They That Be Wise
Dr. Joe Temple

Introduction

Open your Bibles, please, to the book of Daniel, chapter 12. We will read from verse 1:

Daniel 12:

1And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
2And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
3And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

Shall we bow our heads together for prayer: Our Father, we are grateful that Thou hast permitted us to gather together again and that we are able to look into Thy Word. We ask for that strengthening of the Holy Spirit that is needed to proclaim the Word of God. We ask for that enlightenment of heart that will enable those who listen to understand the truth as we try to present it. We do pray, Our Father, that our hearts may turn toward Thee, that our eyes may be lifted toward Heaven, as we realize that the time of our redemption draweth nigh. For we pray in Jesus' name and for His sake. Amen.

You will remember that we have been thinking for the past several weeks about Daniel, chapters 10 through 12, as they represent the last vision which was given to Daniel and the last vision recorded in the book.

I would like for you to notice with me verse 14 of chapter 10, that we may be reminded of the reason for this particular vision. You will keep in mind that after Daniel had the vision, he spent three weeks in prayer asking God for the understanding of it—asking what it meant. God answered his prayer by the sending of an angel with a message, and that angel said in verse 14:

Daniel 10:

14Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.

Key To Last Three Chapters Of Daniel

This is the key to the three chapters. If you will study the three chapters around this key, you will not go astray as to their meaning. The angel said, “Daniel, I am come to help you to understand what is going to happen to your people in the last days.”

Terms For The Christian Dispensation

The phrase, the last days , the latter days , is a phrase that is familiar to all students of prophecy. Careful students of prophecy know that the phrase, the last days , the latter days , encompasses the very broad period from the time when the Lord Jesus Christ came to this earth as a babe in Bethlehem's manger until the time when He will come again in glory. They realize also that the last days refers more particularly to that period of time which is to come upon the earth at the end of this age, a period of time designated by various terms in the Word of God. It is designated as the Time of Jacob's Trouble ; it is designated as the Day of God the Almighty ; it is designated as the Tribulation , or the Great Tribulation .

So when you are studying the prophetic Word and you recognize that a portion of it is dealing with the latter days, it is important for you to know exactly what the writer is talking about—whether he is talking about the entire period known as the Christian dispensation, which winds up in the Tribulation period, or whether he is talking about the Tribulation period itself.

The Tribulation

We have a clue in the portion which we are discussing. If you will glance at chapter 12 with me again, you will notice that it begins with the statement:

Daniel 12:

1And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

Now let us think about what we have read. The angel said to Daniel, “Daniel, one of these days Michael is going to stand up once again for the people of Israel.” That did not seem a strange phrase at all to Daniel, and it should not seem a strange phrase to us because we are told in this very portion which we are studying that that is the business of Michael. Will you look at chapter 10, verse 21:

Daniel 10:

21But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.

“Michael, your prince, is the one who is going to hold with me in these things, the one who is going to be instrumental in bringing them to pass.” If we glance back at verse 1 of chapter 12, we are reminded that there is a time when Michael shall stand up once again for the nation of Israel. We are not told here the reason he will stand up, nor are we told the particular thing in which he will engage when he does stand up. But we are told that when Michael, the prince, stands up, a great deal of trouble is going to fall upon the nation of Israel, such great trouble as the nation of Israel has never known heretofore. Such great trouble is going to come to the nation of Israel when Michael stands up that it will take divine deliverance to bring about any security for them.

Revelation Helps To Understand Daniel

If we had only the book of Daniel, we might still be puzzled as to what it is exactly that Michael will do; but in the providence of God, we have the book of Revelation as well as the book of Daniel. No one need attempt to understand the book of Daniel without being familiar with the book of Revelation. Likewise, the book of Revelation is much clearer if you have a knowledge of the book of Daniel. They are intertwined in their prophecy of the same things and the same periods of time.

Another Vision Concerning The Same Time Period

Now chapter 12 of the book of Revelation contains a vision. The first part of that vision is related to the nation of Israel, to the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, and to the attack of Satan upon the Lord Jesus Christ even to the point of trying to destroy him. But we read in the first part of the book of Revelation that when the Devil failed in his attempt to destroy the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord Jesus Christ was caught up to Heaven, and He is there at the present time. In Revelation, chapter 12, we have recorded for us the time of which Daniel speaks, when Michael will stand up once again for the children of Israel. Will you notice verse 7:

Revelation 12:

7And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
8And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
10And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
11And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
12Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
13And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.
14And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
15And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.
16And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
17And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Satan's Activity Now

Now let us look back hurriedly over this paragraph and see exactly what it is that we have read. Glancing at verse 7, it will be clearer if you will read it, “There will be war in heaven,” because this is something that is yet in the future. There is going to be war in Heaven one of these days, and Michael is going to participate in that war. That war is going to result in the Dragon's, or the Devil's, being cast out of Heaven permanently so that he will no longer have an opportunity to accuse the brethren. You do understand that the Devil is able at this very moment to stand in the presence of God and to level accusations at you and at me and at every other believer. But one of these days God is going to put a stop to that.

