Manna for Today

 

Hope in the End Times (Daniel 12)

Then I, Daniel, looked, and there before me stood two others, one on this bank of the river and one on the opposite bank. 6 One of them said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long will it be before these astonishing things are fulfilled?”

7 The man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, lifted his right hand and his left hand toward heaven, and I heard him swear by him who lives forever, saying, “It will be for a time, times and half a time.  When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed.”

8 I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, “My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?”

9 He replied, “Go your way, Daniel, because the words are rolled up and sealed until the time of the end. 10 Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.

11 “From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. 12 Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days.

13 “As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.”  (Daniel 12:5-13)

Learn it:

            The last chapter in Daniel gives us one more conversation Daniel has with some angels.  Daniel is curious about when all these things will happen and “the man clothed in linen”, often believed to be Jesus, gives an answer.  His answer is based on the discussion of 70 weeks from the last chapter.  He is focused on that final 70th which is broken up into two 3.5 years.  The man in linen says that the events will take place in the second half of the 70th week.  That is when the anti-christ will cause the most pain for those who are still alive. 

            There is still hope for people during this time to accept Jesus as their Savior.  I believe that people who accepted Jesus as their Savior before this 70th week will be taken up in the rapture.  People who remain on earth will have an opportunity to recognize Christ as their Savior during the seven years of tribulation.  When the man in linen refers to the holy people being broken in verse seven, he is referring to Israel.  Some of their eyes will be opened to seeing Jesus for who he is. 

            Finally, Daniel is told to seal up his writings.  The angels, and Christ, know that these writings will be important for God’s people, which includes us!  We are then given more dates which apply to the length of the second half of the tribulation (1,260 day).  So what’s the extra 30 days?  Some believe that is the length of God’s judgement.  Then we see some extra days added on to that to make 1,335 days.  So what’s this addition 45 days?  Some believe that after the judgment of Christ, there will be a period of time in which it will take for God to setup is Kingdom.  Most of this is speculation because we don’t know what happens.  Then Daniel is told to rest and he will raise up again and receive what he is due at the right time.

Live it:

            There is a lot in this passage and in all of Daniel.  We are given a glimpse of what the end holds for believers.  There will be difficult times, but we are promised deliverance.  We are promised victory.  God will judge the earth but for those who have faith in Jesus we have a hope that cannot be stopped!  We will reign with God in his kingdom and it will be awesome!  Until then we are to continue on our work with no fear.  Just like Daniel was told to go his way, we should go our way as well.  Not with fear or anxiety but with faith that God has already delivered us.


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End Times (Daniel 11)

 “The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place. 37 He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the one desired by women, nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all. 38 Instead of them, he will honor a god of fortresses; a god unknown to his fathers he will honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly gifts. 39 He will attack the mightiest fortresses with the help of a foreign god and will greatly honor those who acknowledge him. He will make them rulers over many people and will distribute the land at a price.

40 “At the time of the end the king of the South will engage him in battle, and the king of the North will storm out against him with chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of ships. He will invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood. 41 He will also invade the Beautiful Land. Many countries will fall, but Edom, Moab and the leaders of Ammon will be delivered from his hand. 42 He will extend his power over many countries; Egypt will not escape. 43 He will gain control of the treasures of gold and silver and all the riches of Egypt, with the Libyans and Nubians in submission. 44 But reports from the east and the north will alarm him, and he will set out in a great rage to destroy and annihilate many. 45 He will pitch his royal tents between the seas at the beautiful holy mountain. Yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him.  (Daniel 11:36-45)

Learn it:

            Chapter 11 is a detailed picture of things to come.  The first half of the chapter is about the near future for Daniel.  Things that will happen between 536 BC – 164 BC.  It is so detailed and accurate that some people believe that it was added in later to the book of Daniel.  As we have seen through the book of Daniel is that we have several predictions that we are able to verify.  What this does is that it allows us to have confidence in the things that have not happened yet.  It gives him strong credibility. 

            In the second half of this chapter, verses 36-45, are all about the end times.  The king described in it is the coming anti-christ.  He is going to be an authoritarian and will be blasphemous against God.  He will be a smooth talked and will start a great world war.  He will dominate Israel, the Beautiful Land, and make that is home base.  He will also accumulate great wealth in the process.  Yet again, as we have seen in other prophecies his reign will not last forever.  God will raise up other armies and he will come to an end. 

