For the next couple of weeks we are going to be looking at the subject of "Daniel and the Resurrection." Most Christians look for The Resurrection to happen at some future day; at the end of time. In 1998, in Orlando FL, R.C. Sproul Sr. was asked, "What is it that keeps you from being a full Preterist? His answer was, "The Resurrection." To R.C. the Preterist view of The Resurrection happening at A.D. 70 didn't work. My response to R.C. was, "What do you do with Daniel 12?" To which I didn't get a response. Let's look this morning at Daniel 12 and see what it tells us about the time of The Resurrection. I hate to start a book at the last chapter, but I want to get back to Romans, so we'll just jump into Daniel at chapter 12. I trust that you'll study the first 11 chapters on your own:
"Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. Daniel 12:1 NASB
"Now at that time"--since we jumped in at chapter 12, we don't have a clue as to "what time" unless we look back at the previous chapters. So let's go back to:
"Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision pertains to the days yet future." Daniel 10:14 NASB
Here Daniel is being given a vision of what will happen to "your people" (the Israelites) in the latter days. This vision is of the future, it is of the last days of Israel:
"At the end time the king of the South will collide with him, and the king of the North will storm against him with chariots, with horsemen and with many ships; and he will enter countries, overflow them and pass through. Daniel 11:40 NASB
The "at that time" of chapter 12 is the "latter days" of 10:14, and the "end time" of chapter 11. So Daniel 12 is talking about the "end times," which we know is referring to the end of the Old Covenant dispensation.
"Michael, the great prince"--who is this great prince Michael who stands guard over Daniel's people? The name Michael is from the Hebrew Miykael and means: "(one) who is like God." So Michael is one who is like God.
But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!" Jude 1:9 NASB
Jude calls Michael the archangel. Archangel means: "chief of the angels." So who is this chief of angels who is like God? I want to suggest to you that it is the pre-incarnate Yeshua. How does that sound to you? Strange, I bet. Some say that this can't be Yeshua in Jude 1:9 because he says, "The Lord rebuke you." Yeshua is Lord, so why would He say, "The Lord rebuke you"? Does that sound like a good argument? It might until we look at:
Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. The LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, the LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?" Zechariah 3:1-2 NASB
Here we see that the LORD says, "The Lord rebuke you!" The exact phrase we saw in Jude, but here it is clearly the Lord who says it. And here the angel of the LORD is called the LORD. So Michael is the angel of the LORD, He is the LORD, and He is Yeshua.
Let's look at some other Scripture that may help clear this up:
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 1 Thessalonians 4:16 NASB
Who is this talking about? This is Yeshua! Yeshua is said to come with the voice of the archangel. Jude said that Michael was the archangel. So is Michael Yeshua? I think so:
"Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. "For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. "Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment. John 5:25-29 NASB
If we compare the two Bible texts above (1 Thessalonians 4:16 and John 5:25-29) we see that Yeshua with the voice of the archangel raises the dead, and in John we see that the voice of the Son of God, who is Yeshua, raises the dead. So is the Son of God, Yeshua the archangel Michael? It seems like it to me.
Let me say here that I know that the Jehovah's Witnesses teach that Michael is Jesus. That doesn't make it wrong. The JW's teach that Jesus is a created being and not God. That is wrong. Don't for one moment think that I believe Yeshua is a created being! Or that I think Yeshua was an angel that later was elevated to a lesser god status. I'm not saying that at all. Yeshua is fully Divine as is His Father. He is the Son of God! By saying that the archangel Michael is Yeshua I am not saying that He is not God.
The word angel merely means: "messenger." Archangel merely means: "chief of the angels." So many times in the First Testament, the angel of the Lord comes, yet when we read the text a little closer, we see that it is really Yahweh! It is not an angel at all, but it is Yahweh! Could this be Yashua? When the word "angel" is used it does not have to mean the created race of beings that we know to be called angels.
Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, "Are you for us or for our adversaries?" He said, "No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the LORD." And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, "What has my lord to say to his servant?" The captain of the LORD'S host said to Joshua, "Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy." And Joshua did so. Joshua 5:13-15 NASB
Here we see Joshua confronted by the "captain of the host of the Lord." Young's Literal Translation says, "Prince of Jehovah's host." The "host of the Lord" is a reference to angels, and here we see the Prince of angels. In this text we see Joshua worshiping this Prince of the host of the Lord. And this Prince did not stop Joshua's worship, but encouraged it.
In Revelation, when John tried to worship an angel, the angel told him not to do that:
Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." Revelation 19:10 NASB
Only Yahweh is to be worshiped! So this Prince that Joshua saw must have been the Lord! Joshua is told that this ground is holy and to take off his shoes. He is in the presence of the Lord. Also, we see that this Divine Being accepted the worship and the reverence that Joshua gave Him. He actually invited Joshua to worship and reverence Him:
Now the angel of the LORD did not appear to Manoah or his wife again. Then Manoah knew that he was the angel of the LORD. So Manoah said to his wife, "We will surely die, for we have seen God." But his wife said to him, "If the LORD had desired to kill us, He would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering from our hands, nor would He have shown us all these things, nor would He have let us hear things like this at this time." Judges 13:21-23 NASB
Here we see that the angel of the LORD is God, more specifically Yeshua. We also see that Yeshua accepted worship when He was on earth! Many times, Yeshua accepted the worship of the people around Him (Matthew 14:33; 28:9,17; Luke 24:52; John 9:38; Hebrews 1:6). Notice what Paul says of Yeshua:
For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. 1 Corinthians 10:1-4 NASB
That Rock was Christ. Who is Paul talking about? Let's go to Exodus and find specifically who it is that Paul is referring to:
The angel of God, who had been going before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them. So it came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel; and there was the cloud along with the darkness, yet it gave light at night. Thus the one did not come near the other all night. Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD swept the sea back by a strong east wind all night and turned the sea into dry land, so the waters were divided. The sons of Israel went through the midst of the sea on the dry land, and the waters were like a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. Then the Egyptians took up the pursuit, and all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots and his horsemen went in after them into the midst of the sea. At the morning watch, the LORD looked down on the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and brought the army of the Egyptians into confusion. Exodus 14:19-24 NASB
Paul, in 1 Corinthians 10, is specifically speaking of the crossing of the Red Sea and of that cloud where God was. So Paul identifies Him as Christ. Now in Exodus we see that it is the angel of God who is in the cloud that went behind to go between the camp of Israel and the Egyptians.
So Paul is clearly saying that the angel of God is Yeshua. When the LORD looks down and causes trouble for the Egyptians, we now know that it was Yeshua who did these things.
Could it be that we are seeing the activities of Yeshua before the New Testament when we look to Michael? Is the angel of the Lord, who is not an angel at all, actually be Yeshua? Could His name, in Heaven in the past, have been Michael?
Commenting on Daniel 12:1 John Gill writes, "The Archangel, who has all the angels of heaven under him, and at his command, the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ; who is as God, as the name signifies, truly and really God, and equal in nature, power, and glory, to his divine Father."
Matthew Henry writes, "Michael signifies, 'Who is like God,' and his name, with the title of 'the great prince,' points out the Divine Saviour."
Daniel 12 goes on to call Michael, "The great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise"--we know that the sons of "your people" is a reference to the Hebrew people. Here Yeshua is the great prince that stands guard over the Israelites.
