From Dust to Stars

From Dust to Stars

Scripture: Daniel 12:3
Date: 03/28/2020  Lesson: 13
'Amid the pains and struggle of life, how can we draw hope and comfort from the promise of the resurrection at the end? Why, in a very real sense, does almost nothing else matter?'

Who Is Michael the Archangel? - Paper or Digital Download

Who Is Michael the Archangel? - Paper or Digital Download
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Jëan Ross: Good morning, friends, and welcome again to "Sabbath School Study Hour," here at the Granite Bay Seventh Day Adventist Church, in Sacramento, California. We'd like to welcome all of those who are joining us online. I know we have our online members that tune in every week. Very special welcome to you and also to our regular Sabbath School members who are here in person. I know we have some visitors who are joining us for Sabbath School today. A very warm welcome to all of you.

We're finishing up our study on the book of Daniel this morning. Daniel chapter 12 is the actual chapter we'll be studying, but in your lesson quarterly, it's lesson number 13, and it's entitled "From Dust to Stars," and that's going to be our study for this morning. And then for those of you who are here in person, we'd like to remind you that next Sabbath we're going to be starting our new lesson quarterly, entitled "How to Interpret Scripture," and we do have our lesson quarterly, so they're available for you in our church foyer, so be sure to pick one up before you leave today. And next week, study lesson number one, "How to Interpret Scripture," also for our friends who are joining us online, you could go to the Amazing Facts website, and you can actually download a copy of our new lesson quarterly entitled "How to Interpret Scripture," and you can study along with us.

We do have a free offer we'd like to tell you about. It is a book entitled "Who Is Michael the Archangel?" And we'll be happy to send this to anyone who calls and asks for the book. The number is 866-788-3966, and just ask for Offer Number 107--or 170, I should say--170, and we'll be happy to send this to anyone who calls and asks, or you can download a copy of the book by texting the code "SH094," to the number 40544. And, again, the book is entitled "Who is Michael the Archangel?" I think you'll find that a rather fascinating and important study.

Well, before we get to our study this morning, I'd like to invite the ladies to come forward, and they'll be leading us in our Sabbath School song today.

Good morning, happy Sabbath. Please join us in singing "Near the Cross," number 312 in your hymnals.

♪♪♪

♪ Jesus, keep me near the cross ♪

♪ There's a precious fountain ♪

♪ Free to all, a healing stream ♪

♪ Flows from Calvary's mountain ♪

♪ In the cross ♪

♪ In the cross ♪

♪ Be my glory ever ♪

♪ Till my raptured soul shall find ♪

♪ Rest beyond the river ♪

♪ Near the cross ♪

♪ A trembling soul ♪

♪ Love and mercy found me ♪

♪ There the bright and morning star ♪

♪ Sheds its beams around me ♪

♪ In the cross ♪

♪ In the cross ♪

♪ Be my glory ever ♪

♪ Till my raptured soul shall find ♪

♪ Rest beyond the river ♪

♪ Near the cross ♪

♪ O Lamb of God ♪

♪ Bring its scenes before me ♪

♪ Help me walk from day to day ♪

♪ With its shadows o'er me ♪

♪ In the cross ♪

♪ In the cross ♪

♪ Be my glory ever ♪

♪ Till my raptured soul shall find ♪

♪ Rest beyond the river ♪

♪ Near the cross ♪

♪ I'll watch and wait ♪

♪ Hoping, trusting ever ♪

♪ Till I reach the golden strand ♪

♪ Just beyond the river ♪

♪ In the cross ♪

♪ In the cross ♪

♪ Be my glory ever ♪

♪ Till my raptured soul shall find ♪

♪ Rest beyond the river ♪♪

Thank you for singing with us.

Jëan: Amen, what a beautiful song, we can have rest in Jesus. Let's bow our heads for prayer. Dear Father, we thank You that we're able to gather together in Your house on this Sabbath that You've given us to open up Your Word and study a very important passage in the book of Daniel. Father, we ask for the Holy Spirit as always to come and guard our hearts and our minds, and, Father, it's good news as we read in Daniel about the promise for those who love You, that You're going to come again, and You're going to resurrect those who trust in You. So bless our study time today, for we ask this in Jesus' name, amen.

Our lesson today is going to be brought to us by Pastor Doug.

Doug Batchelor: Morning, welcome, we're glad you're here this Sabbath. I want to welcome also those who are studying with us. We have a lot of people around the world who are some of our online members. They don't have a local church they can attend, and I want to welcome you as well as those who are just joining us on Facebook, or some of them watching on satellite television. And we have a class that is all around the world, and it's always just so thankful as we travel and meet the people that are studying with us.

Just a couple of weeks ago, Karen and I were in Nashville and in Chattanooga, and met a lot of our friends there, as well. Got out of Nashville just before the hurricanes came through, or the tornado, I should say, came through, and need to be praying for those folks.

