DANIEL 10-12 (4-B)

(Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4)

Part 4 – Deliverance!

4-A: Deliverance!
4-B: The End of the End
4-C: Summary and Bibliography

4-B: The End of the End (12:5-13)

12:5-6 Then I, Daniel, looked; and there stood two others, one on this riverbank and the other on that riverbank.
        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?”

After a long session of listening to and recording the words in chapters 10 and 11 of the angel (Gabriel most likely), the scene changes, and Daniel finds himself interacting with some other heavenly beings. Two angels have appeared, one on each bank of the Tigris River, and, hovering above the river, “the man clothed in linen” – probably the same Person who appeared at the beginning (in 10:5-6) – which is a good signal that the prophetic message is coming to its conclusion.

One of the angels asks the man clothed in linen how long will last “the fulfillment of these wonders”. Another translation puts it a little differently, “How long will it be until these shocking events are over?” (NLT) – referring to this “time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time.” (12:1) Truly, it will be a time of “wonders”, but for those caught in the middle of it all, it will seem more like a time of difficulty, chaos, and trouble. And for this reason “the man clothed in linen” goes on to give assurance by revealing the exact details of how long the “time of trouble” will last.

12:7 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.

“Time, times, and half a time.” This time span, we can safely assume, is 1,260 days. The two passages of Revelation 12:6 and 14 use both terms to describe how long will last the Woman’s (the people of God’s) sojourn in the “wilderness”. And here it tells us how long the “time of trouble” mentioned in verse 1 would last. Other Scriptures express it as 42 months, the same length of time. (See Chart below for details.)

For God’s people who are living during this most difficult and final era of the present Age, this will be priceless information and a great comfort – to know exactly how long it will take before they “shall be delivered”, that rescue is on the way, and their hardships will soon be over. (12:1)

And it is a solemn promise; “the man clothed in linen” raised both hands “to heaven and swore by Him who lives forever.” The closing era for this Age of history is a matter of utmost importance, both to us human beings and to the Creator who is engineering it. And in His concern for those who will be living at that time, He wanted complete clarity as to how long it would last. For in the next phrase we learn that it will be a most difficult time for God’s people.

“When the power of the holy people has been completely shattered.” In our world today, God’s people enjoy a certain amount of liberty and in many countries are able to carry on their activities without too much interference. There is, nevertheless, growing intolerance towards faith in a Higher Power. Secularized societies, such as in China and in many western countries also, are steadily marching towards banning the expression of religious belief and forcing religious institutions to close down. Here is one excerpt among many that could be included regarding the situation in China:

Religious leaders [in China] are now expected to spend more time extolling the CCP and Chinese President Xi Jinping personally than they do seeing to their flock. In some churches, icons of Jesus or Mary have already been replaced with portraits of Xi. (from The Chinese Communist Party is Scared of Christianity)

But if we decry China for its treatment of the people of faith, then we must also decry what the Christian nation of America is doing: robbing the world of its wealth for decades and destroying nations in the process. Because of this wayward disobedience to godly values, God can no longer protect America from her enemies and from being swamped by the rising China-Russia combine that seems destined to take over the economic and political reins of power in the world. This is a big subject and is covered more thoroughly in the series of posts about Revelation 17-18 and in the posts Who are the Two Superpowers of the End and Which Two Territories?

During that final 3½ years, the shutdown of religious expression of any kind will be as thorough as possible in the totalitarian regime that is to come. The only religion allowed will be Materialism, which will tie in directly with worship and adulation of the world’s final demagogue.

“The power of the holy people.” This phrase likely refers to material power – wealth, position in society, buildings, and so on. For mainstream Christianity and other mainstream religions, the persecution will be devastating; they will be “completely shattered”. This final era will see the rise of one known as the Antichrist, called in 2Thessalonians 2:3-4, “the man of sin… the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped.” To enforce the secular worship of himself, he and his government will outlaw all forms of religious worship.

Nevertheless, although the powers of Darkness have control over the material realm, they are helpless against the mighty spiritual power of God. And in those days, there will be great manifestations of that power through God’s earthly agents, who are known in Daniel 11:32-33 as “the people who know their God” and “shall be strong, and carry out great exploits”, and as “the people who understand” and “shall instruct many”. (Also referred to in Revelation 11:3-12.)

