The Resurrection and Eternal Glory of God's People (Daniel Sermon 17 of 17)
April 15, 2001 | Andy Davis
Second Coming of Christ, Glorification
I. Resurrection: Humanity’s Only Hope
Those words were from Revelation chapter 21, you can read them when you get home. Every one of them true. Jesus Christ has defeated death, and His kingdom will live forever and ever. And He holds out for all of us who are alive today an invitation to be part of that kingdom, that we might have eternal life in His name. Now, in the Book of Daniel, as we've been studying it, we've seen a number of other kingdoms and we've seen them rise and we've seen them fall. There was a day when mighty King Nebuchadnezzar walked on the top of the roof of his palace and looked out and said, "Is this not the great Babylon that I have created for the glory and splendor of my majesty?" And so it was. But mighty Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom is gone. He died, he was put in a grave, and his kingdom has sunk into the dust of antiquity. Babylon is no more. After him, there was Cyrus the Great. And there was a time when his armies held sway all over that part of the world. Everything his eyes saw, it conquered and people trembled at his word. But Cyrus the Great is dead, his body is in the grave, and his kingdom, the mighty Persian Empire, has sunk also into the dust of antiquity and is no more.
And after him arose Alexander the Great, king of the Greeks. Greatest military conqueror in history perhaps. And there was a time that he strolled the Earth with a majesty and a power that no one had ever seen before, and no one has seen since perhaps. His armies were never defeated in the field and his empire swelled to a size unheard of up to that time. But Alexander the Great is dead and his kingdom also has sunk into the dust of antiquity. And after him arose another, Caesar Augustus. And under Caesar Augustus' wise leadership and under the power of the Roman legions, the Roman Empire reached a height and a scope and a magnitude that had never been seen before and hasn't been seen since, the greatest human empire in the history of the world. But Caesar Augustus is dead, his body is in the grave, and the Roman Empire has sunk back into the dust of antiquity. And after Caesar Augustus and actually in the days of Caesar Augustus, came another and his name was Jesus Christ. And Jesus walked on the earth for 33 years, ministered for a brief time, was servant to everyone that came up to Him with a need, humble, lowly, never left His home area, did miracles, and mighty things, but was rejected by His own people, and He died just like the other four empire builders, He died.
But that was the beginning and not the end of His empire. With Jesus' death on the cross, and with His resurrection victory, His empire began, not ended. And it has been growing now for 2,000 years, and it circles the Earth. There's not a place on this Earth that people do not know His name and worship Him as God. And Jesus Christ is building an eternal kingdom and it will never, never sink into the dust of antiquity. And because of His resurrection victory, and because of the power that He has over death, He invites all of you to join His kingdom today. To know that power that is above every other power, the power that He gives us over death. Jesus Christ is the eternal death conqueror, and we need it, don't we? As a matter of fact, the resurrection that Jesus Christ gives is humanity's only hope, there is no other. Because death stands over each one of our little empires too, doesn't it? Each one of the people sitting in this room is building a little kingdom, a little house, a little empire, through your deeds, through your efforts, through your relationships; and death stands over every one of you, just like over me, mocking what we do.
Death mocks all of our accomplishments, and death mocks all of our relationships and if we have not the empty tomb of Jesus Christ, we have nothing. We have nothing. But we do have the empty tomb of Jesus Christ, and therefore, we have everything. Jesus Christ is the death conqueror. Humanity, the human race, if it's wise, asks one central question and Job put it into words for us, Job 14:14. "If a man dies, will he live again?" That's a question, isn't it? "If a man dies, will he live again?" Does Scripture answer that question? Yes, it does. The answer is yes. If a man dies, he will live again. Job himself gave us the answer later in Job 19:25-27, he said, "I know that my redeemer lives and that in the end, He will stand upon the Earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh will I see God. I, with my own eyes and not another, how my heart burns within me." That's what Job said. Jesus put it into these words. "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?" Said Jesus to Mary. Do you believe this? Jesus the Good Shepherd said that "The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life, only to take it up again…I have authority to lay it down and I have authority to take it back up again." Just like a cloak. He could lay down His life and like a cloak, take it back up again. Only man in history with total power over death, that's Jesus Christ. And as we've already quoted in John 14, this victory that He has won, which we celebrate today and not just today, but every Sunday, that's why we worship on Sunday, it's resurrection day every week and I celebrate it every day, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He said, "Because I live, you also will live."
