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 Sermon on Daniel 12

Part 1

By Brian Pepper

The Book of Daniel has always had a great fascination to those who are keen Bible students. One of the most thrilling prophecies in the Bible is found in chapter 2 which outlines, the history of the world.

As we move further into the Book of Daniel we find that he introduces World powers who oppress and persecute God’s people such as the Little Horn power of chapter 7 and 8. Then as we come to chapter 11 we are given a broad sweep of history with the purpose of showing how that though God’s people are savagely persecuted by oppressive powers, ultimately they will triumph. It is interesting to notice that in chapters 10, 11, and 12 you have the last vision given to Daniel.

Attack by the King of the North 

In the 11th chapter is featured the activities of the King of the North, the persecutor of God’s people, the one responsible for the death and martyrdom of countless numbers of true believers. This is brought to our notice in verse 35. Daniel 11:35 says, “And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.”

This is a prediction of the fate of God’s true believers during the Dark Ages: then it concludes with the final attack of the King of the North upon the Church of God.

It says in verse 45 “And he shall plant the tabernacles (worship) of his palace (government) between the seas (peoples) in the glorious holy mountain (heavenly Jerusalem); yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him."

By no stretch of imagination could you call the earthly Jerusalem “the glorious holy mountain”, rather it is symbolic of Mt Zion or the Church of God.

God's Response to the Crisis 

We have pictured in this verse the final Papal attack upon God’s remnant people and in chapter 12 we have how that God responds to this crisis.

Daniel 12:1 says, “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.”

Michael Stands Up 

Did you notice that it says that Michael stands up. This term “stand up” is used (ten) times in chapter 11 and it means to reign or take the kingdom. So when it says that Michael stands up, it is indicating that He is taking His kingdom, which is a fulfillment the prophecy of Revelation 11:15, where it tells us that the Kingdoms of the world become the Kingdom of our LORD and His Christ. It also tells us that the human race has reached the end of its probation; that the day of salvation, the great investigative judgment is over.

It is sad to think that at this time all the names of the unfaithful of God’s professing people have been blotted out of the Book of Life with only the faithful names remaining,

Michael is the Lord Jesus Christ, and that title means “One like God”. And of course He is the express image of His Father. The text calls Him “the great prince that stands for the children of thy people.” That term “stands” actually means “stands over” or “He protects His people.”

Prior to the close of probation, that is down through the Christian era in the conflict of good and evil, God's people have often been permitted to die at the hands of the King of the North.

Time of Great Trouble

However after the close of probation Michael stands over them in protection. Now isn’t that great news! Especially for those of us who face a perilous future. I am sure that you noticed that the text says, “…there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation.

This means that great trouble is coming upon the world, upon the unsaved. This is not the tribulation brought to view in the 24th chapter of Matthew in verses 21,22 where Jesus spoke of a great tribulation that would come upon the saints. "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Verse 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. “

Unfortunately there are some Christians who are confused over the time of trouble mentioned in Daniel 12:1. They believe that the time of trouble, mentioned in Matthew 24 and Daniel 12:1 are the same but they are not. For the one in Matthew has been fulfilled. It occurred during the Dark Ages when millions of God's people were martyred for their faith. But the time of trouble of Daniel 12:1 is one in which God's people are delivered from death.

It is quite easy to see the difference. One was where God's people were allowed to die for their faith. The other mentioned in Daniel is where Michael stands over them in protection and saves their lives.

I would like to make it very clear that this time of trouble of Daniel 12 afflicts the unsaved and not the people of God. It involves a conflict between Christ and Anti-Christ, between the King of Heaven and the King of the North, between the saved and the unsaved.

King of the North Attacks God's People

And what is the power that will be arraigned against Michael, against Jesus Christ in the final conflict? The Spirit of Prophecy says, in Vol. 7 p.182, “The world is filled with storm and war and variance. Yet under one head – the papal power the people will unite to oppose God in the person of His witnesses."

And this is exactly what the Book of Revelation tells us, that the Papacy or the King of the North of Daniel 11 attacks God's people at the close of time intending to destroy them but Michael or Jesus Christ stands over them to protect them.

Seven Last Plagues

This time of trouble involves the 7 Last Plaques.

Revelation 18:8 says, "Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her”.

In Revelation 15:1 it says, "And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.”

In bygone days little drops of God's wrath has fallen upon individuals or peoples, but at the close of probation God's wrath overflows. His indignation is without restraint. Why Because the King of the North plants the tabernacles of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain.

And what does that mean? He attacks God's people, he attacks spiritual Jerusalem. So Michael stands up “and there shall be a time of trouble", but with that time of trouble there will come deliverance.

For it tells us “thy people shall be delivered.” Now isn’t that wonderful! Every Christian should be thankful for that.

