Though much of the vision from Daniel 10:10 to 12:4 has already been fulfilled, it is important to understand the main purpose for which God recorded it. In Daniel 10:14, God said He preserved this prophecy that we might “understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days.” There is much prophecy in the book of Daniel that has been fulfilled. There is also a great deal that has not yet been fulfilled. In addition, some critical passages are dual—meaning they have a historical and an end-time fulfillment.
This is significant because God’s overall purpose—His plan for man—works in a process of duality. John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Christ’s first coming, was a type, or forerunner, of one who would come in this end time to prepare the way for His Second Coming. When Jesus came the first time, He came to a physical temple composed of building materials—wood, stone, precious metals, etc. In this end time, however, Christ is returning to a glorified spiritual temple—a group of called-out individuals who make up His Church (Ephesians 2:19-22). Haggai 2:9 says this latter, spiritual house for God will be far greater than the former, physical house.
The duality in Daniel 8 and 11 revolves around this physical/spiritual temple. In chapter 8, when we read about the daily being taken away or the sanctuary desecrated, that is temple language, meaning there is duality! Anciently, an evil man entered the holy land, stopped the daily sacrifice and desecrated the temple. In 2 Thessalonians 2, we read about an evil man in this end time who exalts himself above God, stops the Work of God and desecrates the spiritual temple—God’s Church.
A similar story is related in Daniel 11. Antiochus Epiphanes entered the holy land, profaned the temple, and subdued all resistance through deceitful lies and flatteries (verse 21). Antiochus was known for his raging hatred against Jews. He set out to crush Judaism altogether.
The fact that today the Church is the spiritual temple, its members are spiritual Jews and their work is the spiritual daily, or continual, makes the last half of Daniel 11 especially interesting.
Someone in this end time, a man of sin (2 Thessalonians 2:3), infiltrated the Church “peaceably” and obtained rule by “flatteries” (Daniel 11:21, 24). He rose to power “by aid only of a small party” (verse 23; Moffatt). He is well-known for speaking lies and doing mischief (verse 27), though he has an outwardly righteous appearance.
At this point, the prophecy narrows further, specifically addressing the sanctuary and temple worship. In verse 28, we read that this man is against the “holy covenant,” or true religion—God’s holy people. Anciently, Antiochus massacred the Jews and stopped the daily sacrifices. Spiritually speaking, this end-time Antiochus has been far more destructive.
Verse 29 relates that after two successful campaigns into Egypt, Antiochus finally suffered defeat. He returned to Judea enraged, and the first place he stopped to vent his anger was the sanctuary. “For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant” (verse 30). Notice, Antiochus didn’t just come back to destroy the temple—he cut a deal with those on the inside. He had “intelligence with them”—the traitors! It was all done through deceit and flatteries.
This doesn’t happen during the Tribulation. It has already happened! Those familiar with Worldwide Church of God history know that Satan did not level that church with one mighty death blow. It happened gradually, brought about by a deceitful band of insiders who set out to destroy the holy covenant—to stop the Work of God!
Daniel 12:7 says that in the Tribulation, Satan will “have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people.” But Daniel 11 and many other passages draw attention to another attack on the holy covenant before the Tribulation.
Notice Revelation 12:9: “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” This happens before the Tribulation. In fact, this verse is a companion scripture to Daniel 11:30.
When we consider the deceitful works of Antiochus, anciently or in this end time, we had better see Satan behind them! Like Antiochus, Satan has led many successful campaigns against God’s plan. He attacked God in the Garden of Eden, establishing this world on a fundamentally false premise. He went after Christ in the New Testament. And though Christ claimed the ultimate victory in that titanic battle of the ages, still Satan lashed out in fury against the Messiah and His followers—persecuting, even crucifying them. In this end time, Satan has gone after God again—a third time, you might say. And this time he attacked God Himself on His throne. But God slapped him right back to Earth, barring him from any further access to His throne.
Like Antiochus returned to Judea frustrated after failing in Egypt, Satan returned to this Earth enraged, filled with wrath. “Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time” (Revelation 12:12). Satan is grievously troubled. He is bitter and filled with wrath. And even worse, he knows he only has a short time.
So what do you suppose he does? Where did Satan go immediately after his unsuccessful campaign against God? Where did Antiochus go after his failure in Egypt? Verse 13: “And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.” The woman in this passage represents God’s Church—the sanctuary! Verse 14 shows how this woman will be persecuted right up to the point that the Tribulation begins, when she is taken to a place of safety. So this happens before the Tribulation. But once the Tribulation begins, many Laodiceans will wake up and recognize the error of their ways. That’s why Satan again goes after them in verse 17.
