Series: Thru the Bible
Message: Time, times and half a time
Time, times and half a time
Last week we ended reading about two kings who were leaders of the factions of the divided kingdom of Greece following the death of Alexander the Great.
These two kings were the descendants of a lineage of kings who all largely shared the same names. The Northern king were those of the lineage of the Seleucids known as Antiochus and those of the Southern kingdom were of the lineage of Ptolemy.
Chapter 11 wraps up by saying,
“(27) These two kings, their minds filled with evil intentions, will trade lies with one another at the same table. But it will not succeed, for there is still an end at the appointed time.
(28) Then the king of the north will return to his own land with much property. His mind will be set against the holy covenant. He will take action, and then return to his own land.
(29) At an appointed time he will again invade the south, but this latter visit will not turn out the way the former one did. (30) The ships of Kittim will come against him, leaving him disheartened. He will turn back and direct his indignation against the holy covenant. He will return and honor those who forsake the holy covenant. (31) His forces will rise up and profane the fortified sanctuary, stopping the daily sacrifice.
In its place they will set up the abomination that causes desolation. (32) Then with smooth words he will defile those who have rejected the covenant. But the people who are loyal to their God will act valiantly.
(33) These who are wise among the people will teach the masses. However, they will fall by the sword and by the flame, and they will be imprisoned and plundered for some time. (34) When they stumble, they will be granted some help. But many will unite with them deceitfully. (35) Even some of the wise will stumble, resulting in their refinement, purification, and cleansing until the time of the end, for it is still for the appointed time. (36) “Then the king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every deity and he will utter presumptuous things against the God of gods. He will succeed until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been decreed must occur. (37) He will not respect the gods of his fathers – not even the god loved by women.
He will not respect any god; he will elevate himself above them all.”
This later Northern King was Antiochus Epiphanes, who I told you last week was a type and shadow of the Antichrist.
Jesus and Paul both make this clear and we read their individual accounts in both Matthew 24:1-25 and 2Thess. 2:3-8.
I will quote some of the relevant passages of both now as a reminder…
“(10) Then many will be led into sin, and they will betray one another and hate one another. (11) And many false prophets will appear and deceive many, (12) and because lawlessness will increase so much, the love of many will grow cold… when you see the abomination of desolation – spoken about by Daniel the prophet – standing in the holy place” (let the reader understand), (16) “then those in Judea must flee to the mountains… (21) For then there will be great suffering unlike anything that has happened from the beginning of the world until now, or ever will happen. (22) And if those days had not been cut short, no one would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.”
“(3) Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, (4) who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
(6) And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. (7) For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.
(8) And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.”
Now the passages I just read excerpts from were spoken to the disciples of Jesus in response to a 3 part question which covered:
- When the Temple which existed in their time 2,000 years ago would be destroyed
- What will be the sign of Jesus’ coming in His earthly kingdom
- and what will be the sign of the end of the age.
These three questions, the disciples believed were congruent with one another, but in fact they represented 3 entirely different time periods.
The temple which they knew was destroyed in 70 AD.
Jesus’ return for the establishing of His kingdom is still in OUR future as is the end of the age.
Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians regarded a concern that the rapture had already taken place. So he addresses the rapture.
So Jesus’ answer to His disciples and Paul’s answer to the Thessalonians taken together cover everything in Daniel’s prophecy as well as the rapture which Daniel did not see because it involves the end of the time of the Gentiles.
So those passages mention both things which Daniel has already covered as well as things we are about to read in chapter 12 which is the book’s final chapter.
I will remind you that this who prophecy covered 70 sets of 7 years which Gabriel explained as being divided into 3 groups.
It began with 7 sets of 7 years = 49 years until the rebuilding of Jerusalem, then 62 sets of 7 years = 483 years until Messiah the Prince entered Jerusalem as Israel’s celebrated king, then the remaining 7 years which is what we have been covering since last week.
Chapter 11 roughly left off at the MID-point of these last 7 years which brings us to the time of the Great Tribulation. It is described in Rev 13:1-7,
“(1) And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea. He had 10 horns and seven heads. On his horns were 10 diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. (2) The beast I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like a bear’s, and his mouth was like a lion’s mouth. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. (3) One of his heads appeared to be fatally wounded, but his fatal wound was healed. The whole earth was amazed and followed the beast. (4) They worshiped the dragon because he gave authority to the beast. And they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to wage war against him?”
(5) A mouth was given to him to speak boasts and blasphemies. He was also given authority to act for 42 months. [3½ years]
(6) He began to speak blasphemies against God: to blaspheme His name and His dwelling–those who dwell in heaven. (7) And he was permitted to wage war against the saints and to conquer them. He was also given authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation.”
