This brings us to the final chapter of Daniel’s fascinating book. As you’ll recall, there were no chapter divisions in the original text, so here the heavenly messenger who started talking to Daniel in chapter 10 is now winding up his long and detailed message.
If we go back to the previous chapter, we find that the last part of it is talking about the last three and a half years of the Antichrist’s reign, which is known as the Great Tribulation, and it ends with the end of the Antichrist. Now Daniel is told that at this time Michael, the great prince and archangel, the commander of Jesus’ heavenly forces, who stands watch over the “sons” of Daniel’s people, will stand up.
If we go back to chapter 10, we read that it was Michael who had come to the messenger’s aid and enabled him to gain the victory in the struggle with the prince of Persia. We also read in Revelation another passage about Michael:
And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
The Devil is cast out of the spiritual realm down to the earth, and it is at this pivotal moment that it is believed that he possesses the body of the Antichrist at the midway point of the last seven years. This is when the covenant is broken, the Abomination of Desolation is placed in the temple, and the Antichrist—the head of the beast who was killed—is possessed and resurrected by the Devil. This is when he demands that the world worship him, and begins his maniacal persecution of believers in the true God. (Read more on this in “The Beast,” chapter 3 of The Rise and Fall of the Antichrist.)
And so Daniel is told that this will be a “time of trouble such as never was.” Jesus told us about this time also, and His admonitions are recorded in three of the four Gospels, in Matthew 24, Luke 21, and Mark 13.
Therefore when you see the “abomination of desolation,” spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whoever reads, let him understand), ... then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.
But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. ... And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
So when you see the “abomination of desolation,” spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not (let the reader understand), ... in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be.
It is the Great Tribulation, as it is commonly termed, but it won’t be forever. In fact, it will only last 1260 days, as was explained in chapter 9 of this book. And as we read in chapter 11, it is also a time that great exploits are performed by those who love Jesus and who are warriors of the faith and for His cause. Revelation 11 tells us about two of these witnesses who are a particular scourge on the Antichrist and his kingdom. And the type of power these two have is not limited to them, but is available to all God’s prophets and followers in that dark and violent time.
At the same time, God is afflicting the wicked with physical scourges that are released at the blowing of six of the seven trumpets of Tribulation that are expounded upon in Revelation chapters 8–10, including fire and hail from the sky, a third of the waters of the seas being turned into blood, the waters in the lakes and rivers being turned bitter, the light of the sun and stars being greatly dimmed, and plagues of monstrous insects. Although the Antichrist and his wicked henchmen try to hurt and destroy God’s people, God is a much greater adversary to him and his ilk than they are to us.
Then all Daniel’s people who are found written in the “book” are delivered in the great and awe-inspiring Rapture, when Jesus returns at the seventh and last trumpet and gathers His people to Him in the clouds and then zips them off to Heaven.
What is the “book” referred to here? Other passages in the Bible talk about the Book of Life, and this is what it could be referring to. (For further insight as to what the Book of Life is and contains, read chapter 8, entitled “The Great White Throne Judgment,” in From the End to Eternity.)
Why the passage says “sons of your people” is open to some interpretation. Saint Paul made it obvious that “if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29). The inheritors of the promises made to the Jews in the Old Testament are the Christians, and this includes everyone, whether Jew or Gentile, who believe in Jesus as their Savior.
So Christians can be understood to be the sons, the spiritual heirs, of the former chosen people. Saint Paul further expounds on the happenings of verses 2 and 3 when he explains that “the dead in Christ shall rise first” at Jesus’ return to take us home to Heaven, “and then we which are alive.”
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 4:16–17
Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1 Corinthians 15:51–52
(For more information on this wonderful event, please read chapter 8, entitled “Jesus’ Second Coming,” in The Rise and Fall of the Antichrist.)
And for those who have been faithful in their love and service to God, who have through their witness and lives turned many to the true righteousness of believing in our loving and mighty God, it will truly be a wonderful day. For as verse 3 tells us, those wise ones will shine like the sun and stars in the sky forever.
