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Bible Commentaries

Wells of Living Water Commentary
Daniel 12

 

 

Verses 1-13

The Time of the End

Daniel 12:1-13

INTRODUCTORY WORDS

It is most interesting to discover the far-flung visions of prophecy, as told by the Spirit through the Prophets. These men of old, searched diligently as to the time, or manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was upon them did signify, when He testified beforehand of the sufferings of Christ, and of the glory that should follow.

We are sure that, from Enoch down, the Prophets had more comprehension of the world conditions which would immediately precede the Lord's Second Advent, than have many who are living in the very hour of prophetic fulfilment.

Enoch did not hesitate to prophesy, saying, "Behold, the Lord cometh, with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment upon all."

David, time and again, in the Spirit, foretold of the antichrist under such titles as, "The bloody and the deceitful man"; "The man of earth"; and, "The wicked one." He foretold his final overthrow with the subsequent enthronement of Jesus Christ.

Isaiah, in the Spirit, wrote with no uncertain sound, of the end times. He also outlined the story of the coming antichrist; of his final destruction, and of the enthronement of Jesus Christ. Speaking of the last days, Isaiah said, "It shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall punish the hosts of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth." He added, "Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of Hosts shall reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem."

Jeremiah foretold the utter wasting of Jerusalem. His lamentations are the cries of one who wept for the things which he foresaw would fall upon his people. Jeremiah also saw the day of Israel's restoration, and the time when the Branch of Righteousness would grow up unto David, and execute righteousness and judgment in the land.

Ezekiel by the same Spirit described the end times. He also described the restoration of the twelve tribes under one king as they dwelt safely, inhabiting their possessions. Ezekiel even foretold of the rebuilding of the Temple by the Lord.

Hosea and the Minor Prophets, in line with the Major Prophets, described the day of Israel's restoration in their restored kingdom. The truth is that the Minor Prophets, one after another, foretold, in minutest detail, the conditions of the end time. Chief among these is the Prophet Zachariah, who described so graphically the final great battle of Armageddon. Then he wrote of Christ, "His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east." He also said, "The Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with Thee." Again, he said, "And the Lord shall be king over all the earth."

Perhaps, the Book of Daniel stands before us as a peer in the line of prophetic revelation. Daniel was a man beloved of Jehovah. Unto him the Lord told His secrets of the end time, and then commanded him to seal up the Book until the time of the end.

You will be interested to observe seven outstanding statements concerning the last days, which are recorded in Daniel's prophecy and which we will develop one by one.

For our part, we merely suggest that the signs of the Lord's imminent Coming, are many. We read in Hebrews that we should not forsake the assembling of ourselves together as we see the day approaching. We may not know the day wherein the Son of Man cometh, but we may know the times and the seasons; yea, we may see the day approaching. Certainly, we are not in darkness, that that day should overtake us as a thief.

"Oh, the King is surely coming, and the time is drawing nigh,

When the blessed day of promise we shall see;

Then the changing 'in a moment,' 'in the twinkling of an eye.'

And for ever in His presence we shall be."

I. WHAT SHALL BE IN THE LATTER DAYS, AS MADE KNOWN TO NEBUCHADNEZZAR (Daniel 2:28 )

Nebuchadnezzar had a dream and then forgot it. He demanded of the wise men of Babylon to make known unto him his dream, and the interpretation thereof. Because they could not, he ordered them slain. Daniel asked the King to allow him to seek from the God of Heaven the revelation both of the dream and of its interpretation.

When, at last, Daniel stood before Nebuchadnezzar, he said, "There is a God in Heaven that revealeth secrets and maketh known to the King Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days."

Nebuchadnezzar's dream included a colossus with head of gold, chest of silver, belly of brass, legs of iron, and feet part of iron, and part of clay. Nebuchadnezzar, also, in his dream saw a stone cut without hands from the mountainside, which smote the image upon its toes and brake it into pieces.