We have an exciting lesson today, dealing with the subject of Daniel, and we're talking about the last chapter in Daniel, Daniel chapter 12. It's lesson 13. Keep in mind, there's 12 chapters in Daniel all through this quarterly because we had one chapter for an introduction. The lesson has always been one ahead of the chapter. So we're on lesson 13, covering Daniel chapter 12, a great, great chapter.

And there's a memory verse from Daniel 12, verse 3. We'd like to invite you to say it with us. Daniel, chapter 12, verse 3, and this is from the New King James Version. Are you ready? "Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever." That's one of my favorite verses.

You know, if you're an evangelist, you like to encourage people to turn others to righteousness. Now, you know what I'd like to do, there's 13 verses in this chapter, I want to read through it. And then we're going to back up, and we're going to study it. This is a very important chapter. It's sort of a culmination of the book of Daniel, and it is somewhat of a controversial chapter because there are more time prophecies in this chapter than any other short passage of Scripture. And so there's been a lot of discussion about that, and we'll get to that at the end so--but there's so much good material ahead of time. So we're going to read these verses.

I'll just read through it for you, and then we'll back up, and we'll study them point by point. Chapter 12, Daniel, verse 1: "'At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people, and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never been since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt, and those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.

But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end. Many will run to and fro, and knowledge will increase.' Then I, Daniel, looked, and there stood two others, one on this side of the riverbank and the other on the other side of the riverbank. And one said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, 'How long shall be the fulfillment of these wonders?'

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, when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.' Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, 'My lord, what shall be the end of these things?' And he said, 'Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many will be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked will do wickedly, and none of the wicked will understand, but the wise will understand. And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be 1,290 days. Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the 1,335 days. But you, go your way till the end, for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days,'" or it says "arise in your lot," if you've got the King James Version, "At the end of your days."

Okay, there you have it. Now, we're going to go through these verses one by one, and we'll get as far as we can, but at least we can say we finished the book of Daniel, amen? I would like to read, just read through it with you. First of all, "at that time," at what time? To understand what he's talking about when he says "at that time," you've got to go back, and you go to chapter 11, and in verse 40 of chapter 11, you'll notice it says, "And at the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him," or push against him, "and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and many ships, and he will enter the countries and overwhelm and pass through. He'll also enter the Glorious Land."

So when it says, "at that time," is talking about at the time of the end. Now, the phrase, "the time of the end" is mentioned five times, I think it's called "the end of time" or "the time of the end" in the book of Daniel. So Daniel is a prophecy book that deals with the time of the end, it's mentioned several times in the book, and it takes--the prophecies in Daniel typically go from the time of Daniel, when he has the prophecy, up until the end of time, and God's kingdom is restored.

Keep in mind, the book of Daniel is written in the context of one of the sons or grandsons of Hezekiah of the royal seed. They have been displaced, the temple's been destroyed, they've been conquered, they're carried off into another kingdom, and the theme in the book is "When will God's kingdom be restored?" And it goes beyond the kingdom of Israel, after 70 years being restored, goes on to the ultimate restoration under the Son of God. So he's also in verse 1 of chapter 12. "The time of the end," speaking about that time where you've got the battle between the king of the North and South.

I know that was covered last week, and most Adventist scholars agree, and, actually, most of the Protestant reformers agree the King of the North is talking about that little horn power, and it's the confederacy of the apostate Christianity, both Protestant, Catholic charismatic, that will join together, and then there's this battle against the King of the South.

There's some disagreement about who the King of the South is. I've heard everything from, you know, the Ottoman Empire, to atheism, to Islam. Personally, I'm more inclined to think it's Islam. I've got good friends that believe it's atheism, but since the fall of Communism and since things are even changing in China now, where Christianity and religion is spreading once again, I think it may be something else so--but we won't delve into that. So here we are, these final events, the time of the end, and he said, "Michael will stand up."

All right, two things here--Michael. Some of you heard when we talked in chapter 10 about Michael, but some people are watching that missed a lot, and I just want to review. "Michael" is one of the pre-incarnation names for Christ. Christ is the everlasting Son of God. He is not an angel. People hear me say, "Michael the archangel is Jesus." They go, "You don't think Jesus is the Son of God," or "You don't think Jesus is eternal." No, no, no. It's the other way around.

The word "angel" simply means "messenger." "Michael" means "who is as God." "Archangel" means "highest messenger." So who is the highest messenger that is as God? That's Jesus. And you look at the evidence in the Bible, and you're going to see, well, it tells us that Michael resurrects Moses. In Jude verse 9, who is the resurrection of life? Christ. You read in 1 Thessalonians 4, "The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout and the voice of the archangel." The Lord Himself, voice of the archangel.

So who is the one descending from heaven? Christ. He's got the greatest messenger. You read where it tells us that Joshua takes his shoes off his feet as he bows before the commander of the Lord's armies, and many think that was what they call a "Christophany," where Jesus appears to humans, But he says he's commander of the Lord's armies, another term for Michael, but he's taking off his shoes because he's worshiping, and you only worship God. You with me? And so when you look at the evidence for Michael that appears through the Bible, and it says, "The great prince that stands for the children of thy people," intercedes, stands for the behalf. Who is that? That's Christ.