But for others it will not be as joyous. All who believe in and receive Jesus as their Savior have everlasting life in Heaven. For believing in and receiving Him is all we have to do to receive His salvation. But to shine like the sun there in Heaven, and to receive the eternal honor and spiritual riches there, we have to do something here. In fact, we have to do a good deal. We have to work for those stars in our heavenly crown by living a life of service to God and humanity. “For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works” (Matthew 16:27).
But the Lord is just and will reward us not only by the criterion of what we did, but also by what we were able to do. Some might not seem to do much compared to others, but they are doing a lot with the resources and talents available to them. Others might seem to do a lot, but compared to what they could and should have done, it may not be much. “For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have” (2 Corinthians 8:12).
But there are those who are saved, who have at some time received Jesus’ salvation, but became rejecters of truth, and even accusers of the saints. These will find themselves ashamed and will be held in contempt for their actions, not necessarily by the other citizens of Heaven, who will undoubtedly exhibit the godly virtues of forgiveness and charity, but they will forever—or at least for a long time—feel con-tempt for themselves because of their actions.
Then Daniel is told to close up the book—which seems to infer that he was writing this all down as he received it—as the message is not to be fully understood till the Endtime, when he is told that many shall run to and fro and knowledge will be increased. (If you want to know how these two signs of the End are being fulfilled, read The Future Foretold.)
And so the messenger was almost done when Daniel looked and saw what must have been two other heavenly beings, one on the one bank of the Tigris River and one on the other.—And the angelic messenger is floating above the water in the middle. Poor Daniel must have been flabbergasted by all that he had been told, and it seems that he needed some reassurance as to when the good times would finally come. Perhaps in an effort to help Daniel understand, one of the heavenly beings asks the angelic messenger a question, one that will be important to those who will live through these future times.
How long is this time of trouble going to last? Or in the precise words of the questioner, “How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?” And much like a witness in a courtroom who swears to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, the messenger raises his hands and swears by God that it is going to last three and a half “times,” and then when the power of the holy people is completely shattered, it shall be finished.
Well, that doesn’t sound too promising to those of us who regard ourselves as part of the holy people because we are believers in God. But take heart, because it is not talking about the individuals themselves being completely shattered, but “the power of the holy people” such as the power the often politically and financially influential Christian denominations and other religions wield. We know that the Antichrist is going to persecute Christians and it is going to be a very great and dreadful persecution. However, as we have also read in the last chapter, he is going to be fighting wars, and he is going to be invading Israel on a number of occasions and has wars with the King of the South. And at the beginning of the Battle of Armageddon he totally shatters the power of his remaining opponents before Jesus and His heavenly forces intervene and destroy him.
The book of Revelation also talks about the Antichrist and his allies destroying something that is enigmatically called “Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots.” For a fuller treatment of this subject, read chapter 7, “Mystery Babylon,” in The Rise and Fall of the Antichrist. But in a nutshell, we believe this represents the world capitalist system epitomized by the USA. So this reference to shattering the power could possibly be referring to the military and temporal power of the state of Israel and that of its “Christian” backers like the USA. It can also be understood to mean that it is referring to the persecutions against all godly believers mentioned in Daniel 7:21, 8:24, and 11:33–35. And certainly the “many who would be purified, made white, and refined” would refer to believers in the last days.
This information apparently whetted Daniel’s curiosity for a little more, because he still didn’t understand. So he repeats the question. The angel then tells him that basically it wasn’t for him to understand, that the picture painted by all this information wouldn’t really crystallize till the time of the End, and that the wicked wouldn’t understand even then, but only the wise would.
And now—when we thought we had all the timing down, that the Tribulation would be three and a half years, 42 months, or 1,260 days—the angel throws in more numbers for us to juggle.
He tells us that from the time the daily sacrifice in the temple is stopped and the Abomination of Desolation is set up in its place, it is going to be 1,290 days, and he who waits and comes to 1,335 days is going to be blessed.
Before we let this upset the applecart, we need to remember that we already have been told repeatedly throughout the books of Daniel and Revelation that the Tribulation period during which the Antichrist is fully possessed by Satan, wages repeated wars, and most specifically, persecutes the believers in God, is three and a half years. It is said so often that it almost begins to sound like a broken record. Jesus really wants us to understand this point.
