As we have spent time studying the prophetic visions given to Daniel about his future we have seen details about the years to come from the time of the Persians, Greeks, and Romans up to Antiochus Epiphanes. We have also seen how the times of Antiochus Epiphanes foreshadows the coming of the final Antichrist as he is used by Satan to war against the Kingdom of God.
After the clear and detailed prophecy recorded in chapters 11 and 12, we have come to the last few verses in the book. Here, after this last climatic vision is ending, Daniel sees 2 angels on either bank of the river, and one of them questions the angel who has just given Daniel this final revelation. As that angel speaks he asks the angel conveying God’s Word “how long” it would be for these to take place.
Even angels have questions! As powerful and actively involved as they are in the affairs of men, guarding and fighting for the Church and carrying out every command that comes for them from the Throne of God, the angels are not omniscient. God knows all. He knows the end from the beginning. And He is sovereign over every aspect of His creation. The angels, though powerful, righteous, and intelligent, have limitations. There are things they desire to look into that they do not fully understand (1 Peter 1:12).
As the question is asked the answer comes in the form of an oath. The angel declares, swearing “by Him who lives forever” that there is a set time for the Great Tribulation and after that “all things shall be finished.” The angel knew that God is not waiting on us. He is not waiting for specific circumstances to arise on the earth before the end comes to pass. There is not anything we can do to hasten the end of time. He has a plan, has been carrying out His plan since before the beginning, and will bring all things to the conclusion He has planned all along. In other words, God holds every day, even the end of days in His hands. He is in control. This is His world, His creation, His plan, all for His glory.
Daniel tells us that when he heard this oath he did not understand. So he asked the angel a question, “what shall be the end of these things?” He wanted to know the end of the story. He wanted to see for himself the conclusion to his life long pursuit of God and truth. He wanted to know all the facts, details, dates, and events. He had seen so much but yet longed to see more.
However the angel replied to Daniel, “Go your way.” He said to Daniel, “Go your way till the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of days.” From this moment until his death Daniel is given specific instructions. He is to go his way. To do what he does. To be who he is. And to walk by faith in the promises of his future inheritance in the Kingdom of God.
When these things come to pass, the people of God will see it and understand it because of the Word of God given to us by Daniel. From now until then we are to do as Daniel did. Go our way. Our response to the Kingdom of God, be it here and now, or as we see it revealed in the future, is to go our way and live for that Kingdom now, recognize His reign now, pray for His Kingdom to come now, be obedient now, to do what we are called to do, now.
In looking at the future, in seeing the end of days, we cannot simply wait for His coming. We cannot stand by and yearn for the unveiling of Christ without going and taking the message of His first and second coming to the nations around the world and to our neighbors across the street.
God’s sovereign control in no way gives us cause to sit by and wait and do nothing. Instead it motivates us to do all we can here and now for His glory, waiting for the fulfillment of His promises in the future. We have Christ, and He has us. He has overcome the world, and as awful as these last days will be, at the end of days every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
Why wait for the end of days? Go your way, now. Glorify God, now. Confess Jesus as Lord, now. Bow your knee, now. Do it now, for today is the day of salvation.
This Sunday join us at 10:30 AM for our second to last message from our series in Daniel, as we look at chapter 12 verses 5 through 13. This message titled “Daniel’s Death” will take us through the end of the book. Next week we will have one final message as a conclusion to our study.