Christ on their side. Christ is their Michael, High priest and Immanuel, God with us.

 

Dr.Pfandl in his book on Daniel quotes the following:” Ancient Jewish writings described Michael as the highest of the angels and identified Him with the angel of Jaweh frequently mentioned in the Old Testament as a divine being. Such sources also claim that Michael was the angel who vindicated Israel against Satan’s accusations at the heavenly tribunal.” (Pfandl p.116)

 

We have learned from Daniel seven that during the time of the end a judgment would take place in heaven, a cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary and would start in 1844, Daniel 8:14. We have learned also that this would effect the saints but in their favour, Dan.7:22(NKJV).  Now according to Dan.12:1 the time has come that Michael, or Christ, can stand up from that position because this heavenly judgment has been completed.

 

The new Study Bible of Andrews University has the following foot note by 12:1 “By the time Michael stands up, the judgment process of decisions involving book/records (Dan.7:10) has ended all that remains is to administer positive and negative verdicts (Dan.12:2; Matth.25:31-46; Rev.22:11, 12)

 

The situation during that time is described as “a time of trouble as never was since there was a nation even to that same time.” Which time of trouble can that be? The great apostasy of medieval times was a time of trouble (Matth.24:21, 22). Rev.7:14 speaks about great tribulation out of which people came. This can refer to the last day one or to the whole period of sin suffering since the fall in Eden. The Greek word for great is “megas” and can be great in severity but also in length of time. But there is a time of trouble coming in the future and great in severity and of a nature as described here in dan.12:1 and will be as the nations have never seen before. We have in mind the time of the seven last plagues as described in Revelation 16.These plagues will effect seas, rivers and cause great suffering to people. The seat of the beast will be hit with great darkness, could be that at that time it will come to an end without any helper,Dan.11:45 and in the end of that period hail will come down in the weight of a talent or 75 pounds (34 Kg).  (Foot note AU study Bible)

 

At such a time Christ will have terminated His priestly ministry and puts on His royal robes to come down to earth in great power and glory with all His angels.Rev.19. The temple in heaven is closed, Rev.15:8. Then also will be fulfilled Rev.22:11. But nobody who has his name written in the book life has to fear that time Christ is still their protector, Dan.12:1 and read also all of Ps.91.

 

There is also great encouragement for those who have fallen asleep in Jesus before that time. The vision reveals a special resurrection. Many, not all like in the great resurrection of 1Thess.4:16, 17 will awake. Some for everlasting life, others for everlasting contempt or condemnation. These two groups of people awake at the same time. In the great resurrection the saints awake first and one thousand years later the unbelievers will awake, read revelation 20.

 

McCready Price writes as follows regarding this verse:” For it needs to be expressly noted that this awakening from the dust of the earth is here affirmed only of many not of all. But it is to be literally true that ‘they that pierced Him (Rev.1:7) are to see Christ when He comes with the clouds, it is evident that some of the wicked must have been raised preparatory to the second Advent, to witness with the righteous the glorious Parousia of the returning Son of God.” (Price p.328)

 

Dr.Shea writes clearly the following: “Seventh-day Adventists have taken Daniel 12:2 as reference to a special resurrection that will take place before Jesus comes. This special resurrection has been suggested because of the wicked who come up at this time also. The general resurrection of the wicked comes at the end of the millennium (Revelation 20:5-10) rather than at the Second Advent. But here is a special class of wicked identified as those who pierced Him (Revelation.1:7) who will rise first before the advent (Daniel 12:2). This will be a special group who have opposed Christ personally. Along with this special class of wicked are the special class of righteous who are resurrected at the same time. This will fulfil the special blessing pronounced upon those who have died during the giving of the three angels’ messages (Revelation 14:13).So the resurrection promise of this prophecy can be taken in both a special sense and a general sense.” (Shea p.270)

 

We add from Ellen G.White: “There was a mighty earthquake. The graves were opened and those who had died in faith under the third angel’s message, keeping the Sabbath, came forth from their dusty beds, glorified, to hear the covenant of peace That God was to make with those who kept his law. (Story of Redemption p.409)

 

Ellen G.White may refer to the great earthquake mentioned in Revelation 16:18. When Christ died there was an earthquake and a special resurrection, Matth.27:50-53 No surprise that something like that will take place when Christ returns in glory and even awhile before He is visible in the clouds in the air. The righteous ones resurrected and who had died in the belief of the third angel’s message will be taken up with Christ along with the other greater group as mentioned in 1Thess.4:16, 17 into the heavens.

 

The other group who are resurrected belonging to those mentioned in Rev.1:7, who pierced and opposed Christ severely they will have to die again and be resurrected after the millennium to hear and suffer their verdict, of everlasting condemnation, as described in Revelation 20 and studied in Revelation Part VI of this website.

