Daniel-Wayne Barber/Part 31
By: Dr. Wayne Barber
|By: Dr. Wayne Barber; ©2006|
|If you’ve been studying very faithfully along with us, it’s doing something in your mind that you don’t realize. Many people think that you study the Word of God just to have facts about God. No, that’s not right. You study the Word of God so that you can be changed by the Word. You know God through the study of His Word.|
Final Instructions for the Last Days – Part 2 (Daniel 12:10-13)
Daniel 12, our last message together in this wonderful book. We’ve been in it now for six months. I can hardly believe it: our last time together. We’re going to be looking now tonight in verses 10-13 as we continue our thought that we started this morning: Final Instructions for the Last Days, Part 2.
Now let’s go back just for a second. Now, don’t look now, let’s just go back. See how well you can remember what went on in the book of Daniel. You know you think sometimes that you can’t do this. If you’ve been studying very faithfully along with us, it’s doing something in your mind that you don’t realize. Many people think that you study the Word of God just to have facts about God. No, that’s not right. You study the Word of God so that you can be changed by the Word. You know God through the study of His Word.
And I remember when I was over behind the Iron Curtain several years ago and I had a fever one night. I laid there and there was nothing else I could do. I said, “Lord, help me to remember the Scriptures that we have studied over the years.” And I laid there on my bed with fever and I began to think of the book of John. John 1, 2, 3, 4, and I went through every single chapter of John and could remember what was in those chapters and what God had spoken to my heart. Then I went to 1 Peter, then 2 Peter and all the different books that God had put on our hearts to study. You don’t realize, we’re not just here going through a book so that you can put up a file folder full of information. This is how we know God. This is how we not only know about Him, but we know Him. And as we get into the Word, the Word gets into us and the transformation begins to take place.
So let’s go back to chapter 1 and see what we remember. Remember in chapter 1 Nebuchadnezzar moves in on the city of Jerusalem and the first siege takes place in 605 BC. The first thing he does is take all the young, good looking, sharp young people. Looking around I know none of us would have made the group. And so he takes them all out. In chapter 1:8 we see Daniel in the first dilemma of his young life, a teenager about 15 years old, faced with the fact that the king wanted him and the other young people to eat of their choice food and their choice wine. But he knew to do that would violate the Levitical commands that he had, so therefore he says in chapter 1:8 that “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself.” What a key verse to the whole book of Daniel. A young fellow who before he ever packed his bags made up his mind he wouldn’t defile himself; he would honor his God. Do you realize we have the rest of the book of Daniel because of that?
Chapter 2 we find the first dream that Nebuchadnezzar, the pagan king of Babylon, had. And God begins to move in his life. God wants to make sure that these pagan nations understand that the only reason they’re in power is because God raised them up. And in chapter 2, after Daniel had interpreted that dream, remember Daniel praised the Lord and said it’s God who determines the kings and kingdoms, it’s God who determines the epoch of man. But we see in that dream of Nebuchadnezzar in chapter 2 a statue and the statue was of four kingdoms. Remember that? The head was Babylon, the upper torso was Medo-Persia, the belly and the thighs was Greece, and the leg was Rome. But he wasn’t really interested just in Rome or ancient Rome. He goes on to the feet of baked clay and iron and then he talks about in verse 42 the toes of the feet.
How many toes do you have? Ten toes; something about Rome in the latter days. It would be ten loosely divided yet united kingdom. A United States of Europe, could it be, that would come together in the latter days. And then it talks about a stone in chapter 2 and that stone would be one made without hands and he would crush the statue at the feet and then his kingdom would fill the whole earth. That’s chapter 2.
