Final Rewards

Key Verse: “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.”
—Daniel 12:2, New American Standard

Lesson Scripture:
Daniel 12:1-9

THIS LESSON IS ON THE “time of the end.” (Dan. 12:9) Daniel eleven closes with the death of Napoleon Bonaparte, a French military figure introduced in Daniel 11:40, who was born in 1769 and died in 1821 in exile in Elba, a small island off Italy.

Daniel, chapter twelve, begins by saying, “At that time [or around that time] shall Michael [he who stands for God, that being Christ Jesus] stand up [be present].” Many indications of Christ’s Second Presence would take place during the ‘time of the end.’ When the kingdom of God is about to be established, there would be a great “time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation.” (Dan. 12:1) This ‘time of trouble’ would be so great that if God would not stop it no flesh would be saved. (Matt. 24:21,22) Then Israel would be delivered.

Daniel gives other indications of events during Christ’s Second Presence. Our Key Verse tells of the coming resurrection of mankind, saying, ‘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.’ These represent the “just” and the “unjust,” from all classes of mankind.—I Pet. 3:18

Concerning the church at that time, the “wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” (Dan. 12:3) As a further indication of the events to take place during Christ’s Second Presence, before the establishment of the Messianic kingdom, verse four says, “Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” Today we see a fulfillment of this. Both the running ‘to and fro’ and the great increase of ‘knowledge’ are realities.

Even now we see the winds of strife increasing. The economic, political, and social structures of life are collapsing. The religious systems of earth are shaking. Not many see that the signs around them are indications of the Lord’s Second Presence. We read, “The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens [religious systems] shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements [the social fabric of the earth] shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works [its evil works] that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness?” (II Pet. 3:10-11) “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens [the spiritual heavens] and a new earth [one free from sin and evil], wherein dwelleth righteousness.”—vs. 13

Daniel asked when these things would take place. God’s answer was that it would not be in his time. Three distinct time prophecies leading up to Christ’s Second Presence were then given in Daniel 12:7,11,12. The time spans indicated by these prophecies were 1260, 1290, and 1335. Bible students understand that all three time spans begin with A.D. 539 and end by A.D. 1874 with Christ’s return.

How thankful we can be that the God of heaven, through Daniel, has made known to us the nearness of the kingdom so long prayed for.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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