1. The End – Famous Last Words…
• Sometimes we like them & Other times we don’t.
• There are times when we’re thinking, “When will this end?”
• AND then times when we think, “I hope this never ends.”
• But it’s true, either way, there is an ending up ahead.
• Every good book. END. Every good movie. END
• Every good song. END. Every good meal. END
2. Even our lives, one day will end.
• All of our lives, our days on this earth will soon end.
Psalm 39.5 Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths, And my age is as nothing before You; Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor. Selah
Psalm 89.47 Remember how short my time is; For what futility have You created all the children of men?
Psalm 144.4 Man is like a breath; His days are like a passing shadow.
• NOTICE WITH ME ACTS 17.22-28
NOTE: Our lives will soon come to an end.
• We will one day take our last breath on the earth, and our first breath in eternity and we will stand before God!
• And the measurement of a man’s life will not be how much we had, how much we left, or how popular we were.
• The question of the day will be, “What did you do with my Son Jesus Christ?”
• When you hear that question, the decision will already be made.
• The decisions you make today, have eternal implications.
SO we have the joy of asking that question not in the past tense, but in the present tense:
• “What have you done with God’s Son, Jesus Christ?”
• Have you received him? Have you believed in Him?
• Are your sins washed and cleansed by His blood?
John 6.37 "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.
Why are we talking about ENDINGS this morning?
• Well, we are ENDING a book today, in Daniel 12.
• We’ve had Daniel with us now for some 5 months and we’ll close up the book this morning with the TOPIC OF ENDINGS.
• Because CH12 reminds us the END OF THE WORLD is coming.
• NEW? You’re not one of THOSE GUYS are you? The gloom and doom type. You’re just trying to scare us!
FOR THE Christian, there’s nothing to be scared of.
• Our last breath here is our first breath in eternity!
• We will see the Lord. HE is coming again!
John 14.1-3 "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 "In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
• Our hopes will become reality, our faith becomes sight!
• Prophecy is not God’s scare tactics as much as it is God’s warnings & pleadings to understand His love.
• 3 times in this CH God uses the phrase, “TIME OF THE END”
• The final time of world history that will usher in the Millennial Kingdom Reign of Jesus Christ.
• We don’t know EVERYTHING that will happen, even though some prophecy buffs say they do.
• But we do know SOME and we’ll look at parts of that today.
I. (12.1-2, 8-10) INCREASE IN WICKEDNESS
1. (1-3) Tough Times.
a. There will come a time of increased wickedness on the earth
b. What Daniel refers to as, “a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time.”
c. We believe this happens in the last 7 years of earth’s history in a time we know as the Great Tribulation.
d. Let’s flip over to Matthew 24:3ff
NOTE: We are not in that time yet, but we are seeing glimpses of it!
1 Timothy 4.1-2 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,
So those who once committed to the faith. Those who were hanging out with God, serving in churches… will fall away!
• They will depart from the faith. They will just leave.
• They’ll leave their homes, their commitments, their first love.
NOTE: What we’re seeing today will be nothing, compared to the final days as these behaviors and more run rampant on the earth.
• It will include the judgment of God.
• And part of God’s judgment always includes, “OK, if you want to reject me, then I will give you over to those things you desire.”
BUT v3 is encouraging… for those that are around during that time, those that are wise will shine.
• Those that turn others to righteousness will shine.
• As dark as things get now, the church still shines.
• As difficult as things are getting then, the faithful will shine.
After the RAPTURE of the church, God will unleash an army of evangelists upon the earth.
• 144,000 men from 12 tribes of Israel sent out to preach.
• Angels will be flying through the heavens proclaiming the gospel.
• 2 witnesses will stand strong in a dark time sharing God’s love.
• And countless men & women will be saved, they too sharing of what God has done in their lives!
• Even in the darkness, God’s witness still shines!
II. (12.4) INCREASE OF KNOWLEDGE
1. (4) Knowledge, Lots of it!
a. Daniel, what you’re receiving, shut up the words.
b. Seal the book until the end as knowledge increases then.
KNOWLEDGE INCREASING CAN BE TAKEN AT LEAST 2 WAYS:
#1 – Knowledge of Prophecy will increase in the End times.
• That is, things on the prophetic picture will become clearer and clearer as the End approaches.
• We certainly find ourselves living in a time where more & more about God’s prophetic word is clearer than ever before.
• Since 1948 when Israel became a nation again & Jews began returning to their homeland, there seems to be more revealed.
• Technologies exist that make a “MARK” by which no one can buy or sell possible.
• Great apostasies or a falling away has already begun in the church as once strong, solid churches are leaving God, His Word, His holiness, and Him!
• Things are definitely clearer to us today than ever before.
Another possibility with this passage is:
#2 – Knowledge in general will increase in the End Times.
• We know that we live in the INFORMATION AGE.
• With the advent of computers, and the internet, so much information is available at our fingertips than ever before.
• No longer flipping through card catalogs and encyclopedia’s at the library, just log on to the World Wide Web and its’ there!
• Countries that once produced goods, have their national budget filled with dollars as they provide INFORMATION instead.
NOTE: In the realm of science and health, doctors and scientists are progressing very rapidly into realms that weren’t possible 10-20 years ago.
• Some of it is very good in the area of disease cures & antidotes.
• But others are not like cloning, and embryonic stem cell research, and cryogenics (freezing your head).
• The process for abortions are now in pill form and euthanasia is the law in some countries.
So are we seeing these increases in knowledge? YES.
