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The Mid Week Rapture, Part 15
by Karl Kemp 
11/07/11
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I'll read from the New American Standard Bible, 1995 edition, unless I mention otherwise. Sometimes I make comments in the middle of quotations using brackets [ ] or [[ ]] to make them more obvious.

Holy Father, we humble our hearts before you. We want to understand your Word, including end-time prophecy, and we want to live in line with your Word, by your sufficient grace. We thank you for full salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ. We pray in His mighty name. Amen!

We are in the middle of a verse-by-verse study of Daniel chapter 12, which is one of the most important chapters in the Bible dealing with end-time prophecy. One thing that makes this chapter so important is that it enables us to see that the short great tribulation of Dan. 12:1 and Matt. 24:21, 22 will be over by the middle of Daniel's 70th week, and that the Lord Jesus Christ will return, and the resurrection, glorification, and rapture will take place at that time.

As we have discussed, the short great tribulation will start about the time of Antichrist's abomination of desolation, and it will be over before the Lord Jesus Christ returns in the middle of Daniel's 70th week. And as we have discussed, Dan. 12:11 is of crucial significance, in that it enables us to see that Antichrist will initiate the abomination of desolation some thirty days (a month) before the middle of the seven-year period. The most important cross-reference to understand what the short great tribulation is all about is Rev. 9:13-21, the verses that deal with the sixth trumpet of the book of Revelation. These verses prophesy of very intense warfare that will take place in that part of the world that includes Israel. That warfare, which will undoubtedly use weapons of mass destruction, will be so intense that one-third of mankind will be killed in less than a month. The sixth trumpet will sound about the time of Antichrist's abomination of desolation; then the seventh and last trumpet will sound right in the middle of Daniel's 70th week, and the Lord Jesus Christ will return, and the resurrection, glorification, and rapture will take place.

Daniel chapter 12 focuses on the people of Israel, starting about the time of Antichrist's abomination of desolation, when the short great tribulation will take place. In verse 1 of this chapter, we learn that Michael the archangel will arise to protect the elect of Israel during the days of the short great tribulation. This verse makes it clear that Michael will only be protecting the elect people of Israel, those whose names will be found written in God's book of life. Through Michael's intervention, the elect of Israel will escape being destroyed during the days of the short great tribulation, and they will be left as a remnant for God in the middle of Daniel's 70th week

Many verses prophesy of this end-time remnant of Israel, including Joel 2:32; Zech. 13:8; 14:2; and Rev. 11:13. This remnant will be repentant, and they will be ready to submit to the Lord Jesus Christ when He comes to them (see Zech. 12:10-13:1; Matt. 23:37-39, for example). As we have discussed, He will come to them shortly after the rapture, when He comes to the Mount of Olives (see Zech. 12:10; 14:1-5; and Acts 1:9-11). One of the primary things that will lead to the repentance of the end-time elect remnant of Israel, and to their being ready to submit to the Lord Jesus Christ when He comes to them, will be the ministry of the two prophets of Revelation chapter 11 that will take place throughout the first half of Daniel's 70th week (see Mal. 4:5, 6).

When we stopped last time, we were discussing Dan. 12:5-7. I'll read the verses; then we will further discuss these verses, "Then I, Daniel, looked and behold, two others were standing, one on this bank of the river and the other on that bank of the river. (6) And one said to the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, 'How long will it be until the end of these wonders [or, until the end of these astonishing things]?' (7) I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, as he raised his right hand and his left toward heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time, and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people, all these events [or, things] will be completed."

I'll read verse 5 again, "Then I, Daniel, looked and behold, two others were standing, one on this bank of the river and the other on that bank of the river." Based on Dan. 10:5, the river undoubtedly refers to the Tigris River. The two others who were standing on the banks of the river undoubtedly were angels, good angels.