Now, just so you--I've heard people say, "Well, this is some weird Seventh-day Adventist teaching." No, friend, sorry. It is a Protestant teaching. Melanchthon, Luther's partner, insisted Michael is Christ. He called, in the New Testament, and archangel. He is none other than Christ, the Son of God, an uncreated angel who is one, and it says in Daniel 10:13, that means who is "chief of all the princes." That's what that means. John Gill, he says in his commentary, "Superior to angels, in nature, name, and office, he came to 'help' Gabriel, not as a creature, but as the Lord of hosts." "Michael is commonly--" this is John Wesley. "Michael is commonly supposed to mean Christ." One more evidence for that, when you go to Revelation chapter 12, Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels.

Well, who is the dragon? Dragon is a symbolic name for the chief of evil, the devil. If that's true, then why would we doubt that Michael is a symbolic name for the chief of good, God the Son? And so I think there's lots of evidence for that. Please request the free booklet if you've got questions on that because there's a lot more Scripture. The free booklet is on "Who is Michael the Archangel?" "Michael will stand up."

Now, what does "stand up" mean? Well, a couple things. There's a judgment that takes place in the book of Daniel. When a judge sits down--you know, when the judge first enters a court room, the bailiff often says, "All rise," out of respect. And when he's seated, then the people are seated. You can read in Daniel that the thrones were set in place. The court was seated. There's a judgment that takes place.

When the judge stands up, is he listening to evidence anymore? He issues his verdict, then he stands up. Judgment is over. So there's one aspect. You can also say in the Bible that, when a king was roused to stand, it meant he was getting ready to go into battle, and he was going to defend his people. Some of you had fathers that, you know, kids were goofing off in the house, and he was sitting down, you know, enjoying dinner and watching the program, and he'd say, "Don't make me get up." Anyone have a father like that? "If I get up, if I have to go through the trouble of getting up, there's going to be consequences."

And so when God rises, something's going to happen. That's what's happening here. And I'll give you a couple of verses for that you can read where it says in Revelation, chapter 1, verse 5, "And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth." So it says, "Michael, our prince." "And to him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood." Go to Isaiah 3:13, "The Lord stands up to plead. "The Lord stands to judge His people." And "judge" means "execute judgment."

Revelation 14:1, "Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him 144,000, having their Father's name written in their forehead." So--and it tells us that He's a great prince that stands for the sons of our people. He's the intercessor. Look in Romans 8:34, "Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us." So Jesus is that great prince that stands for the sons of the people, something like a defense attorney who represents and intercedes on our behalf.

You've probably seen paintings before where Jesus is portrayed. Harry Anderson has a nice painting like this. Jesus is portrayed, and all you see is the light from God. You don't see the throne of God. You see the light from the throne of the Father, shining on Christ. There's some shadows in the background, and Jesus is spreading out His hands before the Father. You've probably seen paintings like this. He's interceding. He is standing as our mediator, our Paraclete, our intercessor with the Father. You look in Hebrews 7:25, "Therefore He is also to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them."

Now, right now, because of Jesus, probation is not closed. The door of mercy is open, and we can boldly come before the throne of God. There's no more veil that separates us from God. In Christ, the veil is taken away. We go to the Father Himself. We pray directly to the Father through Christ. We do not have to go through a priest. We do not have to go through an earthly mediator. We have a friend in heaven, He's a heavenly mediator. This is one of the great battles of the Reformation. You know, the church was saying, "You got to go through the priests to get to God." And Luther and others, says, "No, we can now come boldly before the throne through Christ." What a privilege that we can go directly to God. And you can, again, read that verse in Daniel 7, verse 10, "A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. Thousands of thousands ministered to Him. Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him, and the court was seated, and the books were opened."

So you've got this judgment taking place earlier in Daniel. When you get to the last chapter, He stands up. Judgment's over. All through the book of Daniel, the people of God are being oppressed by various kingdoms. Michael stands up. He girds His armor on, mounts His horse. You see Him in Revelation, coming as the Word of God, going forth to conquer. And so--and to defend and to deliver his people. So this is what's happening here in the first verses, and notice what else it says. "And then shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people will be delivered, every one who is found written in the book." Wow, there's a lot there.

First of all, "time of trouble." There's times of trouble. How many of you have gone through a time of trouble? Most of us, right? Varying degrees, and you look at the news--and, boy, we just came back from Australia, and they had fire and rain, just everything burning up, and then it was flooding. You think about World War I and the troubles in the trenches of France and Germany. It was terrible.

Think about the Civil War. You know, America lost more people during battles in the Civil War than the entire World War II. I mean, just the bloodshed was--the carnage was unbelievable, "time of trouble." You think about the Holocaust and World War II. Think about the tsunami in 2004, 260,000 people perish in two days. I mean, there has been some time of trouble, but when it talks about this "time of trouble," it's not isolated to this place or that place. It's talking about a universal time of trouble, and it can't be compared to anything before. It says, "unlike anything."