Chapter 3 we see three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They will not bow. I love that. I love that song by PID, a Christian rap group, and it’s called “Preachers in the Sky,” and it’s a good name. You’d never guess. But in the song it talks about “don’t bow” and it talks about basically chapter 3 of Daniel. And Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego won’t bow to that statue that Nebuchadnezzar makes of himself, 90 feet tall, 9 feet wide. They will not bow down to that statue in the plains of Durham. So as a result of that the three of them are cast into the burning fire. Remember the people who cast them in the fire were burned up? But what happened to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? Not one thing. As a matter of fact the Scripture says not a hair on their head was singed and they were not burned. They didn’t even have the smell of smoke on them. The only thing that burned off of them was the things that bound them. And they met the Lord Jesus like never before because Nebuchadnezzar said, “Wait a minute. Didn’t we throw three men bound, falling? Didn’t we throw them in?” They said, “Yes sir.” “But I see four men and they’re loose and they’re walking and the fourth is like a son of the God.” And of course I believe that’s a theophany, that’s the Lord Jesus Christ appearing right there with His people, walking through the fire with them.
You know, you wonder why does Daniel have those stories in it. Do we not understand that this book is going to be very helpful to the people who are going to be in the last days? Didn’t we see this this morning? And he told Daniel to seal it up, it’s for those days. And can you imagine going through those days of tribulation, some of those Jews who understand will get a hold of the book of Daniel and they’ll be persecuted, but they’ll look in there and they’ll look in the fires that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had to go through and they’ll gain strength from that. Why, if you look back on it, it makes all the sense in the world.
Chapter 4, Nebuchadnezzar still won’t bow. Nebuchadnezzar is proud of himself and so God has another dream to come into his life. And this time he dreams about a tree which is his kingdom and how everybody is being nourished by that tree. But remember the dream? The angel came and interrupted the dream and told him to cut down the tree, leave the stump. Leave the roots in the ground, put a fence around it, and the man, it refers to Nebuchadnezzar, is going to be put out to pasture basically. He’s going to have the appetites of an animal, he’s going to wake up in the morning with dew all over him, he’s going to be eating grass for his meals for seven years. Daniel interprets the dream and that’s exactly what happens to Nebuchadnezzar. And the key verse in chapter 4 is verse 37 which says, “God is able to humble those who walk in pride.” Don’t ever think for one second you’re doing anything on your own. God is in charge of your life.
Well, chapter 5, what happens? Well, Belshazzar, who is sort of a grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, he will not listen at all. As a matter of fact, he takes the sacred vessels that his father had captured when he raided Jerusalem and he takes them out of the temple and he has a drunken orgy and as a result of that there’s a ghostly, bodiless hand that appears on the wall and says, “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin. Thou hast been weighed in the balances and thou art found wanting,” or lacking. And that night the Medo-Persian Empire came into the city and Belshazzar died and we have the rise of the second kingdom that we saw in chapter 2. That’s chapter 5.
Chapter 6, old Darius, who is the Medes king, gets talked into and tricked into making a law, and the law of the Medo-Persians could never be changed. And the law was that no man in the kingdom could worship any god but him for 30 days. Well, you know Daniel is not going to bow. Daniel has been worshipping his God for a long time. He’s an old man now. He’s not about to pay attention to what they’re saying. He’s going to worship his God morning, noon, and night with the windows open, as the Scripture tells us, as he’s faced toward Jerusalem. As a result he’s thrown in the lion’s den. Poor old Darius, he was more worried about Daniel than Daniel was worried about Daniel. He came through and said, “Don’t worry about it, I’ve been trying to get you out of this but I can’t get you out of this, but your God is going to deliver you.” I love that. And sure enough he comes back the next morning and all the lions are just sitting there very passively. Daniel, you see, hadn’t been looking at the lions. Daniel had been looking at the Lord. That’s chapter 6 of Daniel.
Well, in chapter 7 we find that Daniel begins to have his vision. Here’s where the chronological sequence stops. It jumps back and forth now. But his visions are all in sequence. And in chapter 7 we see his vision of the four beasts that come up out of the sea. And of course this correlate with the statue of chapter 2. He sees first of all Babylon being the two-winged lion. Then he sees Medo-Persia being the bear with one side raised up because one of the kingdoms was always more powerful than the other. Then he sees the leopard, Greece, with the four wings and how Alexander the Great with the four heads on that leopard comes in and his kingdom, and obviously he dies, and his kingdom is divided among four generals. All that’s in chapter 7, remember?