The point I want to emphasize is that after Satan was cast back to this Earth, which happened around the time of Mr. Armstrong’s death in 1986, he targeted his rage at the sanctuary. Daniel 11:30 reveals a treacherous plot within the sanctuary. Satan’s man had intelligence with those who forsook the covenant. Malachi 2:12 refers to these men as “scholars in the tabernacle”—puffed up with vanity. These are the fellows that this end-time Antiochus plotted with. These men who have intelligence, the scholars, are allied with the devil. Satan is getting the “intelligent” ones. Senior evangelists have proven to be no match for the devil.
“And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits” (Daniel 11:32). Here is a revealing verse. Those who do wickedness to the covenant are corrupted by flatteries—lying words that deceive God’s own people. This is not a time when Satan is smashing. He is seducing! (The Revised Standard Version uses the word seduce.) Satan knows just what words to use. If we are the least bit vain, Satan knows how to reach our minds.
The Anchor Bible translates “corrupt by flatteries” as apostatize—a great falling away! That’s what 2 Thessalonians 2 is all about. Write for Malachi’s Message to understand more about 2 Thessalonians 2.
God’s very elect know what is happening. They remain as part of the sanctuary of strength. Notice in Daniel 11:31 that the “intelligent” ones pollute the sanctuary of strength—they don’t destroy it. Looking at the sanctuary today, if we can recognize that it was polluted, surely we can identify who first established it in purity and righteousness with the government of God.
Verse 32 says those people who know their God—Elohim—“shall be strong, and do exploits.” They know the God of Genesis 1:26—Elohim. These people know the Hebrew word Elohim is a plural word like family. They know all about family. They were taught that by the one who established the sanctuary in purity. And they are strong! Because they are strong, they do a work—they do exploits. Look at how specific God is getting in this prophecy! The people who know God “stand firm and take action,” it says in the Revised Standard Version. That’s what the King James means by doing exploits (“exploit” means a heroic act).
Now you can either compare works and judge by fruits like God does, or you can listen to Satan’s flattering words! Jesus Christ’s Bride will not be led away by words and flatteries. She stays faithful to her Husband and does the continual.
All those who are part of Christ’s Bride will have proven themselves to be the very elect who cannot be deceived (Matthew 24:24).
“And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they [the many] shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days” (Daniel 11:33). One group understands and instructs many. God’s very elect instruct the many, or the Laodiceans. However, most of them reject the message and fall spiritually. But be assured that God did warn them before they fell.
God’s people have always understood that their sword is the Word of God—the Holy Bible (Ephesians 6:17). But Satan has a sword too—a sword of lies and flatteries. Fifty percent of the Laodiceans will fall by this sword—forever. If you look at this spiritually, God’s people have fallen by the sword, the flame and captivity!
We cannot kid ourselves. God knows His troops—He knows our every thought. He knows those who will fight with His sword. If we volunteer and take the initiative, He will build His character within us. We will become like our Father. On the other hand, if we do not really want it, if we don’t fight for what we have, it will slip away and we will end up falling by the sword.
“Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help [or ‘receive a little help’]: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries” (Daniel 11:34). When the Laodiceans fall, God’s very elect (who instruct many) will offer some help. But nobody inside of Laodicea will help. All the intelligent ones have fallen spiritually!
It says many will cling to these faithful few “with flatteries.” What does that mean? Notice Ezekiel 33:30: “Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee [or, ‘about you’] by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the Lord.” The Laodiceans know about God’s true Work. They talk with each other about the Key of David program and read the Trumpet. Many of them were even behind us in our struggle to print Mr. Armstrong’s books and booklets. These people are cleaving to God’s very elect with flatteries.
“And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness” (verse 31). Many even have nice things to say about God’s Work. With their mouths, they show much love. But they will not do anything about it. They won’t act! They hear our words, verse 32 says, “but they do them not.” They cleave to us only with their words—with flatteries.
So what will be their end? “And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them” (verse 33). In the Tribulation they will know. But right up until that time, they will only play the game of flatteries. They don’t have the faith to know that a prophet is among them now, because they don’t believe in one-man government. God gives a choice between knowing it now to escape the suffering or knowing it during the Tribulation to escape losing everything—for all eternity.
