Sunday Evening Bible Study

October 29, 1995

Daniel 12:4


We are finishing up a look at a vision given to Daniel from an angelic visitor.

The visitor came to give Daniel an incredible prophecy detailing things that were to happen to Daniel's people, Israel.

We have seen the prophecy going into the near future to talk about a person we know as the antichrist.


:4  shut up the words, and seal the book

shut up - catham {saw-tham'} - to stop up, shut up, keep close

seal - chatham {khaw-tham'} - to seal, seal up, affix a seal

Daniel is told that the words in this prophecy (especially chapters 10-12), were to be hidden or shut up until the time of the end.

And somehow, Daniel was to do it.  He's the one commanded to do it.

Somehow, Daniel was to do something with the prophecies given to him in order that they be covered or "hidden" until the time of the end.

When the angel first appeared to Daniel to give him this vision, back in chapter 10, we read:

»Daniel 10:14  Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.

Yet when we've read the last three chapters (10-12) they're not totally, easily understood.

Conjecture:  I wonder if the way that the angel initially gave the prophecy to Daniel, it was much clearer and even more definitive than it is in it's current state.

But when Daniel is told to shut up and seal the words, he then goes back and puts the whole thing in terms that are vague enough and symbolic enough, that they aren't going to be completely understood until the time of the end gets real close.

:4   even to the time of the end

These prophecies then, would not be very clear until the world arrives at the "time of the end".

What's the "time of the end"?

It's when Jesus comes back.

It's when God judges the world.

It's when Jesus sets up God's righteous government on earth.

In fact, this seems to be something indicative of prophesy in general.

It's only in the last 50 years that we've begun to really develop clearer ideas on prophecy.

Some theologians want to protest and say things like, "The doctrine of the Rapture is not to be found in the early church fathers."

But that's because they didn't have a very clear understanding of the end times, they were too far away to understand.

Instead, they hammered out the issues like the deity and humanity of Jesus, the atonement, etc.

You can go through church history and see how the church has progressed in understanding of the major issues in theology.

And the area of doctrine that has grown and developed the most in the last 100 years is the doctrine of the end times, eschatology.


100 years ago, most Bible scholars didn't have a clue as to the prophesies concerning Israel in the last days.

The nation of Israel had not been in existence since A.D. 70.

And so, rather than think it possible that God would actually restore the nation of Israel back in their land, references to Israel were generally spiritualized, and usually applied to the church somehow.

But just because we can't see a thing happening doesn't mean it isn't going to happen.

And so, God restored Israel as a nation.

As to being in the end times:

We have talked about how there will be a seven year treaty with Israel and the antichrist.

We believe that this could possibly be the thing that will allow the Jews to rebuild their temple.

The current peace negotiations have now handed over the west bank back to the Palestinians.

Still to be decided is the fate of Jerusalem.

But keep in mind, if in the current "peace" negotiations, the Arabs should regain control over Jerusalem, they certainly won't be allowing any temple to be built.

Jerusalem must stay under Israeli authority.

From the News:

WASHINGTON, Oct 24 (Reuter) - The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to require the American embassy in Israel to be transferred from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by May 1999.

The bill, approved 93-5, had been modified in Senate negotiations to allow the president to delay the embassy move to avoid possible harm to the Middle East peace process.

President Clinton threatens to veto the bill. (against a 93-5 vote?)

Yesterday in the news:

JERUSALEM (Reuter) - The Palestinian Authority said Saturday it would appeal to the Arab League to condemn a U.S. Congress decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Palestinian Authority official Saeb Erekat said the body called for ``the convening of the Arab League immediately.''

Erekat called it ``an invitation to an escalation of violence'' and warned it could lead to increased bloodshed.

Today in the news:

(Reut10:12 10-29-95)  AMMAN, Jordan (Reuter) - PLO leader Yasser Arafat slammed the U.S. Congress Sunday for voting to move the American embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, saying the decision could destroy hopes of bringing peace to the turbulent region.

``This is a very dangerous precedent and threatens to torpedo the peace process,'' Arafat said in a speech at the opening of the Middle East and Africa Economic Summit in Amman.

Congress voted this month to move the embassy to Jerusalem, pleasing Israelis but enraging Palestinians who both lay claim to the city as their capital.