And then we saw the fourth beast. Now the fourth beast was an ugly looking dude. It had ten horns. That’s what really caught the attention of Daniel. It was Rome, but it wasn’t Rome of ancient Rome, it was Rome of the latter days. And Daniel really wanted to know about that beast with the ten horns, those ten horns being ten kingdoms. But in chapter 7 is where we find the beginning of the teaching of the Antichrist. The little horn that comes up among those ten horns out of Rome; and what he’s going to be doing in the latter days, and how long he will persecute Israel, which will be for time, times, and half a time, which is three and a half years.
Chapter 8 we saw another vision that Daniel had. This time it’s only of the second two kingdoms, those middle two kingdoms: Medo-Persia and Greece. Now why in the world did that even appear in the book of Daniel? Well, I think it’s because God said it’s going to happen and it has happened and history has documented it. It’s the Medo-Persian Empire as the ram with the two horns, one longer than the other. And then we see it defeated by the shaggy goat, and the goat has a conspicuous horn between its eyes. That’s the nation of Greece. And how Greece moves in and how when Greece has moved in, how the kingdoms are split up, but there’s one man that comes out in chapter 8 that we need to know about. That’s Antiochus Epiphanes, the preview of the Antichrist that has been mentioned in chapter 7.
Then we come to chapter 9. Daniel has been studying Jeremiah in his quiet time and he finds out it’s about time for all these people to go home and so he begins to pray for his people. He’s so burdened; he looks around and he sees that Israel is just as hard-hearted as they’ve ever been and as he sees them going back into their homeland, he realized they haven’t learned their lesson. And he begins to pray for them. Thirty-two times he confesses their sin as his sin, but as a result of it all, God has to give a vision to him. And the vision is of the 70 weeks. As we’ve studied that, remember those 70 weeks were divided into three sections. Seven periods of seven, which are actually years, 49 years, 62 periods of seven which were 434 years, and then one period of seven which is that 70th week. For the 70 weeks to have been completed there are six things that have to happen, and those six things have not yet happened, which gives us the only conclusion that you can come to: there’s got to be a division between the 69 weeks and the 70th week. There has to be and that makes us understand Romans 11 which says that Israel has a partial hardening until the fullness of the Gentiles come it. That’s where your church is, right there. And then we know that that 70th week is yet to come. It will be in that 70th week, Daniel tells us, that the little horn, the Antichrist, will move in on God’s people. And in the middle of the week he will break a covenant with them and that’s when Satan incarnates him and that’s when the great Jacob’s distress takes place: the great tribulation.
Then we came to chapter 10 and that’s what we’ve been dealing with now for the last several messages: The vision of great conflict. Here, finally, it’s almost summarized for Daniel. It starts in chapter 10:20, goes all the way through 12:3. Chapter 10:14 says it concerns his people and it’s a terrible, terrible, terrible vision. He sees how difficult it’s going to be for God to break the self-sufficiency of his people. But there’s hope in it because God has not forgotten His people. He’s still remembering them, He covenants with Abraham, He promised him a Seed, which was Christ, He promised him a land which is Israel, and He promised him a nation and they’re still there and He has not forgotten about them.
Well, isn’t it fun to go back over it? We have spent six months studying those chapters and this is the last message. I almost want to stay another hour just to talk some more about it. I don’t want to get out of Daniel. The only thing that makes me excited is we’re getting into Revelation. Crank it up; it’s going to be a good time.