 

Daniel 12:3

This is a beautiful statement regarding the reward and blessings for those who have been believers and teachers of the Everlasting Gospel and by doing so have turned many to righteousness. They are the ones who fulfilled that last word of Christ on earth as recorded in Matth.28:19, 20 Read also Acts 1:8 and Col.1:5, 6 and 23.

 

Daniel 12:4

Gabriel who has been the main communicator in Daniel 10-12 now instructs Daniel to shut up the words and seal the book even to the time of the end. For obvious reasons we conclude that this applies to that part which refers to the time of the end. We have noted the same with Dan.8:26 the vision related to what is mentioned in 8:14. Long before the time of the end people did have an understanding of the consecutive world powers but they did not understand what would take place in the time of the end. They have tried but in most cases failed and arrived at wrong conclusions even in the experience of the great disappointment of October 22, 1844 by the Millerite movement. The reformers had great insight in Biblical truth regarding righteousness by faith but regarding end time events they failed understanding. Regarding opening of the sealed book read more in Revelation 10 which can be found in the Revelation section part III.

 

We have learned from our Daniel 7 study that the time of the end started in 1798 the end of the 1260 year period of Papal Rome supremacy. Great events took place at that time, like the earthquake of Lisbon in 1755, followed by the French Revolution with the arrest and imprisonment of the ruling pope of that time and died in prison. People starting to run to and fro, study their Bibles more carefully in order to find the meaning of these things. It resulted in increased Bible knowledge especially of the prophecies of the book of Daniel, and The Revelation in combination with Daniel. Scientific knowledge also greatly increased and is still on the increase as we all know so well.. The preaching of the prophecies led to the discovery of the year 1844 and what would take place in that year. The initial awakening turned out to become a great disappointment because of a general misunderstanding what the sanctuary is meant to be in Daniel 8:14. By common understanding the people of that time believed the earth to be the place to be cleansed not the heavenly sanctuary, which was later discovered by more correct Bible study. Read again in study about Daniel 8.

 

This time became also the revival in Bible printing and distribution worldwide greatly assisted by increase of modern technology, communication and travel In many ways Daniel 12:4 has been fulfilled before our very eyes even in the 21st century where scientific knowledge is still greatly on the increase and not in the least to assist in the universally wide spreading of God’s last day message.

 

Daniel 12:5-7

Daniel describes here another vision while still being at the river Tigris, 10:4. On each side of the river he sees a man standing. Then above the river or upon the waters of the river a man clothed in linen.. We deal here with the same man as mentioned in 10:5, see study there, the man identified is Jesus Christ. He is not dressed in royal clothes, but priestly garments. One man standing on the bank of the river asks the man standing on the waters of the river “How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?” or according the NASB reading “How long will it be until the end of these wonders?” The man in linen answers with his right and left hand raised up to heaven and swares by Him that lives for ever, by the Almighty of  heaven, and is in a similar position as we find in Rev.10:5,6  further proof we deal with the same person. He swares that it shall be for a time, times and half a time and when he shall have accomplished….” What will have been accomplished we will discuss in a moment. We like to establish the fact that this time factor is the same as we find in Dan.7:25, Rev.11:2, 3; 12:13 and 13:5.All relating to the 1260 years, 538-1798, of Papal Rome supremacy. What is described as happening during that period is different but dealing with the same activity of the same ecclesiastical power. Here in Daniel 12:7 it is described as having accomplished the scattering of the power of the holy people. The ASV version reads “The breaking up of thy people.” This is similar to what we read in 7:25 the wearing out of the saints, which means persecution of the saints This is also similar to what we read in 11:33, they shall fall by the sword, by the  and by the flame and by the spoil many days This happened to true  believers and to those loyal to the covenant of God. All occurred during the time of the 1260 years, and read more in Revelation 12. Part IV of the Revelation studies.

 

For further confirmation we quote from Dr.Shea about the scattering or breaking up the power of the people: “This breaking of the power of the holy people refers to a time of persecution and must have been a prolonged and intense time of persecution to have worked this result. The only time of persecution that is described in detail in preceding chapters is the one given in verses 11:32-35.These three and half times must be connected with that persecution”. (Shea p.272)

 

Daniel 12:8-10

Apparently Daniel had heard what was spoken by the man in linen but did not understand properly and desired more information. But the answer is similar to what we learned from 12:4. The words are closed or sealed till the time of the end and that would mean as we understand it till 1798. From that time onward even into the 21st century there has been and still is great and deep study of and preaching the messages of the book of Daniel and the Revelation of Jesus Christ, the last book of the Bible included. However and most unfortunately by departing from the historicist school of interpretation and accepting in part or complete the confusing schools of prophetic interpretation, like futurism or preterism many have been led astray and are confused about the truth. It has become as foretold in Dan.8:12 the truth being trampled underfoot.