Books of God

"Thy people”, who are they? We are told clearly just who they are, “those whose names are written in the Book.” What Book? Undoubtedly the Book of Life.

And this shows us how vital is the truth concerning the books and their records as brought to view in the Holy Scriptures. The Bible makes it very clear that God keeps records; for several times the Book of Life is mentioned, also the Book of Remembrance plus the Book of Sin. We are warned that those who reject the truth will have their names blotted out of the Book of Life.

A Partial or Special Resurrection

Now as we come to verse 2 of chapter 12 there is mentioned a partial resurrection, "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”

Here it speaks of a resurrection. And when does it take place? It is during the “time of trouble”, during the 7 last plagues. This is not general resurrection which takes place at the end of the 7 Last Plagues, at the end of the time of trouble.

You will notice that in this partial resurrection there are (some) righteous and (some) unsaved. Lets notice the text "… (some) to everlasting life, and (some) to shame and everlasting contempt ".

There are two distinct groups. Some of God's people who are given a special privilege, and some who are raised to shame and contempt.

In Revelation 1:7 we are given a clue as to who are the ones raised in disgrace because it says, "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.” 

The haughty Herod who jeered at His royal title, those who forced the cruel crown of thorns upon His brow, those who drove the spikes into His hands and feet, those who mocked Him on the cross and spat upon Him. They are to be raised from their graves.

But you might say, "They have been dead for centuries ‑ how is it possible for them to behold Christ when He comes? The only answer to that question is that there must be a special resurrection.

When Jesus was on trial before the Sanhedrin and the Jewish priests, the High Priest made this statement which is found in Matthew 26:63, 64. “…I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.
Verse 64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.”

Jesus clearly indicated that there would be a special resurrection which would take place (just before) the great Second Advent. (for a more detailed account read Great Controversy pages 637 onwards chapter heading 'God's people Delivered)

I am sure that you can imagine the consternation of these wicked men as they behold the One who they condemned so unjustly to death, who they crucified so cruelly, and now they see HIM coming in all His glory in great majesty as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

It is no wonder that the text says “....some to shame and everlasting contempt.”

Blessed are the Dead in Christ

But who are those who are raised to everlasting life? There is another clue in Revelation 14:13. "And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth…”

Now what does that mean? Why should it say that the dead are blessed from henceforth? After all every person who has died in Christ is blessed. However the text tells us that there is a special blessing on those who die during the time of the Three Angel’s Messages, (Great Controversy pg. 637) because they are going to be raised in the Special Resurrection. They will see Jesus coming in all His glory and majesty. This is the very event they have prayed for, for which they have labored, they have prepared for. And the Lord is going to raise them up to see this tremendous event. What a blessing! What a reward that will be.

Obedience of the Saints

Now before I move on to the next verse there is something else in verse 13 that we should notice, “Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.”

That is an interesting statement. Their works, what works? St Paul tells us that works do not count and neither they do. They certainly will not get us to heaven. So what does the Holy Spirit mean? I am sure that He means “their obedience”, because in accepting the Three Angel’s Messages there is required special obedience, something that the average Christian does not perform.

Revelation 14:12 says, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints (who obey God’s commandments) and remain faithful to Jesus.

The great test in the Book of Revelation is, who are you going to obey? It is either the Beast of God. And God takes special notice of these obedient people and pronounces a special blessing upon them.

The Wise Shall Shine as Stars

And now we will take a look at the third verse of Daniel 12. Verse 3 says, “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”

Here we have a beautiful promise to God’s people. And it is particularly to the wise, that is to the spiritually wise. And remember that every believer can be spiritually wise for we are offered wisdom if we pray for it according to James 1:5. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

The wisdom that God gives us is to be shared. And that is why the margin says for “wise” (they that be teachers). And when you share the wisdom that God gives you, you become a teacher. And what kind of teacher? A teacher that turns others to righteousness. And there is a special promise, a special reward in the kingdom for those who turn many to righteousness.

Throughout the Christian era and beyond true teachers have suffered persecution. That is those who have shared their faith.

In the eleventh chapter verse 33 it speaks of those who have done this and the fate that has befallen them. Notice what it says, “And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.”

This refers to the 1260 Years of Papal Persecution when millions were put to death for their faith, and most of those people shared their faith. They were teachers turning many to righteousness.

And how wonderful and relevant is this promise that those who do this "shall shine as the  brightness of the firmament and the stars”. Jesus said "…then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun  in the kingdom of their Father.”
Matthew 13:43.

There will be a special reward for those who have shared their faith.

Will there be Stars in Our Crowns?

Does this mean that there will be literal STARS in our crowns? Yes, it is true that we will have crowns. 2 Timothy 4:8 says, “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

Peter talks of a crown (of glory). 1 Peter 5:4. James and John mention (a crown of life) in James 1:12 and Revelation 2:10.

