The three end time prophecies of the Book of Daniel Chapter 12 (the 1260, 1290 and 1335-Day Prophecies) will be fulfilled in our generation. This podcast contains the keys to unlock them.
I’m happy to be back with you after a few weeks of absence. It’s been an exciting but also an incredibly challenging period.
I’ll give you a quick update. The Lord has been opening doors for the ministry to expand through the production of Spanish presentations.
First I was invited to present at Battles of Faith, an evangelistic event that reaches tens of thousands of people via satellite TV and the internet. I shared the message about the US and France in Bible prophecy, and explained the striking parallels between 9/11 and the burning of Notre Dame Cathedral and what that means for us. The feedback was extremely positive. If you haven’t listened to that podcast yet, be sure to check it out: US and France in Bible Prophecy.
Then I worked with a church in Puerto Rico to prepare and deliver a revival campaign called “Mysteries of the Sanctuary”. That series represented nearly a month of work and was also very well received. It should be up on our YouTube channel soon.
So it’s only now that I’m back to pick up where we left off on our English-language podcast. Today we’ll study the end time prophecies of Daniel Chapter 12.
I hope you’ll be very focused today because everything we’ll be covering is truth that Satan doesn’t want you to understand. For those of you joining us for the first time, welcome to our podcast. After you listen to this study you might want to go back and listen to the rest of the Daniel series. It will give you a lot of useful context.
- Seventy Sevens
- Preview: Little Book of Daniel That Was Sealed
- Fascinating Structure of the Book of Daniel
- Satan’s War Against God’s Holy Covenant
- Groundwork for Daniel 12 Time Prophecies
This is what we’ll be covering in this study of the end time prophecies of Daniel 12. It’s very exciting so you don’t want to miss any of it. In bold is what we’ll cover in today’s study.
- Why the three prophetic timelines of Daniel 12 are still future
- The principles of Bible interpretation used to analyze these timelines
- The 1335-Day timeline
- The 1290-Day timeline
- The 1260-Day timeline
- All the themes of the Book of Daniel reach closure in Daniel 12
The Prophetic Timelines of Daniel 12 Are Still Future
Many students of Bible prophecy, including the Adventist Pioneers, have tried to demonstrate that the 1335, 1290 and 1260 timelines of Daniel 12 have already been fulfilled. Personally, I don’t agree. It would take me some time to walk you through the reasons why I believe they haven’t been fulfilled. I prefer to use our time today to show you the Biblical evidence why these time prophecies are still future. They’ll be fulfilled in our generation.
Reason Number 1
The sheer number of times that the text reiterates that it deals with the end of time:
- “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” (Daniel 12:4)
- and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished. (Daniel 12:7)
- “Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, “My lord, what shall be the end of these things?” (Daniel 12:8)
- “And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. (Daniel 12:9)
- “But you, go your way till the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days.” (Daniel 12:13)
Reason Number 2
The language used points us to the very end of time. We just read the five times that the word “end” is used in Daniel 12. Four out of those five the Hebrew word “qets” is used. “Qets” takes us to the very extremity of time, the uttermost border of time.
Reason Number 3
All the events referenced in Daniel 12 occur at the very end of time. Daniel Chapter 12 is entirely focused on the events that take place at the very end of time: not 1798, which we Adventists believe to be the beginning of the time of the end, but rather the very end of time. Let’s look at the number of times this is made clear in the chapter.
- Daniel Chapter 12 starts with Archangel Michael, another name for Jesus, standing up. We know that this signals the close of probation for the world. How do we know that? We have the Biblical precedent of Acts Chapter 7. We read in that chapter how the Jewish leaders stoned Stephen, the first Christian martyr. He had confronted them and in a long speech reminded them of how time and again they’d broken their covenant with the Lord. Just before the Jewish leaders killed Stephen, he looked up to heaven and saw the Son of Man – Jesus – standing at the right hand of the Father (Acts 7:55-56). This happened 3.5 years after the death of Christ, in the year 34, and signaled the close of probation for the Jewish nation. At that point both Paul and Peter received the instruction to take the gospel to the Gentiles.
- The same verse also speaks of the great time of trouble, referring to the seven last plagues. The seven last plagues are the last thing to occur on earth just before Jesus returns. So clearly verse 1 sets the context of the very, very end of time.
- Daniel 12:2 speaks of the resurrection of the dead, which clearly happens at the Second Coming.
- Twice Daniel is told that the book would be sealed until the time of the end. We’re still in the unsealing process. In fact, that’s exactly what we’re doing in our study today.
Reason Number 4
God typically veils prophecy until the time of its fulfillment. This phenomenon is called “Contemporary Recognition of Prophetic Fulfillment”. Let me give you three examples of that:
- Daniel was given understanding that the 70-year timeline of the Babylonian captivity, given by the prophet Jeremiah, was coming to an end.
- John the Baptist announced that the Kingdom of God was at hand as the 70-Week Prophecy was coming to an end and Jesus’ ministry was about to begin. The 70-Week Prophecy counted 490 years until the beginning of Messiah’s ministry.
- The Millerites in the 1840’s were given understanding about the 2300-Day/Year Prophecy, exactly as that prophetic timeline was coming to an end.
Reason Number 5
Bible language should be taken literally unless there’s something in the context showing us that it should be interpreted symbolically. Ellen White stated it this way in the Great Controversy, page 599: “The language of the Bible is to be taken at its most obvious (literal) meaning, unless some figure or symbol is employed”.
For example, the Book of Revelation is a highly symbolic book. How do we know that? Let’s read Revelation 1:1: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John”. The use of the expression “to signify” means that the revelations would be expressed in signs and symbols that we would need to decode. The Bible itself gives us the meaning of the symbols.
That’s Revelation. There’s no such marker or indicator for the Book of Daniel. The Book of Daniel is to be taken literally except for the obvious portions that are dreams and visions, such as the vision of the four beasts, the vision of the ram and the he-goat, the vision of Nebuchadnezzar’s golden statue, etc. But if there are no obvious symbols in the passage, it should be taken literally. This is the case of Daniel Chapter 12. There are no symbols, dreams or visions in Daniel 12.
Therefore, the Daniel 12 timelines should be read in literal time, not prophetic years. In other words, when we analyze the three timelines of Daniel 12, we use literal days. We do not apply the “day for a year” method of prophetic time reckoning. The three timelines of Daniel 12 are literal time – 1260 days, 1290 days, 1335 days – still to be fulfilled.
Reason Number 6
As we went through our previous studies on the Book of Daniel we saw that the action in the book progresses through history. We could say that this book has a forward movement. The Book of Daniel starts in Babylon at the height of its glory, around 600 BC. It then moves into the days of the Medo-Persian Empire. Through prophecy, dreams and visions it takes us through the Pagan Roman Empire, then the Papal or Holy Roman Empire, and finally Daniel 12 takes us to the very end of time, just before the Second Coming of Christ.
Keys to Understand the Three Timelines of Daniel 12
A timeline is a stretch of time between two events. What I’m going to explain now are two keys to help us identify and recognize the events that start and end each one of the Daniel 12 timelines.
Key Number 1: Daniel and Revelation are tightly coupled
The book of Daniel is tightly coupled with the Book of Revelation. When we don’t understand something in Daniel we go to Revelation for insight, and vice-versa.
In relation to the timelines, Daniel gives us the elapsed time or the span of time between the two events that mark the beginning and end of each timeline. The Book of Revelation gives us the characters and the events.
Key Number 2: The Rule or Principle of Precedent
There are several rules or principles that help us to correctly interpret scripture in general as well as prophecy. One of these principles is the Rule of Precedent. When we’re puzzled about how something works in scripture, we go to something similar in a similar context to see how that was done. Then we apply that same meaning or approach to the problem we’re analyzing to see if there’s a fit. We’ll do that right now with other timelines in the Book of Daniel and see if that can apply to the three timelines of Daniel 12.
When I understood the precedent that had been set within the Book of Daniel itself with three other timelines, I was able to understand and validate the key events that begin and end each timeline.
What is the precedent that was set? The precedent established in the Book of Daniel is that timelines begin or end with either a literal voice, a decree or a judgment. A decree or a judgment is the speaking of a nation. A nation speaks through its legislative and judicial actions.
First Timeline: The 7 Times of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4
In Daniel Chapter 4, King Nebuchadnezzar is given a prophetic dream that concerned him very personally. It was a warning from heaven that his kingdom would be taken away from him. Listen now to verses 16 and 17 of Daniel 4:
“16 Let his heart be changed from that of a man,
Let him be given the heart of a beast,
And let seven times pass over him.
17 ‘This decision is by the decree of the watchers,
And the sentence by the word of the holy ones
In order that the living may know
That the Most High rules in the kingdom of men,
Gives it to whomever He will,
And sets over it the lowest of men.’”
Couple of things we want to highlight in this passage. First of all, a timeline of “seven times” is given. A “time” is a year. In this passage the expression “seven times” means seven literal years.
The second thing to notice is that the timeline starts with a decree. In this case, it’s a decree of the watchers of the Most High. It’s a heavenly decree, that sets the timeline in motion.
Let’s explore now what else happens along this particular 7-year timeline. I’m reading again from Daniel 4:28-33:
28 All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 At the end of the twelve months he was walking about the royal palace of Babylon. 30 The king spoke, saying, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?”
31 While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven: “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you! 32 And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.”
33 That very hour the word was fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar; he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen; his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.
The 7-year timeline now features another voice speaking from heaven and a judicial action being imposed upon King Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of the 7 years, after Nebuchadnezzar comes back to his senses and worships the God of heaven, there’s another judicial action taken, and the king is restored to his throne. So the first judicial action was a punishment and the second was a reward.
This precedent establishes that the beginning and ending points of a timeline can be: a decree, which is the legislative voice of a kingdom or nation, an actual voice such as the voice of God, or a judicial action as consequence of a judgment or decree. We’re going to see this in our other precedents as well.
Three Additional Timeline Precedents in the Book of Daniel
There are three other timelines in the Book of Daniel that confirm what we just explained using the example of the seven times timeline of Nebuchadnezzar’s judgment. The other three timelines are:
- The 1260 year timeline of Daniel 7: it begins with a decree by the emperor Justinian where the Pope is names the head of all the churches and the true and effective corrector of all heretics. It ends with a judicial action, one of Napoleon Bonaparte’s generals took the pope captive in 1798 to put an end to the papal dominion over Europe
- The 2300 year timeline began with a decree issued by King Artaxerxes in the year 457 BC to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. It ended with a judicial action, the beginning of the judgment of God’s people in heaven in the year 1844.
- The 490 year timeline began at the same time as the 2300 year prophecy, in the year 457 BC by the decree of King Artaxerxes. It ended with a judicial action, the close of probation of the Jewish people in the year 34 AD.
We’ve laid a very solid foundation for you to be able to see how we figure out the start and end dates of the three timelines in Daniel 12. First, we consider the linkages between Daniel and Revelation and let the events of Revelation give us the start and end points of the timelines. Second, by the rule of precedent, we know what kinds of events we’re looking for in Revelation: speaking voices – whether of heavenly beings, men or nations. “The speaking of the nation is the action of its legislative and judicial authorities” (Ellen G. White, Great Controversy page 442). In other words, the voice of the nation speaks through laws and decrees as well as judgments and the execution of judgments, whether to bring punishment or reward.
Introduction to the 1260, 1290 and 1335 Prophecies of Daniel 12
Because there’s so much to say about these three prophecies, we’ll do a quick overview today and we’ll follow up with a more in-depth exploration.
The first thing to say is that these three prophecies are timelines. They’re connected because the events on the timelines are connected. Secondly, the three timelines run in parallel. In other words, they’re running concurrently for a span of time even though they’re not the same length. Thirdly, they’re given in literal time, not prophetic time, so we do NOT apply the “day for a year” principle.
Last but not least, neither one of the timelines sets a date or time for the Second Coming of Christ. So if you’ve listened this far hoping to find out exactly when Jesus is coming I’m going to dash your hopes! If on the other hand, you’ve been avoiding studying these three timelines because of the prohibition against date-setting for the Second Coming, let me reassure you, that’s not what we’re doing.