Author: Rabbi Baruch
We have learned already that when Messiah returns to earth to establish His Kingdom, He will arrive from the clouds at the Mount of Olives. He will descend the mountain, much like when He entered Jerusalem (Forty years before the destruction of the Second Temple), a few days prior to laying down His life as the Passover sacrifice. This time He will enter the city through the eastern gate and then proceed to the Temple. The final proof that the true Messiah will give that He is the Son of G-d is that He will enter the Holy of Holies. Scripture forbids any man from entering the Holy of Holies except the High Priest and he may only enter on Yom HaKippurim (Day of Atonement).
Remember what we learned about Moses, he entered the Holy of Holies even though he was not the High Priest. Moses was seen as the "first redeemer" and he entered the Holy of Holies in order to inaugurate the service of the Tabernacle in the wilderness. Messiah will enter the Holy of Holies in order to inaugurate the Kingdom of G-d upon earth. He will not speak to G-d, but He will sit upon the covering of the Ark of the Covenant showing that He is indeed G-d in bodily form. This seat will be from where the Messiah will reign as King Moshiach.
There is an interesting reference to this in the New Covenant. Once Jesus was pacing in the Temple area in a place called Solomon's hall. This place is very close to the Holy of Holies and it was during Chanukah; which some authorities see as an appropriate time for Messiah to reveal Himself and inaugurate the Kingdom (more will be said about Chanukah and Messiah later on in this article). The text says,
"The Pharisees surrounded Him and said to Him, 'How long do you keep us in suspense; if you are the Messiah tell us plainly'." John 10:24
The Pharisees knew the tradition about Messiah entering the Holy of Holies and ruling from there. Therefore they asked Jesus to prove that He was the Messiah and enter into the sacred place. They knew that if He was not the Messiah and entered into the holy place then He would die like the sons of Aaron—Nadav and Avihu (see Lev. 10). So why did not Jesus give them this proof? It was not the proper time for Him to enter the Holy of Holies. This event is a Second Coming event and not to be done during the first time He was here; therefore He refused.
After the false messiah enters the Holy of Holies and commits the Abomination of Desolation, G-d will gather all believers to Messiah in the Clouds,
"Then the L-rd Himself (Messiah) will descend from the heavens with the call of the commandment and the voice of the arch angel (Michael) and with sound of the shofar of G-d and the dead who belong in Messiah will rise first and after that we who are still alive will be taken together with them in the clouds to meet the L-rd (Messiah) in the air and thus we will be with the L-rd forever." 1 Thess. 4:16-17
It will be immediately after this event that an awful time of persecution will take place upon the Jewish people. This intense time of tribulation upon Israel will be satanic retribution on Jewish people for refusing to worship the false messiah. The prophet Jeremiah spoke of this time of tribulation and revealed that as horrible as the suffering will be, nevertheless Israel will be saved.
"Woe! For Awful is that day, there is none like it! It will be a time of trouble for Jacob (the Jewish people), but from the midst of it, he will be saved." Jeremiah 30:7
Let us review these events before we move on to more of Daniel's prophecy. We have said that there will be difficult times ahead for the world. These difficulties will be political, economical, and social. In short there will be a general chaos in the world that will give rise to a world government. From this world government a leader will emerge whose policies and leadership will bring a temporary time of economic prosperity and political stability. He (the false messiah) will be very interested in Israel and will at first seem to be a friend of the Jewish people. During his administration there will be an agreement between Israel and its neighbors and the Temple will be rebuilt and the sacrifices will resume. Although his policies will be against the teachings of Scripture, only a small minority of "Christians" and Jews will oppose him. During the first three and half years of this seven year agreement this minority of believers and Biblically based Jews will be persecuted and killed. At the half way point the false messiah will commit what Daniel calls the "Abomination of Desolation" and after the Jewish people refuse his call to worship him, a time of intense persecution of all Jews throughout the world will begin. Daniel offers much insight into this time in Daniel chapter Twelve.
Daniel points out that although there is intense physical persecution during this time of Jewish suffering, one needs to understand the spiritual aspect of this battle. Daniel says,
"And at this time Michael, the great prince (Michael is the arch angel) will stand, he stands in behalf of the children of Your people (Jewish individuals) and there shall be a time of tribulation which there has never been since there has been a nation. But at that time Your people shall escape, all who are found written in the book."
The fact that the arch angel Michael is mentioned informs the reader that without G-d's intervention the Jewish people would be defeated. It is most sad to note that this time of affliction for the Jewish people will be the worst that has ever occurred to them. This means even worse than the holocaust. The good news is that a remnant will escape and be saved / redeemed. The verse ends with an odd reference, "written in the book". What book is being referred to here? Moses also refers to this book in asking HaShem to forgive the people when they sin with the golden calf. Moses said,
"And now please forgive their sin, and if not erase me now from Your Book which you have written." Exodus 32:32
Most scholars see this book as the list of names of those individuals who will be in the Kingdom of G-d for eternity. The New Covenant also refers to this book several times in the book of Revelation:
"The one who overcomes will put on white garments and I will not erase his name from the book of life." Revelation 3:5
"And all the inhabitants of the earth will worship her (the beast) whose names have not been in the book of life of the Lamb (Messiah) the One slain from the founding of the world." Revelation 13:8
"And I saw the dead, small and great standing before the throne (of G-d) and books were opened up and another book was opened, the book of life. And the dead were judged from the things written in the books, according to their deeds."
"And whoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the lake of fire."