In interpreting this dream, Daniel outlined four world-empires, the Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, the Greeco-Macedonian and the Roman. The ten toes were to be ten kings that should be upon the earth, partly strong, and partly broken.

In the days of the ten kings, the God of Heaven was to set up a kingdom which should never be destroyed. As the stone from the mountainside smote the image, so Christ, the Stone, was to smite the nations, and break in pieces and consume those kingdoms.

How remarkable that now, after 2300 years have passed we are facing the reformation of the old Roman Empire. One strong political leader is not slow to emphasize this very thing as his objective. Others are discussing the United States of Europe.

This all means that, before our very eyes, the latter days made known to Nebuchadnezzar, are now upon us, and the King of kings must soon come and reign upon the earth.

"Lo! He comes with clouds descending,

Once for favored sinners slain;

Thousand thousand saints attending,

Swell the triumph of His train;

Hallelujah!

Jesus comes, and comes to reign!

Every eye shall now behold Him,

Robed in dreadful majesty;

Those who set at naught and sold Him,

Pierced and nailed Him to the tree,

Deeply wailing.

Shall the true Messiah see."

II. WHAT SHALL BE UNTO THE END DANIEL'S FIRST VISION (Daniel 7:23-28 )

The vision which God gave to Daniel was not different from the vision which came to Nebuchadnezzar, so far as its interpretation is concerned. Daniel's vision, however, revealed certain things not seen in Nebuchadnezzar's vision. The nations in Nebuchadnezzar's dream were likened unto a great image, with head of gold, chest of silver, etc. When Daniel dreamed, in the visions of his head, the nations were likened to a lion, and a bear; to a leopard, and to a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible. The fourth beast had ten horns and there came up among them another horn.

The ten horns were the same as the ten toes of Nebuchadnezzar's image, and they represented ten kingdoms which are destined to arise in the last days, embracing the old Roman Empire. The little horn that grew up, had eyes like unto the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.

Daniel beheld until the thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days did sit. Then he saw in the night visions, one like the Son of Man coming with the clouds of Heaven, and He came before the Ancient of Days, and there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a Kingdom. This vision again carries one back to the stone cut without hands from the mountainside, which likewise became a kingdom and filled the whole earth.

Daniel was grieved and troubled and desired to know the interpretation of what he had dreamed. God's Holy One told him that the four beasts were four kings, which should arise out of the earth, but that, ultimately, the saints of the Most High would take the kingdom and reign for ever.

Daniel was told that the little horn which came up and spake great things, would make war with the saints and prevail against them until the Ancient of Days delivered the kingdom to the saints. That little horn was to speak great words against the Most High. He was to wear out the saints until a time, times, and the dividing of a time. All of this prefigured the coming of the antichrist. However, his end was to come, for judgment was to sit, and his dominion was to be taken away. Once more we have a vision of the end times, with the antichrist, the man of sin, prominent in the kingdoms of men.

Now redemption, long expected,

See in solemn pomp appear!

All His saints, by men rejected,

Now shall meet Him in the air:

Hallelujah!

See the day of God appear!

Yea, Amen! let all adore Thee,

High on Thine eternal throne;

Saviour, take the power and glory,

Claim the kingdom for Thine own!

Oh, come quickly!

Hallelujah! come, Lord, come!

III. THE TIME OF THE END IN DANIEL'S SECOND VISION (Daniel 8:17-19 )

In the third year of King Belshazzar, Daniel, in a vision, saw a he-goat with two horns pushing westward, northward, and southward. He noticed that the he-goat came from the West, covering the face of the whole earth. The goat had a notable horn between his eyes. He observed until the he-goat was very great, and the great horn was broken; and in its stead four notable ones came up. Out of the four, came forth a little horn which waxed exceeding great, even to the host of Heaven. He even magnified himself to the Prince of the Host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and he cast the truth to the ground, and practiced and prospered.