Now, keep in mind, when you talk about the "time of trouble," Jesus refers to this. Let me read what Jesus says, and then I'll elaborate a little bit. Matthew 24, verse 15, if you got your Bibles, "Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place." Now, when we get to the dates in this study, I'll talk more about that, but Jesus--first of all, does Jesus think that Daniel was a prophet? So we're real safe believing that Daniel is inspired by God because Jesus said he was. Otherwise, you've got to throw out the whole Bible. In that case, what are you doing here?

So the whole purpose of studying this is because we believe the Word of God is true. Jesus said Daniel's a prophet, and he says the "'abomination of desolation,' whoever reads, let him understand." Now, this is a parenthetical statement. People wonder, "Did Jesus say this?" Did Matthew, writing it, say this? Did a scribe insert it? They're saying--you're supposed to pray. Why does he say, "Let him who reads, understand"? Because we just read in chapter 12, he says, "The wise will understand." He said not everyone will understand, and they may not understand till the time of the end. The time of the end, it'll be opened up. So there's a prayer inserted in this statement, "Let the wise understand." "Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains." Of course, it depends on where you are. "Let those who are on their housetop go not down to take anything out of his house." This is going to be such a bad time. You better head for the hills, like Lot running from Sodom. He said, "Don't even look back." "Let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes." There's an urgency. "But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in--" make a note of this-- "those who are nursing babies in those days, and pray that your flight be not be in winter--" he's talking about fleeing. Not a flight on an airplane. "Not in winter or on the Sabbath." He still knew God's people would be keeping the Sabbath.

Now listen to what Jesus said, verse 21, Matthew 24, "For 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. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved," and the word "flesh" there doesn't just mean human. It means no life. They used to call--same word used for animal flesh would be saved. "But for the elect's sake those days will be shortened." So that's pretty powerful. Jesus is saying, "Yeah, Daniel meant what he said when he said there's going to be a time of trouble such as there never has been but--" and there's a time period connected with the time of trouble.

The time of times and the dividing of time, three and a half, 42 months, 1,260 days, the day and year is prophecy. Typically that time period is a time of persecution. It was during a time of trouble that it did not rain for 1,260 days in Elijah's time, right? Jezebel was killing the prophets. They're hiding in caves. They're fleeing for their lives. There was another three-and-a-half-year period of time during the time of Christ's ministry, and during the time, He had to hide. They said, "You go to Jerusalem, they'll kill you." They took up stones. They wanted to throw Him off a cliff. It was a time of persecution and rejection.

Then you've got that time at the end of three and a half years when the disciples are in Jerusalem. Stephen is killed--first martyr. Another three-and-a-half-year time period. Then you've got the three and a half years of the Dark Age. Now, this is a time of trouble historically. In Matthew 24, Jesus is answering three questions: "What will be the sign of your coming?" "The destruction of Jerusalem, the end of the world?" He commingles his answer.

What happened to the Jews--if you've read the book, "Great Controversy," it begins with a fall of Jerusalem. What happens to the Jews is a preamble for the last days. The great time of trouble that the Jews went through when Jerusalem was destroyed was terrible. You read about that. That also prefigures a historic time of trouble from 538 to 1798 when the woman fled into the wilderness, and the dragon tried to destroy her because he couldn't get to the man-child.

You still with me? One thousand two hundred and sixty years where estimates between 30 and 50 million Christians and Jews were killed because of their faith by the political, religious government of that time. But then there's--it talks about at the end of that time, the sun is darkened, the moon turns to blood, the stars fall from heaven. Those things happened historically, but those things happen again in quick succession near the end of time. You still with me? Because it also says, "The heavens depart as the scroll, and every island and mountain has moved out of its place." That hasn't happened yet, so quickly--clearly, it happens again in quick succession near the end of time.

But just before the end, there is a time of trouble. Now, that time of trouble is connected with the beast's power. You cannot buy or sell, and you might divide it into two parts. The first part, there's going to be a great persecution. Probation is not closed yet, but during this time of great darkness and persecution, when you can't buy or sell, Christians will be sharing in great power. When they're being tried, you'll be brought before kings and rulers. How long is that time? Not sure. Some thought, "Well, maybe that'll be three and a half years," we don't know for sure. But there's a small time of trouble.

But once there is a death decree, and once probation closes, you've got the--and it's in the mother of all times of trouble, which is the seven last plagues that you find in Revelation chapter 15 and 16, and if you read through that, I think you'll agree, "Yeah, that's got to be the worst." "Men are scorched with great heat. The oceans have turned to blood. The fresh waters have turned to blood." That's where most of the people in the world live. You know, most of the people in the world, as of about four years ago, are now in urban areas, where, before, they used to be in the country. The cities--and soon 60% of the world's population will be in the cities, and 90% of the world's cities are by the oceans or rivers. Very few cities are not by an ocean or a river, right? Including Sacramento and others. They turn to blood.

