The End Times in Perspective
Daniel 12:4
World soon to see the final events of history

    In this chapter, Daniel was told to close and seal his scroll until "the time of the end" when knowledge would increase as people ran here and there (symbolic language for comparing various texts of Scripture) That's Dan. 12:4. Please read through the rest of the chapter. You will find that he very much wanted to understand what he had written but the Lord told him No. In the last verse he was promised that he would stand in his lot and place (or allotted place) at the end of the days. I see this as his speaking through the unsealed book at the end of the time periods mentioned. Also the wise would understand. To unpack all of this is beyond what we can explain in a brief time, but you get the idea.
    For several reasons, I believe that we are living in the end times, or the time of the end. I believe the time periods reach to nearly our day, and that looking at the situation in the world, we are moving quickly to the massive trouble which is mentioned in verse 1 of the same chapter. Also looking back a few centuries we see that the world had been in spiritual darkness. The church had forbidden the common people to read the Scriptures. You may recall Luther's discovery in the 1500s. John Wycliffe had protested against the control of the church a century or so before him, but Luther really rocked the boat. In the 1700s and 1800s the dominant church was weakened by the French Revolution and the Reformation and Bible societies began to spring up as people developed an interest in the Scriptures. The book of Daniel was high on the list. Thus the sealed book of Daniel was unsealed. This is pictured in Rev. 10:6 when comparing with Dan. 12:4 and realizing that the word often translated "delay" should be "time" -- Greek chronos.
    So what's ahead? This was your question. Looking at the verse just before 12:1 we find that the wicked king (symbolic of the massive end-time religious movement) will do an ultimate act of defiance and that "at that time" Michael will stand up 12:1. I believe that this is Christ whom we see riding the white horse of wrath in punishing the end-time wicked Rev. 19:11ff.
    To see that Michael is Christ, we find him in Jude 9 at the resurrection of Moses. There he is also called the archangel (chief of the angels or chief angel). Then we go to 1 Thess. 4:16 with the voice of the archangel calling the dead to life. The only one given authority to call the dead to life is Jesus Christ who got the victory over death and Satan Matt. 5:25-29. He spoke to Lazarus to raise him, John 11:43. It is he who speaks with the voice of the archangel in 1 Thess. 4. And he stands or rises (in battle) in Dan. 12:1. Compare Dan. 11:2
    This brings us to see that Christ's coming in wrath of punishment is also the time he gathers the righteous (also Dan. 12:1). That is his second coming. We know something of what leads up to that looking at Rev. 13 and 14. In 14:9ff we find the same time of God's final wrath. The final act of defiance is at the end of 13. See 13:15. God's response is in chapter 14.
    We need to be sure that whatever we hear is based solidly on the Scriptures and that any verses quoted are seen relative to their larger context. And certainly we need to pray when opening the sacred book or when listening to people like me.
    Before the time Jesus was born as a baby, the powers of evil had become very strong. A few like Anna and Simeon knew the prophecies and knew it was time for the Messiah (Luke 2:5-38) but most were in darkness. They expected the Messiah to be a king that would take over the Roman Empire and most, holding to their theories, rejected him, preferring Barabbas and Caesar. They thought he would then come in glory, but he came to bring grace and to die as the sacrifice. Today, we have a similar situation of deceptive theories (Isa. 60:1,2). I'll be bold and suggest several teachings that need to be questioned.
    That the temple will be built in Jerusalem. Some of this comes from the idea that Ezekiel wrote about a temple. The Lord, through him, never said that it should be built anywhere. The purpose of the explanation beginning in ch. 40 is shown in ch. 43. God was particular and the people needed to reform.
    That for unity's sake, we should all follow the papacy. Jesus prayed for unity in John 17 but in the context of truth as in the Word. Peter said we should obey God rather than men.
    That some special people who are ready will be raptured and that others will have a new chance to be saved during 3½ years. Texts are bent to show this, but it isn't what the Bible teaches when looking at the whole scope of truth. Read the end of Matt. 24. The evil servant said that the master had delayed his coming. Now is the time when the rapture theory says he cannot come because the rapture hasn't yet happened. There's more evidence in connection with the wicked servant but it takes too much background to share now.
    Jesus explained his return in very simple language in John 14:1-3. He would go, and he would return to get us and to take us where he went -- to his father's house -- heaven Mt. 6:9. When he comes, he will not come to the earth but we will meet him in the air (not in heaven either) 1 Thess. 4:16, 17. He doesn't come down to the earth again until the end of the thousand years Rev. 21. Chapter 20 and the first verses of 21 cover the thousand years from beginning to end. You won't find any temple building, or any conversions, or any desecration, or any seven years. The wicked living at the time of Christ's coming are killed as beast and false prophet are put out of business Rev. 19. Wicked ones who are dead at that time just stay dead (Rev. 20:5; 1 Thess. 4:16, 17.) until raised at the end of the thousand years. There are no wicked to be converted.
    Maybe I've written too much. I wouldn't want you to get indigestion. Please look up all the texts. I've covered a lot of territory in a short space so you may want to study and pray. I'll pray that God will be your wisdom and the Holy Spirit your light.
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Prophetic Testimony About the final Trouble on Earth

Notice what Ellen White predicted:
     With the ungodly there will be a deceptive harmony that but partially conceals a perpetual discord. In their opposition to the will and the truth of God they are united, while on every other point they are rent with hatred, emulation, jealousy, and deadly strife.
     The Lord is removing His restrictions from the earth, and soon there will be death and destruction, increasing crime, and cruel, evil working against the rich who have exalted themselves against the poor. Those who are without God's protection will find no safety in any place or position. Human agents are being trained and are using their inventive power to put into operation the most powerful machinery to wound and to kill.
     The Lord will arise to shake terribly the earth. We shall see troubles on all sides. Thousands of ships will be hurled into the depths of the sea. Navies will go down, and human lives will be sacrificed by millions. Fires will break out unexpectedly, and no human effort will be able to quench them. The palaces of earth will be swept away in the fury of the flames. Disasters by rail will become more and more frequent; confusion, collision, and death without a moment's warning will occur on the great lines of travel. The end is near, probation is closing. Oh, let us seek God while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near! (Ellen White, Faith I Live By p. 343.) Ellen White was an Adventist author who wrote extensively, I believe, generally under the guidance of the Holy Spirit as many have done in past ages.(Written around 1890.)
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