"And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time"--now remember that this is to happen "at that time," which is referring to the end of the Jewish age. So Daniel is predicting a time of great trouble in Israel at the end of the age. Daniel tells us that during this time of distress some of his people will be rescued. Jeremiah tells us the same thing in:
Now these are the words which the LORD spoke concerning Israel and concerning Judah: "For thus says the LORD, 'I have heard a sound of terror, Of dread, and there is no peace. 'Ask now, and see If a male can give birth. Why do I see every man With his hands on his loins, as a woman in childbirth? And why have all faces turned pale? 'Alas! for that day is great, There is none like it; And it is the time of Jacob's distress, But he will be saved from it. Jeremiah 30:4-7 NASB
Jeremiah is talking about a time of trouble and says, "There is none like it." Then he says that this same time period of great distress is a time in which some will be saved. Yeshua also talked about this time. In Matthew 24 Yeshua is answering the disciples questions about the destruction of Jerusalem. They wanted to know when it would be destroyed, and what signs would precede the end of the age and His Parousia:
"For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. Matthew 24:21 NASB
Yeshua, talking to Jews, tells them, "'then' there will be great tribulation." The "then" is referring to the context of verses 15-20; when you see the abomination of desolation, which Luke tells us is Jerusalem surrounded by armies. This happened in A.D. 67 when Cestius Gallus, the Roman general, laid siege to Jerusalem. The Great Tribulation is not an event yet future to us. It was "then," during the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans in the first century. This is made abundantly clear in the parallel text in Luke's Gospel:
"But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. "Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are in the midst of the city must leave, and those who are in the country must not enter the city; because these are days of vengeance, so that all things which are written will be fulfilled. Luke 21:20-22 NASB
Luke tells us here that ALL things which are written will be fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem. What does he mean by that? "All things which are written" refers to prophecy. All prophecy was to be fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem. Daniel tells us this very same thing in:
"Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place. Daniel 9:24 NASB
Daniel was told that 70 weeks had been determined on his people Israel and city Jerusalem. The Hebrew word used here for "have been decreed" is chatha, which literally means: "to cut off." The 70 weeks is symbolic. By the end of this prophetic time period, God promised that six things would be accomplished. One of the things that Daniel was told would happen by the end of that period was that God would "seal up vision and prophecy." The Hebrew commentaries are in agreement on the meaning of to "seal up vision and prophecy"--they say it means: "the end and complete fulfillment of all prophecy."
Daniel's prophecy, then, tells of the time when all prophecy would cease to be given, and what had been given would be fulfilled. When would this be? Daniel's vision begins with the decree to rebuild Jerusalem and ends with the destruction of Jerusalem, which we know occurred in A.D. 70:
"So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. "Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined. Daniel 9:25-26 NASB
Here we see that Messiah is cut off in the seventieth week. This totally nullifies the Dispensational idea of a 2000 year gap between the sixty ninth and the seventieth week. So Luke is saying the same thing that Daniel said, which is that at the time Jerusalem is destroyed all prophecy will be fulfilled. What does that include? That would include the prophecy of the Second coming, The Resurrection, the New Heavens and Earth, everything prophesied to Israel would be fulfilled at the time of Jerusalem's destruction.
The fall of Jerusalem was far more than the fall of a city, it was the end of an age. That is why Jesus said it would be a, "great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be."
For this reason I ask, "How could it be possible for there to be in the future a destruction of Jerusalem equal or greater than that which happened in A.D. 70?" Jesus said nothing in time would ever equal what happened in A.D. 70, nothing.
I'm sorry to have to tell you that the Great Tribulation is behind us, it is an event in history. Though most of the Church looks for it to happen in the future; it is past. You missed it, I hope you are not to disappointed.
Let's go back to Matthew and notice what he says in the next verse:
"Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. Matthew 24:22 NASB
This is the same thing we saw in Daniel 12:1, "And at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued"--So Daniel, Jeremiah, and Yeshua all talk about this same time of great tribulation when Yahweh will save His people. Yeshua tells us exactly when this time was to be:
"Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Matthew 24:34 NASB
Yeshua here, very plainly and very clearly, tells HIS DISCIPLES that ALL of the things He had mentioned would come to pass in THEIR GENERATION. This includes the Gospel being preached in all the world, the Abomination of Desolation, the Great Tribulation, and the Coming of the Son of man. This is so clear that it greatly troubles those who hold to a futuristic eschatology.