12:8-9 Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, “My lord, what shall be the end of these things?”
        And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.”

Daniel, the ever inquisitive prophet, isn’t satisfied and wants to know more about this final era. “Is there more you can tell me about this ‘time, times, and half a time’ business?”. In answer Daniel gets a repeat of what was said earlier in verse 4, that the prophetic message is meant for the “time of the end”. But then, perhaps in deference to Daniel’s curiosity, the angel divulges a bit more information.

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

Gabriel had spoken earlier on this same point about the benefits of difficult times: “some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white.” (11:35) This End of the Age era will be a time of great polarization. “The wise” who “understand” will be made better through the purifying effects of this time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time.”

But those, whose pride is blocking them from humbly receiving the truth, can never understand. They don’t “get it”, as we say nowadays, because they don’t want to. As a result the difficult times will harden them even further. Along with the Beast who “opened his mouth in blasphemy against God” (Revelation 13:6), they will continue on in their folly, evil deeds, and ultimately, rejection of and rebellion against the Most High.

12:11-12 And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.
        Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.

The arrival of the “abomination of desolation” into the Jewish “holy place“ signals the start of the Great Tribulation – an event that Jesus Himself stipulated would happen shortly before His Second Coming. (Matthew 24:15,21; Mark 13:14,19) (Regarding what is meant by the “abomination of desolation”, see this series of posts.) 

Then the passage gets a little puzzling. “The man clothed in linen” has just declared that the “time of trouble… shall be for a time, times, and half a time” (12:1,7) – or 1,260 days, as explained above. At the end of this time period, God’s people would be “delivered” in the First Resurrection. Matthew 24:29 states that immediately after the tribulation… He shall gather together His elect” – which should mean that as soon as the 1,260 days run their course, the “elect” will be gathered into the Celestial Realm.

The same is suggested in Revelation 11 where we learn that the “two witnesses”, after prophesying for “one thousand two hundred and sixty days… ascended to heaven in a cloud.” (11:3,12). And also in Revelation 12, where we learn that the Woman (God’s people, the “elect”) “fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days” – after which time, presumably, they “shall be delivered” by being translated into the Heavenly Realm. (12:1,6,14)

From all this, we may conclude that on the Woman, on the Two Witnesses, on the Elect is bestowed the privilege of being spared from having to endure the final period of Indignation, the total destruction of the old world – the world system, from which they, during their lifetimes, had fought so hard to disentangle themselves.

So it seems clear enough that the end of the 1,260 days marks the time of deliverance for the “elect”, those “who follow the Lamb wherever He goes”, those who were not deceived by “false christs and false prophets”. (Revelation 14:4, Matthew 24:24)

They followed Christ’s exhortation, “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:36) (For more information about the Elect, see the post 144,000 and the Great Multitude, Who Are They?”)

Being “gathered together” at Christ’s first appearance spares the “elect” from any hint of having to experience the final Indignation. But with that privilege comes also responsibility; for the “elect” are like the vanguard who have gone ahead to prepare and lead the way for the rest of the family of God.

It seems then that Christ used that word “immediately” in reference to the deliverance of the Elect. But the statement in verse 11 that there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days” from the date of the “abomination of desolation’s” entry into the temple suggests that the process does not finish right at 1,260 days. That is, there may be other deliverances that are not so “immediate” but will come later for other groups of worthy souls.

Since the time span of 1,260 days (“time, times, and half a time”) was meant to indicate a waiting period, then it seems natural that the same theme carries on for the 1,290 and 1,335 days. They’re waiting periods for those who, although not part of the “elect”, are worthy of deliverance nonetheless. Could this then be a key to understanding the puzzle of what these extra time spans are for?

(By the way, there is another waiting period of 2,300 days, mentioned in Daniel 8:14. For information on that, see here in the Daniel 8 post.)

No doubt, the dramatic appearance of Christ in the clouds of heaven will cause a great deal of soul-searching among Earth’s inhabitants.

Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.
The sun and moon will grow dark, and the stars will diminish their brightness.
The LORD also will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; the heavens and earth will shake…
(Joel 3:14-16)

This prophetic passage from the Old Testament seems to capture the reality of how it will be at the time of Christ’s Second Coming – a time of decision for all those left in the Earth.

So then, what about these folks who, for whatever reasons, are not among the Elect, but who are worthy nonetheless? We might compare them to the thief on the cross, who turned to the Lord in his final hour of need. And sadly, there will be others – like the other thief who “blasphemed Him” – who will curse God in that final hour. (Luke 23:39-43)

Those who are not looking to God at this time will rebel and side with the regime of the Antichrist and False Prophet. They will take matters into their own hands, even to the point of thinking they can protect themselves by battling against the forces of Heaven. No doubt, many of them will be rounded up in the Battle of Armageddon and sent, either to Hades or the Lake of Fire, to receive further correction.

This may be speculation, but following are some thoughts about the meaning of these extra time periods, mentioned in Daniel 12:11-12.

First of all, from Daniel chapter 9, verse 27, we read that at the end of the “70 weeks” – that is, at the end of the final half-week (3½ years or 1,260 days) – “that which is determined shall be poured upon the desolate”. This seems to indicate that the beginning of Christ and the saints’ reign in the Earth starts with a period known as the Indignation.

Gabriel, a few years earlier, had told Daniel, “Look, I am making known to you what shall happen in the latter time of the indignation” (Daniel 8:19) And he goes on to describe the rise of “a king… having fierce features, who understands sinister schemes” whose “power shall be mighty”, by which “he shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people.” But his end comes when he tries to “rise against the Prince of princes”, at which time “he shall be broken without human means.” (8:23-25) Here starts that part of the Indignation when Heaven in the Person of Christ Himself manifests its anger against the Beast, the Antichrist.

The Book of Revelation in chapter 16 offers more detail about this end of the End era. It describes a series of Plagues that are poured out on the Earth – for three reasons it seems: 1) as a wake-up call for those left behind who need it. They have seen Christ and are probably aware of the Resurrection of the Elect and are willing and ready now to turn to God, or return back to God as the case may be, 2) as a judgment for those left behind who deserve it. At the sounding of the 7th Trump, which signals the start of the final Plagues, we read, ”the time has come to destroy them that destroy the earth”. (Revelation 11:18) It is the time of Indignation, when Christ Himself enters, in the Battle of Armageddon, to defeat the Antichrist and False Prophet and their armies, 3) to bring an end to the works of this present world – Great Babylon, the world city system. (Revelation 16:19)

1,290 Days

Regarding the 1,290 days, the fact that it is mentioned by the angel right after the 1,260 days, suggests that the two dates might be connected, and so both can be applied to that time when God’s “people shall be delivered”. (12:1). So in this view, the Resurrection is a sort of multi-stage process.

Right after Daniel’s question, “What shall be the end of these things?” (12:8), and before the 1,290 days announcement (12:11), the angel told Daniel that “many shall be purified, made white, and refined.” (12:10) Could it be that much of this purification takes place during those 30 days?

Those who did not know about the Messiah but were in what we might call the “pre-Christian” stage, now having seen Him, will be convinced and will turn to Him. As for those who once knew the Messiah but later turned away, even though they may not have been gathered at the same time as the “elect”, they will not be forgotten but will still get resurrected by the end of the 30 days.

Earlier in this chapter, we recall that “many of those whose bodies lie dead and buried will rise up, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting disgrace.” (12:2-3) If both “those who are wise” and “lead many to righteousness” and the ones who bring “shame and disgrace” are raised at the end of the Tribulation, then it seems likely that the ones “immediately” gathered together – the ones who are called the “elect” – should be raised first.

It would be hard to imagine that those who brought “shame and disgrace” would be allowed to arrive at the same time with them. It was written about the “Marriage Supper of the Lamb” that “His wife has made herself ready.” (19:9,7) They “follow the Lamb wherever He goes” and “are without fault before the throne of God.” (14:4-5) “These are the ones who have the victory over the beast” and have come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (15:2, 7:14)

Well, that might explain what this waiting period of 1,290 days is for – to give a little extra time and opportunity for the many worthy folks who were in a state of limbo, who, on seeing the Son of Man, turned to Christ wholeheartedly…. and became worthy of being gathered to Him in the Heavenly Realm.