No other conquerors, no other conqueror has ever been so generous with the spoils of his victory as Jesus Christ, He gives it to us, because I live, you also will live. Now, you may wonder, why are we preaching on Daniel chapter 12? What does that have to do with the empty tomb of Jesus Christ? May I say to you, everything. Isn't the providence of God wonderful that we just happen to be in Daniel 12 on Easter Sunday? Because Daniel 12, which testifies to a glorious resurrection is the culmination of the whole vision of the Book of Daniel. It really ties everything together and really you can't understand all that Daniel has been saying and what's been going on. You can't understand it, unless you understand resurrection.
Look at verse 2 and 3, just so you know, we're in the right place. We're going to read through the whole chapter in a minute, but look at verse 2 and 3. It says, "Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the Earth will awake." What is that? Look down at the page. Some of you like to just listen to me, I'm not as good... If I don't read it, I don't get as much out of it. Look at the page, we have provided Bibles for those of you who don't have them, reach forward and bring them out, open up to Daniel and look at Daniel 12:2-3. It's printed on the page. "Multitudes of those who sleep in the dust will awake." and this is in the Old Testament. A clear testimony to resurrection. Multitudes of those who sleep in the dust will awake, some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens and those who lead many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever. These words culminate the whole vision and promise of the Book of Daniel, of a kingdom that is being built, that will never end. What good is a kingdom in which the subjects can't enjoy it? And if we are mortal, if death still hangs over us like a cloud, how can we enjoy this eternal kingdom? But Jesus has given Himself that we might have eternal life.
Let's read the whole chapter, and then try to understand it in this context, beginning at verse 1 of chapter 12.
"At that time, Michael the great prince who protects your people will arise. There will be a time of distress, such has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people, everyone whose name is found written in the book, will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the Earth will awake, some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens and those who lead many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever. But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge. Then I, Daniel, looked and there before me stood two others. One on this bank of the river and one on the opposite bank. And one of them said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, how long will it be before these astonishing things are fulfilled? The man clothed in linen who was above the waters of the river lifted his right hand and his left hand toward the heaven and I heard him swear by Him who lives forever saying it will be for a time, times, and half a time. When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed. I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, 'My Lord, what will the outcome of all this be?' He replied, 'Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end. Many will be purified and made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand. From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days. As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days, you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.'"
II. Context: The Final Triumph of God’s Eternal Kingdom
Now, the context of chapter 12 is chapters 1-11. And you can't understand chapter 12 without the first 11 chapters, and I don't think you can understand the first 11 chapters without this final promise of resurrection. But what have we been seeing, what themes have been interweaving in the first 11 chapters? Well, we see a constant struggle between a Heavenly kingdom and a series of Earthly empires, don't we? We see a struggle between one empire after another and this eternal kingdom that God is building.
In Daniel chapter 2, we saw Nebuchadnezzar's dream, remember, a statue with a head of gold and chest and arms of silver and a belly and thighs of bronze, and legs of iron, and feet, partly iron, partly clay. And then we saw a stone cut out but not by human hands flying in and striking that statue and destroying it. And then the stone itself becoming larger and larger and larger until it filled the whole earth. Nebuchadnezzar couldn't understand the dream, but Daniel interpreted it.
Daniel 2:44, I believe, sums up the whole book. In one verse, it sums up the whole book, Daniel 2:44. In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms, and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain but not by human hands, a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces. An eternal kingdom set up by God, not by human hands which is growing and building and filling the whole earth. But not in a vacuum, in the times of those kings, in direct controversy with those kings, in contradiction to the leading of those kings, in an immense power struggle against the kings of the Earth, that kingdom advances. And so Nebuchadnezzar himself embodies a tyrant, who wants to fight against that kingdom.
In chapter 3, he sets up an image of gold that everybody is supposed to worship, and the Jews won't do it. God's holy servants will not bow down to that statue, they're not part of that worldly kingdom. And so they refused to bow down and Nebuchadnezzar playing the role of the tyrant says, "If you don't bow down, I'm going to throw you in the fiery furnace." And they are thrown in the fiery furnace, but God delivers them, God steps in and delivers them. His power is far greater than any earthly potentate, any greater... Any tyrant at all.
