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Christ, and even then he will rise to die the second death (from which there is no resurrection) unless he abide faithful to the end, as Paul says, “Ye are made partakers of Christ, if ye hold fast the beginning of your confidence steadfast to the end "; and again he says, “Ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you unless ye have believed in vain."
The whole human family is in Adam by nature, and we all sinned in him, and the judge of all the earth pronounced sentence in Eden upon Adam, and through him upon all his posterity, saying, “ Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return," and there they are left, except those in Christ, and there are none in Christ by nature; there is none in Christ except those who have believed the Gospel and rendered the obedience of faith, and so have entered into Christ.
Philosophers, therefore, and wise men in the world, may disparage and set at nought the Holy Scriptures, and speculate as much as they please about death and the sentence of death as decreed in Eden, but it will not help them; they may invent theories of immortality and speak learnedly of the natural immortality of human souls, and argue that the dead are alive and that the dead know more than the living, but it is written that the dead know not anything. When these philosophers and their disciples die, therefore, their dreams die with them so far as they are concerned, and they go back again to whence they were taken. Their names by nature are written in the earth, and when they die their mother earth claims them and gives them up no more.
(Verse 3) “And they that be wise (or teachers, as the margin hath it), shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars forever and ever.” And in the next passage we are told that many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. In these sayings we have the comforting assurance that although iniquity will abound in Israel in the latter days to a marvelous extent, yet grace will also abound and many will be instructed in the right ways of the Lord, by good and wise men like the apostles and prophets of old, men whom the Lord will raise up and qualify by the gifts of the Holy Spirit and whom he will uphold and sustain in the face of the enemy and the avenger until their goodly works are manifest and finished, even as it was with the Son of man himself. The enemy had no power over him till his good works were done, and none then, except what was given them from above.
Therefore we may understand that there will be churches established in Jerusalem and in the cities of Israel and Judah in those troublous times, consisting of many distinguished and faithful men, whom we are assured will love not their lives unto the death; and while many will fall by the sword, by flame, by captivity and spoil 1260 days, yet it is testified that the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits. They will constitute a power in the land to resist the children of wickedness, until iniquity has an end and judgment is given to the saints of the Most High, and the time comes that the saints possess the kingdom.
A TIME, TIMES AND A HALF (Verses 5, 6, 7) “ Then I, Daniel, looked and behold there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river; and one said to the man clothed in linen which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? And I heard the man clothed with linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven and sware by him that liveth for ever, that it shall be for a time, times and a half, and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.”
The scene laid in this part of the vision is very important and very impressive. Three angels appear at this point, one standing upon the bank on each side of the river, while the angel clothed in linen who was revealing the things contained in the vision to Daniel stood above the waters of the river; and one asked this person a question, saying, “How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?” Daniel heard the answer to this question, for he says,
“And I heard the man clothed in linen which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and a half.”
The wonders referred to, therefore, in this question and the answer which is confirmed by an oath, are the marvelous things that transpire during the continuance of this famous period of three years and a half,— one thousand, two hundred and three score days,- forty-two months. This is the length of the time that the little horn makes war upon the saints of the Most High, who is also called the king that does according to his will, and who prospers until the indignation against God's holy people is accomplished.
These wonders, we say, transpire during a period of three years and a half, and consist, first, of the measures that the king of Israel and Assyria take in concert to remove and suppress the daily sacrifice, and to set up in its place their shameful idolatrous worship, called the abomination of desolation; and after that, the military measures that they adopt to compel all to recognize and to comply with these abominations, and fall down and worship themselves, and the gods which they set up. And during this period many of the saints will confirm their faith with their blood, and will fall by the hand of the enemy and the avenger.
These are some of the wonders that will be seen in the land of Israel in those days. Again the two witnesses will prophesy a thousand, two hundred and three score days, clothed in sackcloth, which is at the same time that the Little Horn makes war upon the saints; and while these two witnesses, two men like Moses and Aaron, will be detested and hated by that profane and wicked prince of Israel and by the Assyrian, or the beast that sustains and carries him, yet they will not be able to restrain nor put down these two men, until their work is finished, and some of the wonders of these notable days will consist in the many miracles that these witnesses will be empowered to do in calling for the plagues that are to be poured out upon mystical Egypt (the rebellious house of Israel), after the manner and type in which Moses and Aaron, by the word of the Lord, called for the plagues upon ancient Egypt, even upon Pharaoh and all his people, and which are spoken of in the eleventh chapter of the Revelation as follows: " These are the two olive trees, and this two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man wili hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth
their enemies (as it was in the case of Elijah); and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy, and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues (similar to those of Egypt), as often as they will." But it is added, “When they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascended out of the bottomless pit shall make war upon them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.”
Also the angel which swares, in answer to the question, “How long shall it be to the end of these wonders " says, “ It shall be for a time, times, and a half," and then he continues in explanation, saying, "And when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished” (Dan. 12:7).
SCATTERING THE POWER OF THE HOLY PEOPLE The scattering of the power of the holy people, therefore, will bring to view many of the wonders which will be manifested while the period of a time, times and an half, is running its eventful course, during which time the saints of the Most High are passing through a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation, to try them and to purge them and to make them white, even to the time of the end, for it is yet for a time appointed. Again (verse 10) it is said, "Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried, but the wicked shall do wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.”
