Q. With much being said and taught about a “tribulation” at the end times I find myself needing help understanding Daniel 12. It appears to talk about the end times, trouble before, and the raising of the dead. Any help on this subject would be greatly appreciated.
1* “Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. 2* “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. 3* “Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. 4* “But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.”
The first thing we must understand about the prophets of the O.T. is that they prophesied of the first coming of Christ…. not the second as many would have us believe.
24* “And likewise, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and his successors onward, also announced these days. “These days” is a reference to the first coming of Christ and the establishment of the church. The prophets prophesied concerning the first coming of Christ.
With this in mind, we can see that the “end of time” that Daniel refers to is the end of the Mosaic age, or maybe more specifically, the end of the Jewish nation as a chosen people of God. It is not speaking of the end of the Christian age in which we now live. The end of the Jewish nation was certainly a time of Great Tribulation. It culminated in the destruction of the city of Jerusalem in AD 70, with many Jews being killed. That period of time is spoken of in Dan. 9:26-27 and Matt. 24 as the “abomination of desolation.”
Matt. 24 says: Matthew 24:15-21
15* “Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains; 17* Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house. 18 Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. 19* “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 “But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath. 21* For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.
These are the tribulations spoken of by the prophet Daniel. They occurred at the end of the Mosaic age.
Now, the other question which must be answered is concerning the “raising of the dead.” Once that is understood, most of the remainder of the chapter becomes fairly easy to understand. Dan. 12:1-3 is speaking of a “spiritual resurrection” of those who lived under the Law of Moses. When Christ died on the cross, the sins of those people who lived under the Law of Moses were forgiven.
Heb 9:15 says, Heb 9:15
15* For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
Those who had lived and died under the Law of Moses and had followed the ways of God while they were alive were “spiritually resurrected” to everlasting life because their sins were forgiven at the cross. Those who lived under the Law of Moses and had not followed God were “spiritually resurrected” to everlasting condemnation because their sins were not forgiven.
Notice in verse 1 that those who were “rescued” were the ones whose names were written in the book of life. The “deliverance” is the deliverance from the guilt of sin.
Verse 10 says, Daniel 12:19
10* “Many will be purged, purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand.
Those who were “purified” were the ones who had their sins forgiven. If you would like to read another passage which has some bearing on this chapter, read Ezekiel chapter 37. This is Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones. In this vision the dry bones of Israel were also “resurrected.” Verses 22 and 24 define the time of this “resurrection.” (see:Ezek 37:22 & Ezek 37:24)
They were resurrected at the time when the 2 nations of Israel were brought together into one nation and “David” (Symbolic of Christ) would be king over them. This took place at the first coming of Christ when all men were brought together into one kingdom… the church. Many thanks to Lonnie Woodruff for this material. You may contact Lonnie at the following email address – firstname.lastname@example.org