Alright, now today we see some final instructions concerning the last days. We’ve seen three already in the first part or beginning of verse 4 of chapter 12. First of all we saw in verse 4 that Daniel is to preserve the book. Why? Because they’re going to need it in the last days. Preserve it, Daniel; seal it, Daniel; and make sure it’s not destroyed, Daniel. What you have written down is going to be used from all times. Secondly we saw in verses 5 on down through verse 7 that Daniel needed to understand why the tribulation was necessary. And verse 7 tells us “to finish shattering the power of the holy people.” In other words, it’s going to take the worst period of all history in Israel’s life for their self-sufficiency to finally be broken, for them to be humiliated and finally receive Jesus as their rightful King. It will take all of that difficulty to bring them to the cross.
Thirdly we saw that Daniel was to stop asking questions that didn’t concern him. Daniel wanted to know more, and then verse 8, after all the visions now, he understood the years, he understood the Antichrist, he understood why, but he wants to know more. What are going to be the sequence of events at the last part of that three and a half years and the angel said, “Now, Daniel, cool it. This is not for you to know. Just relax; it’s for them at that time. You don’t need to know. You’ll not gain a thing by understanding this. You just have to learn that God is in control.”
Daniel is not to worry about Israel
Well, in verses 10-13 we find the final three and our concluding message in the book of Daniel. What’s the fourth thing that Daniel needs to know, information, instruction for the last days. Well, the fourth thing is, Daniel, don’t worry about Israel. Now look at verse 10. He says, “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. And from the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days.” Well, I went a verse too far. “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.”
Now you’ve got to tie that end back to verses 8-9. Remember, he wants to know, I think his heartbeat is, “Are you sure, are you sure Israel is going to be saved? Are you sure they’re going to come out of this alright.” He’s seen the terrible things that will take place. Are you sure that Israel will be alright. And basically what he says is, “Don’t you worry about Israel.” “Many will be purged, purified and refined.” Now the word “purged” there means cleansed. And the word “purified” means to be made white. And of course the word “refined” explains itself. And what he’s talking about is salvation. There’s going to be a salvation time for many of the Jews during that time.
Look over in Zechariah 13. We’ve read this many times, but really fitting into its context it really makes a point here. He promises Daniel that Israel will be saved. “Don’t worry about Israel; they’re going to be okay. I’m going to spare Israel.” Verse 8, “‘And it will come about in all the land,’ declares the Lord, ‘That two parts in it will be cut off and perish; but the third will be left in it.’” There will be a third of all Israel to be saved. And verse 9 says, “And I will bring the third part through the fire, refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”
And so we see that there are going to be those of Israel that will be saved. They’ll be purged, they’ll be purified, and they will be refined. Now if you go back to chapter 12 and verse 3, these are the same ones He’s speaking of. It says, “And those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” They’ll be included in that bunch. “So, Daniel, don’t worry about Israel. I know the vision has been difficult, I know it’s been a great conflict, but Daniel, God is faithful to do as He promised. He will not let Israel fade away.”
Then he adds something there in verse 10 that’s hard for Daniel, I’m sure, to accept. He says in verse 10 not only will “many 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.” You know, that’s a hard message. What it’s basically telling Daniel is, “Daniel, you can’t do a thing about it. But I’m going to give a promise to you: many of Israel will be saved. They will be purged and purified and refined, but Daniel, understand this, all of them will not be saved. There will be many who are wicked who refuse to obey. They’ll pick up your book one day and they will not understand because they will not receive Jesus as their rightful King in their life. So Daniel, don’t worry about Israel, they will be saved. But, Daniel, understand something: all of Israel will not be saved. There will be many who are, but there will be many who will not be saved.”
