I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man. Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out -- those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.
Keep in mind that there is more than one resurrection that is predicted in the Bible. And, they do not all take place at the same time or at the same place. For a more complete discussion of this please go to my commentary of Revelation 20, at: www.biblebookofrevelation.com/ch16.htm ... then scroll down to verse 4.
The resurrection here in Daniel 12, is exclusively Jewish. It is the resurrection of every Jew who has ever lived ... from Abraham, all the way down to the last Jew who has died during the Great Tribulation. They will all hear the solo, trumpet-like voice of the Son of God and will instantly and bodily be raised from the dead. They will all experience what Lazarus experienced. As you have it in John 11:41-45,
So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, 'Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.' When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, 'Lazarus, come out!' The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, 'Take off the grave clothes and let him go.' Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in him.
When Jesus said the day would come when all who are in the graves would hear his voice and come forth (John 5:25-27), I'm sure that many who heard him that day said or thought, Yeah, right or Talk is cheap! But, the raising of Lazarus brought everyone up short. That day, Jesus demonstrated that his words were not empty words. He did, in fact, have power over the dead. And, there is no doubt in my mind that, had Jesus not called Lazarus by name ... but had simply cried out the words, Come forth ... every soul that had ever lived from Adam all the way down to the last person who had died that day would have burst forth out of their graves!
Coming back to Daniel ... it says here that this resurrection of Israel will involve judgment. And, the outcome of the judgment will be everlasting life for some, but everlasting contempt for others. And, what do you suppose the criterion for that will be? May I suggest to you that it will be exactly the same as it will be for you and me at our resurrection? Because, it will, you know. The gift of salvation and everlasting life is bestowed on the basis of faith. Always has been and always will be. As you have it in Ephesians 2:8-9,
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -- not by works, so that no one can boast.
The popular notion that, If my good deeds outweigh my bad deeds, I will get to go to Heaven! ... frankly ... is a crock. What will determine the eternal destiny of every human being who has ever lived, Jew or Gentile, will be whether or not a person has responded to God by faith or not. The entire book of Romans takes up this very question. There, in chapter 4, it examines how Abraham got saved and we read,
Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead -- since he was about a hundred years old -- and that Sarah's womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why 'it was credited to him as righteousness.' The words 'it was credited to him' were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness -- for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. Romans 4:19-25
The only difference between Abraham's salvation and your salvation and mine, way down here in the 21st century, is that you and I have more content to believe than Abraham had. For Abraham, he was simply asked to believe God that he and his wife were going to have a baby ... even though they were nearly a hundred years old. But, Abraham didn't stumble at that. He believed God and, as a result, God declared him righteous. You and I have been told, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. That's God's Word to us today, beloved. Those who receive and believe in him are also declared righteous ... by faith ... just as Abraham was.
Returning to our Daniel text, it is apparent that this resurrection of Israel will occur just before the end of the Great Tribulation. I argue that point from the context here. The timing of it, you see, is given to us as just following the revelation that the Jewish people will be delivered from Antichrist and the Great Tribulation ...your people -- will be delivered. The purpose for this resurrection to occur at that time is so that all the godly Jews, from all time, can enter the Kingdom of their Christ as has been promised to them. The hope of Israel has always been an earthly hope and an earthly kingdom as revealed to them in the Old Testament scriptures. The righteous Jew, then, will leave the judgment to go on into Christ's kingdom on Earth. The unrighteous Jew will be caste into outer darkness.
Finally, here, Daniel is told to close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. That may sound a bit odd, at first glance. However, it seems apparent that the time of the end, which the angel is referring to here, is the last days ... that period of time that began at the cross and extends all the way down to where you and I are living today. This is why we are studying Daniel right now and are understanding it, by the way!
Then I, Daniel, looked, and there before me stood two others, one on this bank of the river and one on the opposite bank. 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?' 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.'