Darkness on the seat of the beast. "Noisome, grievous sores." People are in--I mean, they're gnawing their tongues from pain, and it's unimaginable, that great time of trouble. I'm not worried about that part because the Bible promises, Psalm 91, during that great time of trouble, "Only with your eyes will you see and behold the punishment of the wicked." "No plague will come near your dwelling. A thousand may fall in your hand, ten thousand at your right side," I'm misquoting this slightly, but you know, Psalm 91.

So, you see, and it's happening around you. You're seeing it happen around you. I don't believe the secret rapture that we leave before this time of trouble. "But no plague will come nigh your dwelling." Did God protect the children of Israel during that great time of trouble before the exodus? Is the Lord going to come and get us out of this world? There'll be a mass exodus when the Lord descends from heaven, right?

We're here during those seven last plagues, but He preserves us during that. There were ten plagues that fell on Egypt. The first three plagues, the Israelites experience the suffering along with the Egyptians, but God protected them through the seven last plagues that fell on Egypt. So there's a lesson there, and he'll protect us through the seven last plagues.

So there's a great time of trouble. Says, "Every one who's delivered is--who is written in the book." What book do you think that is? The Book of the Lamb, the Book of Life, and is your name written there? The Bible says, "Those who think often upon the Lord and talk about Him, they pray," says, "I will not take their names out of My book that I've written." And so if you have a relationship with the Lord, you're following the Lord to the best of your ability, then you've committed your life to Him. You're trusting in His salvation. Your name is entered into the Book of Life.

All right, so that's verses 1, that we looked at there. I'm going to read something to you from "Prophets and Kings" 278, "We are standing on the threshold of a crisis of the ages. In quick succession the judgments of God will follow one another, fire, flood, earthquake, with war and bloodshed." Once those angels release their grip, the Bible says right now those four angels are holding back the winds of strife. Why? Waiting for the servants of God to be sealed in their forehead.

Do you and I get to participate in helping others learn the message so they can receive the seal? Yeah, so by our ministry, we can help hasten that day. All right, verse 2, "Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt."

Now, Jesus tells us that there's two resurrections. You've got the resurrection of the just, you've got the resurrection of the lost, but this is making it sound like, at the end of that time, both resurrections are happening. Why? Is there a special group resurrected when Jesus comes that is lost? We know the dead in Christ rise. All right, listen to what it says here in Revelation chapter 1, verse 7: "Behold, He's coming in the clouds, and every eye will see Him--" talking about when He comes next-- "even those who pierced Him." How can those who pierced Him--when He was on the cross, He was pierced. His hands were pierced. His side was pierced. His brow was pierced with thorns. The people that were responsible for His execution, not just the soldiers themselves, but the priests that put them up to it, Pilate will be there and Caiaphas. They're going to be raised to see Him come in glory. This is called a special resurrection. Some people struggle with these exceptions.

You know, it's true that "It's appointed unto men once to die, after that, the judgment," but there's a couple of exceptions. Enoch did not die. Elijah did not die, right? I mean, God's allowed to make exceptions because He's God. And so, yes, most of the people, the righteous are raised, first resurrection. There'll be a few wicked raised.

Let me give you another verse. Matthew 26, Jesus is talking to the high priest when he said, "I adjure thee under an oath, "'Are you the Christ?' Jesus responds, 'It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.'" Caiaphas would be raised to see that Jesus is the Messiah.

And so there are going to be some who were especially involved in the trial and execution of Christ that they're going to have that resurrection. But for the majority, the wicked, their resurrection takes place at the end of the 1,000 years. It says, "Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection," Revelation chapter 20. The rest of the dead--if the dead in Christ rise first, who are the rest of the dead? The wicked. They come forth after the thousand years are finished. John 5:28 and 29, "Do not marvel at this, for the hour is coming in which all that are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth, those that have done good, to the resurrection of life, those who have done evil--"

Now, notice, aren't we saved by faith? But here, Jesus makes it sound like we're judged by works. That's what the Bible says: You are saved by faith. You are judged by works. Your works show if you have a saving faith. That's not that hard. And a lot of people say, "Lord, Lord," and they don't do what God calls them to do, and He says, "Don't call me 'Lord, Lord.' You don't really trust Me." All right, and, of course, the wicked are raised to the resurrection of condemnation.

Now we're going to Daniel 12, verse 3: "Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever." And he's gone from dust, "Those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake." So it tells us that, when Michael stands up, not long after that, there's a resurrection, so we are definitely talking about the time of the end. We agreed?

And then it's also telling us that "Those who are wise--" what is "wisdom"? We're going to talk about the Queen of Sheba in our message today. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." So these are the God-fearing people, "And those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever." "He that wins souls is wise." You know, David prays in Psalm 51, "Take not Your Holy Spirit from me," "Then sinners will be converted to You." We must be Spirit-filled, and what's our goal when we are Spirit-Filled? Jesus said, "Wait in Jerusalem. You'll receive the promise of the Holy Spirit, and you will be My witnesses." We will be turning others to righteousness.