Continuing in Daniel 11: “And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed” (verse 35). Now God directs His warning specifically to those doing the daily. Verse 33 says many will fall. That refers to the Laodiceans. Here it says some. So even some of those who understand will fall.
God is talking to the end-time Philadelphians directly! Daniel said this was for a “time appointed.” It’s for a specific time period—our time. And right up to the very end, some of us will fall. Haven’t we all seen that happen? The word try in verse 35 means to smelt, like smelting metal. It means a fiery trial. Even when people come into this remnant and understand, they can still fall.
Should we be shocked if some leave? God says it will happen right up to the end. We are in a war. And in a war, there are casualties. Will you be a casualty? It will happen “even to the time of the end.”
When you read the book of Daniel, you realize how much God knows about His troops. This is our moment. If we apply this instruction, we will perform “exploits” because we are in the sanctuary of strength.
“And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done” (verse 36). This is still within the context of the sanctuary. God says that which “is determined [or decreed] shall be done.” This is prophecy! In this end time, it is happening within God’s Church. There is a man of sin within God’s Church, the “king” mentioned here in verse 36, who does “according to his will” and exalts himself above all else (2 Thessalonians 2:4).
This man cares nothing for past instruction or traditions. “Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all” (Daniel 11:37). He does not regard the Elohim of his fathers. One of his spiritual fathers, Herbert W. Armstrong, taught about this Elohim. This man learned it, but he did not believe it. This is all plain and understandable if we just look at these verses spiritually. It is the same story as that in 2 Thessalonians 2, which Paul said would happen inside the Church just before Christ returns.
“But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things” (Daniel 11:38). The King James Version contains four different references in the margin to help clarify this obscure verse.
First of all, where it says “God of forces,” god should not be capitalized. This man is worshiping a god his spiritual fathers did not know.
“In his estate” means he’s sitting in the seat of the God of gods. This is a parallel prophecy to 2 Thessalonians 2:4. He’s in God’s seat saying that he is God—not by his words, but by his deeds! For the word estate, the margin says stead. (Gesenius’ Lexicon says “in his place.”) He’s in the place of Christ. This is happening in God’s sanctuary. This man betrayed God. Notice the margin for the first part of this verse. It should read, “But, as for the Almighty God, in his seat [in other words, in the seat of the true God] he shall honor a god” of forces—the devil! He honors the god of gold, silver and precious stones; in others words, he and his followers are “rich and increased with goods” (see Revelation 3:17).
“Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain” (Daniel 11:39). This man follows a strange god and destroys the strongholds within the Church. This foreign god is over many. His leader works for hire.
That brings us to the verses of Daniel 11 that we have quoted so many times before.
The Great Tribulation
The verses preceding Daniel 11:40 discuss what happens in the Church prior to the Tribulation. Then verse 40 describes what happens at the outset of the Tribulation. The king of the south, radical Islam, will push at the king of the north, the European Union. This push prompts the Eurobeast to come against Islam like a whirlwind. It all begins around Jerusalem.
“He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon” (verse 41). The last part of this verse is interesting. God will spare Edom, Moab and the chief of the children of Ammon—or the sons of Ammon. The word chief means “with regard to time, first fruits” (see Gesenius’ Lexicon). This undoubtedly is referring to God’s people who, as Mr. Armstrong taught for so many years, are the firstfruits to be harvested in God’s plan. These people will be saved out of the beast’s hand.
Understand the context here! To this point in Daniel 11, we have seen how Satan has literally destroyed a whole Church of God, except for the few who understand and who instruct many. Satan could not spiritually get to the very elect. So now he tries to get to them physically, through the beast. But God will protect us from the wrath of Satan the devil. He will save this little sanctuary of strength.
“But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many” (verse 44). Tidings out of Russia and China only expedite the beast power’s plans to “destroy, and utterly to make away many”—or, as the Companion Bible says, “to devote many to extermination.”
“And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him” (verse 45). The great false church will have established itself in Jerusalem. But its end is near.
Turning Many to Righteousness
Remember, this is all one vision. There is a chronological flow here, so don’t let the chapter break distract you. “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book” (Daniel 12:1). It says “at that time.” When? At the time of the clash between the king of the north and the king of the south. Shortly after that clash, God’s people will be delivered. Then the king of the north will attack America, Britain and the land of Judah (Hosea 5:5).
