Final Mysteries Unsealed
What we have referred to as the “fourth” vision of Daniel that began in chapter ten, now reaches its grand climax in chapter twelve with its prophecies about the Great Tribulation, the resurrection of Old Testament saints, the sealing of prophecy until the time of the end, and the abomination of desolation. Everything we have studied to this point has been prologue to the magnificent conclusion of Daniel’s prophecy.
We begin chapter twelve with references to Daniel’s people-the Jews-and to the archangel Michael, the protector of the nation of Israel-an assignment that has already been a full-time job for him throughout the ages and, in some ways, has only just begun.
v.1 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, every one that shall be found written in the book.
v.2 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.
v.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.
While Michael has been the protective overseer of the Jews throughout their history, his work will become even more critical in the days ahead. The end-time reality for the Jews, according to prophecy, will deteriorate into something worse than anything anyone has ever witnessed in world history.
Therefore, when you and I think we have it difficult at any given moment, we must remember that the pain and sorrow we may be suffering will pale into insignificance when compared with the trials and tribulations yet to come to so many.
Jeremiah 30:7 says:
Jesus confirmed Jeremiah's prophecy in Matthew 24:21 when He said,
However, Jesus says that Michael the protector will also be there on the scene, doing battle with Satan in the heavenlies (Revelation 12:7-8). In Daniel 12:1 we see Michael “standing for the people of Israel.” Why will Michael be there? So that the Jews might be saved physically. That’s Michael’s job, and the Jews-at the time of the end-will never need his assistance more than during this time of “Jacob’s trouble”-that period during the Tribulation hour when Russia marches down to the Middle East after the Antichrist has broken his peace contract with Israel-forty-two months after the contract has been in effect.
Everything will be relatively smooth sailing up to that time, the epitome of economic and political sweetness and light, and then Bam! Everything is smashed to pieces at the midpoint of the Tribulation period (Daniel 9:27) as Russia goes up against “the land of unwalled villages … to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates” (Ezekiel 38:11). This is the beginning of the time of great persecution for the Jews as Satan is cast out of heaven, with his primary assignment to obliterate the Jewish people from the face of the earth (Revelation 12:13). For all these reasons, Michael will be there to stand up for his people, as revealed to Daniel in the first verse of chapter twelve.
Those Who Sleep Will Awake
If you are a Jewish person, I want you to know that your Old Testament teaches the promise of a resurrection, and that there will be life beyond the grave. Unfortunately, many Jews do not know that Daniel 12:2 is in the Bible. This end-time event is something one should look forward to if one has come to recognize that the expected Messiah is the Lord Jesus Christ and has received Him as a personal Savior. If you are a Gentile who loves the Jewish people, it is paramount that you share this text with your Jewish friends and encourage them to understand that there will also be a place for them during these end-time events. Here’s the scenario-and it is a critical one for us to understand in some detail.
It all begins with the resurrection of the righteous at the time of the Rapture.
v.28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, v.29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
We read in v.28 “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life.” That is the Rapture. Then v.29 “they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation,” That is when the lost are raised at the conclusion of the thousand years-to stand before Jesus Christ at the Great White Throne judgment (Revelation 20:11-15).
Revelation 4:1 says,
At this juncture, we who are believers are gone-caught away to be with Christ. This is confirmed in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 which says,
Not a Pretty Sight
At this point, the horrible Tribulation hour begins to unfold.
To those who may disagree with what I’m about to write, I would like to say this: I am only the messenger of what is stated categorically in God’s Word. These are not my thoughts, but rather the words of God taken from holy Scripture. So during this time of Tribulation, great numbers of both Jews and Gentiles will be killed for refusing to receive the mark of the beast (Revelation 13:15).
Revelation 20:4 adds:
“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.“
This is the resurrection for those who endured the Great Tribulation hour- those who were saved through the preaching of the 144,000 converted Jews of Revelation 7:4-8. Because of these faithful servants, millions of people-Jews and Gentiles alike-invite Christ into their lives as Savior and Lord. These are the ones who’ve come out of the Tribulation and who have washed their robes, making them white in the blood of the Lamb. Millions will physically survive the seven-year Tribulation period and will also be saved spiritually.
In Matthew 25:31-46, Christ returns to judge the nations and to begin His thousand-year reign, allowing those who survived the 2,520-day period to enter the millennium in their natural bodies. At this point, the previously raptured saints return with Christ (Jude 14). That’s the moment when He returns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:16). The armies of heaven follow Him to the descending Holy City-the new Jerusalem which hovers above the earthly Jerusalem-for one thousand years.
This city, containing twelve gates, honors each of the twelve Jewish patriarchs of the Old Testament by inscribing their names on the gates.
How do the Jews arrive in this scenario?
Simply answered-the resurrection of Jewish believers in this chapter, verse 2. Millions who died during the Tribulation hour, of both Jews and Gentiles, plus all believing Old Testament Jews covering a period of four thousand years, are raised to live with Christ for one thousand years, at this juncture, when our Savior returns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:16; 20:4).
These Old Testament Jews strongly believed in and looked forward to Messiah’s first and second coming and founded their faith in Him as their redeemer-based on Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22.
These resurrected Jews who lived a holy life, such as Daniel, receive rewards just as the Church did at the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 14:10; 2 Timothy 4:7-8; Revelation 4:10-11).
So whether we are Jews or Gentile believers, there will be rewards for all the faithful. Remember that all these saints assemble at this time for one reason only: to live and reign with Christ for one thousand years.
If you do not believe that Jews and Christians rule equally in Christ’s kingdom on earth, I urge you to re-study Ephesians 2:14-22 and Revelation chapters twenty-one and twenty-two, the basis for this glorious promise.
All this-although not in such detail-is what Daniel is being told in his vision.
We will conclude our study of the book of Daniel next week.
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE