25] ‘He shall speak pompous words against the Most High,
Shall persecute the saints of the Most High,
And shall intend to change times and law.
Then the saints shall be given into his hand
For a time and times and half a time.
26] ‘But the court shall be seated,
And they shall take away his dominion,
To consume and destroy it forever.
27] Then the kingdom and the dominion,
And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven,
Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High.
His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And all dominions shall serve and obey Him.’
28] “This is the end of the account. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts greatly troubled me; and my countenance changed; but I kept the matter in my heart.” (NKJV)
In our last post, we looked at several characteristics Daniel gives us of a man called, “the beast.” We believe this is the same individual called the Antichrist in the New Testament. Here is the rest of what Daniel says about him.
e. his power, then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time.
This is an astounding statement. This is how the Antichrist will be able to “prevail” against the saints, but why would God give His people over into the hand of His, and their, enemies?
There are two reasons for this. The Old Testament gives us abundant evidence of one of them: Israel’s sin. This will be part of the reason, as we’ll see shortly. However, there is another reason. In Daniel 12:10, the angel says, “Many will be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.”
In other words, trials and trouble are intended to have a purifying and steadying effect on God’s people. Peter put it like this in 1 Peter 4:12,
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.
This also from Peter, in 1 Peter 1:6, 7:
…though now,… if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being more precious than gold, may be found to praise, honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
One purpose of trials is to prove the genuineness of faith and to increase it, as we see that God is able in any circumstance to take care of us. In the US, we don’t know much about the bloodshed other generations, and believers in other parts of the world, have known. If it comes to us, it will prove who are Christians, and who are just church members….
There is one other thing, of paramount importance. The saints will be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time (emphasis added). This statement has caused a lot of discussion. Though the beast may seem to have unlimited power and might be able to prevail against the saints, yet there is a limit. His despotism will come to an end.
But what does the phrase “time and times and half a time” mean? Since Daniel says more about this, we wait til then for further comment.
6. his punishment, But the court shall be seated, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and destroy it forever, v. 26. Once the terror of this earth, the beast will be stripped of all his power and, in the words of Daniel, his body…destroyed and given to the burning flame, v. 11. There is a corresponding reference to this in Revelation: Then the beast was captured,,,. and [was] cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone, Revelation 19:20.
There’s a lot that could be said about the fact that the body isn’t all there is to a person. He has (is) soul and spirit, as well. The body may die, but the soul lives on. We read of Adam that when God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, he became a living soul. He was more than just an animated body. So are we.
The grave is not our final destination.
In the words of Hebrews 9:27, it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgement. As far as this life is concerned, there is an “after”.
There is a time of judgment coming.
But that’s not all Hebrews 9 says. Verse 28 says, Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many.
We didn’t quote all of Hebrews 9:27, 28. What these verses say is, As it is appointed for men once to die, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. The underlined words complete the thought.
The death of Christ wasn’t just some happenstance, some measure dreamed up in a “hastily called meeting of the divine council,” as one Bible “scholar” put it. It bore a direct relation to man’s condition: he is a sinner, and, as such, under a just condemnation.
But God made Him who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him, 1 Corinthians 5:21. In other words, Christ took to Himself something that wasn’t His – namely, our sins, in order that He might give to us something that wasn’t ours – namely, the righteousness of God.
This is why the Scripture says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved,” Acts 16:31.