The mission of every Christian should be you come to Christ, and then you go for Christ. You love the Lord with all your heart, and because of that, you then love your neighbor, and you share the Gospel, using your different gifts. Daniel 11:33, it says, "And those of the people who understand shall instruct many, yet for many days, they'll fall by the sword and by flame and by captivity and plundering." Says there's going to be a people who will be wise. They're understanding, but they are a persecuted people. And Matthew chapter 13, verse 43, "Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear." Jesus says, you know, He's called us to be that light on the hill, to be witnesses.

Go to verse 4, Daniel 12, verse 4: "But you, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end. Many will run to and fro, and knowledge will increase." Well, as an evangelist, we like to teach this literally. People are running to and fro more now than they ever have, and technology has increased now more than ever before. Nobody argues that. That, to me, is, I think, it just--it's certainly unprecedented. I don't think this is the primary thing Daniel is talking about here. No question, we are living in the day when knowledge--I mean, just think about the coalesce, concentrated knowledge you've got in your smartphone. How dependent has the world become on their smartphone?

I played racquetball with a guy a few weeks ago and he's got this big lump in his pocket, and I said, "Don't you want to put your wallet somewhere else?" He's, "Oh, no, that's my phone." I said, "You're playing racquetball with your phone?" He said, "Yeah, I'm counting my heartbeats and my steps." I mean, people use their phones for everything now, and they got an app for everything, and if you had shown that to the apostles, they would've thought you were possessed by an evil spirit. Just think about the knowledge now that we have at our fingertips.

But what is He really talking about? What does it mean to run to and fro? Zechariah 4:10, "They are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro throughout the whole earth," running to and fro often in searching. Didn't just mean travel. It is true, "National Geographic" tells us we're living in an age now where people are traveling more and farther from home than any other time in history, but running to and fro means searching. Look in Amos 8, verse 12: "They'll wander from sea to sea, and from north to east, they'll run to and fro, seeking, to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord, but not find it."

So what's going to happen in the last days? Well, what's the concern of Daniel in the chapter? He said, "People don't understand." Several times, Daniel has a vision, then later, the angel helps him understand, and now he said, "I don't understand," he said, "but the wise will understand." How are they going to understand? "They will run to and fro, running to and fro--" where? From Genesis to Revelation. They're going through the Word of God. They're seeking, and they're discovering what the prophecies mean. They're discovering more about the truth. This is the greatest knowledge that God speaks of in His Word.

So, "Shut up the words. Seal the book till the time of the end." It's going to be sealed. God says, you know, "Well, it won't be until the time of the end." They understand. Why? Was God trying to hide it? Well, it was more relevant at the end, for one thing. Another reason, the Bibles had been taken away from people until Gutenberg, and they just didn't have it. The two witnesses were clothed in sackcloth for how long? One thousand two hundred and sixty years.

So the Word of God was hidden, but after that time period, Bible societies were formed, Bibles, the printing became a lot easier, and it was distributed widely, and people began to run to and fro through--I'll tell you what, friends. I can run to and fro through the Word of God now in my lifetime. Going from paper to digital, it's amazing how quick I can search things and find them now. I can't imagine going back to my "Strong's Concordance," I'm sorry, thumbing through all that microscopic print for one word, and then say, "No, that's not it," and then in, thumbing through another one, lines and lines of every word in the Bible. That's if you had "The Exhaustive," there's a reason they called it "The Exhaustive Strong's Concordance."

Now "People are running to and fro, and knowledge is increased." Go to verse 5 and 6: "Then I, Daniel, looked, and there stood two others, on the riverbank, one on one side of the river, and another on the other. And he said to the man clothed in linen," now, you notice, this starts, you go to chapter 10. It says they're by the Tigris River. The whole vision, from chapter 10 through 12, is one vision. So he's returning to this, the riverbank vision, and one angel says to the man clothed in linen, who is above the river--so you've got this--either Gabriel or someone who is a Christ above the river, and they're saying, "How long till the fulfillment of these wonders?" So the context of what you're going to hear about the time prophecies is in response to a question. These wonders is not just talking about the prophecies of chapter 10, 11, and 12. These wonders is talking about the battle between the kingdoms that you see from chapter 1 to chapter 12.

The whole book of Daniel and all the prophecies are all revolving around who is the real King. Isn't that right? Nebuchadnezzar ends up saying, "Lord, you're King," and Nebuchadnezzar bows after the image is interpreted, saying, "Your God is the God of gods." Darius says, "Your God is King." So through the whole book, it's like, is Persia in charge, is Babylon in charge, or is God in charge? Is it the Greeks, is it the Romans, is it the little horn? Who is the real King? That's the whole theme through the book of Daniel, and the ultimate answer is, of course, Jesus, Michael, stands up. He is the King of kings. And he said, "How long shall be the fulfillment of these wonders?"

Now, this is so important to understand because God often gives the final verses. He says, "Time of trouble, every one written in the book of life be saved. You'll shine forever." Then God goes back and gives more detail. He's going back to these visions that had been covered, many of the visions about the kingdoms. And you go to Daniel 12, verse 7, "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 the heavens, and he swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time, when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, and all these things shall be finished."

