“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. Daniel 12:1 (NASB)
“Now at that time”–since what time is the Angel referring to when He spoke to Daniel:
“Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision pertains to the days yet future.” Daniel 10:14 (NASB)
The “at that time” of chapter 12 is the “latter days” of 10:14, and the “end time” of chapter 11. So Daniel 12 is talking about the “end times,” which we know is referring to the end of the Old Covenant age.This is something well understood among the Jews in their day but least understood in our times. They knew that would be fulfilled by the Messiah’s presence. Unfortunately we have been given different ideas relating this same passages to the arrival of one called “The Antichrist”
This is one of the ways that religion has stolen from us by giving fairy tales in place of reality and substance. The last days were to bear a direct relevance and direction towards the future of the Jewish race and not the end of the world.
Matthew 24 Jesus is answering the disciples questions about the destruction of Jerusalem. They wanted to know when it would be destroyed, and what signs would precede the end of the age and His Parousia:
“For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. Matthew 24:21 (NASB)
This happened in A.D. 67 when Cestius Gallus, the Roman general, laid siege to Jerusalem. The Great Tribulation is not an event that stands in our future. It was “then,” during the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans in the first century. This is made obviously clear in the parallel writing found in Luke’s Gospel:
“But WHEN YOU SEE Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. “Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are in the midst of the city must leave, and those who are in the country must not enter the city; because these are days of vengeance, SO THAT ALL THINGS WHICH ARE WRITTEN WILL BE FULFILLED. Luke 21:20-22 NASB (Emphasis mine)
Luke tells us here that ALL things which are written will be fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem. What does he mean by that? “All things which are written” refers to prophecy. The prophecy had spanned from Genesis through Deuteronomy and Malachi. All prophecy was to be fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem.
Daniel specifically tells us the very same thing in:
“Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place.” Daniel 9:24 (NASB)
Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Jesus all talk about this same time of great tribulation when Jesus will save His people. Jesus tells us exactly when this time was to be:
“Truly I say to you, THIS GENERATION WILL NOT PASS AWAY until all these things take place.” Matthew 24:34 (NASB)
Jesus here, without any ambiguity, tells HIS DISCIPLES that ALL of the things He had mentioned would come to pass in THEIR GENERATION. What things? All that has been prophesied in the times past concerning the latter end of the Jewish age. This fulfillment of the long awaited prophecy included the Gospel being preached in all the world (Roman/civilized empire of that time), the Abomination of Desolation, the Great Tribulation, and the Coming of the Son of man.
So Daniel is talking about a time that the generation in which Jesus lived in would see all these things fulfilled.
“And at that time YOUR PEOPLE, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued” . The “your people” here are Daniel’s people, who are the Israelites. At the time of The Great Tribulation all the Israelites that are found in the book will be rescued.
Paul made a reference to this “book”
Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. Philippians 4:3 (NASB)
In Revelation 21:27, John tells us that only those who are written in the book can enter the New Jerusalem–the New Covenant:
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 21:27 (NASB)
Who are those whose names are written? It was those who answered the call to the banquet, those who found life in the Son. Those who received Jesus as Messiah and left the Old covenant. Those were the Elect. They would be delivered from the oncoming catastrophe described as the “wrath” about to be poured out. What religion tells us is that on the very last day of human existence that God would open physical books to confirm people’s placement in either heaven or hell. What we were not told was the reference and contextual placement of this books that were opened.
According to rabbinic tradition, on Rosh Hashanah the destiny of the righteous and the wicked are sealed. Rosh Hashanah begins a ten-day period leading up to the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. These ten days are called the yomim nora’im or Days of Awe in modern Judaism. The sounding of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah is a wake-up blast and a sobering reminder that the time is near for the Day of Atonement. It is a call to teshuvah, which is repentance and turning back to the LORD. These ten days are ones of great introspection, heart-searching and self-examination.
The righteous are written into the Book of Life, and the wicked are written into the Book of Death, but most people won’t be written into either book. These are given the ten days until Yom Kippur to exercise repentance and self-examination and then seal their fate. Then, on the Day of Atonement, everyone has his or her name inscribed into one of the two books.
So for those who have placed their trust in the atoning work of Jesus through His life, death, burial, and resurrection (2 Corinthians 5:21), their names are already written into the Lamb’s Book of Life.
These elects which John in Revelation describes as the 144,000 were the firstfruits of men to receive Salvation. At the time of The Great Tribulation the elect would be delivered from that tribulation. How did this happen? Notice what Jesus told His disciples:
“Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. “Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house. “Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! “But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath. “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. Matthew 24:15-21 (NASB)
So when they saw the armies surrounding Jerusalem, they were to flee. They were to get out before the tribulation began. Historical records tells us that Cestius Gallus, the Roman general, for some unknown reason, suspended the siege against Jerusalem, ceased the attack and withdrew his armies for an interval of time after the Romans had occupied the temple, thus giving every believing Jew the opportunity to obey the Lord’s instruction to flee the city.
Daniel’s prophecy was to bear a direct impact on the Jewish nation in Biblical times. It was about the end of the shadows for the true Israel, Christ to unite all men (Jew and gentile) in Him bringing about a new creation with all things in first Adam passed away. It is not about the end of the physical world but that Old Mosaic economy and dispensation.