THE SEALS ARE OPENED
The wise men of the east knew 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.
“No man knows the day or the hour” was a well known Jewish idiom in the first century relating to the groom coming for His bride – this was determined by the Father of the groom when the house was fully prepared. It was after His death and resurrection that Jesus went to the Father to prepare a place for the bride.
We are now in the “time of the end” – referred to by Daniel. The seals were opened by Jesus. By understanding Daniel and Revelation we are expected to know that Jesus is coming soon and to proclaim this 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”.
The word ‘soon’ can bear the meaning ‘arise quickly’ – in other words the events of Revelation (on the whole) arise quickly and blessed are those living in those times who can understand and proclaim them.
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 Judah would be punished for 70 years in Babylon –
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.
A speculative timeline of Daniel 12 – Time of Coming Blessing