The Spirit of Prophecy tells us in Early Writings p.54. "The crowns of the saints were of the most pure gold, decked with stars." Again in Early Writings p.16, “Some of them had very bright crowns, others not so bright. Some crowns appeared heavy with stars, while others had but few. All were perfectly satisfied with their crowns."

So we will have stars, literal stars in our crowns.

This brings to my mind the words of a very well known children's hymn.

"All His jewels, precious jewels His loved and His own. Like the stars of the morning His bright crown adorning, They shall shine in their beauty, Bright gems for His crown."

Shut up the Words and Seal the Book

This 3rd verse concludes chapter 11. And verse 4 is the beginning of chapter 12. Let us notice what it says. Daniel 12:4 “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”

So there it is! Shut up the words and seal the Book. And the Book of Daniel or (a portion of it) has been sealed or shut up for centuries to the people of God. Not the whole Book. Because through the centuries various parts of Daniel have been understood particularly the first seven chapters.

You may remember that when the Protestant Reformation began in Scotland under John Knox that the opening sermon that brought about the Reformation in that country was the sermon he preached at St Andrews on Daniel chapter 7. In his audience was the devout Catholic, Mary Queen of Scots. And when John Knox went through the four beasts of that chapter and came to the Little Horn Mary interrupted him and said, "And who Master Knox is the Little Horn?” and that courageous man replied, "Your Majesty, if you were to issue a warrant I would apprehend the Pope.” And what a consternation it caused. And it was the beginning of the Reformation in Scotland.

So you can see that the Book of Daniel up to chapter 7 was understood but portions concerning the last days were not understood particularly chapter 8 onwards.

In fact in verse 26 of the eighth chapter it says in the last part “…shut thou up the vision for it shall be for many days."

Time of the End

It wasn’t until the time of the end that those particular portions of Daniel were unveiled.

Now this brings us to the question, what is the time of the end? And when does the time of the end begin?

The date marking the time of the end was 1798. And how do we know this? Because it is referred to six times in the Book of Daniel in chapter 8:17,19; chapter 11:35,40; and chapter 12:4,9.

Let us notice one of these statements; this is where it talks about the persecution of the saints in the Dark Ages which would come to an end in 1798. Daniel 11:35 says, "And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.”

That is clear enough. The persecution of God's people would continue to the time of the end. And when did Papal supremacy come to an end? Without question it was 1798 AD. So rightfully we hold that 1798 marks the time of the end.

Many Shall Run To and Fro

And at that time "…many shall run to fro and knowledge shall be increased.”

The Hebrew word for running “to and fro" denotes a roving about or searching the Scriptures, especially the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation.

And was there an increase in knowledge concerning the Book of Daniel? When did light come on those sealed portions of the Book? Why yes, around 1798 there took place a great revival of prophetic study. Leading scholars working independently in various parts of the Northern Hemisphere were led to the study of the prophecies of the Book of Daniel. The remarkable agreement among them that the great time periods of Daniel ended about 1844, was quite uncanny.

Living in the Time of the End

We are living at a time when the last three chapters of this great Book are open. And how do we know that? In the 10th chapter of Revelation there is pictured a mighty angel, and in his hand there is a little book open which is the Book of Daniel.

We are living at a time when the last three chapters of this great Book are open. They can be understood and now is the time to study them.

And I assure you that a great blessing comes with that study. Then we are to share that blessing and in doing so we shall shine as the brightness of the firmament the stars for ever."


The Bible in Song Sermons category is expected to be enlarged over time as hard copy sermon notes are scanned, typed and edited in webpage format. Visit Sermons Page for the complete list of sermons and Bible Commentaries

  PDF Sermon Files
Click image for sample. The Complete Sermon Collection is available at the Store Page. It includes 169 sermons which are listed on the Sermons Page, plus several audio visual sermonettes and a number of incomplete sermons. Original typed sermon notes have been scanned in PDF files on a DVD.


  PDF Revelation Files
Easy access to all the uploaded Revelation Bible Commentaries written by Brian Pepper. Also a CD of the complete Book of Revelation consisting of 22 PDF files scanned from original typed documents. These files can be downloaded by Adobe Acrobat to view on computer screen, or printed in booklet or other format.


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Bible in Song Sermons and Commentaries pages have exposed flaws in the "2300 day" prophecy chart most notably used by Seventh-day Adventists. Seventh-day Adventists in their biblical interpretation have favored the tradition of their founding fathers over Scripture and the "divine revelation" of their own prophet Ellen White. Read more.


Thank you for posting some of (Brian Pepper's) sermons. It's like reading the very words Jesus has spoken to me and is a great encouragement. I cannot say that about many Pastors but I can say that about (Pr Pepper). Thank you. Robert (USA) ... more testimonials.



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