I'll read verse 6 again, "And one said to the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, 'How long will it be until the end of these wonders [or, until the end of these astonishing things]?' " The one who asked the question of the man dressed in linen was one of the two angels mentioned in verse 5. But who was the man dressed in linen? We spent quite a bit of time discussing His identity in the last article, and this topic is discussed in some detail in my book, "The Mid-Week Rapture." As I mentioned, I cannot be dogmatic on this point, but I am confident that the man dressed in linen is God the Son, the One who always existed with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit, the preincarnate Christ, the One who became the Lord Jesus Christ through the virgin birth. This Person was clearly distinguished from God the Father in the Old Testament, but quite a few verses in the Old Testament show that He was deity too. For one thing, He was called Yahweh several times in the Old Testament, which would be blasphemous if He were not deity with God the Father. Quite often this glorious Person was called the Angel (or, Messenger) of Yahweh in the Old Testament, but it must be understood that He was not a created angel. The New Testament has a lot to say about the Persons of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

I won't comment further on the identity of the man dressed in linen, except to remind you that the "man dressed in linen" also appeared in Dan. 10:4-6 and in Ezekiel chapters 9, 10. The Lord Jesus Christ appeared to the apostle John in Rev. 1:10-20. The fact that His glorious appearance there corresponds so closely with the man dressed in linen of Dan. 10:4-6 is very strong evidence that the same Person appeared to the prophet Daniel and to the apostle John. I believe the man dressed in linen of Ezekiel chapters 9, 10 was God the Son too. (See my book for the details.)

Here in verse 6, the man dressed in linen is asked how long it will be until the end of these astonishing things. The astonishing things refer to the astonishing things associated with Antichrist. At the time the question is asked, several astonishing things associated with Antichrist have already taken place, including the abomination of desolation and the short great tribulation of Dan. 12:1. The man dressed in linen answers the question of verse 6 in verse 7; His answer shows that there are three and one-half years yet to go before Antichrist is destroyed and these astonishing things come to an end.

It is significant that the man dressed in linen comes on the scene, in an exalted position above the waters of the river and answers the question at a time corresponding with the very time that the Lord Jesus Christ will return with the clouds, and the resurrection, glorification, and rapture will take place, right in the middle of Daniel's 70th week.

I'll read verse 7 again, "I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, as he raised his right hand and his left toward heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time; and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people, all these events [or, all these things (all these astonishing things)] will be completed."

Assuming the man dressed in linen is God the Son (which I do assume), He swears by the triune God, or (more likely) He swears by God the Father, that there are three and one-half years yet to go before Antichrist is destroyed and these astonishing things come to an end. The Bible shows that God the Son is subordinate to God the Father in some ways (see 1 Cor. 15:27, 28, for example). And I should mention that God raised His hand in Deut. 32:40-43 and swore (based on the fact the He is God and lives forever) that He was going to judge the world and save His repentant people. Also, Heb. 6:13 speaks of God swearing by Himself, since He could swear by no one greater.

I'll read a paragraph that I have in my book under the words, "and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people" of Dan. 12:7. First I listed many important cross-references that will help us understand these words. I'll read several of these cross-references. I'll read Dan. 7:21, 25, and 26. "I kept looking and that horn [Antichrist] was waging war with the saints and overpowering them." [As verse 25 (and other verses) show, Antichrist will be waging war against the saints, and in some ways overpowering them, throughout the second half of Daniel's 70th week.] (25) He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they [the saints] will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time [which equals three and one-half years]. (26) But the court will sit for judgment and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever." I'll read Rev. 12:17. "So the dragon [the devil] was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus." As we have discussed, the devil will give Antichrist his power and his throne and great authority right after he is thrown down to the earth in the middle of Daniel's 70th week. He will then use Antichrist to wage war against Christians throughout the second half of the seven-year period. (Those Christians will center in the end-time elect remnant of Israel.) And I'll read Rev. 13:5 and the first part of verse 7. "There was given to him [to Antichrist] a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. (7) It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them...." Dan. 12:10 shows that the end-time elect remnant of Israel will be purged, purified, and refined during those very difficult years, when the devil and Antichrist are waging war against them. Zechariah 13:9 prophesies of God's bringing the end-time elect remnant of Israel into the refining fire (referring to the refining fire of the second half of Daniel's 70th week). I'll read Zech. 13:9 from the NIV. "This third [referring, in context, to the elect end-time remnant of Israel] I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, 'They are my people,' and they will say, 'The LORD [Yahweh] is our God.' " (See under Zech. 13:8, 9 in this book for the details.) Another very important cross-reference is Isa. 66:7, 8; these verses prophesy of these same three and one-half very difficult years. These verses (which we have discussed already in these articles) speak of the travail of Zion (Israel) that will begin at the time of the mid-week resurrection, glorification, and rapture. At the end of this time of travail, the end-time remnant of Israel will also be glorified (see under Isa. 66:7, 8 in my book for the details). And lastly, in Rev. 15:2-4 we see these saints as they reach their destination of heavenly glory, about the time of the end of Daniel's 70th week. They have just come through the "fire" and they have come off victorious over Antichrist (Rev. 15:2-4 are discussed in my book).

