Year 3 Day 46
Read - Daniel 12
Message - Scott Woodburn
As Daniel comes to a close the Lord Jesus Christ speaks to the prophet about the final days of human history. At the end of the age there shall be great turmoil upon the earth and in the unseen spiritual realm. The angel Michael will be involved (v1) and the troubles seen on this planet will be unlike those seen by any nation ever before (v1b).
Such news strikes fear and dread into our hearts but Jesus speaks assuredly by reminding Daniel that deliverance will come for God's people. Anyone whose name is found in the Lamb's book of life will be saved (1c). My friends reflect today on your salvation. By grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone you have been saved. Your name is in the book and it can never be deleted from that place. Regardless of the world's troubles you have been saved, are saved and will be saved. Praise God!
But how does human history end? In these devotions we have heard about the rise of the final antichrist and a time of great trouble for the church of Christ. The antichrist will be destroyed at the return of Jesus and when the Lord comes, the resurrection will take place. What do we mean by resurrection? Quite simply, the dead will be raised to life and their bodies and souls will be reunited. Those alive at the time of Christ's coming will also be transformed.
So far so good. But will everyone be raised for glory? No. Jesus tells Daniel that some will be raised to everlasting life while others will be raised to shame and everlasting contempt (v2). This is the sombre reality. All will be raised on that last day but not everyone will see heaven. It is a terrible thing to be raised to stand before Christ without saving faith. Hell is the destination for Christ rejecters and hell is the most terrible of places. If you would flee from eternal punishment in hell, then you must be born again. Repent of your sins and put your faith in Christ and you will be saved.
But for the one who has been wise and trusted in Jesus, they will shine like the brightness of the sky (v3a). For the one who has sought to turn many to the path of righteousness, they will shine like the stars for ever and ever (v3b). Christ has done this great work. He takes sinful hell bound wretches and transforms them by His Word and Spirit. Thanks be to God for the Gospel!
Daniel is commanded to seal the book or in other words, to write everything down and close his work. It is to be opened today and read. We are in the "time of the end" and while many run to and fro, by the Holy Spirit's illumination we can understand Daniel and our knowledge of the things of God can increase (v4).
Christ was accompanied by two others (v5). These angels show the truthfulness of the message that Daniel has received - consistently the Biblical standard for truth is two or three witnesses. Everything Jesus has said will come to pass, but the question is when (v6)? Jesus answered "a time, times and half a time" (v7). Once more we are familiar with this time period. It is the same as three and a half years, 1260 days and forty-two months. All of these terms describe the period between Christ's first and second coming.
Daniel was keen to know what the final outcome would be of everything he'd just been told (v8). He was given another gracious response. There would be those who turn to the Lord and be refined but others would continue acting wickedly without understanding (v10). Jesus then assured Daniel that the time of trouble during the rule of Antiochus IV Epiphanes would be kept short (v11) and there would be those who would endure for a complete period (v12).
Christ's message to Daniel and to us is clear. We can expect trouble under the attack of all sorts of antichrists. Yet even during the worst days there will be those who receive Christ and keep their robes white as snow. So brothers and sisters heed the words of this marvellous book. Store up its truths in your heart. Meditate upon its message and do not fear when the evil days come.
The one who endures to the end will be saved and they will stand in their allotted place when Christ returns. Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!
Q48 What are we specially taught by these words, before me,” in the first commandment? These words, before me,” in the first commandment teach us, that God, who seeth all things, taketh notice of, and is much displeased with, the sin of having any other God.