Here are those scriptures:
He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time.
Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.
Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.
The court which is outside the temple ... has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.
And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thou-sand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.
Then the woman [who represents the body of believers] fled into the wilder-ness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.
And [the Antichrist] was given a mouth speaking great things and blas-phemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months.
Even the angelic messenger in Daniel 12 has already made it clear that it will be three and a half years by the time all the previous things he has been talking about have happened, including Daniel’s people being delivered. The believers both alive and dead at the end of this 1,260-day period will have been caught up to Jesus in the Rapture. It seems there must have been a different nuance to Daniel’s question, “What shall be the end of these things?” than the other question, “How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?” because it elicited a different answer. In reply he is told that it shall be 1290 days, and that he who waits till 1335 days will be blessed. In other words, the “fulfillment” and the “end” are somehow different and there is an extra 30-day period followed by a further 45-day period.
We know from the book of Revelation that the Rapture happens before the seven bowls containing the plagues of God’s wrath are poured out on the wicked (Revelation 16:1–21). When that happens, all the waters of the earth turn to blood, horrible sores and a scorching sun afflict the wicked, and then the world is plunged into darkness.
And in line with what the angel explains to Daniel regarding the wicked still not understanding but continuing in their wickedness, Revelation tells us that the wicked followers of the Antichrist at this time of wrath “blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds” (Revelation 16:11).
The forces of the Antichrist are being gathered at Armageddon at this time of wrath, but the great battle by the same name may not yet have begun when “the seventh angel poured out [the final bowl of wrath] into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, ‘It is done!’ And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth” (Revelation 16:17–18).
Notice the line “it is done” spoken by the angel. Could the day of this pronouncement after the final wrath of God is poured out be the “end” in Daniel’s question, “What shall be the end of these things?”
Before going on, we need to look at something else that is happening at the same time as this wrath period. While all this hell on earth is happening, there is an event going on in Heaven called the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, where, during all the celebrations, Christians are rewarded according to their service for the Lord. It is a celebration of the marriage that has existed for millennia between Jesus and His church, the Christians of all ages. The Bible uses the imagery of a Christian’s relationship with Jesus Christ being like a wife and husband. Paul the Apostle stated in his letter to the Romans that we should be “married” to Jesus (Romans 7:4). The book of Revelation also pictures believers collectively as Jesus’ wife. “’For the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.’ And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, ‘Write: Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” (Revelation 19:7–9).
And at the end of the Marriage Supper, John the Revelator “saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. ... And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. ... And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army” (Revelation 19:11,14,19).
Zechariah writes that “then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two” (Zechariah 14:3–4).
When Jesus ascended into the sky at the end of His first coming to Earth, He did so from the Mount of Olives. “While [His disciples] watched, [Jesus] was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men [undoubtedly angels] stood by them in white apparel, who also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven’” (Acts 1:9–11). It seems from Zechariah that “in like manner” did not only mean that as He went up into the sky that He will come back from the sky, but that He will land at the same spot, the Mount of Olives, just across from Mount Moriah where the abominable image of the Antichrist stands in the Temple grounds.
Undoubtedly one of the first things Jesus will do after He lands in Jerusalem is destroy the Abomination of Desolation, and as Daniel was told in chapter eight, “The sanctuary will be cleansed” (Daniel 8:14). The angel said that it would only be 1,290 days from the time it is set up to its end. So it is possible that at the end of this first 30-day period will be when Jesus returns to wage war on the Antichrist.
And what about the 2,300 days of Daniel 8:14?
In Daniel chapter 8 we were told:
Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said to that certain one who was speaking, “How long will the vision be, concerning the daily sacrifices and the transgression of desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled under foot?” And he said to me, “For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.”