Daniel chapter 4, God humbles Nebuchadnezzar, and as I believe brings him into the kingdom. Praise God for Nebuchadnezzar, that he was wise enough. He humbles him, He changes his mind into that of an animal, and then he learns this simple lesson. Daniel 4:34-35: "His [God's] dominion is an eternal dominion. His kingdom endures from generation to generation, all the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as He pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back His hand or say to Him, What are you doing? And those who walk in pride, He is able to humble." Simple lesson. God's kingdom lasts forever. But human kingdoms will sink back down into the dust from which they came.
Daniel 5, Nebuchadnezzar's grandson, Belshazzar refuses to learn this lesson, he drinks a toast to the gods of wood and iron and stone and that very night, his soul is required from him, and that very night, Babylon falls and is no more. Daniel chapter 6, the next king comes along, and foolishly, makes a law that everyone should only pray to him. Do you see the contest all the time? Human kingdoms, God's kingdom, the struggle back and forth, they just won't learn because human kings want to be worshipped, they want to be God. And so, even Darius, no one can pray to any god except to me. So goes the rule. Well, Daniel refuses to do it and is thrown into the lions' den, suffering. And yet God reaches down with His power and rescues him out of that tribulation.
And then in Daniel chapter 7, the central vision of the book, the vision of the son of man, the antichrist, one of those Greek kings and then ultimately the final antichrist, wages war against the kingdom of God, an open war declared, and God intervenes supernaturally, the Son of Man comes with power and great glory, on the clouds of heaven with the armies of Heaven, and He comes and interferes and ends that final Gentile reign. And so it says in Daniel 7:14, "The Son of Man was given authority and glory, and sovereign power. All peoples, nations and men of every language worshipped Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away and His kingdom is one that will never be destroyed." The Son of Man's kingdom will never be destroyed, this is Jesus Christ. And He comes right in the middle of this Gentile kingdom that's attacking the people of God. You see the struggle from one kingdom, and the other back and forth the human kingdoms, like a relay race, they fight against God and God always triumphs and His kingdom keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger until the end.
Daniel chapter 8 speaks about Alexander the Great and this man Antiochus Epiphanes, who opposed him, the same thing. Fighting against God.
Daniel chapter 9, a vision of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The cross of Jesus Christ, which makes it possible for us to enter eternal life, all of us are sinners, every last one of us has done evil things in God's sight, and we cannot enter the kingdom except that we be cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ, the blood that was shed on the cross, and that very thing is prophesied in Daniel chapter 9. A cleansing and atoning for sin.
In Daniel 10 and 11, we have the final visions of kingdoms, fighting one another, wrestling and struggling for supremacy, not realizing that the real Kingdom is the kingdom of God and that these little squabbles don't mean a thing. They wrestle over things that are going to disappear on that final day.
And so we come to chapter 12, we've seen an irresistible advance of the kingdom of Jesus Christ. He's building His kingdom. It's spreading from nation to nation and human empires and human emperors, kings, can either be wise or foolish. In the words of Psalm 2, you can either take your stand against the Lord and against His anointed one and fight against Him and be destroyed. Or at the end of Psalm 2 you can be wise and kiss the Son, embrace Him and worship Him.
Nebuchadnezzar, I believe, was wise, he learned, but others do not, and so we have that final arrogant human king, the antichrist, who seeks to dominate the whole world by his power. At the end of chapter 11, he's discussed and he attacks the people of God. That's what they always do. The persecution rains down, the attack comes, and it's a powerful attack, and in the midst of that comes the second coming of Jesus Christ, the final showdown. And so, we have in this focus, in this chapter, we have a focus on God's people and I think specifically on the Jews. The ultimate fate of Daniel's people. Now, we remember that Daniel in chapter 6, knelt down and prayed toward Jerusalem. He just prayed toward Jerusalem three times a day, he's praying for the Holy City, and he's praying for the Jewish people. That they would return to God, that they would repent of their sins. Daniel 9 gave a vision of 70 weeks before that whole process would be finished, and at the end of the world at last, the Jews would return to God and that they would understand that God is triune. He's Father, Son and Spirit, and that Jesus the Son of Man really is the Son of God, and that they will embrace him nationally and that they will kiss Him and recognize Him as their Messiah.
