THE SEALS ARE OPENED
The wise men of the east knew when to expect Jesus first coming and were watching for it. We can likewise understand the time of his second coming and Daniel gives us a timeline with the words “the wise will understand”.
“Go your way, Daniel, because the words are rolled up and sealed until the time of the end. Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.” Dan. 12:9
These words were sealed until the time of the end –not even Jesus nor the angels would understand prior to the seal being broken – only God knew.
“But about that day or hour no man knows.” Matt. 24:36 (prior to Jesus death)
The context of this passage is to urge people to be ready and is given in verse 44 “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” The purpose of this passage is not to quell speculation about Jesus return, but to encourage readiness for it.
We are told in Revelation 5 that the seals were opened by Jesus after His death – a reference to the sealed words of Daniel. It was after Jesus death that He would understand the times and reveal them to us.
“The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll (a reference here to scroll in Daniel 12:9) and its seven seals.” Rev 5:5
Surely the words of Rev 5:2 are an echo of the words of Jesus and Daniel
|Daniel 12:9||Matt. 24:36 – Before DEATH||Rev 5:2-3 – AFTER DEATH and Triumph|
|Go your way, Daniel, because the words are rolled up and sealed until the time of the end. Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.||No one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows||Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it….The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll.|
The scroll has been opened. As the Day of the Lord draws near the prophecies are falling into place. And sense can be made of Daniel’s timeline.
We may not know the exact time of Christ’s coming, but we can know that we are in the “time of the end” – referred to by Daniel and we can proclaim Jesus’ coming as John the Baptist proclaimed it the first time.
Rev 1:3 “ Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.”
Some will say “But Jesus said the time of His return is near 2,000 years ago and it wasn’t”. This is not the context of this passage.
Revelation 1:1 begins with
“The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place”.
Revelation is an unfolding prophecy of the fate of the Jews and the escalating curses that came on them. They culminate in the return of Jesus when they come under “Beast” rule one more time. The destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE was just one of the events that were ‘soon’ to take place.
It’s not wrong to try to understand the prophetic messages from God. They can build faith and give us encouragement as we see the Day of the Lord drawing closer.
Daniel knew from Jeremiah’s prophecies that the desolation of Jerusalem would last for 70 years –
I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. Dan. 9:2
Knowing this encouraged Daniel to plead for his people and himself. Knowing the signs of the times can encourage us also.