Lesson 12 - The End and a New Beginning
The book of Daniel ends in victory. God’s plan triumphs! God’s people triumph! God’s purposes triumph! Satan and the hosts of hell are defeated. All history is moving toward one great climax. The entire human race is being catapulted to one final destiny. There is nothing any individual can do to stop it. There is no way to hinder God’s ultimate goal for His people. Soon the universe will be free from the ravages of sin. Soon the unrighteous will finally be fully destroyed. Soon sickness, sorrow and death will be over. Soon songs of joy and gladness will resound through the universe. Soon time will stretch into eternity. Daniel, chapter 12, is a doorway into the new world.
Final Events: Questions 1-7
1. When Michael "stands up" what occurs on earth? Daniel 12:1, first part.
Answer: There will be a great time of trouble.
Daniel 7 describes an awesome scene in heaven. Thrones are placed in the Most Holy Place of heaven’s sanctuary. The Ancient of Days (God the Father) and the Son of Man (Jesus) sit as the judgment begins. If “sitting on the throne” indicates judgment has begun (Daniel 7:9, 10, 13), then “standing” must indicate the judgment has come to a conclusion.
2. What happens to God's people during the "time of trouble"? Psalm 91:1-8; Psalm 46:1, 2.
Answer: We will be protected by God and His angels.
Just as the three Hebrew youths went into the flames, but were personally protected by Jesus, so in earth’s final time of trouble, God’s people go into the flames. They pass through the time of trouble, but are protected by God—unharmed as a living witness to His almighty power. As this time of trouble bursts upon the world, God’s people find in Him their ultimate security.
3. What glorious event occurs at the end of the time of trouble? Daniel 12:1, last part.
Answer: God's people will be delivered.
4. How does this miraculous deliverance occur? Matthew 24:30, 31; see also Matthew 16:27.
Answer: Jesus will come in the clouds.
5. What events surround the second coming of Christ? 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17.
Answer: Everyone will know Christ is coming. He will descend from heaven with a shout.
The Second Coming of Jesus is the most spectacular event in the history of the world. As lightning shines from the east to the west, so His coming will dazzle the sky (Matthew 24:27). Every eye sees Him come (Revelation 1:7). Every ear hears it (1 Thessalonians 4:16). The earth shakes at the mighty glory of His coming (Revelation 6:14, 15).
6. Who are God's "stars" which endure "forever"? Daniel 12:3.
Answer: Those who turn many to righteousness.
7. Who is wise in God's eyes? Daniel 12:3.
Answer: Those who shine like the brightness of the firmament.
The “wise” have made the most intelligent choice in life. Rather than living for themselves, they live to bless others for whom Christ died. They give their lives to share His love. Whatever their occupation, they are sensitive to the needs of those around them.
Daniel’s Mysteries Unsealed: Questions 8-11
Answer: Shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end.
9. When would Daniel's mysteries be unsealed? Daniel 12:6, 9.
Answer: At the time of the end.
The entire focus of the book of Daniel is on “the time of the end.” The stories in Daniel reveal faith, courage and perseverance in the face of difficulty and challenge. Its prophecies reveal the great prophetic events in the plan of God, demonstrating that He is still in control.
10. What significant prediction does the prophet make regarding knowledge at the end time? Daniel 12:4, last part.
Answer: Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.
Daniel predicted that just before the end, knowledge would dramatically increase. Although this prophecy may apply in a general sense to our world of exploding knowledge, amazing scientific advances, and technological breakthroughs, it especially applies to the book of Daniel. Just before the coming of Jesus, the book of Daniel would be unsealed. It’s prophecies would be studied by tens of thousands in preparation for Christ’s soon return. Knowledge regarding end-time events and earth’s final days, knowledge about God’s end-time strategy and Satan’s last-day deceptions would be unfolded through Daniel’s prophecies. The book of Daniel has been unsealed. We are living in the end time.
11. What effect would earth's final time of trouble have upon God's people? Daniel 12:10.
Answer: Many will be purified, and will understand what is happening.
Tried, Yet Trusting: Questions 12-14
12. What is the object of each trial God allows us to go through? 1 Peter 1:6-9.
Answer: To draw us into a closer relationship with Him.
Trials are God’s great teachers. Each difficulty we face in life draws us closer to Him. Problems are prayer prompters. They lead us to our knees to seek Him. The challenges we face in life can either lead us to a deep trust in Him or they can create hostility, anger and resentment. Whether we grow through our trials and thrive in life’s toughest times largely depends on our abiding faith in a loving, heavenly Father who has everything under control. As He guided the rise and fall of kingdoms throughout the centuries, truly He can guide our lives.
13. What two distinct time periods are mentioned in Daniel 12:11, 12?
Answer: a. 1,290 days b. 1,335 days
In 508 A.D., Clovis, the king of the Franks, was converted to the Roman Church. This paved the way for the union of church and state in 538 A.D which took place when the Ostrogoths abandoned the siege of Rome and Pope Vigilias II assumed full control. This period of 1,296 prophetic days or literal years came to an end in 1798 when Napoleon took the pope captive. The prophecy was fulfilled exactly. The prophecy of the 1,335 days (years) in verse 12 also began in 508 A.D., but ended in 1843/1844. The text says, “Blessed is He who waits for the 1335 days.” Since 1844, we have been living in the end-time, the days of God’s final judgment, the days just before the coming of the Lord. Praise God, soon Jesus will come. We, of all people, are greatly blessed.
14. At the end of time, what promise does God make to us regarding Daniel's prophecies? Daniel 12:10.
Answer: We will understand them.
There is a renewed interest by tens of thousands in studying Daniel’s prophecies. Each prophecy is a pointer to the return of our Lord. Each one graphically predicts the coming of Christ as the end of all history. Daniel, chapter 2, concludes with Christ’s kingdom—the Rock—smashing down and destroying all evil empires.
Daniel 7 concludes with God setting all things right in earth’s final judgment. The destiny of every human being is settled in the judgment. God’s fairness is revealed in the judgment. God’s mercy and justice meet in the judgment. Daniel 8 climaxes with the final restoration of truth at the coming of Christ. The entire universe is clean. Sin is defeated. God’s truth triumphs. In Daniel 11 and 12, God’s people—persecuted, opposed and oppressed—are delivered.
The book of Daniel graphically reveals an all-powerful, all-wise, all-mighty God whose plans, people and purposes will be victorious at last.
We are on the winning side. We can look away from the problems of life to the promises of His Word. We can by faith see a better land where the trials of life are ended. We will one day enter into the joy of His eternal presence and experience the happiness for which we were created.
Right now would you like to commit your life to this Christ who has the whole world in His hands? Are you willing to surrender anything in your life that is not in harmony with His will?