In these respects, therefore, the times at Christ's second coming will be similar to what they were at his first coming, as Jesus spake to them saying, “If thou hadst known, even thou at least in this thy day, the things which belong to thy peace, but now they are hid from thine eyes, For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee. And they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another.” But why? “ Because thou knowest not the time of thy visitation” (Luke 19:41-44). So it will be again, the wise shall understand, but the wicked shall not understand. As the heart of Pharaoh, his princes, and his people were hardened, so it will be with the kings, princes, prophets and priests and people of Israel; their hearts will be hardened and their eyes blinded, that they may go on in their evil ways and perish, as Pharaoh and his people perished.
THE WORDS ARE SEALED TILL THE TIME OF THE END' (Verses 8-9) “And I heard, but I understood not. Then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end,” even as he said in verse 4, But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, even to the time of the end." In the vision of chapter 8, Gabriel was commanded to make Daniel understand the vision, which he proceeded to do. Again in this revelation of the seventy weeks, as contained in chapter 9, Gabriel said to Daniel, “I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding"; and again, in the first passage of this wonderful vision (recorded
in chapters 10, 11 and 12) it is said, “In the third year of Cyrus, king of Persia, a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar, and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long, and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision."
Now from the general tenor of these words, Daniel had a good knowledge of the purport and meaning of these great visions which present to view the hidden things of the future, and things which all the wise men of the earth could never know of their own wisdom, but which God has revealed in advance, in visions to the prophets. And Daniel being a prophet evidently discerned by the spirit of inspiration in him, that although he understood much that was shown him, yet there were many details and important events that would transpire in those times that he did not fully comprehend nor understand; and when he sought to be more fully instructed in those things, the angel said to him, “Go thy way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end." Then the wise will understand, but not the wicked. The righteous, therefore, that survive the three years and a half of persecution and war of the little horn, and live to see his power cut down, and the desolation of the saints abate, which inaugurate the time of the end, will then know just what time they are living in, and their understanding will be opened to understand the Scriptures which treat of those great events which will then pass in rapid succession before their eyes. For when it is said, “The book and the words were closed up and sealed till the time of the end,” it means that when the time of the end has arrived, then the book will be opened and the words unsealed, which are contained therein; insomuch that the wise will not only understand the Scriptures which relate to those times, but will actually see with their eyes the things that are then to be manifested, even as Jesus said to his disciples, “Many prophets and kings have desired to see the things that ye see, and have not seen them, and to hear the things that ye hear, and have not heard them.”
The visions of Daniel touching what should befall his people in the latter days are much more fully set out and enlarged upon, and the details thereof more minutely described in the Book of the Revelation than they are in the Book of Daniel. The Book of the Revelation is called, "the testimony of Jesus," and the testimony of Jesus is called “the spirit of prophecy,” that is, the very essence of what the prophets have spoken, grouped and classified in a systematic and methodical manner, in which the symbols used in the prophecies are largely copied, but the plain language of the prophets is not so freely employed.
(Verses 11, 12 and 13) “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand, two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth and cometh to the thousand, three hundred and five and thirty days. But go thy way till the end be, for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.” These three periods named here in this twelfth chapter commence at the same time but terminate at different points,— the 1260 days, during which time the power of the holy people is being scattered and at the end of which the dominion of the little horn is taken away; the 1290 days, which give a month to consume Israel with their portions and to cut off the three
shepherds; and the 1335 days, at the end of which the resurrection of the saints who have been slain for the witness of Jesus and the word of God during the war upon them by the little horn, will take place. In reply to Daniel's special and minute inquiries, the angel says finally, “But go thou thy way till the end be, for thou shalt stand in thy lot at the end of the days." That is he would stand in his inheritance in the kingdom of God, to reign with Christ and his brethren in the earth. But before that comes to pass, Daniel must go the way of all the earth and rest for a long time in the dust of the earth, for it is said in the first part of this vision that the time appointed when these wonders should transpire in the latter days was long.
Men take rest in sleep, and from the time that Daniel went the way of all the earth until he is awaked out of his sleep, he will rest and be employed in no work, mental or physical, for it is written, “The dead know not anything.” And again, “There is no work nor device, nor wisdom, nor knowledge in (Sheol) the grave whither thou goest." In sleep there is a suspension of the powers of mind and body, but there is still the involuntary action of the heart and lungs; and although there may be dreams, yet the judgment is suspended; but the sleep of death is perfect, and in it there is a total suspension of all the powers of mind and body. It is perfect rest, in which the dead are not conscious of anything that transpires in heaven above, or in the earth beneath. The thunders may shake the heavens, and the earthquakes rend the solid ground, but they disturb them not, and although twenty thousand years pass over them before they awake, they will be no more conscious of the lapse of years than of so many minutes. Also, as saith the prophet Job,“ His sons come to honor, and he knoweth it not, and they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them." And again he saith,
There the weary are at rest, and the wicked cease from troubling; there the prisoners rest together, they hear not the voice of the oppressor; the small and great are there, and the servant is free from his master."
Therefore Daniel will rest and stand in his lot, or his inheritance, at the end of the days, but not before; for they who teach that the righteous enter into life and into their inheritance at death, by this false doctrine make void and destroy both of God's holy covenants, both the old covenant, and the new; for Paul says, speaking of the Old Testament which is called the law, “If there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.” Again, “If righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." Thus the advocates of this popular error antagonize and make void the law, and also make it, that Christ is dead in vain.