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The Believer's Response to Last Things

Staying Faithful in a Faithless world  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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God will deliver His people

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The tribulation period will result in the persecution of the faithful ()

Explanation: The content of the vision that began in 11:2 actually continues until 12:4. The last verses of chapter 11 dealt with the time of the end from the perspective of the antichrist. The first four verses of chapter 12 deal with the same time period from the perspective of God’s people. Daniel is told that the archangel Michael will arrive to become involved in the conflict and will fight for the nation of Israel.
The time period of what is known as the Great Tribulation will be 3 1/2 years. This is in keeping with the 2nd half of the 70th week as described in and the same time is referenced in the 12th & 13th chapters of Revelation. While Jesus does not use a time period, the language He uses in the Olivet Discourse to discuss the time of trouble () is almost identical to .
Even with the assistance of Michael, the effects of the Tribulation on the Jewish people will be horrific. [not just the Jews, but for any believers who are on the earth during that period]. Other OT prophecies reveal that 2/3 of the Jews alive at the time will be killed (). The remnant will be purified for the Lord’s service.
Argument: It is difficult for us to understand why God would allow for such a time as what will one day arrive. This, is due primarily to our insufficient view of the holiness of God and the severity of our sin. Regardless of our understanding, this is how God has decreed the final days.

There will be a Resurrection for both the just and the unjust (Daniel 12:2)

Explanation: God reveals to Daniel the truth of the Resurrection. Although the doctrine is more fully developed in the NT, this truth is the clearly set forth in this passage. Daniel is told that at the time of the end, and if context, after the deliverance, there will be a physical resurrection from the grave. This resurrection will affect both the righteous and the unrighteous. But for both classes of people, their destiny is eternal. The term “everlasting” is used for both.
Argument: Many believers have an incomplete understanding of the Resurrection. They believe that when a believer dies, he or she immediately receives the new body. While it is true that a believer is transferred directly into the presence of Jesus at the time of physical death (; ); the resurrection body is not given until the last trumpet sounds () and prior to the Millennial Reign ().
The passage in Revelation teaches that the unbelievers are not resurrected until after the 1,000 year reign () so they can appear before the White Throne for judgment (). When Jesus taught on the Resurrection, He also divided the Resurrection into two classes (), one class to the Resurrection of Life and the other class to the Resurrection of Judgment.

Those who are wise will serve as messengers of the Gospel (Daniel 12:3)

Those who are wise will serve as messengers of the Gospel

Explanation: Daniel is now told the mission for the people of God. The response of the people of God to the news of future Tribulation and persecution is to be about the business of the King. Not all of ethnic Israel were devoted to Yahweh, but those who were in Yahweh’s service would be living faithfully and looking forward to Messiah. This remnant is those who have shined their light in the darkness, and they are called wise. They are the ones who have been used of God to bring others out of darkness so that they too could shine as the righteous of God.
Argument: Since the time of the return from the Babylonian Exile, God has had His remnant of faithful men and women serving Him. From Zerubbabel to John the Baptist the truly wise have spent their lives telling others of the Coming of the Messiah. And when Messiah came to the earth during His First Advent, He taught the same thing: the wise would shine their lights in the darkness for the Glory of the Father (). The apostle Paul continued this emphasis for the believers; the wise follower of Christ will shine in darkness () and serve as a royal ambassador for Jesus ()
Application: Just as Daniel’s duties were clear, so are ours. We are to live in faith and Serve the Lord Christ by telling others the good news of the Gospel.

God has preserved His Word and it will stand forever ()

Explanation: Daniel is told to “shut the book and seal it” as a means of preservation. This does not mean that this particular vision is to be sealed or shut off from that generation because the means of understanding were not available. Such an understanding believes that this message will remain “sealed” or not knowable until the final generation. During that final time, the message would then be unsealed or understandable.
Argument: The term seal the prophecy actually means to preserve an official copy that could not be altered. Copies of this original would then be made and sent out for various reasons, but the original would remained “sealed” in the case a comparison would need to be made at a later date. This is the exact case for Jeremiah the prophet when he sealed the property record ()
Application: We are called to be continual students of the Word. God has given us His revelation for us to read and to meditate on that we may know Him! The contents of the Canon are exactly what he desired for us to have, and therefore are worth knowing. What a sad commentary for His church regarding the lack of interest in His Word.

The timing of the Second Coming is unknown and we are called to trust (

The timing of the Second Coming is unknown and we are called to trust Him for the future. (Daniel 12:5-13)

Explanation: The vision proper ends with 12:4. The remaining 9 verses deal mainly about when the time of the End will arrive. It is of great interest that the first question comes from an angel. Even the angels of God do not know when these things will happen and they also have questions. The man in Linen (possibly Jesus) simply gives them the 3 1/2 year duration of the Great Tribulation (vv. 6-7)
Then Daniel asks for further clarification, and he too is met with the command not to worry about the details and to return to serving God. (vv. 8-9)
Argument: We live in the times between the Two Advents of Jesus. And while we know approximately how much time has passed since His Glorious Ascension, we are uncertain of how much time remains. Every time this questioned was asked by followers of Jesus in the NT, they were told that no one knew except God (; )
Application: As the world history progresses, and as Jesus tarries, many are going to simply continue to live their lives without regard for the things of God (v. 10b). Let us be among the purified (v. 10a), and one day we will be standing with Daniel at the end of days (v. 13)
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