Daniel 12 – The vision of the end times

This is a bible class talk that I wrote for the 4th of April, reproduced here for anyone who may find it useful.

Introduction

Our subject this evening is Daniel 12. The climax of the life of Daniel – one greatly beloved – when he is blessed to see a vision of: the resurrection from the dead, the salvation of his people. and the suppressing of the great apostate river and the bounding of it’s overflowing flood waters. And to Daniel one of the greatest moments of his life as Yahweh gives him that comforting answer of peace, that he will surly stand again in the resurrection to dwell in the the land of promise, in his own portion, in the inheritance of his fathers. What a blessing to a brother who has suffered so much!

Gabriel’s answer to Daniel’s prayer

When we come to look at Chapter 12, we find that it is in fact the final part of a greater vision spanning chapters 10 to 12; a vision that Gabriel gave to Daniel in answer to his prayer in Chapter 9. So before we look at Chapter 12, let us take a step back from the detail and quickly remind ourselves of the events leading to this most wonderful prophecy and what it meant to Daniel.

Chapter 9 is in the first year of Darius. So these events are just after the taking of Babylon by Cyrus the great, in BC. 539 (Chapter 5). By diverting the river Euphrates Cyrus’ entered Babylon through the now dry river bed and slew Nabonidus (Belshazzar). Yet Cyrus, apparently having little interest in Babylon gave it as a gift to his Uncle Cyaxares – and he ruled Babylon, with the title Darius, until his death 2 years later [1]. In exchange Cyrus was given Darius’ daughter in marriage with the Median empire as her dowry, for he had no heir.

It was at this time of transition from the Babylonian head of Gold, to the era of the Medo-Persian breast and arms of silver, that Daniel understands the prophecy of Jeremiah.

Dan 9:2 In the first year of his (Darius’) reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.
3 And I set my face unto Adonai THE Elohim, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:

It would be two years until the 70 years captivity was up, yet in anticipation Daniel pours out his supplication before his Father. Praying earnestly for: a return to the land like as the turning again from Egypt (verse 15); the restoring of Jerusalem (verse 16); and the rebuilding of the temple once again (verse 17) – “for the city and the people are called by thy name”.

Yet this was not to be, the time was not yet ready, the measure of wickedness not yet full (:24). There was yet to be another falling away, and another captivity. This was fulfilled in the sweeping Romans invasion and the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70 “the end thereof” was “as a flood”. Take special note of the word “flood”, we will see it again… think of Noah.

Gabriel was sent bearing the seventy week prophecy, to endow Daniel with “skill and understanding” in the matter; yet it would not be until two years later when Daniel would truly understand the words of Gabriel.

At about this time, and I would suggest not long after, the events of Chapter 6 take place. Darius, at the behest of the jealous rulers of the kingdom is tricked into declaring a 30 day moratorium on petitioning anyone except himself, under threat of being cast into a pit of Lions. Yet Daniel continues to pray 3 times a day to Yahweh, one of them may have even been the prayer of Chapter 9. Darius, with much protest, yet bound by the law of the Medes and the Persians cast Daniel into the den of lions… and we know the rest.

Yet this is not just a nice story to fill some pages, the most high ruleth in the kingdom’s of men, nothing of his WORD is left to chance, not one jot nor tittle is vacuous. Daniel was being shown in parable the outworking of what he had learnt from Jeremiah. For Daniel, along with the people of Judah, had been in den of the Babylonish lions for 68 years. And just as Daniel himself was released from the den of lions by Darius, so it was to be that at the decree of Cyrus, Judah would be released and return to the land.

The time is now BC. 536, two years after the taking of Babylon. Cyrus having deposed Darius, reigns over Babylon. It is the 3rd of Aviv (or Nisan), exactly a week before passover. Daniel, now in the 70th year was still expecting the promised Messiah – the Prince – to come with a “mighty hand”, coinciding with the passover just one week away; to lead his people, just as Moses. To gather them to their land again, and set up the throne of his father David once again.

And with a week to go, Daniel finally “understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision”. His utter joy at the prospect of Yahweh once again joined to his people, is shattered to pieces at this realisation. He morns and fasts for 3 whole weeks! Instead of eating unleavened bread for 7 days, he eats nothing!