You know, I thought about that thing, and I thought you know, that’s just so true in life, isn’t it? I wish I could somehow get out into my neighborhood and make everybody receive the Lord Jesus Christ. Wouldn’t you like to do that? Think of somebody that you know, that you work with, or somebody in your family. Wouldn’t you like to just grab hold of them and jerk a knot in their head and say, “Would you listen to me,” and get them saved so that they’ll respond and obey the Lord? But it’s an individual choice, friend, and a person has got to make that decision on their own. This blows covenant theology, for instance, out the door. There are those who teach that because the mom and dad are saved, automatically the children are allowed into that covenant. No sir, buddy. Some of those children may and some of those children may not. They’ve got to make up their own mind. They’ve got to come to a point with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to decide whether or not to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Many will, but many will not. But he’s trying to tell Daniel, I think, “Daniel, don’t worry. Israel will be saved, not all of them, but many will turn, many will be purified, purged and refined.” So the first thing then, is don’t worry about Israel. Don’t worry; God’s got all of that in check. Many won’t but many will.
Everything God told Daniel has a timetable to it
Secondly is this: Daniel, understand something. Know that everything God has told you has a timetable to it. Now, how many times have we come to that in our study of the book of Daniel? Everything God has told you has a timetable to it. Look in verse 11. I’m telling you, verses 11-12 just intrigue me. Now watch what he does. He says in verse 11, “And from the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days.”
Now what does he mean “the regular sacrifice is abolished, and the “abomination of desolation is set up?” Well, I think we get a clue back in 9:27. He’s beginning in the mid-part of that tribulation week, that last seven years. First part of the tribulation, the Antichrist makes a peace treaty with Israel, possibly that’s when the temple is rebuilt, I don’t know. But in the middle part of that seven year period, watch what happens. It says in verse 27, “And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week,” that’s three and a half years into that seven years, “he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of the abominations will come one who makes desolate.” And so at the beginning of that last three and a half years, what does he say? At the beginning of that and until the end there will be 1,290 days. Now does that throw any confusion into anybody’s mind? Does anybody have any problem with that?
Haven’t we already seen that it’s going to be 1,260 days until the Lord comes and establishes His kingdom? How do we know? The end of the tribulation will finish when the Antichrist is defeated and it is 1,260 days: time, times, and half a time. Forty-two months. But wait a minute. He says 1,290 days. Now, what in the world does that have to do with what we’ve studied? Well, at this particular point I’m going to thrill you with my answer: I don’t know. But I have a guess and I want you to chew on it and if we disagree on it, that’s alright. You can be wrong. But let me tell you what I think.
The judgment of the nations is going to take place when Jesus comes back to this earth. I think what he’s saying is after 1,260 days, that’s when the man, the Antichrist, will be destroyed; not by his own hand but God will do it Himself. He won’t need any help to do it. But from that point, 1,260 days to the 1,290 days, will be the time in which on this earth will be the judgment of the nations and all that takes place in Matthew 25 covers a lot of that. That will be taking place in those 30 days. So we see 1,260 days ending the three and a half year period, the awful great Jacob’s distress. Then we see 30 more days up through the time that the judgment of the nations takes place.
Well look at verse 12. You think that will confuse you. He says, “How blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,335 days!” Oh, no, not another 45 days. Now wait a minute: 1,260 days, that’s the end of three and a half years. Okay, 30 more I can buy that; that will be the time on this earth, actual days, time, that it will take to judge the nations. Then 45 more days: what would that be? Again, I don’t know but I’m going to guess at it. Do you know what I think it is? I think that’s the time it will take for Him to set up His kingdom, put everybody where He wants to put them to get ready to start the 1,000-year period of reign on this earth.
Now, you can say, “Wayne, that’s crazy.” And it just might be, but you’ll have to come and tell me what you think it is, because he doesn’t describe it, doesn’t tell us what it is. I think if it’s those two things, it just thrills my heart because now he’s completed the last two parts of the puzzle; now he’s finished the picture. Now we know the seven years, we know that 70th week. We know that in the middle of it, there are three and a half years, 1,260 days, and we even know what happens at the end: 30 more days for the judgment of the nations, 45 more days for God to set up His kingdom and the beginning of the 1,000-year reign here on this earth.