Yeshua uses the near demonstrative "this" generation. Every time "this" is used in the New Testament it always refers to something that is near in terms of time or distance. Yeshua could have said, "That generation." But He didn't! Yeshua is saying that everything that He has spoken about will happen before the generation that He was speaking to would pass away.
So Daniel is talking about a time that the generation that Yeshua lived in would see all these things fulfilled.
"And at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued"--the "your people" here are Daniel's people, who would be Israelites. At the time of The Great Tribulation all the Israelites that are found in the book will be rescued.
What is this "book"?
Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. Philippians 4:3 NASB
The "book of life" is only mentioned here and in Revelation in the New Testament. Some say that everyone's name is written in the book, and if they do not accept Christ, their name is erased at death. This verse in Philippians 4:3 makes no sense if everyone alive is in the book of life. What can we learn about this book from Scripture? When are the names written in the book of life?
All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. Revelation 13:8 NASB
We see here that there are some people who are not written in the book of life. When was Christ slain from the foundation of the world?
"The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come. Revelation 17:8 NASB
We can see from these verses that some are not in the book of life, and those who are have been there from eternity past. That old Baptist Hymn, "There's a New Name Written Down in Glory," is wrong! There are no NEW names written in the book. Those written have been there from the foundation of the world.
We also learn that those who aren't in the book of life are consigned to the lake of fire:
And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:15 NASB
In Revelation 21:27, we see that only those who are written in the book can enter the New Jerusalem--the New Covenant:
and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life. Revelation 21:27 NASB
Who chose who goes in the book? Yahweh did. When? Eternity past. Why? Because of His good pleasure:
just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, Ephesians 1:4-5 NASB
I want you to look at a verse that causes much confusion:
'He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. Revelation 3:5 NASB
Christ promises, "And I will not erase his name from the book of life." This statement has been the source of controversy for generations. Can a believer lose his salvation? Could one of God's children be blotted out of the book of life? Many erroneous answers have been given to these questions.
Some say that those who have been saved by Christ's redemption can fall away and be lost forever. This is the classical Arminian position; it is absolutely and categorically denied by Scripture. The nature of the salvation provided by Christ is eternal. Our justification in God's sight is not based on our works, but on the perfect, finished righteousness and substitutionary atonement of Yeshua Ha'Moshiach (See John 3:16, John 10:27-30, and Romans 8:29-30).
So, what does this mean: "and I will not blot out his name from the book of life"? This statement employs a figure of speech called "litotes," which is extremely common in literature and in everyday speech. Litotes makes a positive affirmation by negating its opposite. The presence of litotes is often signaled by an obvious understatement. Some examples of litotes are: "That test was no snap," which means the test was hard; or "He's not kidding," which means he's telling the truth, or "a fact of no small importance," which means a fact of great importance. There is no explicit statement in Scripture that anybody will have his name blotted out of the book of life. The Lord is saying that believers are absolutely secure. If we believe the Gospel, we can be assured that our names are written in the book of life, and that we will live eternally in the presence of the Lord. God's heavenly Church membership roll has existed from the foundation of the world, eternal, and immutable.
So during the time of The Great Tribulation the elect of Yahweh would be delivered from that tribulation. How did this happen? Notice what Yeshua told His disciples:
"Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. "Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house. "Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. "But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! "But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath. "For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. Matthew 24:15-21 NASB
So when they saw the armies surrounding Jerusalem, they were to flee. They were to get out before the tribulation began. It is a historical fact that Cestius Gallus, the Roman general, for some unknown reason, suspended the siege against Jerusalem, ceased the attack and withdrew his armies for an interval of time after the Romans had occupied the temple, thus giving every believing Jew the opportunity to obey the Lord's instruction to flee the city.