This is a striking scene, is it not? Two more angels joined the one who had been talking to Daniel since the beginning of chapter 10. One appears on one side of the Tigris river and another on the other side. One of the angels cried across to the angel on the other side saying, Until when is the end of these marvels? (literal translation). Then, the original angel that had been with Daniel all along ... answered by prefacing his words with an oath to God Almighty ... and saying, It will be 3 1/2 years ... adding, When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed. I take these words to refer to the refining of the Jewish people that will take place during the Tribulation. When the Jews have been thoroughly purged (broken), as predicted in Zechariah 13:9, then it will be over.
1290 days is 3 1/2 years. The reference to 1335 days adds an extra 45 days. No doubt, this second figure is a reference to a particular "red letter day" that is going to take place in the Kingdom of Christ on Earth following his return. We will have to wait and see for ourselves just what that is going to be on that future, blessed day. You will notice that Daniel is assured that he will not miss out on it. He will rise, the angel says. The obvious import is that he will be there to take part in that glorious day and to receive his allotted inheritance. That's an exciting thought, is it not? You and I have an inheritance coming to us as well, beloved. As you have it in Colossians 1:12,
...giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.
Before we leave the book of Daniel, I would like to ask a couple of questions of you, if I may. If God is the sovereign of history, as he has so thoroughly demonstrated here in the book of Daniel, how do you fit in? What part do you play? Is there significance to your life? Let me try and answer these questions for you ... in reverse order.
1. You are a significant and intricate part of the plan of God. Otherwise you wouldn't be here. Psalm 139:14-17, says,
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your
thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Isn't that wonderful? When you were conceived in your mother's womb ... when there was nothing but two cells ... God knew you and could see you full grown as well as where you would be a billion years out into eternity. Even, before the world was, he had already planned to call you into the kingdom of his dear Son. As you have it in Ephesians 1:3-6,
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will -- to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
Is that significance or what!? Thank you, Lord! Amen? Praise God.
2. And, what part do you play? Beloved, that is easy. You were made for the glory of God. You first glorified him when you received Christ as your Lord and Savior. That was a huge part of the purpose of God for your life. As you have it in Ephesians 2:6-7,
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
You and I are destined to be eternal trophies of the grace and mercy of God. That is a wonderful purpose. Forever and ever, we will glorify our God before every other created being in all of his wide universe. All that they will have to do is just ... look at us.
3. And, how do you fit in down here? O my, let me count the ways! In too many mysterious and intricate ways ... that God alone controls ... as sons and daughters of the living God, we glorify him every day of their lives. How? Well:
a. Through our relationship to his Body, the Church, for example. As you have it in I Corinthians 12:7-11,
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.
By God's indwelling Spirit, every child of God is gifted to be a blessing to his other brothers and sisters in Christ. My, how that brings purpose to our lives, aye?
b. Then, by the fruit of the Spirit in your life. These are listed for us in Galatians 5:22-23,
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Any child of God who lives out their life down here in this dark kingdom and who exhibits these things provided by the Holy Spirit of God ... is a person who validates a life of real purpose ... over and over again, in thousands of ways.
c. Another way that you and I glorify our great God down here, is by helping other people come to the Savior. Did you notice, back there in verse 3 of this chapter, that immediately after it predicted the resurrection and judgment of Israel, it said, Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. What a purpose, aye!? The angel was referring to those godly Jews who, during their lifetime on Earth, had pointed others to righteousness and thereby changed their eternal destinies. But, I believe that statement goes even further than just those Jews that it referred to. It is a general truth that is also true of you and me. What will be the result of influencing lives for the Lord? Why, such people are going to shine like the stars for ever and ever! Dear child of God, that is another one of the wonderful purposes that God has for your life and mine down here. As our Lord so succinctly put it in John 20:21,
Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
Our God is the sovereign of history. And, in his great design and purpose, you are a miracle of his creation and love and purpose. Thank you for reading my commentary. My prayer is that it will be used by God in your life to further his purposes and his wonderful plan in and for you to glorify his name.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.