Well, I think the real key here, we can argue until Jesus comes as to what this is all about, and when He comes I’m going to say, “See, I told you.” No, we can argue about it, but the thing that really thrills me is that God has it already fixed up on His own timetable. Friend, you’re not going to mess with it, I’m not going to mess with it. It’s coming and we know that God knows exactly how long it’s going to take and He’s given a vision to Daniel and isn’t it a comforting thing: God’s got it all worked out. Man, do you realize Israel picks this thing up in the middle of the tribulation saying, “Man, how are we going to make it?” And somebody figures out 1,260 days. Wait a minute, 1,260 days and they start putting two and two together and they start realizing that “Hey, it’s been 1,200 days, how long? Sixty more, sixty more, come one man, stay in there. Stay in there.” Because he said, “Daniel, they’re going to need this during that time. They’re going to need your book.”
Boy, it gets down to 1,259 days and somebody picks it up and says, “Hey, look at this: 1,290 days something else is coming.’ And he says, “How blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,335 days!” As the kingdom now has been set up on the earth. The main thing to remember is that, Daniel, understand something: don’t worry about Israel and secondly, remember, God has it all of His time table. Everything He’s prophesied in this book, that Daniel has written down, that Daniel is to preserve, has a timetable to it and God has it all under control.
Daniel was told to stay faithful to the end and he will be rewarded
Finally the sixth thing is this: this really blesses me and I think this is a great verse to leave Daniel on. Verse 13. Finally, Daniel, stay faithful to the end and you will have a reward coming to you. “Daniel, you stay faithful to me just like you’ve been,” God says, “to the end, and you will have a reward coming to you.” Look at verse 13, “But as for you, go your way to the end; then you will enter into rest and rise again for your allotted portion at the end of the age.”
Now I want to show you something in this. Brother Spiros Zodhiates and I were studying the other day and it really caught my attention. Notice this verse very carefully. He says, “But as,” and what’s the next two words in your translation? For who, “for you.” Now God said this to Daniel, right? He didn’t say this to Jeremiah; He didn’t say this to somebody else. This is His specific individual message to Daniel. Do you realize how individual the Christian life is, folks? Now we need one another, to encourage one another. But do you realize that you’ve got your lap to run, I’ve got my lap to run, Daniel has his lap to run, and at the end of that lap I’m not going to get your reward, I’m going to get my reward. That’s the key. “Daniel, I have something for you when you finish. You will go to your rest, but you’ll rise for your allotted portion. There’s a reward for your faithfulness.”
Look with me in 2 Timothy just for a second. Brother Spiros and I have been studying that for about 10 years and I think we may finish it after the Lord comes. But it’s been so wonderful. Second Timothy 4:8. Now notice the same thing, same thing he says to Timothy. Verse 7, Paul says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for” you, Timothy? Is that what he says? Is laid up for you, Cephas. Is that what he says? There is laid up for you, somebody else? No, he says, “there is laid up for me.” You think that is an egotistical statement? Oh, no, friend. That’s just a man who understands the righteous character of our God and he knows that because of his being faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ, he wasn’t running for a prize in the sense that he just wanted the prize: he loved Jesus. But he knew that individually he would be rewarded according to what he had done on this earth.
I’ve got my lap to run, you’ve got your lap to run, Paul had his lap to run, and Daniel had his lap to run. I want to tell you something, folks. If you stop and start worrying about how somebody else is running their lap, do you realize that you’re going to pay for it when you stand before the Lord Jesus Christ? One of the things I have noticed over all the years that I’ve been in the ministry; something that just grabbed at me and is heavy on my heart. The people who cause divisions usually are the people who are condemning everybody else for how they’re running their race when in reality they’re not running theirs the way they ought to run. You mark that down, mark that down.