Now we'll go on to Dan. 12:8. I'll read Dan. 12:8, "As for me, I heard but could not understand; so I said, 'My lord, what will be the outcome of these events.' " The New American Standard Bible has the word "events" in italics. I believe it would be better to translate, "what will be the outcome of these things" (referring to these astonishing things of verse 6). Daniel apparently asked for more information regarding what would take place after "these astonishing things" have come to an end, but there can be no doubting that he also had questions regarding the astonishing things themselves, etc. Daniel already knew something about what would take place after the 70th week had come to an end (compare Dan. 7:9-27; 9:24, 27; and other prophecies that had already been written that he was aware of, such as those by Isaiah and Jeremiah).

Daniel's question was not answered in any full sense by the "man dressed in linen," but verses 9-13 do contain very important information. Daniel knew as much as he needed to know, as do all of God's people who look to Him in faith. God has ways of always making everything work together for good for those who love Him and look to Him in faith.

I'll read Dan. 12:9, "He said, 'Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time [I would translate, "until the time of the end"]." This verse makes it very clear that Daniel was not supposed to fully understand this revelation. "These words" will not be understood by the elect of Israel until the time of the end. See Dan. 12:4; 8:26.

I'll read Dan. 12:10, "Many will be purged, purified, and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand." As we have discussed, the elect end-time remnant of Israel will be purged, purified, and refined through the intense shaking and refining fires that they will pass through in the time of the end. We discussed the words "those who have insight" under Dan. 12:3.

I have a sub-heading here, "A greater purifying," which I'll read. In the light of much Scripture, especially from the New Testament, we know that there will be another much more basic, much more powerful dimension to the purifying of the end-time remnant of Israel. Like every Christian, they will be purified through new-covenant salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ, based on His atoning death, and in the power of the outpoured Holy Spirit. (See, for example, Zech. 12:10-13:1; Isa. 52:13-53:12; Jer. 31:31-34 [quoted in Heb. 8:6-13; 10:15-18]; Ezek. 36:25-27; Dan. 9:24; John 1:29; 8:31-36; Rom. 6:1-23; 8:1-17; 2 Cor. 5:17, 21; Titus 2:11-14; Heb. 9:13, 14; 1 Pet. 1:3-25; 2:24, 25.) As we have discussed, the end-time elect remnant of Israel will be repentant and ready to submit to the Lord Jesus Christ when He comes to them shortly after the rapture.

Now we come to Dan. 12:11. As I have mentioned, this verse is extremely important in that it enables us to see that the abomination of desolation will take place some thirty days (a month) before the middle of Daniel's 70th week. I'll read Dan. 12:11. "From the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is set up [or, is initiated], there will be 1,290 days." The 1,290 days is somewhat surprising, but this is very important information. Based on Dan. 9:27, which prophesies of Antichrist abolishing the sacrifices in the middle of Daniel's 70th week, we tend to expect 1,260 days here in Dan. 12:11, which would refer to the second half of Daniel's 70th week. (Revelation 11:3 and 12:6 both mention 1,260 days, referring to half of Daniel's 70th week. Revelation 11:3 refers to the first half of Daniel's 70th week, and Rev. 12:6 refers to the second half of the seven-year period. Also see Dan. 7:25; Rev. 11:2; 12:14; and 13:5. They all refer to the second half of Daniel's 70th week except Rev. 11:2, which refers to the first half of the seven year period.)