Well, how do you know this? Well, it says so in the Scripture. It says so in Romans 11:25-27. It says, "I do not want you to be ignorant to this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited." It's printed in your bulletin. "Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and so all Israel will be saved, as it is written, 'The deliverer will come from Zion, he will turn godlessness away from Jacob and this is my covenant with them, when I take away their sins.'" In no way can the Jewish people be said to have their sins taken away until they turn to Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, and recognized that He is their Messiah. And they will, so says Romans 11. But just because the nation as a whole turns to Christ and embraces Him, does not mean that individual Jews will not reject and be lost, as has been happening for 2000 years.
III. Chapter 12: Eternal Destiny, National and Individual
And so we have an eternal destiny laid out in Daniel chapter 12, both nationally and individually.
Antichrist Attacks (vs. 1, 5-7, 11-12)
Look at verse 1, the antichrist's attack, described very plainly there, "At that time... " At what time? Well the time of the antichrist. "Michael, the great prince who protects your people," your people is the Jews, "will arise, there will be a time of distress as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then, but at that time, your people," that is the Jews, "everyone whose name is found written in the book will be delivered."
So here comes the final attack the greatest attack. And you know, it just brings goosebumps to me. At that time, a time yet in the future of the antichrist, there will be an attack on the Jewish people, such has never been seen up to that point. Have you ever read what the Jews went through in World War II? Have you ever heard about Kristallnacht, the night that the Nazis began an open attack on the Jews in Germany, shattering glass and looting from Jewish stores? And from that time on, the Jews lived in terror of the sound of hobnail boots on cobblestones in the middle of the night, taking loved ones or whole families out of tenement dwellings, setting up a whole system of carnage that can barely be described.
And it's saying that the time yet in the future, will so dwarf that suffering as that you can't even compare them such has never been seen, up to that time. That is the nature of the attack of antichrist. But the theme of Daniel is that every time antichrist, the spirit of antichrist, attacks God's people, what does God do? He reaches in and rescues, He reaches in and delivers, just like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego or Daniel in the lions' den.
Heaven Defends and Conquers (vs. 1)
God will not permit it for long. He's going to reach in and He's going to rescue. And so He defends. He defends and conquers, and He does that in three ways, the sovereign decree, He lays out specifically how long this attack is going to go. The duration of the oppression is carefully measured out. Not a day too long or too short.
Look at Verses 5-7. "Then I Daniel looked, and there before me stood two others." That's two other angels, "One on this bank of the river and one on the opposite bank, and one of them said to the man clothed in linen who was above the waters of the river, 'How long will it be before these astonishing things are fulfilled?' The man clothed in linen who was above the waters of the river lifted his right hand and his left hand toward heaven and I heard him swear by Him who lives forever saying 'it will be for a time, times and half a time, when the power of the holy people has finally been broken, all these things will be completed.'" And then look down at verses 11 and 12, "From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days."
Now, was that precise? 1,290 days. And then it says in verse 12, mysteriously I think, "Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days." And so this attack on the Jews by the antichrist is defended or protected... The Jews are protected in the middle of it by a sovereign decree, it's not going to last any longer than a certain amount. 1,290 days and then it will end or a time times and half a time, approximately three and a half years.
Now, what is this 1,335 days? I'm asking because I don't know, maybe one of you can tell me. I've looked, I've searched, I've looked through the commentaries, I'm not quite sure what that is compared to 1,290 days except 45 more days, some say that that's the time that Jesus will take to set up His Earthly kingdom. I'm not so sure and I'm not sure that anybody knows, but I do know this, either way, the thing has been measured out carefully. And it will not go one day beyond what God intends. And so He protects His people by being in charge of how long the tribulation will last.
And then we also see the spiritual defense, look again at Verse 1, "At that time, Michael, the great prince who protects your people will arise." Now, who is this Michael? Well, he's an archangel, he's a ruler angel, he's a commander angel, he is in charge of the armies of heaven and he is fighting in the spiritual realms. Remember we talked about in chapter 10. There's an invisible spiritual realm and warfare going on, and so, Michael, who defends the Jews is at war during that time. There's spiritual warfare going on. And he arises to protect the Jews and fight for them spiritually. And we also see the Savior's descent. Now, where do you see that in Daniel chapter 12? Well, actually I don't, but I couldn't miss the chance to tell you about it. And I know it's in Daniel chapter 7, the second coming of Christ, into the middle of this time of suffering, Jesus Christ returns, bodily, physically, just as He rose from the dead body bodily and physically, so will He also return bodily and physically.