Brethren and Sisters… we are now living in the time Daniel thought he was living in. Are we as excited to see prophecy being unrolled before our very eyes. Are the words on these pages alive to us? do we care so much about these things that we well up with emotion as we search out and begin to understand? Do we love Yahweh our Elohim with ALL of focus, action and strength…

After 3 whole weeks of mourning, on the 24th of Aviv, Daniel is again strengthened by Gabriel with a most wonderful vision – the vision of the end times spanning chapters 10 – 12.

The vision of the end times

Brethren and sisters, right now we are in the month Aviv. Today is the 4th of April in the Gregorian calendar, but in the Hebrew calender it is the 24th of Aviv… Daniel received this vision exactly 2,549 years ago – to the day! Through this vision Daniel was shown the events from his day up until the time when messiah the prince WILL come with a “mighty hand” to save his people.

The vision starts in chapter 10 with the introduction of the two main symbols – the river Hiddekel and the man of oneness clothed in linen standing on the river. The river Hiddekel is described as the river “which goeth toward the east of Assyria” (Gen 2:14), and so represents the flowing peoples of the Assyrian Empire and the successive Empires that follow it: represented by the Image of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. While the united man, symbolises the multitudinous body Yahweh Elohim; angelic in nature until the return of our Lord, at which point it become a body raised of the Adamic dust of Abraham.

Chapter 11 then provides remarkable detail of the flowing and ebbing of these empires over the Earth, Israel. From the time of Daniel right up to our time now.

Chapter 12 describes the standing again from the dead and the millennial subduing of this Assyro-Babylonian river.

Michael the Great prince

Now lets look at Daniel 12 in more detail.

Dan 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands upon the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

Michael means, “who is like unto Ail”. In Hebrew, this could be ether a question, or a statement; yet both are just as appropriate in this context, for the angel here represents the multitude who are “as Ail”.

The concept of being as “Ail” or “Elohim” is introduced by the angles of the garden in Gen 3:5 – “For Elohim doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be – AS Elohim – knowing good and evil”. We have experience of the Good through eyes lightened by his word, we see the gracious hand and loving care of our father. And yet, as the natural seed of Adam, we daily experience the evil in the frivolous lusts of our mortal bodies of flesh; no matter how much we fight we cannot remove the lusts of our bodies – the flesh is never satisfied. Yet we must fight to control it using the sword and shield of the word.

This theme of Michael, or being as or like Ail is continued in the new testament in the first epistle of John and chapter 3:

1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be LIKE HIM; for we shall see him as he is.

By seeking our father we will get to the point where we see him as he is, and showing our faith BY our actions… we are becoming LIKE HIM. Yet it is more than that… we are counted as Elohim now!

John 10:33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself a God.
:34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?

This is a quote from Ps 82:6, “I have said, Ye are Elohim; and all of you are children of the most High. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes”. Mortal Israel constituted as Elohim. Continuing in John 10…

John 10:35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
:36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?

Brethren and sisters we are now constituted Yahweh Elohim, Elohim that are born of Abraham, Elohim of Isaac, and Elohim of Israel. As the children of Abraham we will do the works of Abraham… and manifest in our lives that “worthy name by the which ye are called” (James 2:7).

Though we are still mortal in body, and “die like men”, and yet we should be becoming Elohim in mind, an example to others by our actions; manifesting the characteristics of our Father…

2 Thess 1:12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The first characteristic of our father is rachem רחם, translated mercy in the AV… but in the Hebrew means to womb. As a mothers womb: protect, feeds and warms her unborn baby, so should we act likewise to each other.

1John 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat… loveth him also that is begotten of him!
:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

We should never be frustrated with what is happening to us.

Yahweh Elohim stand up

Back in Daniel 12, and the first verse, “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands upon the children of thy people”. There are two standings in this first verse: the first a single standing up which happens at a single point in time, the second standing is an ongoing standing.

The standing up of Michael is something we all long. For just as the standing of the first Adam from the dust, so the body of the second Adam will be raised from the Abrahamic dust/sand of promise.

