by Mike Ratliff
20 Come, my people, enter into your rooms
And close your doors behind you;
Hide for a little while
Until indignation runs its course.
21 For behold, the Lord is about to come out from His place
To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity;
And the earth will reveal her bloodshed
And will no longer cover her slain. Isaiah 26:20-21 (NASB)
God is Sovereign! He has always been and always will be Sovereign. I use Gmail as my main email. Unfortunately Google embeds ads in the interface just above the control buttons. Sometimes I will see something interesting there and click it. Usually I regret it. A few days ago I saw one that advertised a study that was supposed to show the real definition of Hyper-Calvinism. I am Reformed in my Theology, but I abhor Hyper-Calvinism. I know that many confuse the two so I hit the link to see what was what. The formula this writer of the document used to determine if a person was Hyper-Calvinistic was if all they talked about was God’s Sovereignty and glory instead of insisting on man’s responsibility. While I can see what the writer was trying to say I also saw that even though he agreed that God was Sovereign, he still was not sovereign over Man’s will. I read about half the document then gave up because the further I read the less Sovereignty God had and the more Man had. I had to go get a cold drink of water after that because it left a very bad taste in my mouth. Isn’t this the very essence of Man’s rebellion against God?
God has laid out history. It will run its course according to His plan. When it is time, in His timing alone, the time of the End will come upon this world. We have reached the last chapter in the wonderful book of Daniel. My heart is full of joy for some reason this evening. Perhaps it is that this study elevates God and shows the audacity of man refusing to submit to His Sovereignty. I rejoice as I “see” that God is going to bring “this age” to an end soon, and then we will enter the “age to come.” In that age our enemy will be locked away and not able to deceive anyone. Our Lord Jesus Christ will rule with a rod of iron and His people will rule and reign with Him. I rejoice as I see that victory, but we have the matter of transversing through the birth pangs at the end of “this age” which will culminate in the birth of the “age to come.”
1 “Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. 2 Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. 3 Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. 4 But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.” Daniel 12:1-4 (NASB)
The phrase, “Now at that time…” refers back to Daniel 11:35-45, which we looked at in last night’s post. In that passage we read of the coming of the Antichrist. Michael is an archangel (Jude 9). He is a chief prince in the spiritual realm. He is the prince who protects Israel during the time of the Gentiles. Gabriel tells Daniel that his people will be under Michael’s protection during a time of trouble that is greater than any that has ever come before. He gives Daniel a promise that all those whose name is found written in the book will be delivered. What book? This is the book of the saved.
16 Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who esteem His name. 17 “They will be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts, “on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.” 18 So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.
1 “For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze,” says the Lord of hosts, “so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.” 2 “But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall. 3 You will tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing,” says the Lord of hosts. Malachi 3:16 – 4:3 (NASB)
17 The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” 18 And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. 19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. 20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.” Luke 10:17-20 (NASB)
1 And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore.
Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. 2 And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. 3 I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; 4 they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?” 5 There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven.
7 It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. Revelation 13:1-8 (NASB)
8 “The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come. Revelation 17:8 (NASB)
11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:11-15 (NASB)
22 I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. 25 In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed; 26 and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it; 27 and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Revelation 21:22-27 (NASB)
Who goes into eternity unscathed? Only those whose names were written in the Lamb’s book of life from the foundation of the World are allowed into eternity with God. All whose names are not written in it will end up on the lake of fire. There is not one thing you or I can do to have a name either written in that book or not. It was written before the foundation of the world. However, God is the only one who knows whose names are found there. So, our job, or role so to speak, is to obey God, make disciples wherever God puts us, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This is what we are supposed to be doing. This is why it is so tragic to see how “Evangelism” has devolved into a drive for relevance according to society’s mores and values. Those who have fallen for the lie to transform Christianity into a flesh driven, self-focused, religion of self-worship are not doing what Jesus commanded us to do. Judgment is coming folks. We are in the last days, the time of birth pangs. Once those birth pangs increase in violence and speed there will be no more time to reach your neighbor, your co-worker, your mother, your father, your brother, your sister, your daughter, your son, your granddaughter, or your grandson with the Good News of Jesus Christ.
When the Great Tribulation comes upon the world, unprecedented violence, world-wide disasters, devastating wars, and persecution of God’s people will consume this planet. However, those days will be cut short as the last bowl of God’s wrath is poured out on this world. At the end of that the Beast and the False Prophet will be thrown into the Lake of Fire. Then all whose names are found in the Book of Life of the Lamb will be resurrected unto glorious eternal life with the Lamb. However, those whose names are not found in the book will not. At the end of what we call the Millennium they will be resurrected unto shame and contempt to spend eternity in the Lake of Fire prepared for Satan and his angels where the Beast and the False Prophet are.
5 Then I, Daniel, looked and behold, two others were standing, one on this bank of the river and the other on that bank of the river. 6 And one said to the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long will it be until the end of these wonders?” 7 I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, as he raised his right hand and his left toward heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time; and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people, all these events will be completed. 8 As for me, I heard but could not understand; so I said, “My lord, what will be the outcome of these events?” 9 He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time. 10 Many will be purged, purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand. 11 From the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. 12 How blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,335 days! 13 But as for you, go your way to the end; then you will enter into rest and rise again for your allotted portion at the end of the age.” Daniel 12:5-13 (NASB)
The times, times, and half a time is the answer to the question asked in v6. The question was how long would be the Great Tribulation. It is 3 and one half years. This is the last half of Daniel’s Seventieth Week. During this time of tribulation the “little horn”, the Lawless one, the Antichrist will persecute the saints of God. He will shatter their power and prevail over them. However, God puts an end to it, thereby delivering His people. Many will be saved during this evil time. The angel then tells Daniel that from the time of the ending of the daily sacrifice, when the Antichrist demands to be worshipped, as god, to the end of the tribulation, is 1290 days. However, three and one-half years is 1260 days. What are the additional 30 days all about? Some believe this is referring to the judgment of the living after Jesus returns, but before the “age to come.” Then the angel makes the statement, “How blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,335 days! “. That is an additional 45 more days. What is this? Again, this is some sort of transitional period between the two ages. The last thing the angel tells Daniel is that he too would die, but he would also be resurrected with the rest of God’s people. If your name is in the Lamb’s book of life then you too will stand with Daniel and the rest of the saints at that time. In the meantime, let us stop wasting our time on trivialities and, instead, live for God’s glory in all parts of our lives.
Soli Deo Gloria!