Revelation 19:11 and following, it says, "I saw heaven open and there before me was a white horse whose rider is called faithful and true. With justice He judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire and on His head are many crowns. He has a name written on Him that no one knows but He, Himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and His name is the Word of God. This is Jesus Christ. And it says the armies of heaven were following Him riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of His mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations." That's the second coming of Christ, and it's going to be breathtaking. The amazing thing is you won't need any faith to see it, you needed faith to see the first coming, but you don't need any faith to see the second coming. The righteous and the unrighteous alike will see it. And it will end history. He will also end the reign of the antichrist.
Look at Daniel 11:45. It says the antichrist, it says he will come to his end, with no one to help him. So Jesus Christ returns, and ends the antichrist's reign, the antichrist who is the sum total, the summing up of all these human kingdoms, all this rebellion against God and against His kingdom, embodied in this one man, and Jesus Christ Himself will destroy him, it says, with the breath of his mouth. 2 Thessalonians 2:8, "Jesus will overthrow him with the breath of his mouth, and with the splendor of his coming." You can't handle Me. You can't handle the glory and all I need to do is say it's finished and it's over.
The General Resurrection (vs. 2)
And at that time, there will be a general resurrection. Look at verse 2 and 3, multitudes of those who sleep in the dust of death will awake, some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Sleeping in the dust. Many of you have loved ones who are sleeping in the dust.
Do you remember your tears when you committed them to the Earth? Do you remember the sorrow? Have you felt the sadness, a separation? You know what I mean when I talk about death mocking all human relationships? Life is fragile, isn't it? But the promise of God is unbreakable, multitudes of those who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake and they will awake either to everlasting life or to everlasting shame and contempt. Everybody will come out and Jesus said this too, didn't He? In John 5:28-29, Jesus said, "Do not be amazed at this... " This is printed in your bulletin as well. The important ones I print in there, so you don't have to look them up. Jesus said, "Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear His voice and come out" And come out. What does that mean? They'll be alive again. They'll come out.
Judgment Day and The Eternal State (vs. 3)
Everyone that will hear whose voice? Jesus' voice. He's going to speak and like Lazarus, we're all going to get up and out of that grave, and we're going to come to Judgment Day. What does He say? They will come out. "Those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned." And so we come to Judgment Day. Hebrews 9:27, "It is appointed for men to die once and then to face judgment." Daniel 7:10, "The court was seated and the books were opened." Revelation 20, "Then I saw a great white throne and Him who was seated on it, Earth and sky fled from His presence and there was no place for them, and I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened." Well, what's in those books? I've told you many times, the record of everything you've ever said and done, it's all there. God's an accurate historian. Keeps a record of it all.
You may not care about history, but God cares a lot about history. He cares a lot about what you say and what you do, and everything you've ever said or done is recorded in those books, but praise God, there's another book, isn't there? Another book was open it says in Revelation, which is the Book of Life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the book. Now look at verse 1 of our text today, Daniel 12:1, "But at that time, your people, everyone whose name is found written in the book, will be delivered." You see that? Do you see the consistency of Scripture? It's the same message.
Two books, two kinds of books. We've got the books of all the records of all our sin, O that we may not be judged by that. And then another book, The Book of Life, and if our name is written in that book of life, we will be delivered, Jew and Gentile alike, delivered by being written in the Book of Life. Revelation 20:12, "Another book was opened, which is the Book of Life," and anyone who trusts in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, their name will be written in indelible ink in the Lamb's Book of Life. And what are we raised to? Well, some to everlasting life and others to shame and everlasting contempt. Look at verse 3, "Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens and those who lead many to righteousness like the stars forever." Some day, if you love Jesus Christ, and you know Him, you are going to shine like the stars. You're gonna shine with a brightness and a glory that can't be described. Jesus said it. He said, that you will shine like the stars in the heavens, and it says it here, in Daniel 12:3. But others will be raised to everlasting contempt and judged eternally.
Listen to Revelation 20:15, "If anyone's name was not found written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." Now, this is hell and it's a reality. And Jesus came to die on this cross to suffer in our place that we might not have to suffer the condemnation and everlasting shame and contempt of hell, that He would pay our death penalty in our place. And at that time on that Judgment Day, earthly power, prestige, honors and accomplishments will mean nothing. At that time, the size of your earthly conquest and your earthly empire and your earthly kingdom will mean nothing. At that time, the only thing that will save is simple faith in Jesus Christ alone.
