“Go on your way, Daniel,” he replied, “for the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end. Many will be purified, made spotless, and refined, but the wicked will continue to act wickedly. None of the wicked will understand, but the wise will understand.”Daniel 12:9-10
The Lord Jesus tells us that Daniel’s prophecies are especially helpful for understanding the end times — including the great tribulation, the revealing of the antichrist, and the triumph of the Son of Man. The LORD gives us a warning, a command and a promise through Daniel that echoes true for our generation, as I believe Daniel’s prophecy is being unsealed and revealed at an exponential rate.
- God’s Warning — The saints will not be exempt from the great tribulation but will suffer persecution and great distress at the hands of the Beast.
- God’s Command — God’s people are to heed the call of Daniel to run “to and fro” in the Scriptures in order to gain wisdom and understanding and to turn many to righteousness as His witnesses.
- God’s Promise — In the end — on the Day of the LORD — the Son of Man will return with the clouds in power and great glory to crush the Beast and to transfer His Kingdom to the saints, and those who overcome will rule and reign with Him forever!
In conclusion, I will address each of these aspects of Daniel’s prophecy.
#1 — GOD’s WARNING
Daniel demonstrates conclusively that there will be a final generation of saints — faithful believers — who will endure the great tribulation and suffer immensely under the final Beast empire. Daniel’s testimony is enough to establish this truth, but the Scriptures are full of corresponding prophecies. Let’s allow the Word of God speak for itself.
“Forces from him shall appear and profane the temple and fortress, and shall take away the regular burnt offering. And they shall set up the abomination that makes desolate. 32He shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant, but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action. 33And the wise among the people shall make many understand, though for some days they shall stumble by sword and flame, by captivity and plunder. 34When they stumble, they shall receive a little help. And many shall join themselves to them with flattery, 35and some of the wise shall stumble, so that they may be refined, purified, and made white, until the time of the end, for it still awaits the appointed time.“Daniel 11:31-35
“And at the latter end of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their limit, a king of bold face, one who understands riddles, shall arise. 24His power shall be great—but not by his own power; and he shall cause fearful destruction and shall succeed in what he does, and destroy mighty men and the people who are the saints. 25By his cunning he shall make deceit prosper under his hand, and in his own mind he shall become great. Without warning he shall destroy many. And he shall even rise up against the Prince of princes, and he shall be broken—but by no human hand.”Daniel 8:23-25
As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them, 22until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom.
23“Thus he said: ‘As for the fourth beast,there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth,Daniel 7:21-25
which shall be different from all the kingdoms,
and it shall devour the whole earth,
and trample it down, and break it to pieces.
24As for the ten horns,
out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise,
and another shall arise after them;
he shall be different from the former ones,
and shall put down three kings.
25He shall speak words against the Most High,
and shall wear out the saints of the Most High,
and shall think to change the times and the law;
and they shall be given into his hand
for a time, times, and half a time.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ
“So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, 18and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. 19And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! 20Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. 21For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. 22And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. “Matthew 24:15-22
“You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. 17You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. 18But not a hair of your head will perish. 19By your endurance you will gain your lives. But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. 21Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it, 22for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. 23Alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people. 24They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.“Luke 21:16-24
The Apostle Paul
“Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring. This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering—6since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you,7and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.“2 Thessalonians 1:5-10
The Revelation of Jesus Christ
“And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. 6It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. 7Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, 8and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.
9If anyone has an ear, let him hear: 10If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.Revelation 13:5-10
And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.” 12Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. 13And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”Revelation 14:9-13
The third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of water, and they became blood. 5And I heard the angel in charge of the waters say,
“Just are you, O Holy One, who is and who was,Revelation 16:4-6
for you brought these judgments.
6For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets,
and you have given them blood to drink.
It is what they deserve!”
“And in her (Babylon) was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all who have been slain on earth.”Revelation 18:24
You should get the picture. The saints, the elect, the wise, the righteous, the people of God. These are the true believers alive at the time of the end. These Scriptures but scratch the surface of the prophetic testimony about the suffering saints in the great tribulation. It is here that God’s bride — the church — will be refined and purified and made white in the image of Christ.
Now let’s consider God’s command.
#2 — GOD’s COMMAND
One of the primary purposes for God’s people through the great tribulation will be to serve as faithful witnesses for Christ. This is precisely why Jesus sends all His disciples out to bear witness and proclaim the gospel until He returns and also why He promises to be with us even to “the end of the age” [Matthew 28:20].
Consider how Daniel’s witness agrees with the rest of Scripture.
“And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. 4But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”Daniel 12:3-4
“The people who know their God shall stand firm and take action. 33And the wise among the people shall make many understand, though for some days they shall stumble by sword and flame, by captivity and plunder.”Daniel 11:32-33
The Words of Jesus
“But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. 13This will be your opportunity to bear witness. 14Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, 15for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.”Luke 21:13-15
“But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.“Matthew 24:13-14
“When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. 10They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.”Revelation 6:9-11
“And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.“Revelation 12:11
“Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.”Revelation 20:4
#3 — GOD’s PROMISE
If we have learned anything from this amazing prophecy of Daniel, it is that despite the reality that God’s people will enter this future time of great tribulation and face overwhelming opposition from the Beast and his evil forces, the saints will overcome in the end! Once again, there is no surprise that this is the collective testimony of the Biblical prophets, Jesus and the Apostles.
Let’s take a look starting with Daniel.
And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, 45just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.”Daniel 2:44-45
I saw in visions of the night and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. 14And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed … But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever ... As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them, 22until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom … But the court shall sit in judgment, and his dominion shall be taken away, to be consumed and destroyed to the end. 27And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; his kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.”Daniel 7:13-14, 18, 21-22
“At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. 2And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. “Daniel 12:1-3
“Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, 2not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come … 8And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.2 Thessalonians 2:1-2, 8
The Testimony of Jesus
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”Matthew 25:31-34
“The one who overcomes and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, 27and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.”Revelation 2:26-27
“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign. 18The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.”Revelation 11:17-18
“Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.“Revelation 20:6
Once again, the Scriptures are exhaustive in describing the rewarding of the saints on the Day of the LORD, when He comes in power and glory to destroy the antichrist and judge the living and dead. These are the major elements that emerge from a deep dive into the prophetic word.
I encourage everyone reading this to dig deeper and search the Scriptures intently, asking the Holy Spirit for wisdom and understanding. Until next time …