Live it:

            We keep seeing vision after vision telling similar stories but with more details every time.  We have learned that many of the prophecies that Daniel told have come true.  Things that he never could have predicted happened.  There are still many things to come and we await the coming of the Lord.  There are many people today that spend a lot of time looking for current events that line up with these and other prophecy’s in the Old Testament.  While that’s not wrong it distracts us from the mission Jesus gave us.  There are intense times coming in the future so we should be intensely focused on Jesus’ business. 


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Spiritual Warfare (Daniel 10)

10 A hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. 11 He said, “Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling.

12 Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. 14 Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.”

15 While he was saying this to me, I bowed with my face toward the ground and was speechless. 16 Then one who looked like a man touched my lips, and I opened my mouth and began to speak. I said to the one standing before me, “I am overcome with anguish because of the vision, my lord, and I am helpless. 17 How can I, your servant, talk with you, my lord? My strength is gone and I can hardly breathe.”

18 Again the one who looked like a man touched me and gave me strength. 19 “Do not be afraid, O man highly esteemed,” he said. “Peace! Be strong now; be strong.”

When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Speak, my lord, since you have given me strength.”   20 So he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come; 21 but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince.  (Daniel 10:10-21)

Learn it:

            For Daniel’s third vision we are given more details about how he receives it.  In the beginning of chapter 10 we see that he is in a weakened state and all of these visions are weighing on him.  When an angel arrives to tell him about this great war that is about to come, he falls to the ground and is unable to look at the angel.  The angel gives Daniel strength so he can stand and then encourages him.  He lets him know that God has heard his prayer.  It just took awhile for the angel to reach him because of some spiritual war that is going on.  When Daniel was feeling better after meeting with the angel, the angel then prepares him for his third message.

Live it:

            This passage is so cool because we get a glimpse into the spiritual realm.  We see that when God hears our prayers one way, he answers them is by sending out angels.  We read in the New Testament that part of angel’s roles is to minister to humans (Hebrews 1:14).  When angels are dispatched some of the delay may be in the fact that they get slowed down by demons!  What a thing to imagine!  This gives us some understanding about why we may have to wait for God’s help.  It’s all in his perfect timing and there is a war going on that his angels are battling against.  Have faith that God hears your prayers and trust he will meet you where you are when the timing is right. 


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70 Weeks (Daniel 9:20-27)

24 “Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place. 25 Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. 26 And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. 27 And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”  (Daniel 9:24-27)

Learn it:  

            This is one of the most difficult passages to interpret in all of Scripture.  How do we measure out the time of these 70 weeks and what does it mean?  I’ll give you my opinion based on my research and I hold this with open hands knowing that God is the only one who truly understands this.  With that said, in prophecy it is typical to believe that one week equals seven years.  Then the 70 weeks is broken up into three parts.  The first 7 weeks (49 years) is what it will take for Jerusalem to be restored after the exile.  From the time that Israel is permitted to go and rebuild Jerusalem and it is finished is roughly 48 years. 

The next time period is of 62 weeks (434 years).  This measures the time from when the walls are finished till the time the “anointed one shall be cut off” (Dan. 9:26).  Most scholars believe that this is pointing towards the time that Jesus enters into Jerusalem and is arrested, beaten, and crucified.  Which is about 434 years from when Jerusalem is rebuilt.  This is an amazing prediction and only God could have done it. 

            The last week is the trickiest.  Does this last week happen right after Christ’s death or is there a gap and we are still waiting for these events to happen?  If we look at the description in Daniel and compare it to historical events there is nothing that lines up with what has been described.  Some people make arguments that it describes the fall of the temple in Israel in 70 AD but that event happened 37 years after Christ’s death.  So, they still have a mathematical issue.  I believe that there is an undetermined gap in this last week and it points to the time of tribulation.  There have been gaps in other prophecies so it’s not unheard of to assume a gap in time. 

            In the future there will be a time of seven years of great tribulation where the anti-christ will rule.  Jesus refers to this same seen in Matthew 24:15, 21-22.  In that passage Jesus is understanding that this prophecy in Daniel is still to come. 

Live it:

            The purpose of prophecy is to spur us on to reach lost people and be reunited with God.  He wants to spare us from His coming wrath, but we have to acknowledge Him as God, and He is the only one that can save us.  Who has God placed in your life for you to share with them the Gospel?  How can you play apart in His mission to redeem the world?   


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Pastor’s Corner