Daniel chapter 12 concludes the prophecies from chapter 11. The Antichrist is ruling the world and here God gives more details about the second half of the Tribulation. Twice, in verses four and nine, we are told this is the “time of the end” which is right before the Millennial Kingdom. Here are some of the distinctives of this coming day.
It is a time of great tribulation and deliverance. Michael, the archangel, casts out the principalities and powers from heaven which fall to the earth (Matt. 24:29; Rev. 12:7-12). Satan’s wrath brings the armies of the earth against Israel, which begins the second half of the 70th week of Daniel, or the Great Tribulation. It is a time of calamity unequaled in history. Jesus said in Matthew 24:21-22 that unless those days were shortened by God, no life would have been saved.
It is a time of resurrection and judgment. An amplified version of verse two clarifies, “many from among the sleepers of the dust of the earth shall awake; those who do awake shall rise to everlasting life; those who do not arise at this time – but a thousand years later – will rise to shame and everlasting contempt.” Jesus said “many” will rise, not “all”, which indicates, in keeping with the Bible’s teaching, that there are different orders and times for the resurrection. Verse three says, “Those who turn many to righteousness, [will shine] like the stars forever and ever.” Soul winners, those who valued eternal things and therefore shared Christ with unsaved people, will shine throughout eternity!
It is also a time of mystery and understanding. Christ told Daniel to preserve these words and seal the book until the time of the end. When the church is removed from the earth at the rapture, the spiritual blindness that God has currently placed over Israel will be removed (Rom. 11:25; 2 Cor. 3:14-16), and the wise will study these ancient prophecies and will turn many to righteousness. Daniel couldn’t understand many of these things and asked for more insight but God told him that these things would not be understood until the time of the end.
Finally, the coming day is a time of salvation and damnation. Many in the end times will be saved! The 144,000 Jewish evangelists (Rev. 7) and the two witnesses (Rev. 11) will win many to Christ and the hardships of the tribulation will soften hard hearts and the soul harvest of people will be unprecedented!
In verses 11 and 12 Christ refers to two additional periods—1290 and 1335 days. These dates begin at the midpoint of the seven years of tribulation. The Bible tells us numerous times that the second half of the tribulation is 1260 days, so these two times exceed the great tribulation by a few days. Scholars speculate that Christ will take 30 days after the tribulation to judge those who survive the tribulation. Then he takes another 45 days to remake the devastated earth, to formulate the governmental structure, and to appoint rulers under Him who will help administrate the kingdom.
The most important truth for us today is that every one of us will be involved in either the first or second resurrection—resurrection of the saved or the damned. In addition to that, those of us who are saved will reign with Christ for a thousand years in accordance with how we live our Christian life now. How we live today matters for eternity! Don’t squander your opportunities! Don’t waste your life!