• Daniel was told that in the end times, these things would occur.
III. (12.5-11) A VERY SPECIFIC TIME PERIOD WITH A VERY SPECIFIC PEOPLE
1. In the end times, all eyes are on Israel & Jerusalem!
a. That small area of land, where our Messiah walked, is the most important piece of real estate in the world!
b. All eyes will be fixed on Israel in the end times.
Things haven’t looked good for Israel since the time of Babylon.
• In 586 BC the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and took many captive.
• The Jews have been crying out for that land for a long time.
• Then in 1948, hope came to the Jews once again as David Ben Gurion announced that a nation called Israel had been born!
• Out of Ezekiel, the dry bones of God’s people came to life and God said he would bring them back to the land.
• The Jews started returning by the 1000’s. It hasn’t stopped.
FINANCIAL TIMES ONLINE 7/28/04 - Ariel Sharon, the Israeli prime minister, was on Wednesday due to welcome a specially chartered El Al flight carrying more than 200 French Jews who have left their jobs, families and homes in France to start new lives in Israel.
DENVER POST 7/27/04 Tel Aviv - Two months ago, Matthew Synenberg was president of the student body at Colorado College with a good job offer from Wall Street. He woke up July 15 in a kibbutz thousands of miles from Colorado Springs with a new home, new friends and a new nationality.
In November he will join a crack infantry unit in the Israeli army. His main fear is that he has barely four months to learn enough Hebrew to be able to understand his officers’ commands.
• The end of times requires Israel to occupy that land. They are!
Look at v11… the “rescue of God’s people, the Jews.”
• Just before the end of the world, the Bible in several places says that Israel will be hassled & dragged into the war zone.
• NOTE: They are certainly being hassled today!
IN THE DAYS.COM 7/27/04 - Iran threatens to wipe Israel off the map
Iranian Revolutionary Guards spokesman says Tehran won’t strike first but if its nuclear facilities are attacked, it would launch a "devastating" attack against Israel.
Iran will "wipe out Israel off the face of the earth" if it or the United States attack its nuclear facilities, a senior Iranian official has warned.
NOTE: Right now, Israel has over 100 million people around her that hate her and want her pushed into he sea.
• The Koran is filled with passages that condemn the Jew and make it a blessing to destroy the Jews.
The Muslim attitude toward Jews is reflected in various verses throughout the Koran, the holy book of the Islamic faith. "They [the Children of Israel] were consigned to humiliation and wretchedness. They brought the wrath of God upon themselves, and this because they used to deny God’s signs and kill His Prophets unjustly and because they disobeyed and were transgressors" (Sura 2:61). According to the Koran, the Jews try to introduce corruption (5:64), have always been disobedient (5:78), and are enemies of Allah, the Prophet and the angels (2:97¬98).
SO in the last 7 years of human history, Israel will be on center stage… Romans 9-10-11, Revelation 11-12, Daniel 9, 12.6-7
(6-7) NOW NOTICE Prophetic language for time.
• A time, times, and half a time. OR 3 ½ years.
• The end of the age will be highlighted by 3 ½ years.
• Compared with Daniel 9:24, that would be half of that last 7 year period known as Daniel’s 70th week.
• The reign of terror of the antichrist will last 7 years with 3 ½ being horrible.
• Remember, the false peace the antichrist ushers in will be shattered as he turns and demands to be worshipped!
• If you think things are clearer now, it will be abundantly clear during the GT period.
• They will be able to count 1260 days from the day the antichrist takes away the daily offerings and defiles the Temple and know the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ!
• Suddenly they will understand like NEVER, EVER BEFORE!
NOW a little note… v11-12 seems to add another 30 days into the prophetic picture. More insight on the end times.
• What’s going to happen in this extra 30 days?
• The judgment of Israel and the purging of rebels may take another 30 days?
• IT could be when the goats & sheep are separated?
IV. (12.12-13) BLESSINGS
1. (12-13) Blessed is he…
a. The END is revealed so that there will be blessing.
b. Blessings for those in the midst of it… who persevere.
c. Blessings for Daniel, who God has revealed this to.
d. And Blessings to us, as we read of God’s prophetic plan and we’re reminded of God’s goodness, and precise care!
Revelation 1.3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.
One last thing before we leave. Look back at v2-3 for a moment.
• The resurrection there is ONE GENERAL RESURRECTION including all believers, Old Test & New, The GT martyrs, etc.
• If you’re alive at the time of rapture, the dead Christians who died before that time will be resurrected with their new bodies, then we will be caught up to be with the Lord in the air!
• The 2nd resurrection is of those who rejected Jesus Christ.
• It takes place 1000 years after the first one!
That means there is some GOOD NEWS & some BAD NEWS!
• There is a HEAVEN. And there is a HELL.
• Jesus mentioned hell so many times because He loves people enough to prevent them from going there.
• I fear that some are on the road to hell even today.
• They are listening in, turning in from their car, listening in on the internet. The gospel is heard, but not received.
• And because it’s not received, it’s not believed, and because it’s not believed, your sins are NOT FORGIVEN!
And so guys: do you want to shine? Win souls. Share the gospel.
• Come to Jesus Christ and then take him to those around you.
• Lead others to righteousness and holiness and salvation!
Proverbs 11.30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise.
It’s been said that if you want to plant something that will last a year… plant a flower.
If you want to plant something that will last a lifetime, plant a tree.
But if you want to plant something that will last for eternity, plant a seed of the gospel into the heart of a lost soul… and watch it grow!