In this particular chapter, the Devil is spending his time accusing the nation of Israel particularly, and Michael, the representative angel for the nation of Israel, gets tired of it. When the Devil comes up one day with all of his angels, Michael will withstand him along with other angels, a great battle will be fought, and the Devil will be cast out of Heaven.

Satan's Activity During The Tribulation

What would you do if you were in his place? You would realize that your time was cut short; you would realize that whatever you were going to do, you would have to do quickly, because you would not have very much time left. As a matter of fact, as is indicated in verse 14, you would know that you had only three and one half years to keep doing what you were doing in your effort to defeat the plan and the purpose of God. So naturally you would do exactly what the Devil does. He steps up all of his activities; he increases the war, and the persecution of the nation of Israel is so great that she is very nearly destroyed.

Go back with me, please, to Daniel, chapter 12, as we remind you that the first phrase of verse 1 is a reference to the period of time at which we will be looking in detail as we review briefly what is in chapter 11.

A Prophecy Now Fulfilled

Glance with me at chapter 11 as I suggest to you that this chapter describes a series of wars which lasts for three hundred years. The description is presented from verses 1 through 32. For three hundred years, the land of Palestine is racked and torn by wars. These wars are carried on between the king of Syria and the king of Egypt, and because the land of Palestine, designated here in verse 16 as “the glorious land,” lies between these two nations, the land of Palestine feels the brunt of the wars.

So we might suggest to you that Daniel, chapter 11, records prophecy altogether future when Daniel wrote it, but as we read it now, it records prophecy past, present, and future. The past portion of the prophecy is this to which I have referred, from verses 1 through 32. This particular portion is recorded because the kings of the North, as they ascended the throne one after another, portrayed the man of sin who will eventually conquer the world. One of them particularly, Antiochus Epiphanes by name, is introduced to us in verse 21 of this chapter.

Antiochus Epiphanes

Antiochus Epiphanes, described as a vile person, ruled the known world with a rod of iron, and particularly vented his rage against the nation of Israel. Antiochus Epiphanes it was, according to verse 31, who established upon the altar the abomination of desolation to which the Lord Jesus Christ called our attention in chapter 24 of the gospel of Matthew. He called our attention to it both historically and prophetically because what Antiochus Epiphanes did will be repeated in even a greater way in the future portion of this prophecy. From verses 33-35 we have on the part of Daniel a prophetic description of the Christian dispensation, the age in which we now live.

The Nation of Israel During The Christian Dispensation

As you glance at those three verses, you don't find anything about Christians, nor do you find anything about the Church. But you do find a description of the conditions of the nation of Israel during this Christian dispensation because the nation of Israel is to go through the very things that are described here—or shall we say is going through. Glance at verse 33:

Daniel 11:

33And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.

This sad case of spoil and dispersion, we are told in the last part of verse 33, is to last many days. Those many days have extended to nearly two thousand years, and all during that time, as we read in verse 34:

Daniel 11:

34Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.
35And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.

Setting the Stage for the Last Battle

What that verse of Scripture says is that the persecution which the Jews have been enduring since the Crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ will increase in intensity until the time of the end. And then, at the time of the end, in the Tribulation period to which we have already referred, a new king, called a willful king, will arise. He is described in the paragraph which begins with verse 36 and concludes with verse 45. We will not take the time to notice the details about him which are presented in this chapter, but you will remember that the chapter draws to a close with the Antichrist encamped between Mount Zion and the Mediterranean Sea as he endeavors to stave off an attack by the king of the South, which is Egypt, and by the king of the North, further north than he is, which is the land of Russia. Those two powers will be ready to attack him because, as we have already learned and as you see in verse 39, he will decide to divide the land of Palestine for gain.

It is of interest to see nations that have faded into the shadows of history coming upon the stage of the world again, as, for instance, we see the land of Egypt making its reappearance. Keep your eyes upon Egypt. Keep your eyes upon the land of Palestine. Keep your eyes upon Russia. Because the land of Palestine, the Middle East, as it is opposed on one hand by Egypt and on the other by Russia, is going to be the arena of activity in the days that are to come.