“(1) At that time Michael, the great prince who watches over your people, will arise.
There will be a time of distress unlike any other from the nation’s beginning up to that time. But at that time your own people, all those whose names are found written in the book, will escape.”
This corresponds to Jesus’ words in Revelation 13 which we just read & in Matthew 24:15-22,
“(15) “So when you see the abomination of desolation – spoken about by Daniel the prophet – standing in the holy place” (let the reader understand), (16) “then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. (17) The one on the roof must not come down to take anything out of his house, (18) and the one in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. (19) Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing their babies in those days! (20) Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. (21) For then there will be great suffering unlike anything that has happened from the beginning of the world until now, or ever will happen. (22) And if those days had not been cut short, no one would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.”
“(2) Many of those who sleep in the dusty ground will awake – some to everlasting life, and others to shame and everlasting abhorrence.
(3) But the wise will shine like the brightness of the heavenly expanse. And those bringing many to righteousness will be like the stars forever and ever.”
This very likely corresponds to the time JUST FOLLOWING Jesus’ coming to earth at the end of the Great Tribulation when He destroys the Beast and the False Prophet.
Just so you know the Beast IS the antiChrist. The word ‘antichrist’ is only used 4 times in all of scripture but the one to whom that name is given has been assigned MANY names throughout scripture, several of which are in Daniel.
- In Daniel 7:8 he was called the ‘little horn’
- In Daniel 8:23 he is called the ‘king of fierce countenance’
- In Daniel 9:26 he is called the ‘Prince who will come’
- In Daniel 11:36-45 he is referred to as ‘the willful king’
- In John’s Gospel he is referred to as the one who comes in his own name whom Israel will believe and receive as their Messiah
- 2 Thess. Calls him the ‘son of perdition’.
The beast or the antichrist will almost without question be possessed by satan himself, and we know he will be empowered with supernatural power by him.
(4) “But you, Daniel, close up these words and seal the book until the time of the end. Many will dash about, and knowledge will increase.”
Remember, the last part of the question Jesus’ disciples asked Him was what will be the signs of the end of the age.
“(5) I, Daniel, watched as two others stood there, one on each side of the river. (6) One said to the man clothed in linen who was above the waters of the river, “When will the end of these wondrous events occur?”
(7) Then I heard the man clothed in linen who was over the waters of the river as he raised both his right and left hands to the sky and made an oath by the One Who lives forever:
“It is for a time, times, and half a time. Then, when the power of the one who shatters the holy people has been exhausted, all these things will be finished.”
Obviously this is speaking of the last 3½ years of Daniel’s prophecy of 490 years. This is the time period we often refer to as the Great Tribulation.
Guzik reminded me that in Jeremiah 30 this is referred to as the time of Jacob’s trouble.
This is very important and is a major reason why we know and teach that AT VERY LEAST, the last 3½ years known as the Great Tribulation and Jacob’s trouble is focused upon the Jews and on the lost of the world.
It is called Jacob’s trouble for a reason!
Remember ALL that Daniel saw was Israel. He never saw the time of the Gentiles.
WE will be gone BEFORE this!
We have not been appointed to wrath but to mercy because the wrath of God was poured out upon Jesus FOR US – but the Jewish nation as a whole rejected their Messiah.
As such, they are appointed to wrath as is the unbelieving world – but the Jews are being held as more accountable than the world since Messiah was sent to them!
There will also be believing Jews and as this passage says they will escape. This will most likely be due to their belief in the New Testament as inspired writing and they will therefore know and heed the words of Jesus Who warned them BEFORE IT HAPPENS – to flee!
“(8) I heard, but I did not understand. So I said,
“Sir, what will happen after these things?”
(9) He said, “Go, Daniel. For these matters are closed and sealed until the time of the end. (10) Many will be purified, made clean, and refined, but the wicked will go on being wicked. None of the wicked will understand, though the wise will understand.”
We read about these seals being broken and the scrolls being opened and read as all of these events transpire in the book of Revelation.
“(11) From the time that the daily sacrifice is removed and the abomination that causes desolation is set in place, there are 1,290 days.
(12) Blessed is the one who waits and attains to the 1,335 days. (13) But you should go your way until the end.
You will rest and then at the end of the days you will arise to receive what you have been allotted.”
So Daniel is being told that from the moment the Antichrist removes the daily sacrifices in the temple (which has yet to be reconstructed in Jerusalem) and the abomination which causes desolation (namely his setting up his throne in the temple and his global proclamation that he is god) you can simply start counting the days until the end!
The end of what?
Well that is a little difficult. It does NOT refer to the very end of the world, for that will not come until after the 1,000 year reign of Christ.