Josephus, the eyewitness, himself an unbeliever, chronicles this fact, and admitted his inability to account for the cessation of the fighting at this time after a siege had begun. We can account for it. Yahweh was giving His people, believing Jews, a chance to escape the siege, and the disciples took it. And just as Daniel 12:1 had said, "everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued." Daniel said it, Jeremiah said it, Yeshua said it. And it happened exactly as was predicted.
Now, notice the next verse in Daniel 12:
"Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. Daniel 12:2 NASB
This is The Resurrection of the just and the unjust. Now remember that this is in the context of verse 1, the time of Great Tribulation in the end time or last days of Israel, which ended in A.D. 70. This Resurrection happens after the time of Jerusalem's destruction, not at the end of time as most believers think. Most Christians think that The Resurrection is a yet future event. Notice what Daniel says next:
Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. Daniel 12:3 NASB
So after The Resurrection we have people who are turning many to righteousness. How could this be if The Resurrection was at the end of time? Who are those who shine brightly like the brighteners of the expanse of heaven? It is believers:
"Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. "For behold, darkness will cover the earth And deep darkness the peoples; But the LORD will rise upon you And His glory will appear upon you. "Nations will come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising. Isaiah 60:1-3 NASB
The believing Jews were to shine to bring the Gentiles to their light. And in Daniel 12 we see this happening after The Resurrection, so when does The Resurrection take place?
"But as for you, go your way to the end; then you will enter into rest and rise again for your allotted portion at the end of the age." Daniel 12:13 NASB
According to this verse, when is The Resurrection to take place? It is to take place at, "the end of the age." The end of what age? It must be at the end of the Old Covenant Age because the New Covenant has no end. Notice carefully what Paul says in:
"But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law, and that is written in the Prophets; 15 having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. Acts 24:14-15 NASB
Notice how Young's Literal Translation translates this:
having hope toward God, which they themselves also wait for, that there is about to be a rising again of the dead, both of righteous and unrighteous; Acts 24:15 YLT
The words "shall certainly" in the NASB are the Greek word mello. Whenever mello in the present active indicative is combined with an infinitive, it is consistently translated: "about to." Paul told his first century audience, "there is about to be a resurrection."
If we are going to understand what Paul is saying about The Resurrection, we must understand "audience relevance." Paul is not talking to us; he is talking to Felix, Ananias, Tertullus, and the elders. Paul told them that there was about to be a Resurrection. So if the timing of The Resurrection was "soon," what does this tell us about the nature of The Resurrection? It must be spiritual! Time defines nature.
Since we know that The Resurrection is past, we know that it was spiritual and not physical. The Resurrection of the dead that took place at the end of the Old Covenant in A.D. 70 was not a biological resurrection of dead decayed bodies, it was a release from Sheol of all who had been waiting through the centuries to be reunited with God in the heavenly kingdom.
We can see from the teaching of Hymenaeus and Philetus several things about The Resurrection beliefs of the early Christians:
and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some. 2 Timothy 2:17-18 NASB
The early Christians must have believed that The Resurrection would be spiritual in nature, and, therefore, not subject to confirmation by any physical evidence. If the early Christians had believed that The Resurrection would involve the physical bodies coming out of the graves, as is taught today, Hymenaius and Philitus could never have convinced anyone that The Resurrection had already happened.
They also must have believed that life on earth would go on with no material change after The Resurrection. They didn't believe that they would be on a renovated planet earth as a consequence of The Resurrection. Otherwise, the teaching of Hymenaeus and Philetus would have been impossible. No one would have paid any attention to them.
The reason that their teaching that The Resurrection had already happened was overthrowing the faith of some was that it postulated a consummation of the spiritual kingdom, while the earthly Temple in Jerusalem still stood. This was a mixture of Law and grace. This destroyed the faith of some by making the works of the Law a part of the New Covenant.
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