Jesus Himself said, “the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out… And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:37,40) This could include quite a wide variety of folks. The same is implied in Daniel 12 about God’s people who “awake” in the Resurrection and include “those who are wise” and “turn many to righteousness” as well as those who bring “shame and disgrace”. (12:2-3)

Certainly, for many of Earth’s people, the sight of the Son of Man in power and glory will be a sort of “crash course”, and many who were in limbo will turn to Him in that day. The “elect” have already “washed their robes” during the Tribulation. (Revelation 7:14) But for many, could it be that their time of purification happens during these 30 days leading up to the completion of the 1,290 days? As a result they too will be ready to become part of the great “harvest” that is to take place at the End of the Age. (Revelation 14:15)

Well, that is a possible way to understand this mysterious extra time span, coming after the 1,260 days when the “Tribulation” comes to an end for the “elect”. For it is conceivable that many, having seen Christ in His glory, will “mourn” (Matthew 24:30), be convicted, and make the heroic decision to refuse to give any more of their allegiance to the Beast and his system.

1,335 Days

So then, what about the 1,335 days? Again, this is speculation, but it should be safe to say that this time span is another waiting period, probably for a different group of folks. And it points to the timing of their rescue and honor. At this point in Earth’s history, many will face the decision of whether or not to get pulled into the Antichrist and False Prophet’s new world order and battle plans. They may not have thought much of Christ before, but now in their new role as conscientious objectors, draft-dodgers, “anti-Antichrists”, they will have proven themselves worthy.

It will be difficult for them during this time of the Indignation – not only because of the Plagues that are to come then, but now, with the “elect” out of the picture, the Antichrist will have more control. And the propaganda will be thick – pictured in Revelation 16:13-14 as “unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon… the beast, and… the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.”

The world’s final anti-Christ leader will go far in his rebellion. Not only will he shatter the power of the holy people (12:7), but “he shall even rise against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without human means.” (8:25)“Without human means” refers to the supernatural intervention of the Battle of Armageddon (described in Revelation 19), which will do away with the forces of Darkness that have plagued the Earth since time immemorial. For not only will the armies and forces of the final Antichrist be destroyed, but the Dragon also and his angels will be sent to their place of imprisonment in the Nether Realm. (Revelation 20:1-3)

So at this end-of-the-End era in Earth’s history, there will be great destruction and upheaval. And that is what it takes sometimes for people to be willing to turn to God. It is also a necessary step in God’s plan to re-build the world during the Millennial Age; the works of the old world must be destroyed in order to make way for the new.

And for the people of the world, as long as everything is going fine, it is human nature not to feel much need for God. Many an unbeliever has testified that they would never have turned to God until some kind of disaster struck them in some way. If there is ever a time to choose God’s way, to look to Him for salvation, it’s when all the props are gone and there is nothing else left – as it will be during this period of Indignation. Many, however, will reject: “the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand.” (12:10) However, God has done everything He can to bring them to their senses, but still they reject Him.

 In the midst of the Plagues, the Lord offers encouragement to those who, although having to live through that difficult era, choose the path of righteousness: Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.” (Revelation 16:15, NKJV). In the midst of all the madness and chaos of those days, the Lord encourages those who turn to righteousness, who refuse to join in the mad chorus of those who, instead of doing some soul-searching, blame all their troubles on God or on the resurrected saints. Those who must live through the Indignation, once they come to the 1,335-days’ mark and have still kept their “garments” (probably meaning they have resisted the anti-Christ world order) will be “blessed”.

And this seems to tie in with the statement in verse 12, “Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.” (12:12) This phrase “blessed is he who waits” likely comes from a frequent expression in the Old Testament – used for those times when God was encouraging His people to trust and wait for His salvation, especially during times of difficulty.

The “elect” have already been gathered “immediately after the tribulation” (Matthew 24:29), so this 1,335 days is not referring to them. But many who had no idea of what was going on in the Spiritual Realm, after seeing the Lord in “power and great glory”, will refuse to get swept up in the tide of the Antichrist and False Prophet’s blasphemous tirades against the Messiah and those who left the Earth. (Revelation 13:6, Matthew 24:31) They will turn to the Lord and to righteousness.