I'll quote part of what I said under the words, "but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering" of Dan. 9:27. The correct understanding of the words "in the middle of the week" is crucial to an accurate interpretation of many of the more important end-time prophecies. It may seem obvious that these words locate the time at which Antichrist "will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering" (which is part of his abomination of desolation) right in the middle of Daniel's 70th week. However, I believe the word "middle" is being used here in an imprecise (approximate) sense and that Antichrist will stop the sacrifices, etc. a month before the middle of the seven-year period. We will discuss the basis for this viewpoint in the following paragraphs.

The Hebrew noun "chatsi," which is translated middle here, is frequently used in a very imprecise sense. For example, in Exod. 12:29; Judg. 16:3; and Ruth 3:8, "chatsi" is used of the "middle" of the night. In Psalm 102:24 the psalmist prays that he may not be taken away (by death) in the midst of his days. Also see Jer. 17:11. My point is not that chatsi was never used in a precise sense. Hopefully there was some precision when they measured half a cubit. My point is that chatsi was frequently used in an imprecise sense in the Old Testament, and I believe that includes Dan. 9:27.

Antichrist will go into the temple, stop the sacrifices, etc. in the approximate middle of Daniel's 70th week, a month before the precise middle of the seven-year period. To help put this in perspective, this approximate middle is only 2.38 percent off of the precise middle of the seven-year period. (Thirty days is 2.38 percent of 1,260 days.)

A primary reason for locating the abomination of desolation a month before the precise middle of Daniel's 70th week is Dan. 12:11. I'll quote the verse again; then comment on this verse. "From the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is set up [or, better, and the abomination of desolation is initiated], there will be 1,290 days."

When do the 1,290 days come to an end? They will come to an end at the end of Daniel's 70th week. Many passages show that Antichrist's reign and his waging war against the saints will continue to the end of Daniel's 70th week (see, for example, Dan. 7:21, 22, 25-27; 8:13, 14; 9:24-27; 12:6, 7; Rev. 12:6, 13-17; 13:5-7; 19:19-20:6). If we count backward 1,290 days from the end of Daniel's 70th week, it brings us back to a point thirty days (a month) before the precise middle of Daniel's 70th week, which shows that Antichrist will stop the sacrifices in the temple and initiate the abomination of desolation a month before the middle of the seven-year period.

I'll read part of what I said regarding the content of the abomination of desolation. (I frequently modify what I said in the book for these articles.) I believe the abomination of desolation will center in the fact that Antichrist will enter the (rebuilt) temple at Jerusalem, stop the sacrificial offerings, and demand that he, and he alone, be worshiped (see 2 Thess. 2:3, 4; Dan. 11:36-38; Matt. 24:15; and Mark 13:14). What Antichrist will do is abominable, is it not? And that abomination will lead to great desolation. There is no mention of a statue, or sacrificial altar, etc. in conjunction with Antichrist's abomination of desolation. As we have discussed, the image of the beast of Rev. 13:14, 15 will be later than the abomination of desolation, and it doesn't seem that the image of the beast will even be located in the temple at Jerusalem.

I'll quote 2 Thess. 2:3, 4 from the NIV, "Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day [referring to the day of the Lord, which the apostle Paul just mentioned at the end of verse 2; I should mention that the day of the Lord will begin when the Lord Jesus Christ returns in the middle of Daniel's 70th week.] will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed [or, manifested], the man doomed to destruction. [Antichrist is the "man of lawlessness"; he will lead a major rebellion against God; but he is doomed to destruction. Antichrist will be revealed (or, manifested) as Antichrist, as the next verse shows, when he enters the temple and demands that he alone be worshiped.] He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God." Although Antichrist will not be manifested as Antichrist until his abomination of desolation, many Christians will know his identity long before the time of his abomination. For one thing, he will either make, or confirm, the seven-year treaty of Dan. 9:27; for another thing (as we have discussed), the number of his name (the number 666) will apparently help confirm his identity long before the abomination of desolation.