National Salvation Of The Nation Of Israel

At the time of which we speak, the Antichrist will be gathered with his armies in the land of Palestine between Mount Zion and the Mediterranean Sea. As we discovered from Revelation, chapter 12, it is at that time that Michael will stand up, and the Devil will be cast out of Heaven and will increase his activity to such an extent that divine deliverance will be needed for the nation of Israel. Look again at chapter 12, verse 1:

Daniel 12:

1And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

This verse speaks of the national salvation of the nation of Israel. Daniel is not speaking to us of something of which we are ignorant because it has been presented to us before. Will you turn, please, to the gospel of Matthew and notice chapter 24, which is commonly referred to as “the Olivet Discourse”; it is what the Lord Jesus Christ had to say concerning this very same period of time about which we have been speaking. In verse 13, after describing how terrible this period will be, the Lord Jesus Christ said:

Matthew 24:

13But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

look at verse 22:

Matthew 24:

22And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.

Occurring After The Rapture Of The Church

The “elect” here are not the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Church of the lord Jesus Christ will be gone from the earth by this time. The elect are the nation of Israel who are undergoing such terrible trouble. We are told that God is going to provide a deliverance for them. How will that be brought about? Turn with me, please, to the book of Romans, chapter 11, and let the Apostle Paul declare the very same thing that the Lord Jesus Christ declared, only in a little different way. Notice the paragraph which begins with verse 25. The Apostle Paul said:

Romans 11:

25For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

He is speaking to the Gentiles. There are a lot of Gentiles today who tell you that God is through with the Jews. He has no more plan or purpose for them. Now Paul said, “I don't want you to be ignorant. I want you to know something that maybe you haven't realized already.” What is it? Here it is in verse 25:

Romans 11:

25For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

Restoring Spiritual Sight To Israel

The nation of Israel is blind to the truth of the Messiah, but only for a time. When this period of time through which she is suffering persecution is over, this Christian dispensation will climax with the Tribulation, and something is going to happen. What is it? Look at verse 26:

Romans 11:

26And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

Paul is quoting from chapter 59 of the book of Isaiah, verses 20 and 21. He quotes again from chapter 31, verse 33, of the book of Jeremiah and chapter 27, verse 9, of the book of Isaiah when he says:

Romans 11:

27For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

The Lord Jesus Christ said there would come a day when the scales would fall from the blind eyes of the nation of Israel, and the nation of Israel would be saved. The Apostle Paul also said that the day would come when the nation of Israel would be saved.

Those Whose Names Are Written In The Book

I hope you are not being unduly alarmed. Many times when we discuss this subject, individuals do become alarmed and they say, “What does that do to the plan of salvation? How could a whole nation be saved?” This is relative language, of course, as is indicated by what you find in Daniel, chapter 12, if you will look at verse 1. Here we are reminded that those members of the nation of Israel will be saved whose names are written in the book; only those whose names are written in the book are going to be saved.

If we did not have the book of Revelation, we wouldn't know what that book is, but because we have the book of Revelation, we know that that book is the Lamb's Book of Life, which was written down before the foundation of the world.

If you will look at verse 2 of chapter 12, you will notice another qualifying statement which helps you to realize that we are not talking about people's being saved whether they want to be saved or not, for in verse 2, we read:

Daniel 12:

2And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Three-Fold Resurrection

If we are to understand this verse of Scripture in its right relationship, we are going to have to understand what the Bible says about resurrection because this verse has been misinterpreted more times than it has been interpreted correctly. Preachers turn to this verse of Scripture and use it to preach on a general resurrection. Some people are going to be raised to go to Heaven, and some people are going to be raised to go to Hell. They misinterpret this verse of Scripture entirely. The reason they do, I think, is that they do not keep in mind that the Bible teaches a threefold resurrection; we need to remember that if we are to understand this portion of the Word of God. Let us notice the threefold resurrection that is mentioned in the Scriptures.

Two parts of the threefold resurrection are mentioned in chapter 5 of the gospel of John; turn there and notice verse 25:

John 5:

25Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
26For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
27And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

A Spiritual Resurrection

The resurrection of verse 25 is a spiritual resurrection. It is that spiritual resurrection which is described in chapter 2 of Paul's letter to the Ephesians when he presents to us a record of the state of those who are not born again. In Ephesians, chapter 2, verse 1, he said:

Ephesians 2:

1And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

And then in verse 5 he said:

Ephesians 2:

5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

If you are here without the Lord Jesus Christ, you are dead spiritually speaking, and if you are here and are born again, then once you were dead, but now you are alive in Christ. So the Bible speaks of a spiritual resurrection. When we read about resurrection in the Bible, it is important to know which resurrection the Holy Spirit is speaking about. If you will notice again John, chapter 5, verse 28:

John 5:

28Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
29And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

A Physical Resurrection

This is a physical resurrection. It describes the resurrection of the body. You recognize that when an individual dies today, his spirit goes to be with the Lord if he is born again because the Bible says, “…absent from the body, and present with the Lord” (II Corinthians 5:8). If he does not know the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior, his soul goes immediately to Hell, where will someday be the Devil and all of his angels. But his body is placed in the grave. One of these days the dead that are in the grave are going to hear the voice of the Son of God—they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life.