 

Then we read further in 12:10 that many shall be purified and made white and tried. This may be another reference to the time of persecution. Persecution and tribulations have sometimes a purifying effect upon the believer. Read what is written in Rom.5:3 and also in 1Pet.1:7 and in Rev.3:8 buy gold tried in the fire The Lord allows persecutions and hardships to happen for our spiritual benefit. Read also Mal.3:3 Ellen G. White writes: The furnace is to purify and refine but not to consume and destroy; God in His providence would try us to purify us as the sons of Levi, that we may offer to Him an offering in righteousness” (EGW in Study Bible p.1033)

 

The next part of 12:10 reads about the wicked that they shall continue to do wickedly. If the wicked is in reference to those who did the persecutions of the saints than it is understandable that they will not understand the prophecies of Daniel because they use the wrong school of prophetic interpretations which they themselves have instituted and will pursue their wrong doings.

 

The term wicked here in 12:10 may well refer to the same word used later by the apostle Paul in 2Thess.2:8, 9 and we quote: And then shall that wicked be revealed whom the Lord shall consume.(read more in your Bible) This is the wicked who sits in the temple (the church) as if he is God, and is the same as the little horn of Daniel 7, 8 and the King of the North in the latter part of Daniel 11. In these last writings of Daniel we find again references to that same power who did these wicked things during its medieval time between 538 and 1798. Those of you who have been studying know that this wicked power received a deadly wound but the wound healed, Reve.13:3. There will be wise who know these thing because the wise shall understand, is the last word written by Daniel here 12:10

 

The wise are the ones who do know the Lord, Jer.9:24 and Phil.3:9 also in 1Cor.4:3. It means those who are wise in Christ not wise in worldly matters. In Luke10:21 Jesus thanked his Father that it was hidden for the wise of this world but revealed to the simple, babes. The wise of Daniel 12:10 are that kind of people, Jesus is thanking His Father for, the born again people of John 3:1-5

 

Daniel 12:11, 12

Here we are informed about two time periods not mentioned before and not anywhere else. One deals with 1290 days and the other with 1335 days. We know from dealing with the book of Daniel that days are prophetic years. It means we deal with 1290 years and 1335 years, there is no reason in the text to take them as literal days. It is obvious to us they do relate directly to the 1260 period of time mentioned in 12:7. They are also given a starting point which is similar as what is mentioned in Dan.8:11. When we studied 8:11 we concluded that the event mentioned applied to the establishment of Papal or Ecclesiastical Rome which became a fact in AD538 when the last Arian tribe was conquered by the troops of the bishop of Rome. The Bishop of Rome became from there onward supreme in the Roman Empire which lasted for 1260 year till 1798. Now Daniel writes about 1290 years which gives us a difference of 30 years. Should these 30 years be added to the terminal year of 1260 or should they be placed at the beginning? When added it means we go beyond 1798 and takes us to 1828 which prophetically turns out to be a non-event year. When we use the 30 years at the beginning or make it the starting point we reach AD508 and that is a year of an important event.

 

We find that in AD508 Clovis I of the Franks becomes a Christian. He puts himself completely on the side of the Bishop of Rome assisting the Bishop in fighting Arian tribes who opposed Rome. Clovis succeeds in defeating the Visi or West Goths. Having done this he submits himself completely to the bishop of Rome, and then turns to France to organise it as a proper nation and makes Paris the capital. Ever since France has been what we call an eminent son of the Papal power until this was undone by the French Revolution in 1798. Dr.Bill Shea in his book on Daniel affirms this and so does our Belgian friend Pastor Alfred de Ligne. I did a Google search on the year AD508 and Clovis I and got plenty of confirming information. I also learned this during my school days in the Netherlands. It means we have plenty of historical information to accept AD508 as the starting year for the 1290 days/years.

 

Now we find in 12:12 that another year period is mentioned of 1335 and that people are blessed who can wait to come to that point. It should be clear that this refers to the immediate previous time period of 1290 and we have to add another 45 years to the 1290 years which takes us to 1843. What do we find in 1843? We find ourselves in the midst of the glorious Second Advent Awakening the so-called millerite movement. People are in a very joyful mood over the fact they believe in a very short time Jesus Christ will appear in glory. The great disappointment of October 22, 1844 has not yet taken place. As Daniel writes, people who will reach that time can be called blessed and blessed they were with much knowledge which before that time had been sealed. (Read more in the Revelation Part III study about revelation chapter 10)

 

Daniel 12:13

Daniel himself would not reach that time but is told to go the way of all flesh and rest till the great day of resurrection when he will stand up in his lot in the end of days. A beautiful promise for a great servant of God as Daniel was. The end of days we have not yet reached, we are close but not yet. Many of us may yet have to go the way of all flesh. But the day will come about as all have come about what we discussed in this wonderful book of Daniel. So far nothing has failed and will not fail. What will be your lot and what will be mine? This depends on our salvation relationship with God and Jesus Christ, Whom God has sent according to John 3:16 in order that if we believe in Him we will not perish but we shall inherit eternal life.

 

 

December, 2010

Pastor Jan T. Knopper

Revisited August 2013

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