I have a sub-heading in my book, "Discussion of the verb 'set up' in Daniel 12:11." I'll read part of what I said under this sub-heading. The BDB Hebrew Lexicon has "give, put, set" for the basic meaning of this often used verb ("nathan"). This verb was used about two thousand times in the Old Testament, and it is translated many different ways. In Dan. 11:31, which speaks of the abomination of desolation of Antiochus Epiphanes, "set up" is an appropriate way to translate this Hebrew verb. That abomination of desolation, which was set up in 167 BC and was in place for three years, consisted of a pagan sacrificial altar built on top of the sacrificial altar in the temple at Jerusalem. (See pages 94, 95 of my book for the details.) In Dan. 12:11, which speaks of Antichrist's abomination of desolation, assuming that his abomination centers in the person of Antichrist himself (as he enters the temple, stop the sacrificial offerings, and demands worship), a translation like "is initiated" seems much more appropriate than "is set up."

I'll read Dan. 12:11 again and make a few summarizing comments. "From the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is initiated, there will be 1,290 days." As we have discussed, the 1,290 days will begin at the time of Antichrist's abomination of desolation, which will be initiated some thirty days (a month) before the middle of Daniel's 70th week, and the 1,290 days will terminate at the end of the seven-year period, when Antichrist and his followers are destroyed by the Lord Jesus Christ (see Rev. 19:20, 21).

I'll make one last point before we go on to the next verse. Even if we didn't have Dan. 12:11, I would still teach that Antichrist's abomination of desolation will take place a short while before the middle of Daniel's 70th week. And as a matter of fact, I taught that viewpoint for some ten to fifteen years before I fully appreciated what Dan. 12:11 is saying. I based that viewpoint (for the most part) on a few basic facts that I was sure of. For one thing, I was sure, and I still am sure (based in large part on Rev. chapters 11-13), that the Lord Jesus Christ will return, and the resurrection, glorification, and rapture will take place, right in the middle of Daniel's 70th week, at the time of the sounding of the seventh and last trumpet of the book of Revelation. For another thing, I was sure, and I still am sure, that Matthew chapter 24 shows that there must be time for the short great tribulation of verses 21 and 22 (at least a week or so) between the abomination of desolation of verse 15 and the mid-week return of the Lord Jesus Christ and the rapture, both mentioned in verses 30 and 31. I can still picture one of my professors at Covenant Theological Seminary (Dr. Wallis) emphasizing this point.

Daniel 12:12, "How blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,335 days." All of God's people must stay faithful in each generation, as they wait (in faith) for their full and final salvation. And I listed some verses from the Old Testament that use the same Hebrew verb for wait. I'll read one of those verses, Isa. 30:18. I'll read this verse from the NIV, "Yet the LORD [Yahweh] longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show compassion. For the LORD [Yahweh] is a God of justice, Blessed are all who wait for him." I also listed two passages from the New Testament. I'll read one of those passages, 1 Thess. 1:6-10. "You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything. For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come." We must wait (as we press on, by grace, through faith) until He comes, or until the time of our death. Those Christians who die before the Lord Jesus Christ returns will still have to wait for the time of their glorification, but their time of trials and testings will be over.

Here in Dan. 12:12 we should probably just think of the believers who will be living on the earth during the very difficult years of the reign of Antichrist, throughout the second half of Daniel's 70th week. And I listed two verses here. I'll read those verses, Rev. 13:10 (from the NIV), "If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints." And I'll read Rev. 14:12, "Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus."

We'll come back to Dan. 12:12 in the next article. We thank you, Father, for the truth. We are making it a top priority to know the balanced truth of what your Word teaches. God bless you!

Copyright by Karl Kemp

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