Dan 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to the life of the Ohlam (MillenniumApoc 20:4 shows that “…they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years”), and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
3 And they that be WISE shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

We have before us the realisation of those promises made so long ago, the core of the hope of Israel to which we have been grafted in. “And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth:” (Gen 13:16).

Very soon we will watch these “dust” particles awake from their sleep… or in the words of David:

Psa 113:7 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill:
8 That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people.

Here the role of the stars are alluded to, they are princes or governmental leaders. And as commanded from the beginning, they shall “give light upon the earth” – the restored kingdom of Israel (Gen 1:15).

In 1 Cor 15 and verse 40, the same theme of earthly and heavenly bodies is picked up. This time instead of the dust we have the corn, and the celestial or heavenly bodies are further subdivided:

1 Cor 15:41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.

The identity of these fiery orbs are revealed when compared with Joseph’s dream: Christ is the sun, his newly wed bride is the moon, and the 12 stars are the 12 tribes.

Made white

Continuing the theme of the Wise and the Wicked, please come with me back to Dan 12,

Dan 12:10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

The wise shall be made as stars, but they shall also be made white. This is picked up in the Apocalypse:

Apoc 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

In verse 14 was have the explanation:

:14 …These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Again this is another theme which runs the length and breadth of scripture. From the Lamb slain from the foundation of the World. A careful reading of 2 Peter 3 describes 3 such “worlds” or constitutional eras – each with their own lamb. There is the Antediluvian (or pre-flood) world which was founded on the blood of the lamb slain in the Garden of Eden, by which the first Adam and his wife were covered of their nakedness. There is the Mosaic era, which was founded on the blood of the passover lamb, and partially enacted by the death of Moses.

Finally, in the words of Hebrew chapter 1, the mosaic heavens and earth waxed old and were replaced with a new heavens and earth. An earth founded upon the blood of Christ, to which all the others looked forward. And like the first lamb of the Garden, as part of the body of the second Adam our nakedness, our nature and the lusts thereof are clothed by Christ’s sacrifice. We are hid with him, through the waters of baptism we put on Christ, we are clothed by him – thereby constituted part of the household and Elohim (mighty ones).

This should teach us to be aware of our bodies and the lusts that continually prompt us. Are we quick to anger; jealous of others; proud, thinking ourselves more than we ought? We should be fighting even the smallest of tendencies, guarding our minds and protecting our tongs. Let us keep our garments clean and wash ourselves to the changing of our characters by the reading, understanding of his life blood – his perfect example preserved in the gospels.

The wise shall understand the times

Coming back to Dan 12 and verse 10, “…but the wise shall understand” – the time periods of this chapter. They were, verse 9, sealed up “till the time of the end”, but now is that time of the end and we can now understand the words. While it is difficult to say with any certainty that we have the time periods right, there seems to me to be only one sensible combination.

A plain reading of verses 11 to 13 does not make sense. For verse 13, at the end of the time period Daniel will “stand in his lot”… which requires the resurrection. Verse 11, seems to suggest the start period as “the taking away of the daily”; the destruction of the temple in AD. 70. Yet if this is the case then both time periods finished around 600 years ago with no resurrection – this cannot be. Joining both time periods gives a date of 2089, which again does not seem to fit with the events around us, nore the other time periods in Daniel. This may be the correct date, but I sincerely hope not.

In the original Hebrew text, there were no punctuation marks, no verses, and no vowels – just consonants. Modern texts have these placed in by Jewish tradition, and while on the whole they make sense… sometimes they do not. The chapter would seem to make more sense if we put a full stop halfway through verse 11, just after “set up”.

[NOTE: I’m not entirely comfortable doing this, so please take the following with a pinch of salt. If anyone has a better solution to the problem please let me know…]

Then read it as, “the wise shall understand from the time the daily shall be taken away”. It was only after John received the book of the Apocalypse in about 95 AD that we can be sure of the duration of the “time, times and a half” in verse 7. By comparing the time period in Apoc 12 which is expressed in two different ways: first as “a season and seasons and half a season” (:14), and then as “a thousand, two hundred, and sixty days” (:6). By which we know, a time or season is a Jewish lunar year of 360 days. A time, times and a half then is: one year, two years and half a year. 1260 day years using the day for a year principal set out in 2 Pet 3:8 – “one day is with Yahweh is as a thousand years”.

