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Daniel 12 (Part 4 of Michael the Prince)

...continued from Daniel 11:40-45 (Part 3 of Michael the Prince).

Close of Probation & Time of Trouble

Daniel 12:1 KJV: And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for 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 [malat], every one that shall be found written in the book.

NASB®: Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.

The words "at that time" indicate that the time of trouble will begin near the time when the King of the North comes to his end in verse 45.

We now see, for the first time, a king that will stand for God's people. The sweeping review of history through the lives of key rulers in Daniel 11, has shown countless struggles for power, mistreatment of God's people and violence against God's covenant. All of this now culminates in the arrival of a final ruler. Michael is the star of this entire prophecy. One final struggle is portrayed and then He brings all strife to an end.

Those who are delivered, are delivered because their names are found written in the book of life ("every one that shall be found written in the book"). This takes us back to Daniel 7 when the court scene was shown, judgment was set, and the books were examined. The judgment was the same event portrayed in Daniel 8 as the cleansing of the sanctuary, which began 2300 years after the decree to restore Jerusalem in 457 BC. This event began in 1844, when the court was seated, and now it ends when Michael stands up ("Michael stand up") after the names in the book are finalized.

This time of trouble is the worst the world has ever seen. It is the time of God's wrath when it is unmixed with mercy. The Spirit of God is finally withdrawn from the unrepentant and the earth descends into chaos and unrestrained evil activity. This is also the time of the seven last plagues. Christ protects His people during the plagues and He returns to earth during the 7th plague to rescue His people ("thy people shall be delivered").

Second Coming

Daniel 12:2 KJV: And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

The many that are resurrected refers to the 1st resurrection (Rev. 20:5-6). The righteous dead are raised to life (1 Thess. 4:16-17) to join the righteous living in ascending to meet God in the air. They are raised to "everlasting life". There is also a special resurrection for the unrepentant who pierced Him (had a hand in Christ's death on the cross), who will briefly live in order to see him coming in the clouds of glory (Rev. 1:7, Matt. 26:64, Mark 14:62). This latter group is raised to "shame and everlasting contempt".

Daniel 12:3 KJV: 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.

Christ and the saints ("wise") rule forever. The wise shine, reminding us of the bright white clothing that the righteous wear in Revelation, which means that Christ's righteousness is lived out within them. The righteous who spread the gospel are here portrayed as stars, just like in Daniel 8, Revelation 1 and elsewhere, where stars are messengers.

Daniel 12:4-7 KJV: 4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. 5 Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river. 6 And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? 7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.

Full understanding of the prophecy would not occur ("seal the book") until sometime after 1798 ("time of the end"). But then, many will study and search ("run to and fro") the Bible and knowledge of the prophecy will increase ("knowledge shall be increased").

One of the heavenly beings asks to know when that would occur. The other being states that it will occur after the 1260 years of persecution of God's people. As seen in multiple other prophecies, that time period began in 538 and ended in 1798.

Daniel 12:8-13 KJV: 8 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? 9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. 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. 11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. 12 Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. 13 But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.

Daniel doesn't quite understand and asks the same question. The heavenly being then explains it again, describing the time of persecution, but this time, providing another time frame that also points to the same "time of the end".

This time, the description is in relation to the 1290 days of the abomination of desolation. Earlier we saw that the abomination of desolation was set up in 508 AD when the armies of the Franks "surrounded" the sanctuary. They did this by forming an official partnership with the Papacy that set up a substitute system of priestly mediation on earth that obscured Jesus' ministry in the heavenly sanctuary. The date of 508 AD, plus 1290 years ("1290 days"), brings us to 1798 AD, the same date in which the 1260 years ended. Both dates point to the beginning of the "time of the end".

For those who continued on for 1335 years ("1335 days"), there was a blessing. In starting at the same time as the 1290 years, in 508 AD, and adding 1335 years, we come to 1843. The book was sealed (not fully understood) until the time of the end (1798), after which the prophecies would begin to be fully understood. Those who participated in studying and an increased knowledge of the prophecies from 1798 to 1843 discovered many prophetic truths. By 1843, there was a large group of people who came to the conclusion that Jesus would come in 1843. They were overjoyed to proclaim this wonderful message. John, in Revelation 10, describes this as eating a book (understanding it) and it being very sweet. The book was later bitter in their stomachs and they were told to prophesy again (Rev. 10:8-11). In fine-tuning their understanding, they finally settled on October 22, 1844, but were greatly disappointed (bitter in stomach) when the Lord didn't come. In spite of their mistake in what even was taking place, the Advent believers proclaimed the judgment message and ushered in the judgment time period (the cleansing of the sanctuary in Daniel 8:14), which began in 1844. This was similar to the mistake the disciples of Jesus made when they assumed He would be made an earthly king, but were disappointed by His death. But, just as the disciples regrouped and spread the message of Christ's resurrection, the Advent believers regrouped and began to preach the soon return of Jesus ("prophesy again"). There was a special blessing for all those who participated in the judgment hour message and became part of the resulting movement ("blessed is he that waiteth") (see more details on this movement in the prophecy in Revelation 10).

Daniel's writings, portions of which were sealed until the time of the end, would be completely unsealed sometime after 1798 when Daniel's words were destined to bear his testimony ("stand in thy lot") and be preached throughout the entire world.

Time Line

Prophecy timeline of Michael the Prince in Daniel 10-12
(click on image to enlarge)

Additional Resources:

Daniel 10 (Part 1)
Daniel 11:1-39 (Part 2)
Daniel 11:40-45 (Part 3)
Michael the Prince (interactive presentation)

Continue to the next study: Revelation