In other words, the finishing of the shattering of the power of God's people. They were persecuted, scattered, and shattered for 1,260 years, then the beast receives a deadly wound. And then this is all happening in the backdrop of a great Reformation, and Bibles being printed, and the Great Awakening. 1798, God raises up a new country that becomes--speaks like a lamb. It becomes the seat of international missions and also becomes the largest military power in the world. Starts out protecting religious freedom. And so it's reaching down to our day here.

Notice also, this angel raises his hands. I'm watching my clock because I want to get into the time. In verse 5 and 6, "The angel who I saw--" this is Revelation 10:5 and 6. Notice, "Standing on the sea and the dry land, raises up his hand to heaven, swears by Him who lives forever and ever, who created the heaven and the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delay time no longer," no longer delay in these prophecies being fulfilled. This is a parallel of Daniel chapter 12, verse 7, Revelation 10. Angel bowing, lifting his hand there by the rivers. A lot of comparisons.

All right, Chapter 12, verse 8 and 10, "Although--" Daniel 12:8 and 10, "Although I heard, I did not understand." Notice the big struggle, "I don't understand." "Then I said, 'My Lord, what shall be the end of these things?' He said, 'Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed and sealed till the time of the end.'" "Don't worry, don't fret, Daniel, it's going to happen after you're gone." "Many shall be purified and made white, and refined, but the wicked will do wickedly, and none of the wicked will understand, but the wise will understand." I love this verse because He says, "many."

You know, so often, Jesus says, "It's the many who are on the wide road. Before it's over, many will be purified and made white." I want to be one of those many, don't you? And He says, "The many are the ones who fear the Lord. They're the wise. They will understand." Says there's going to be a group of people in the end that will be purified, made white, and they will understand from running to and fro and searching the Word of God. These prophecies will come to light.

You know, this is The Great Advent Awakening that happened about 150 years ago, a little more than that. Now, they go through trials, and it says in 1 Peter 1:7, "That the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it's tested by fire, be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ." All right, now Daniel chapter 12, verse 11 and 12, and here's the prophesy numbers people wonder about. "From the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there'll be 1,290 days." Wait, wait, I thought it always says 60. Now we're jumping to 90. That's adding 30 days. "Blessed is he--" by the way, that was one month in the lunar calendar. "Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the 1,335 days."

Now we got three time periods. Marsha, go ahead, put that chart up on the screen for me for our local audience, and you can put the feed out to those that are watching. Three time periods given in this one chapter: 1,260, 1,290, 1,335. Traditionally, most Adventist scholars believe you stay with a historic view on this prophecy. You've got the beginning, really, of the little horn power and the abomination of desolation.

Now, for the Jews, an abomination of desolation was when you brought an idol and idolatry into the house of God. They called it the abomination of the heathen whenever they got--Solomon did it when his wives got him to bring idols in. Manasseh did it, they brought idols, and they called it the abomination, with the conversion of Clovis, who was one of the first barbarian kings, at 508. He is the king that was also instrumental in bringing down these three other horns, the Visigoths, the Heruli, the Ostrogoths, that were Aryans. They did not believe in the Triune God. They believed that Jesus was created. And Clovis, in his conversion, he set up a combination of church and state.

Thirty years later, Justinian, the Roman emperor, he went the next step in 538, and he said, "I am going to issue an edict making the bishop of Rome the new ruler of the church." No longer with a capital in Jerusalem, now it's being moved to Rome. That's where the seat of the little horn was. Bible says that the dragon gave him his power, his seat and great authority, his throne. And both those dates, one is 1290, one is 1260, they both reached to 1798. That's when the beast receives a deadly wound. That's when he makes an end of shattering the power of the people of God.

And then you've got the 1335. It says, "Blessed is he that comes to the 1335--" Why is he blessed? That's the year of The Great Advent Awakening when the prophecies of Daniel were opened. The message of Miller, where he started to give the historic interpretation of these prophecies, incredible light came on the people. They didn't have everything right, but, boy, they had a lot of things right, and they were blessed because they're all excited the Second Coming is taking place, and so that happened in 1843.

Now, in fairness, I should probably say I know there are other views on this subject, and even among our scholars. I've been reading this week--friends, pray for me. I tell you, there's a lot of stuff out there. Great scholar in our church, he was a vice president, Roy Allan Anderson, good books on prophecy, he said, "You know, there is some mystery. It could be the typical historic interpretation, but," he said, "it could be that it's talking about Islam because it's 1,335 days from the call of the Hagia of--" not the Hagia, the, yeah-- "of Muhammad until the Ottoman Empire fell."

Now, I don't agree with him, but that's one view that was put out for years, Roy Allan Anderson. You got a lot of the Protestant people. They say, "Oh, this is all in the past. It was Antiochus Epiphanes," so that doesn't work. He was a Greek, Seleucid king who attack Jerusalem, and he brought an abomination to the temple. That doesn't work because the prophecies of Daniel go way beyond the Greek Empire. They go beyond pagan Rome, they go beyond papal Rome.