As Daniel considered the vision and sought for its meaning, there stood before him the angel, Gabriel, who said, "Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision." He said also, "Behold I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be." This is the interpretation Daniel received. The ram with the two horns were the two kings of Media and Persia, The rough goat was the king of Grecia. The great horn was the first king. It, being broken, four kingdoms stood up out of the nation, but not in the power of the first king, Thus far the interpretation is simple. The Medo-Persian kings were Cyrus and Darius. The king of Grecia, was Alexander the Great. At his death, the kingdom was divided into four parts and given to his four generals.

We now pass on to the end times. Then, when transgressors are come to the full the little horn shall arise. He will be a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences. He will be energized by power Satanic, and will destroy wonderfully, and prosper, and practice against the holy people. He will even magnify himself in his heart and stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.

Once more the end times are pictured under the reign of the antichrist. Once more the antichrist is to be overthrown without hand, that is, by the forthcoming of Jesus Christ in His Second Advent. Then with the brightness of His Coming, and with the breath of His lips, will He destroy the one who exalted himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped.

IV. THE LATTER DAYS AS SEEN BY DANIEL IN HIS THIRD VISION (Daniel 9:26-27 )

Whatever may be said of Daniel, he humbled himself before the Lord and sought to know the meaning of his vision. In answer to his prayer, Gabriel came to give him skill and understanding. In Daniel 9:24-27 , is a vision given by Gabriel in which the whole purpose of God toward Israel is briefly outlined. The vision is under a period of seventy weeks. A week was a "heptad," and stood for seven years.

In our brief time we can not go deeply into any of these visions. All we can do now is to speak of the Prince that shall come. This One is the same as the little horn in Daniel's first vision, and, the little horn in his second vision. He is the antichrist who is to wear out the saints. For "unto the end of the war, desolations are determined."

This antichrist will confirm a covenant with many for seven years. In the midst of the seven years he will cause the sacrifice and the oblations to cease, and for the overspreading of abomination, he shall make desolate until even he himself is consumed.

It is very vital in these days to mark how the world is preparing itself to receive the antichrist. Jesus Christ came in His Father's Name and they received Him not. When this man of sin comes in his own name, him they will receive. We are not dogmatic about it, yet, somehow or other our heart tells us that the antichrist is now on earth. He will not be revealed until after the rapture of the Church; however, that rapture must be near. We have been asked time and again if we think that the outstanding political character of Italy is the antichrist. We dare not say, "yes," for we do not know; and yet, many of the outstanding prophetic visions of the antichrist are plainly seen in this man of wonder, who with iron hand has already brought Italy out of its labyrinth of difficulty, and is even now seeking the reestablishment of the Roman Empire. Many words which have fallen from the lips of this man are akin to the words which the antichrist is destined to speak.

Of one thing we are sure. We are rapidly heading toward the times of the end.

Though once cradled in a manger,

Oft no pillow but the sod;

Here an alien and a stranger,

Mocked of men, disowned of God:

Long Thy exiles have been pining,

Far from rest, and home, and Thee;

But, in Heavenly vesture shining

Soon they shall Thy glory see.

With that "blessed hope" before us,

Let no harp remain unstrung;

Let the mighty ransomed chorus

Onward roil from tongue to tongue.

V. THE LATTER DAYS AS SEEN IN DANIEL'S FOURTH VISION (Daniel 10:14 )

In this vision the angel came to Daniel with the greeting, "O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee." Unto Daniel he said, moreover, "Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days : for yet the vision is for many days."

Afterward the angel said, "I will shew thee that which is noted in the Scripture of truth."

The 11th chapter of Daniel should be connected with the words we have just read. Inasmuch as Daniel 11:2 says, "Now I will shew thee the truth." In this chapter the history of the nations is given in a marvelous detail. Finally, in Daniel 11:35 we read, "And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed." Then, with these words stated, the description is made of a king who will do according to his will, who will exalt himself and magnify himself above every god; and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished.

