"Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand."
The last chapters of the book of Daniel relate a series of visions that laid out the course of future history. As often happens in such apocalyptic writing, the images are sometimes difficult to understand and require some hard thinking and research into World History to see how they are fulfilled.
But it’s worth the effort! Daniel, writing about 539 years before the birth of Christ, prophesied the rise and fall of the Greek and Roman Empires, described specific decisive battles that would be fought, and predicted to the month the date of the crucifixion of the Messiah.
Daniel chapter 12 speaks about the times in which we live today. These words might seem so obvious to us that on reading them today we would say, “Well, duh! I didn’t need to be a prophet to say that!”
But look at what he actually said would be happening in our day.
1. Many are being refined, sanctified, and made clean: The Gospel is spreading over the whole earth, and many are being saved, set apart for God through faith in Christ, and their lives are being transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit.
2. The wicked shall act wickedly: at the same time, there are evil forces of darkness and confusion that control the hearts, minds, and lives of many, resulting in more wickedness than ever.
3. None of the wicked will understand: those who reject God and His Word are clueless as to what’s going on and blinded to the point that they see evil behavior as virtuous and everything that’s good is despised. They just don’t get it.
4. But the wise will understand: Remember that the Bible says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Those who know Jesus and believe the Word of God, will see and understand the times in which we live, and know where we’re headed as we wait for the Lord’s return.
The Lord Jesus Himself told us, “Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."
Lord, thank You for giving us a map of where we’re headed long before we got here. Open our eyes with the wisdom that comes from your Word. Set our hearts apart for You in these times in which we live, and come quickly, Lord Jesus! Amen.
Pastor Dan Giles