"And no one shall enter into it (Kingdom of G-d) who is unclean or who does that which is shameful or false; but rather those who are written in the Lamb's book of life." Revelation 21:27
These verses reveal that the people who will escape this intense time of tribulation and persecution know as "Jacob's Trouble" (Jeremiah 30:7) are those who have had their names inscribed in the book of life. Please note that this book is connected to the Lamb who was slain. This is a reference to Messiah who became not only Israel Passover lamb, but the world's. We are told this was G-d's plan from before the founding of the world (see Rev. 13:8). Therefore those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life are those who receive the message of redemption of Messiah Jesus, Who was slain according to the will of G-d.
As Daniel continues to prophesy he speaks of the resurrection,
"Many will sleep in the ground: some of these will rise for everlasting life and others of these (shall rise) for disgrace and everlasting abhorrence." Daniel 12:2
Daniel received this prophecy nearly 2,500 years ago. He is told to seal up the prophecy because these matters are obscure, but in the future G-d will raise up individuals to clarify and refine these words, i.e. bring understanding and the proper interpretation (see Daniel 12:9-10). It is most interesting that Daniel speaks of the "Abomination of Desolation" occurring at the midpoint of three and a half years and then in speaking about the persecution of Israel and the Jewish people throughout the world Daniel asks how long until the end? His question is in regard to what G-d has already shown him that at the end of the final seven year period sin will be dwelt with by G-d and everlasting righteousness will be established and wars will cease. To this question a man (angel) clothed in linen lifted his left and right hands to the heavens and said,
"…the Life of the World (G-d) has sworn that for a period, two periods, and a half of period until the completion…of the holy people and all these things shall be completed." Daniel 12:7
A period is one year, so this seventh verse is also referring to a three and a half year period of time. Therefore the period of Israel's suffering will be the second half of the seven year period. Then Messiah will return to earth and deliver Israel and establish His Kingdom. Daniel concludes his writings with some vital information. He tells the reader that the wicked will continue to behave wickedly, but the wise will understand (see verse 10). What will the wise understand? The wise will see G-d moving according to the words of the prophets to establish His Kingdom and they will quickly repent and prepare themselves for Messiah's reign on the earth. Daniel then gives some important clues that assist the reader in being prepared. We have already learned that the false messiah will allow the building of the Temple in Jerusalem and the offering of sacrifices. However, after he is rejected by the Jewish people he will bring an end to the Temple service. Daniel informs the reader that,
"From the time that the daily sacrifices are removed and the setting of the Abomination of Desolation there is 1,290 days." Daniel 12:11
The book of Revelation in speaking about a period of three and a half years says,
"And the woman (Israel) will flee to the wilderness to a place that G-d has prepared for her, in order to sustain her there for 1,260 days."; Revelation 12:6
There is a difference of thirty days. It may be that in the New Covenant that the author is speaking of this period in round numbers. That is, three and a half years is approximately 30 days multiplied by 42 months. Regardless of the intent of John (the author of the book of Revelation) there is still an additional thirty days. The reason for this additional period may be revealed in our previous study of Zechariah 12:10. The prophet says that when Israel will look upon the wounds of Messiah during the time that the Messiah is fighting the wars of HaShem, "they will mourn as the mourning of an only son…as a firstborn son." In Judaism the first seven days after the funeral is strictly observed as a time our mourning. There are actually an additional 23 days (a total of 30 days) for mourning. Although many people are more relaxed during these additional 23 days, when it is one's only child—a firstborn son, then most tend to follow the strict rules of mourning for the full thirty days. This will be the case for Messiah.
Israel will look upon their Deliverer and realize His true identity and set aside a full thirty days for mourning. Daniel then continues and says,
"Happy is the one who waits and arrives to 1,335 days."; Daniel 12:13
This number represents an additional 45 days or a total of 75 days. What is the significance of this period? There are exactly 75 days between Yom Hakippurim and Chanukah. In the same way that the spring festivals of Passover, first fruits, and Pentecost (Shavuot) played a major rule in Jesus' first coming, so too will the fall festivals. Although no man knows when Messiah will return, Zechariah points out that after Messiah returns a spring (of water) will be opened,
"And it shall come about on that day a source (of water) will be opened up for the House of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and uncleanness." Zechariah 13:1
Scholars see this verse referring to the Day of Atonement. This day is a national day of repentance and on the day prior to the Day of Atonement people immerse in a mikvei (ritual immersion pool) as a sign of repentance. Zechariah may in fact be showing that Israel as a nation, with the national day of immersion is beginning a 75 day period which will serve as preparation of the establishment of the Kingdom of G-d. It should not be surprising that on the festival of Chanukah which commemorates a cleansing and a rededication of the Temple from the sacrilege that Antiochus committed, that the true Messiah will supervise a cleansing and rededication of the Temple in which the false messiah committed the Abomination of Desolation. Messiah will also supervise a world wide time of spiritual preparation for the establishment of the Kingdom of G-d. In the same way that Chanukah began a new period for Israel, so too, after a period of 1,335 days, "happy will be those people who wait and arrive…" at this significant time in Israel's future.
The book of Daniel is vital in connecting the various prophecies of the last days. Although Daniel reveals tragic news about the extent of suffering that will befall the Jewish people immediately prior to the establishment of the Kingdom of G-d, Daniel affirms that there is a determined end for this awful period known as "Jacob's Trouble." Daniel also reveals details concerning Messiah, His work and the timing of this work which confirms that only Jesus of Nazareth could be Israel's Messiah.