The Sealed Prophecy
Well then comes a command to seal this prophecy. Verse 4, "But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge. " And then in verses 8 and 9, "I heard, but I did not understand, so I asked, 'My Lord, what will the outcome of all this be?' He replied, 'Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end.'" There's a mystery about the future, it is God's glorious king of the universe to conceal some things and hide them from us. He's not told us everything, just told us what we need to know. Some of those things are held back, and you know something, He hasn't told the angels either. Notice how one of the angels, one of the shining ones standing there by the river says, "How long until all these marvelous things are completed?" They didn't know either. Well, one of the angels knew more than the other, he said, Well, it'll be for... He raised his hands and said, For a time, times, and half a time.
So some of the angels know more than others, they're all waiting, they're looking in trying to figure out what's going to happen. God hasn't told it all yet. But as time goes on, we know more, we see more prophecies fulfilled. And if we are righteous, if we are righteous, and if we know, we will understand more. Look what it says, verse 10, "Many will be purified made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand." If you are righteous through faith in Jesus Christ, you accept the words of Scripture as what they really are, the words of God. And so, as these things start to unfold in history, you'll say, It was prophesied. It's here in the book. I understand what's happening.
But those who do not love God, they will not read the Scriptures and it's not important. Well, Daniel himself made an inquiry, in verse 8 and 9, he said, "I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, 'My Lord, what will the outcome of all this be?' And he said, 'Go your way, Daniel. Because the words are closed up and they are sealed until the time of the end.'" So, Daniel didn't know it all, he sealed up the scroll and now we're opening it up and we're reading it and we understand more than Daniel. Don't we? Is that because we're wiser than Daniel? No, just because history's moved on from that point, and we can look back at the four empires and we can look back at what Jesus has done, and at 2000 years of kingdom building by Jesus Christ. We understand what's happening and we see it coming to its glorious end.
IV. Daniel’s Inheritance... and Yours?
The final issue is Daniel's inheritance and yours. Look how the book ends, verse 13, "As for you, go your way till the end, you will rest and then at the end of the days, you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance." Inheritance. Your allotted inheritance, the amount measured out for you. This is that Jewish language. Remember when they entered into the promised land, each tribe had its amount as cast by lot and then a division within that? There was an inheritance of the promised land. Daniel, you have a share in the eternal kingdom. What better thing could there be? Daniel that righteous one, Daniel chapter 1, who resolved not to defile himself with the world's things. Who is a man of prayer, praying 21 days, fasting and seeking God, a man of courage, a man of integrity, a man who loved God. Daniel, don't worry about it, go your way. And you will sleep, you will die, Daniel. You will go into the grave, and then I will raise you up to your eternal inheritance.
Now, what is that inheritance? Well, let me read some Scripture, Matthew 24:34: "Then the King will say to the sheep on His right, 'Come you who are blessed by my Father. Take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.'" The sheep, Jesus' followers, Jew and Gentile, get the same inheritance. And you know what they get? They get the Kingdom, the Kingdom we've been talking about now for 12 chapters, the Eternal Kingdom of Jesus Christ. That's the inheritance that Daniel gets. Colossians 1:12-14, "Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints." Are you qualified? Have you been qualified to get your inheritance through faith in Jesus Christ? Are you qualified? Giving thanks for the Father who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light, for He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness, the empire of darkness, and brought us into the empire of the Son He loves.
The inheritance is the kingdom, and it's an everlasting inheritance. No one can take it from you. Daniel had it. The angel told him so, do you have it? Do you know for sure that you have a share in that kingdom? Nothing else matters. Nothing else matters, except that you have a share in the eternal inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light, the kingdom of Jesus Christ. I'm going to close now with a prayer, and I'm going to ask that you consider your status with God, and if you don't know for certain that you have a share in the eternal inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light, will you come and talk to me today? Don't worry what your neighbors think, who cares, they're not going to be standing with you on Judgment Day. You'll have to stand alone. Come forward and talk to me, that you may know and receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Today, we celebrate the conquest of Jesus over death. May He be Lord over your death and give you eternal life. Won't you close with me in prayer?