So why would it stop there, way back, with the Greeks? That doesn't make sense. This is the one that I think makes the most sense. There are people who then say, "Well, maybe this is a time where you are to apply it. They're not literal years, or days don't represent years, but they're literal days." And then that means that there's going to be three-and-a-half-year time of trouble, and there'll be a Sunday law, and then 30 days after the Sunday law, then the plagues begin, and the plagues last 45 days, and you know what? You'll have to wait and see. I don't teach that because what good will a time prophecy be once probation closes? I mean, how's that going to redeem anybody?

The purpose of prophecy is redemptive. It's to save people. And so, you know, when the time comes, if that happens, it happens, but I think we need to stick with the historic view of these things. The fact is the abomination of desolation, Mary worship, the Mass, confessing your sins to a priest, believing that hell burns forever, purgatory limbo, all of these abominations, so truth was cast to the ground. It all came in during this time period with the support of church and state, and it lasted for over a millennia. This is the stuff that history looks at. History does not look at a headline one day that disappears. The Bible prophecy, rather, is looking at the big picture. These are big-picture events that took place, and this is what I think he's talking about.

Then we got to get to the last verse here because I want to finish. I know I went a minute over. Daniel 12:13, "Go your way till the end of the days," till the end, "for you will rest, and will arise to your inheritance," and the word there, "your lot," you remember when Joshua divided up the Promised Land? It says, "He cast lots for them in Shiloh," Joshua 18:10, "before the Lord. He divided the land to the children of Israel." That's the language that's used. God is telling Daniel, says, "You are going to get your lot in the Promised Land, you go rest." What does "rest" mean? "Many of them sleep in the dust of the earth." "Daniel, you will sleep." Now, not only does it mean Daniel will be resurrected and he's going to get his eternal inheritance, but it means that, in the end of these days, Daniel, his writings come to life. In 1843 and during that time period, there was great light that was shed upon the writings of Daniel. So there's a whole lot more I could say about this.

Hopefully, you found something edifying. Sure enjoyed our study about--on the book of Daniel. How about you? And now we're going--don't forget. Next week, friends, you want to download or go to your local Adventist church and get our next quarterly. Talking about Bible hermeneutics, simply "How to Understand the Bible." If you don't read the Bible correctly, you come up with strange interpretations. This is going to be a great study.

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Doug: You probably heard the expression before, "If you don't like the weather in Texas, just wait. It'll change." And you've also heard, "Everything is bigger in Texas, the ranches, the belt buckles, the cowboy hats," but the most famous slogan about Texas is "Remember the Alamo."

The violent battles and bravery of iconic heroes have been the stuff of legends throughout which entire cultures often draw their identity and pride, even long after centuries have passed. And in Texas, the story of the Alamo has been a rallying cry of Texas independence for 200 years.

One reason that Texans love to brag that "Everything is bigger in Texas," is, of course, because Texas is the largest of the lower 48 U.S. states. It's hard to believe that this massive state got its beginning in a very small Christian mission during the Battle of the Alamo. Every year, this famous mission museum receives over two and a half million visitors from all parts of the planet that are eager to get a good look at this legendary site.

The Alamo played a critical role in the Texas revolution. In December 1835, Texans and Tejano volunteers battled Mexican troops quartered in the city, forcing General Martin Perfecto de Cos to surrender. The victorious volunteers then occupied the Alamo and strengthened its defenses. Famous Americans like Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, and Colonel William Travis, made this location, this ancient mission, the beachhead, the last stand in an epic battle to win independence of Texas from Mexico.

On February 23, 1836, the arrival of General Antonio Lopez Santa Anna, nearly caught them by surprise. Undaunted, the Texans and Tejanos prepared to defend the Alamo. For this small, ragtag group of rebels, the youngest of who was about 16, and the oldest 75, was against a well-trained and organized Mexican army of 6,000-plus soldiers. It was a fierce and lopsided battle, yet the small force of rebels was able to repel the troops for 13 days.

Legend holds that with the possibility of additional help fading, Colonel Travis drew a line in the ground with a sword and asked any man willing to stay and fight to step over the line. All except one crossed over. The final assault came before daybreak. On the morning of March 6, 1836, the 13th day of the siege, cannon and small-arms fire, from inside the Alamo, beat back several Mexican attacks. Regrouping, Santa Anna's soldiers scaled the walls and rushed into the compound. The desperate struggle continued until the defenders were overwhelmed. By sunrise, the battle had ended, and the garrison were slain.

You know, historians may debate some of the details regarding the Battle of the Alamo, but none of them question the incredible sacrifice that was made and the courage that was displayed during that intense conflict. They made the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives, and this is why the story of the Alamo is so inspiring and so encouraging. You know, and that's why the Bible is so inspiring, friends, because someone was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice and give His life so that you can have freedom and eternal life.

Don't you think you could trust your life to a friend like that, that would give everything? The story of the Gospel is a story of courage and hope. It's a story of a God who will never leave you without defense and support. Jesus is the good news, and the Gospel is a story worth remembering.

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