First Physical Resurrection

If this were the only passage of Scripture we had, we might think that this event will take place all in one day. Actually, the day that is referred to here is a period of time. It is described in I Corinthians, chapter 15; if you glance at verse 19 with me, you will see the program of this resurrection day. Contrary to opinion, it does not all occur at one time, though it is referred to as a “resurrection day:”

I Corinthians 15:

19If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
20But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
21For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Notice this next verse particularly:

I Corinthians 15:

23But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.

So the resurrection day actually began when the Lord Jesus Christ was raised from the dead. He is the firstfruit of all resurrection. Then activity in relation to the resurrection day ceased until the coming of Christ, for the next statement we read in verse 23 is:

I Corinthians 15:

23But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.

A Second Physical Resurrection

The Lord Jesus Christ was raised from the dead. On the day when the Lord Jesus Christ returns, there will be another resurrection. Then you will notice in verse 24:

I Corinthians 15:

24Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

If this were the only passage of Scripture we had, we would have to think that the resurrection even at the coming of Christ is to be a general resurrection—some individuals raised to life, some individuals raised to death. But chapter 20 of the book of Revelation helps us to understand that it does not all occur at the same time. In verse 4, we read:

Revelation 20:

4And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

The Physical Resurrection Of The Unsaved Dead

One of these days the Lord Jesus Christ is going to come back in the air, and when He does, as we read in I Thessalonians, chapter 4, verses 16-17:

I Thessalonians 4:

16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Then at the end of a thousand years of righteous reign upon the earth, the dead who have died without Christ will be raised to be sentenced to an eternity without God.

A National Resurrection

So the Bible speaks of a spiritual resurrection and the Bible speaks of a physical resurrection. But—and this is the point you should remember—the Bible speaks of a national resurrection. It is a reference to the resurrection of the Jewish nation from her grave among the nations. When you have time, read carefully chapter 24 of the gospel of Matthew, verses 24-31. They, along with other passages of Scripture, indicate that those of the nation of Israel who are buried among the nations of the world will be gathered together at the end of the age and that is what Daniel is talking about in verse 2 of chapter 12.

He is not talking about a spiritual resurrection. He is not talking about a physical resurrection. He is talking about a national resurrection. He said that the nation of Israel will be gathered from among the nations of the world where they are now sleeping, trampled down beneath the nations of the world. When the nation of Israel is gathered back into the land of Palestine, some of them, because they refuse to accept the Messiah, will inherit shame and everlasting contempt (Daniel 12:2).

A National Illumination

Notice verse 3 with me in closing because this chapter speaks not only of national tribulation for the nation of Israel, it speaks not only of a national resurrection, but it speaks also of that which makes the national resurrection possible—a national illumination. We read in verse 3:

Daniel 12:

3And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

Rewarding Faithful Jews

The phrase, “they that be wise,” is a phrase that can be translated, “they that teach,” or “the teacher shall shine as the brightness o the firmament.” What teachers? The teachers who are going to go about among the nation of Israel and teach them the truth concerning their rejected Messiah. These teachers who turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars that shine forever and ever because these teachers are going to shine throughout the whole millennial reign of Christ.

This third verse has often been used as encouragement to soul-winning. I don't want to discourage you. You must be a witness. You are not pleasing the Lord unless you are. But this verse of Scripture does not belong to you. It belongs to the Jews who will come to know the truth during the Tribulation and who will preach the Gospel of the Kingdom throughout the whole world before the end of the Tribulation. As a reward, during the millennial reign of Christ, their glory shall be as bright stars in God's Heaven because of their faithfulness to Him.

Now that is as far as we will go now in the book of Daniel, but we are not finished. We want to talk to you about the reason the book of Daniel is a sealed book, and why it will not be fully understood until a later date. We want to notice with you three periods of time given in chapter 12 in which God is going to do some things which He has not yet done upon this earth. The prophecy of the book of Daniel is vital to our understanding of the prophetic Word, and we hope that you will let nothing slip by you in relation to it.

Shall we bow our heads together for prayer: Grant, our Father, that we may be reminded by the things we see about us that we are fast approaching the end of the age. As we recognize that we are fast approaching that day, we pray that our hearts may be prepared for the coming of the Lord. For we pray in Jesus' name and for His sake. Amen


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