Although they were left on Earth – they have to “wait” in other words – they did not give in to bitterness and hatred towards Christ and the saints who were raised. And thus, they proved themselves worthy during this time of Indignation. And so they are “blessed”.

 How they will be “blessed” is not so clear right now. But certainly, they will be remembered and honored for choosing not to be influenced by all the propaganda and for refusing to join the Antichrist and False Prophet’s battle against the armies of Heaven. For one thing, they will escape the Lake of Fire, and who knows what else may lay ahead for them? Most likely, they will be able to enjoy a new life in the future golden Age of the Millennium.

 And it should be safe to assume that this 1,335 days marks the end of the Plagues and the Battle of Armageddon and the start of the new Age of the Millennium. We might gather this from the discussion in verses 6-12. The question in verse 6 about the “end” resulted in an answer (verse 7) that related to the “time of trouble” for Daniel’s “people” (from verse 1): “time, times, and half a time” (or 1,260 days). Then in verse 8, Daniel asks for clarification about “the end of these things”. He uses here a different Hebrew word for “end” which seems to mean “after-part” or “extreme end”. Other translations use the word “outcome” (NIV, ESV) . And one even says, “How will all this finally end?” (NLT) And the answer that is received in verses 11-12 about the 1,290 and 1,335 days seems to give us that last bit of extra information for what we might call the “end of the End of days”.

That there are many folks left behind who refuse to worship the Beast can be seen in what is written about the first Plague: “the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.” (16:2) This would imply that there exist people in those days who don’t have the Mark (because they don’t worship the Beast), and as a result would not be afflicted with that “foul and loathsome sore”. What’s interesting here is the fact that, even in this short era of the final Plagues, there is consideration and protection given to those who are starting to turn to the Light of God.

For in the midst of these Plagues, after the great gathering-together of the saints (the Rapture), apparently many will decide to break away from the world system and its rulers. As stated in verse 10, “many shall be purified, made white, and refined” “purified” in the fires of persecution (which had already been the experience of the saints during the Tribulation) and “refined” of whatever compromise or unbelief they had previously harbored.

Towards the end of this era of the Plagues, there will come a time of great deception when “spirts of demons”  are sent to gather whoever’s left in the Earth to do battle against the forces of Christ. (Revelation 16:13-14) These will be days of decision for whoever is still left behind in the Earth. And those who choose wisely will be rewarded.

Well, those are some suggestions – only suggestions, not assertions – about the meaning of these mysterious extra time periods of 30 and 45 days coming after the 1,260 days.

What does seem certain about these time periods is that 1) during them the Plagues of God’s Judgments will be falling on the world, 2) it will be a time of decision, when many will turn to righteousness, and also, when many will become more hardened of heart, and 3) they inspire hope among the righteous of those days that their seemingly endless struggle against evil will come to an end.

As time goes on, especially as the hour approaches when it will be needed, the meaning of these mysterious time periods will, no doubt, be easier to comprehend.

12:13 “But you, go your way till the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days.”

Daniel was told in verse 9 that “the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.” And again, the angel is reminding him that there would be no point in trying to understand the message; it was meant for a distant future time and wouldn’t start to make sense or even be needed until then.

Daniel’s work is finished, and probably it was not long after this that he was called home to “rest” and to receive his Heavenly reward, his “inheritance” – which would come at the “end of the days”, which sounds like a vague reference to the “days” mentioned already by the angel.

Daniel was a great example of faithfulness and dedication to God, and we can admire him for that. But let us not forget that countless numbers of persons have exhibited the same faithfulness and dedication during their earthly lives.

Daniel, having been called at an early age, and coming from a cultured and educated background of faith, was well outfitted for the important job God had called him to do. Like Moses or Joseph and the other patriarchs, he had, we might say, a high profile; and he lived up to what God had called him to do. But so have countless others, who are not well known, or even unknown, in God’s Hall of Fame.

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~ END ~

Go to 4C: Summary and Bibliography

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