Taking this period as starting from the time the vision was given BC. 536 brings us to AD. 724. From this date, if we add 1290 and 1335 days respectively brings us to AD. 2015 and AD.2061. Or if instead we take the start date as the fall of Babylon two years earlier, then we come to AD. 2013 and AD. 2059.

By this account, the resurrection is at most 2 years away… followed by a jubilee period of 50 years until the kingdom of Israel has been fully restored, with the greater David sitting on his throne in Jerusalem.

Whatever the actual time remaining, it is certainly not very long. Are we prepared brethren and sisters? The greatest question we can ask ourselves is do we love Yahweh our Elohim with all our heart? …or do love ourselves more, striving for the things of this life. We are called to be kings and priests of the world to come, are we learning the ways of our father in preparation in the short time remaining to us?

Stands upon the children of his people

Now lets go back to the first verse and look at the second standing.

Dan 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands upon the children of thy people

Notice the Hebrew is stands (an ongoing action), and it is upon – not for – the children of thy people. This is Christ with his bride, now called “the Great Prince” or Tzar צר, the commander of a military force, he is no longer the Nagid נָגִיד of chapter 9 – a prince in waiting – he has been given charge to put all things in subjection under him. Speaking of this time, Moses at the end of his life, prophecies:

Deut 33:2 Yahweh came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them

To understand the nature of the standing upon the children of Israel we need to look at Isa 6, and 1 Chr 20

Isa 6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also Adonay sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
2 Above it stood the Seraphim: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

Briefly then, for lack of time, when we compare this with the events of 1 Chr 21 where David numbers the people. Yahweh sends an angel to smite Israel, many died throughout the whole of the land. Then Jerusalem is smitten, and while there is yet a remnant Yahweh calls the angel to stop.

1 Chr 21:15 And the angel of Yahweh was standing with the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.

This is the exact location of the future temple, the same vision as Isa 6. The Seraphim are standing above the temple after having gone throughout the camp slaying the wicked at the hand of the Assyrian and later Babylonian armies – the lion phase of the kingdom of Men. So while it is a vision of the purging of Israel & Judah by the Assyrian in the time of Uzziah, it is also looking forward to a like invasion by the latter day Assyrian.

Isa 4:4 When Adonay shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.

By the hand of the Russian confederacy, Yahweh will purge Judah, ready for the wonderful role they will play as head of the nations.

[For a more on this see Isaiah 6 – the Seraphim: burning ones]

Later day Assyrian flood

This theme runs at basis of the vision in chapters 10-12. The river Hiddekel represents the peoples of the kingdom of men which the Cheravim and the Seraphim utilise to flood Israel. The waters of the river are equated with the doctrine of the Apostasy, and the medium that carries it.

Jer 2:18 “…what hast thou to do in the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the river?”

The river was not created by Yahweh, but allowed to be… Yahweh does not cause apostasy, but does bind and unbind the people that carry it to fulfil his purpose – for example “Babylon hath been a golden cup in Yahweh’s hand” (Jer 51:7).

The river is first mentioned in verse,

Dan 10:4 And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel;
5 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz:

Chapter 11 describes in intricate detail the seasonal flooding over the land of Israel, ending in one final pre-millennial flood which is quashed by Michael.

Dan 11:40 And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.

Dan 11:45 And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him

Having brought down the flood the hooks in their jaws, Michael will then stand on it – turning the once turbulent flood waters into a tranquil see of glass. Christ is then called a man of rest, or Noah, from the torrent of enemies surrounding him.

Psa 29:10 Yahweh sitteth upon the flood; yea, Yahweh sitteth King for ever.
11 Yahweh will give strength unto his people; Yahweh will bless his people with Shalom

Brethren and sisters, these events are soon to come to pass. We can almost hear the footsteps of our beloved in the distance, how beautiful are he feet coming on the mountain tops – come to remove oppression and set up a righteous rule on this Earth.

Psa 147:1 Praise ye Yahweh: for it is good to sing praises unto our Elohim; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.
2 Yahweh doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel.
3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.
4 He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.
5 Great is Adonay, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.

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