Revelation 11:3 & 12:6 speaks of a period of 1,260 days – which using our Jewish prophetic year span which is 360 days, would be exactly 3½ years.
This angel however is talking about 30 days longer than that by saying 1,290 days.
Rev. 11:3 is talking about the two witnesses God will establish in the earth to testify to all. They will be protected by God’s supernatural power from death and harm for a time. Then they will be killed and everyone will gloat over them. Their bodies will be left in the open and not buried. Then after 3½ days they will be raised from the dead and a voice from heaven will call them home and they will be carried into heaven on a cloud in front of them all. At that moment a great earthquake will happen and the third and final woe which will come on the earth at the opening of the 7th seal will come quickly.
During these exact same 3½ years those Jews who believe will be protected as I mentioned last week. That is what Rev. 12:6 says,
“The woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God, to be fed there for 1,260 days.” The “woman” is referring to believing Israel.
So we know what the 1,260 days are then. They are the duration of the Great tribulation.
But the angel tells Daniel of a period of time one month longer than that – 1,290 days and then that those who wait and attains to 1,335 days will be blessed. So what are these talking about?
Well as soon as the 3½ years of the Great tribulation are over and the two witnesses are raised from the dead and carried to heaven.
Then Jesus and His bride (the body of Christ) will ride down and make war with the beast and the false prophet and satan will be thrown into the abyss for a thousand years. This “may” take a month, at which point Jesus will be appointed ruler over the entire world and will set up His throne in Jerusalem. Assuming this takes a month, then we will arrive at the 1,290th day at the installation of Jesus as the literal ruler of the world.
“(1) Then I saw heaven opened and here came a white horse! The one riding it was called “Faithful” and “True,” and with justice he judges and goes to war. (12) His eyes are like a fiery flame and there are many diadem crowns on his head. He has a name written that no one knows except himself. (13) He is dressed in clothing dipped in blood, and he is called the Word of God. (14) The armies that are in heaven, dressed in white, clean, fine linen, were following him on white horses. (15) From his mouth extends a sharp sword, so that with it he can strike the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod, and he stomps the winepress of the furious wrath of God, the All-Powerful. (16) He has a name written on his clothing and on his thigh: “King of kings and Lord of lords.” (17) Then I saw one angel standing in the sun, and he shouted in a loud voice to all the birds flying high in the sky: “Come, gather around for the great banquet of God, (18) to eat your fill of the flesh of kings, the flesh of generals, the flesh of powerful people, the flesh of horses and those who ride them, and the flesh of all people, both free and slave, and small and great!” (19) Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to do battle with the one who rode the horse and with his army. (20) Now the beast was seized, and along with him the false prophet who had performed the signs on his behalf – signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. Both of them were thrown alive into the lake of fire burning with sulfur. (21) The others were killed by the sword that extended from the mouth of the one who rode the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves with their flesh.”
“(1) Then I saw an angel descending from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the abyss and a huge chain. (2) He seized the dragon – the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan – and tied him up for a thousand years. (3) The angel then threw him into the abyss and locked and sealed it so that he could not deceive the nations until the one thousand years were finished. (After these things he must be released for a brief period of time.)”
Also regarding this time period Jesus says in Mat 24:29-31…
“(29) Immediately after the suffering of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven will be shaken. (30) Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man arriving on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (31) And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet blast, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
As for the additional 45 days which takes us to the 1,335th day, I am not certain what it refers to but I have a good guess. It may refer to the first resurrection.
If we continue reading in Revelation chapter 20 it tells us what happens after satan is cast into the abyss and it is something which could take more than a month. It says in Rev. 20:4-5…
“(4) Then I saw thrones and seated on them were those who had been given authority to judge.
I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God.
These had not worshiped the beast or his image and had refused to receive his mark on their forehead or hand.
They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
(5) (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were finished.) This is the first resurrection.
(6) Blessed and holy is the one who takes part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.”
So it is possible that Jesus and the church will come down and end the tribulation in a very bloody war.
The beast and the false prophet will be cast alive into the lake of fire and satan will be bound and cast into the abyss.
After this Jesus will take His throne and summon all those who did not bow down and worship the beast or receive his image. These will include both those still living and those who are already dead.
You and I will be given power to judge and will adjudicate regarding these faithful ones. They will be given new bodies and will be delegated jurisdiction over various places on the earth to represent Jesus in His reign for a thousand years along with us.
All of these proceedings may well take 45 days to accomplish and according to both Daniel 12 and Revelation 20 – those who participate in it are blessed!
However, as I already stated, this is just a guess, but I believe it to be a rather good one!