Once more we are facing the end times, when the antichrist will stand prominently before us. We are told that he shall not regard the God of his fathers, nor any god; but magnify himself above all. At the time of the end, the king of the South shall push at him: and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind. The antichrist, thus troubled, goes forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away with many. He shall plant his tabernacle between the seas, in the glorious holy mountain. This of course refers to Jerusalem as the place of his abode. Mark, now, these words, "Yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him."

In each of Daniel's visions the same antichrist, or his colleagues, are set forth; the same characteristics concerning him stand forth, and in each vision he comes to his end and overthrow.

VI. SIGNS OF THE END TIME (Daniel 12:4 )

After the angel had given Daniel his last vision, we read his commission to Daniel, "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 increase."

We are sure that all will agree that the expressions, "unto the. end," "at the time of the end," "in the latter days," "to the time of the end," refer to the same period of time, the closing days of this age and the end of the tribulation.

In our key verse we learn that Daniel's prophecies would be a sealed Book unto the time of the end. Then, many would run to and fro, and knowledge would be increased. Who can doubt that we are now dwelling in those very days? Certainly many are running to and fro. The swiftly moving trains; the multiplication of autos; the fast steamships, and the hurrying aeroplane, all bear witness to this. Knowledge is increased. The daily newspapers filled with telegraphic communications from the end of the world; the manifold usages of the radio, and the ever-increasing stream of literature flowing from the modern printing press, all bear witness that knowledge is increased.

We believe, however, our verse has a deeper meaning. It is the knowledge of Daniel's vision, of the Lord's Coming, and of the end time scenes, which will usher in His Coming: the knowledge of these things is increased. The sealed Books are now open, and men are running to and fro, sounding the midnight call, "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh."

In Daniel 12:8 , Daniel said to the angel, "O my lord, what shall be the end of these things?" Once more the response is given, "Go thy way, Daniel, for the Words are closed up, and sealed till the time of the end." Then follow these remarkable words: "Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly."

Once more the end times are vividly described. God is calling out from among the nations a people purified and made white. At the same time, evil men and iniquity, abound. The "wise," as our verse plainly states will understand; the wicked will not understand.

After these words the angel's message to Daniel, closes in a most striking way. "Go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days." This last verse in Daniel, connects the "end times" with the "resurrection of the righteous dead" and with their "standing in their lot," when the Lord comes. Words could not be plainer. Those who sleep in Christ, will God bring with Him. Their dead bodies shall rise, and together with the living in Christ, will they meet the Lord in the air; afterward they will return to reign, standing in their lot, with Christ, upon the earth.

My heart is filled with singing,

And my lips shout the refrain:

The blessed Lord of Glory

Is coming back again,

My fingers seek the lyre,

My heart bursts out with praise

I may see my blessed Saviour

Ere the ending of my days.

The purified are many,

Made white they faithful stand,

While knowledge is increasing

And sweeping ev'ry land.

Great multitudes of people

Are running to and fro.

And so my Lord is coming,

Is coming soon, I know.

AN ILLUSTRATION

ALL ALIKE

The judgment to come. It was my sad lot to be in the Chicago fire. As the flames rolled down our streets, destroying everything in their onward march, I saw the great and the honorable, the learned and the wise, fleeing before the fire with the beggar and the thief and the harlot. All were alike. As the flames swept through the city it was like the judgment day. The mayor, nor the mighty men, nor wise men could stop these flames. They were all on a level then, and many who were worth hundreds of thousands were left paupers that night. When the day of judgment comes there will be no difference. When the Deluge came there was no difference; Noah's ark was worth more than all the world. The day before it was the world's laughingstock, and if it had been put up to auction you could not have got anybody to buy it except for firewood. But the Deluge came, and then it was worth more than all the world together. And when the day of judgment comes, Christ will be worth more than all this world more than ten thousand worlds. From Moody.

 


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Neighbour, Robert E. "Wells of Living Water Commentary on Daniel 12:4". "Living Water". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lwc/daniel-12.html.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, July 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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