This refers to the activities that take place in the soon-to-be-rebuilt Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. The Holy Covenant apparently allows the temple to be built and the daily animal sacrifices to resume. We know that the covenant is made for seven years, or a total of 7 times 360 days, which totals 2,520 days. Yet this verse only accounts for 2,300 days. And further to that, we know that the Antichrist is finally stopped and his image is destroyed after he and his endure the horrific plagues of the wrath of God. We assume that the sanctuary is cleansed and the Abomination destroyed shortly after Jesus lands on the Mount of Olives (which cracks in half as he does) as He and His armies descend for the Battle of Armageddon. So we would seem to need to add at least another 30 days to the 2,520 days before this happens, for a total of at least 2,550 days.
If we subtract 2,300 from 2,550, we are left with a 250-day period, which, it seems, must be the period when the temple is under construction, between the time the covenant is signed to the dedication service in the temple when the first animal sacrifice is performed.
But what is the additional 45-day period that follows the start of the Battle of Armageddon, if it seems to be all over, bar the shouting, at this point? Surely Jesus and His heavenly armies will make short shrift of the Antichrist and his ilk. Nevertheless, even if the major engagement is over quickly, any battle of the pro-portions of Armageddon will probably take some time to conclude. Although we are told that at some point the Antichrist and his false prophet are captured and are “cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone” (Revelation 19:20), we are not told when they are caught.
And even when the battle is over, it is going to take some time to conduct mopping-up operations worldwide, to cleanse the whole earth from the Antichrist’s bestial followers.—For all of them will be killed. Yet if 45 days may seem a long time to you before all his followers are purged from the Earth, you may be right.
There will be three general divisions of people in the last days. First, there are the saved believers who, at the time of the Rapture, are taken to Heaven.
Second, there are the wicked Antichrist worshippers who are now being wiped out.
And third, there are the people who fall in between these two categories. They were neither believers in Jesus nor Antichrist worshippers. They live through this grisly Wrath and Battle of Armageddon period and undoubtedly do not have a pleasant time of it. Even though they are not the primary targets of it, they will nevertheless be caught in the fallout. What if you were one of those people? Wouldn’t you feel blessed once all this was over?
The verse doesn’t say that Armageddon and its aftermath will take a full 45 days, although it may; it simply states that whoever reaches that point will be blessed. How will they be blessed? They will be blessed to be alive, for a start, and to enter into a new world where war has ceased. It may be an awful mess after the massive destruction caused by the Antichrist and his wars, but with the supernatural help of Jesus and His angels and saints, everything from this point on is going to get better.
So although the major battle could be over quite quickly, it may take considerably longer to round up and destroy the Antichrist’s followers. And once that is done, it may take even longer for the survivors to come out of hiding and start to get adjusted to the new order of things. So as the dust settles and the night-like conditions of the Wrath of God begin to subside and the sun starts to be visible once again, you can imagine the survivors feeling pretty blessed to have come out on the other side alive.
It is, however, important to state that what happens during the 30- and 45-day periods is not specified in the Scriptures, and the hypothesis written here is just that, a hypothesis. It is conjecture, but it is an educated guess based on Scripture and the events we know will come to pass.
The restoration of the war-damaged Earth will then begin. Jesus will rule on Earth for 1,000 years, assisted by those who had been His followers in their earthly lives. This time is commonly called the Millennium and it will be a veritable golden age compared to the world that preceded it. Peace and harmony will be largely restored to the world and the enmity between animals, and between animals and man, will be gone. The survivors, those who are the blessed, will live on in a simpler and righteous world, where loving God and others will be the governing rule.
The God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed. The kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.
Daniel 2:44; 7:27
They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.
The whole earth is at rest and quiet. [The Lord] will even make ... rivers in the desert. The beast of the field will honor [Him]. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
Isaiah 14:7; 43:19–20; 11:6–9
And all that is just the beginning of Heaven on Earth. If you want to read a whole lot more about it, you will find it covered in detail in From the End to Eternity.
And as for Daniel, he was then told that he should just do what he has been doing till his end, for he will die and “rest.” He certainly deserved to rest after such a life as his. And as we, who are now in the latter days, understand more and more the meaning of the prophetic messages within his book, we will be forever grateful that he recorded them so we can have the benefit of knowing these things.