Greetings all! We’ve come to our last installment in our series on Daniel chapter 12.
Have you ever experienced a time in your life where you were absolutely miserable? And your misery dragged on with no end in sight. No matter what you did, it never got better. Day after day, week after week, month after month, and even year after year… your misery level never abated. You cried out, “When will this end? I can’t take this much more.” You wondered if this was your life now… just misery. You couldn’t see an end to it. There was no light at the end of the tunnel. Everything was bleak.
Now consider this. What if while you were going through your time of misery, you knew when it would end? You could actually point to a certain time and know that’s when all the misery would cease. Undoubtedly, your time of misery would be so much easier to endure.
The end in sight… that’s what we’re going to discuss in this last post of our series on Daniel chapter 12. The heavenly messenger actually told Daniel how long this time of tribulation would be! Though their time will be difficult to endure, they’ll know just how long they will have to endure it. They’ll have an end in sight. Want to learn more? Keep reading.
DANIEL CHAPTER 12
Fourth in a Four-Part Series
By Karen Thompson
The Power of the Holy People Shattered
Dan. 12:5 Then I, Daniel, looked; and there stood two others, one on this riverbank and the other on that riverbank. 6 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?” 7 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.
Daniel saw two men appear on either side of the river bank and they were in a conversation with a man dressed in linen who was above the water. One man asked the question, “How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?” The man above the waters answered, “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.” We learn this time of unparalleled stress would last for a time, times, and a half, which means one year, two years, and one half year. This is referring to the last three and one-half years of Daniel’s 70th week, also known as the great tribulation.
The man dressed in linen then made a disturbing statement. He said this period of unparalleled stress will come to an end only after the “power of the holy people has been completely shattered”—meaning Israel’s power is shattered. This is an extraordinary statement. It is Israel’s power and strength that makes her feared among the Middle Eastern nations. A nation’s power being completely shattered can result in only one conclusion—the enemy has overcome them. We know from the book of Revelation that this happens when Antichrist kills the two witnesses and sets Jerusalem on fire (Rev. 11, Rev. 17:16). That is when Israel’s power is completely shattered.
Daniel Seeks for a More Specific Explanation
Dan. 12:8 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.
I think verse eight is interesting. Daniel is basically saying, “I heard what you said, but I don’t understand what you’re saying.” Daniel wants to know. This is a big event and he wants as much information as possible. So he tried a second time to get more clarification: “O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?” In verse nine, the messenger turned down Daniel’s request for more clarification and says, “Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.” This is the second time in this chapter that Daniel was told the words are closed and sealed for the end times.
In verse 10, the messenger made note that Israel will have two groups of people—the righteous and the wicked. These two groups have always existed in Israel. There will be those who will go through this experience and be made pure by it and “made white.” The word “white” is a reference to being pure. All the residents in heaven wear white, and it is the color of righteousness. In fact, one of the rewards for those who endure the great tribulation is white clothing: “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment…” (Rev. 3:5). When it says many will be “tried,” it’s referring to when someone goes through a trial of life; how they react will determine their outcome.
Verse 10 continues: “but the wicked shall do wickedly….” Everyone is Israel will go through this trial, but not everyone will respond to it in the same way. Some will come out the better, meaning they will turn to God. But many will not; this experience won’t change them at all. They will continue to do wickedly. And in this case, the meaning of wicked is to be outside of God, to not turn to God during this great trial. They are the rebels that will be purged.
And then the last part of verse 10 says, “and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” The wicked refers to someone outside of God. To be outside of God, is to be in the dark, not understanding what is happening. The wise will understand, meaning the righteous will know and understand what time they are living in.
Three Lengths of Time
Dan. 12:11 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.
The information in verses 11 and 12 is intriguing. These verses have to do with the length of time these things will occur. Verse 11 says from the time the daily sacrifice is taken away and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, it will be 1,290 days. This is intriguing because the book of Revelation gives us the number 1,260 days… twice actually. Revelation tells us the length of days the two witnesses will prophesy will be 1,260 days: “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth” (Rev. 11:3). Also, 1,260 is the length of days the Jewish people will dwell in the wilderness when they flee Jerusalem: “And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days” (Rev. 12:6).
Then in verse 12, the messenger talked about another number saying, “How blessed will be anyone who waits and arrives at the 1,335 days.” So 45 days after the 1,290 days, a very positive thing will happen but we’re not told exactly what it is. However, Daniel 9:24 hints as to what that might be in the 70-weeks prophecy: “Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.” Perhaps it will have something to do with “anointing the Most Holy”; whatever that will be, no one knows.
Let’s put together all the different numbers of days in order. The day that Antichrist breaks the covenant in the middle of the seven-year period will start the countdown to three very significant events being fulfilled.
- After 1,260 days, at the end of their ministry, the two witnesses will be killed by Antichrist and their bodies will be left to lie on the street. It’s at this time that Antichrist and his allies burn Jerusalem to the ground. It is also the number of days the Jewish people will live in the wilderness after they have fled Jerusalem when Antichrist invades.
- After 1,290 days (and 30 days after the death of the two witnesses), the reign of Antichrist will have officially come to an end. After Antichrist and his allies kill the two witnesses and burn Jerusalem to the ground, they then gather at a place called Armageddon to do battle with the Messiah. I’m assuming this takes place 30 days after they destroy Jerusalem.
- After 1,335 days (and 45 days after Antichrist meets his end), something very positive will happen. We don’t know what happens after 1,335 days because all verse 12 says is “Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.” We just know it’s something that will be a blessing.
For the Jewish people who will be living during the time of the great tribulation, there will be no need to wonder when the unparalleled time of stress will come to an end. God has told them exactly the length of time they must endure. Knowing the exact number of days will help reduce the trauma of the events by giving them a pin-pointed time they can look forward to and know that it will come to an end.
The book of Daniel ends with verse 13 giving Daniel a bit of instruction: “But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.” The angelic messenger basically tells Daniel to carry on “till the end be.” When he says “the end,” I believe he’s talking about the end times. He said to Daniel, “for thou shalt rest,” meaning he will go to sleep… as in he will die and be buried.
I like the NIV translation for the last part of the verse: “…at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance” (NIV). When the angel tells Daniel, “You will rise to receive your allotted inheritance,” he’s referring to being raised from the dead in the great resurrection!
This concludes our study of the book of Daniel.
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