Making his first public comment on the vote by Congress, Arafat said the decision threatened security and stability in the region.

``This decision constitutes a flagrant violation of international laws and the U.N. resolutions concerning the holy Jerusalem,'' he said.

He went on to commend President Clinton for opposing Congress's vote. ``We praise the brave position taken by President Clinton and his administration in facing implementation of this decision,'' Arafat said.

More news:

CAIRO, Oct 29 (Reuter) - The head of Egypt's influential Al-Azhar Islamic institution said on Sunday the U.S. congress vote to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem hindered regional peace.


ALEXANDRIA, Egypt, Oct 29 (Reuter) - Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak said on Sunday that the U.S. Congress decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv would not benefit the United States or the Middle East peace process.

``I am very sorry about this Congrees decision which came at an extremely sensitive time...It is not to the benefit of the U.S. to do such a thing at this time nor is it to the benefit of the peace process,'' Mubarak told reporters in Alexandria.

``What I fear is that this will affect the peace process because it will make the concerned parties lose confidence in any agreement, particularly since it has been agreed that the issue of Jerusalem will be decided by negotiators.''

We're just one step closer ...

:4  many shall run to and fro

shuwt {shoot} - to go, go or rove about, go to and fro; (Polel) to go to and fro, go eagerly or quickly to and fro

This may refer to two things:

1.  Some see it as a reference to increased travel in the world.

It's found in:

»2 Chronicles 16:9  For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole      earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of [them] whose heart      [is] perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore      from henceforth thou shalt have wars.

»Job 1:7  And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

Certainly there has never been a time like today, when people can fly anywhere they want to.

The other day, Ken was telling me about one guy he's trying to help with a loan, who lives in Sacremento, works in Fresno, has been over in Sweden and England doing work, and is now in Germany.  Ken is having fun keeping up with the guy.

Just a few weeks ago, Mark Pinkney traveled to Puerto Rico to install sterilization equipment in a hospital there.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to say that travel is evil!

But it seems that it could be one of the signs of the times.

2.  It may refer to an attempt on man's part to understand these prophecies.

A similar passage, with similar phraseology is found in Amos:

»Amos 8:11-12 AV Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:  12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find [it].

The idea in Daniel might be that in the last days man will be looking more and more into prophecy.

And this too is certainly true.

:4  knowledge shall be increased

This may refer to knowledge of the end times.

It also may refer to just knowledge in general.

Whew!  Are we living in the information age or what?

I remember how in school they use to tell us that man's base of knowledge from the beginning to 1800 doubled in the next 100 years.  And then it doubled again in something like 30 years, and so forth.

But just think of the advancements in the last five years with things like the Internet!  CD Roms!  Just computers in general!

We have the ability to obtain vast quantities of knowledge instantly.

Like this:

   Did you know?

* For every 1000 doors the Mormons knock on, 9 are opened.

* Nearly 90% of U.S. movies portray the use of alcohol.

* Swiss women couldn't vote until 1971.

* 80% of all automobile accidents occur at speeds less than 40 mph.

* The U.S. prison population is increasing 15 times faster than the general population.

* We are traveling in orbit at 1,140 miles per hour.

* McDonalds serves 22 million customers each day in its 10,720 stores worldwide.

* In Latin America there are between 40-45 million abandoned children.

* Wedding rings are worn on fourth finger because of an ancient belief that the finger is connected to a nerve leading directly to the heart.

* Half of the Eskimos in the world have never seen an igloo.

-- Servant, July 1991, p. 9.

That's already OLD NEWS!

And what does it have to do with anything?  Not a lot!  But we're just bombarded with knowledge day in and day out.

Jonathan Witherspoon, the first president of one of Princeton University (and a signer of the Declaration of Independence) operated the school by this mandate:

Cursed be all learning that is contrary to the cross of Christ.

Cursed be all learning that is not coincident with the cross of Christ.

Cursed be all learning that is not subservient to the cross of Christ.

In it's early days Princeton insisted that its faculty be "convinced of the necessity of religious experience for salvation."

Have times changed?

We are in the end times.



Q.  Why is the rapture taking so long?

God still has work to do through the church on the earth.

»2Pet.3:9  The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

God is waiting for a few more people to be saved.