These are the pseudo-spiritual people who all of a sudden are more spiritual than everybody else. “Nobody can run like we are running.” As a matter of fact I can think back in the years, particularly when I was in one church and I can think of a young person telling me one day, just so clearly, he looked at me and he said, “Wayne, the problem is we are just not experiencing all that God wants us to experience.” Would you like for me to interpret that situation, what he just said? He didn’t mean “we.” What did he mean? He meant “you.” Mark it down. If you’re judgmental about everybody else’s race, friend, and you’re not running your own race, you’re going to stand before God one day and you’re going to answer for it. I’m going to answer for it. When I find other people that disappoint me, friend, I can’t stop running because they disappointed me. I can pray for them, I can do whatever I can do to encourage them, but, friend, I’ve got a race to run and I can’t stop to find out how they’re running it. I’ve got to run my own race.
Years ago my wife and I decided something in our life. We’re not going to let life work against us anymore. We’re going to start letting it work for us. We’ve got a race to run. You can’t stop and check out just because somebody disappoints you. Friends, you’re riding down the highway out here and a policeman stops you and he doesn’t have any kind of character whatsoever, and he pulls you over, you can hate that policeman the rest of your life, but friend, you’re still going to pay that ticket. Quit looking at other Christians and start looking at Christ. Run your own race.
You know the way you encourage me to run my race is by running yours like you ought to run it. That’s the way you do it. You don’t stop and kick everybody and beat them down and judge them and say, “Hey, you’re not spiritual; you’re not up with me.” What he’s telling Daniel is, “Daniel, there’s a lot of wicked around Israel, but you stay faithful to me, you follow me all the way to the end and when you get there, there will be a reward for you, Daniel. I’m not promising anything to anybody else. I’m promising it to you.” That’s the key. Run your race and quit condemning others because they don’t run like you. Run your own race. The way to encourage them is to run your race like you ought to run it. Folks, there’s so much condemnation in the body of Christ. Sometimes it’s hard to handle.
Well, there are six things, Daniel. What do you need to know for the final days? Preserve the book. Aren’t you glad Daniel did what he told him to do? Hey, we just studied it, six months we’ve spent in it. Has it done anything to increase your knowledge? It sure has done a whole lot to increase mine. Daniel, secondly, understand why the tribulation. God’s not a mean God. God’s a righteous God and God will not look upon sin and Israel has sinned and God has to deal with them and roughly, but to bring them back to Himself. Understand that, Daniel. And thirdly, stop asking questions that don’t concern you. You can’t figure it all out; this is not for you, it’s for them. Just relax.
Fourthly, don’t worry about Israel. God will spare it; God’s faithful. Not all of them, but many of them. Fifthly, know that God has predetermined on a timetable what will take place in the end event. You don’t have to know what they are, you just need to know that God’s in charge of it. And finally, sixthly, Daniel, stay faithful. You stay faithful and one day you will rise again. I think that’s talking about the bodily resurrection, and the only thing I can figure out is that has got to be with the saints in Christ because these people look forward to the coming of the Messiah, accounted to them as righteousness and so therefore when our bodies are resurrected if we die before the Lord comes, their bodies will be resurrected. Their spirits have gone on. When Jesus led captivity captive and took them on to be with Him. One day their bodies will rise and after they rise, what will come? The judgment, and there’s going to be a reward, Daniel, if you will follow me.
Oh, boy. The thing that sticks with me through all of Daniel, I can wipe the sweat off my brow: God’s in control. God is in control. And I’d best be faithful because He’s not going to change, He’s going to remain the same. And one day I want the reward that God has for me.
Well, are you running your race tonight? Or are you too busy worrying about everybody else who’s not running theirs? Go on and run your own race. Hey, folks, this church will never be the ideal church. If you’re looking for the ideal church, don’t join it, you’re going to mess it up. We’re people in this church. We’re going to have some people running the race; we’re going to have some people who aren’t even on the team. We’re going to have some people who haven’t figured out to get off the bench yet. All different levels. What’s that supposed to do to you? Nothing more than keep you running just like you ought to run. That’s the encouragement to the rest of this body. You run it the way you’re supposed to run it and God will bless you for it.