The archangel Gabriel is still dictating this message. He refers to the archangel Michael, who stands up for the “sons [it should read] of your people.” He stands for the sons of God—it’s a military expression. He is armed and he takes his stand, ready to fight. That’s his job. Unless we know what Michael’s role is, we will not be protected.
The people taken to a place of safety are found written in the book of remembrance (Malachi 3:16). What did they remember? Well, just look at what they continued doing once all the “intelligent” ones were moved aside. You cannot continue to do the Work unless you remember God’s revelation—remember what you were taught before. God tells Michael to go and fight for these people so they might be protected. We don’t have a thing to worry about except keeping our faith strong. Our names are right there in the book of remembrance. Only you can take your own name out.
“And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2). Some will make it; some won’t. Notice it does not say “everlasting death”—it says “shame and everlasting contempt.” That’s because it is totally unnecessary. It all could have been avoided. But because those who don’t make it polluted the sanctuary and did not repent, God makes them a shameful, contemptible example for all eternity.
“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” (verse 3). Those who turn people to God, in spite of this corruption in the temple, will shine as the stars for ever and ever! How many have you turned to righteousness? We have to do everything possible to turn people to righteousness. If we do, we will shine with greater brilliance than even Michael and Gabriel. We have the opportunity of a lifetime—the opportunity to serve God’s people and turn many to righteousness.
“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” (verse 4). The Companion Bible says “running to and fro” means to apostatize. The word knowledge in this verse means calamities or wickedness. The Anchor Bible says many will apostatize, or turn people away from God. That’s what the original Hebrew manuscripts say. Every verse in Daniel 12 is about the Church. It’s all about the temple.
Do you see why God is so concerned about people turning others to righteousness? There is an apostasy going on right now. Is this work of turning people to God important? We owe this worldunselfish service. We owe it to these Laodiceans who have been so abused. What does it mean when we turn people to righteousness? Those who really work to do this will shine like the stars for ever and ever. What a reward! Why worry about receiving a reward now when we have such an awesome future ahead of us? Isn’t that reward enough? Today is our day. So many end-time prophecies place us right in the spotlight. God is offering us everything, if we will just turn people to righteousness.
We have always understood that the book of Daniel was for the end time (verses 4, 9). We just did not know how much of it referred to events within the Church during the last days. The final chapter in Daniel reveals where all these events lead.
“Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river. And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half [3½ years]; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished” (verses 5-7). It will all be fulfilled once the power of God’s Church is shattered.
“And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand” (verses 8-10). This is still within the context of the temple, or the sanctuary. God says the wise will understand. They always do.
The Abomination of Desolation
“And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days” (Daniel 12:11). Remember, in Daniel 8, the daily was removed because of transgression, before the Tribulation. The events of Daniel 12 revolve around the 3½-year Tribulation (verse 7). The daily is taken away. God’s righteous people are delivered to a place of safety from the Great Tribulation.
In Matthew 24:15, Jesus Christ said, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:).” As proven in this study on Daniel, the abomination of desolation has a physical and spiritual fulfillment. In Matthew 24, it is referring to both.
Compare Matthew 24:15 with Luke 21:20: “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.” This is the physical abomination of desolation that Matthew refers to. God calls these armies surrounding Jerusalem by that name because, as it says in Daniel 12:11, it is the abomination that makes desolate. It makes great desolation of nations. God is talking about a problem like you have never seen before. It will get so bad that no flesh would be saved alive were it not for Christ’s intervention to put a stop to it (see Matthew 24:21-22).
Notice what God’s people are admonished to do when they see these European armies surround Jerusalem: “Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto” (Luke 21:21). God wants His people to be ready to run once they see this abomination. These are people who walk by faith. They are keyed in to prophecy.
‘Let Us Remove Hence’
Looking at the pages of history, we gain insight into the kind of faith it will take to “flee to the mountains.” There was an ancient fulfillment of the abomination of desolation that happened in the first century.
In a.d. 70, when Roman armies were sweeping through the Middle East, they stopped just short of Jerusalem—surrounding it, in effect. Just prior to Jerusalem’s destruction, according to Jewish historian Josephus, there was a great earthquake, and the Jews heard the sound of a great multitude saying, “Let us remove hence” (Wars of the Jews,vi, v, 3). Upon hearing the warning, those who heeded quickly fled to Pella, a secluded, mountainous location northeast of Jerusalem.
All of this was just a type of what Jesus said would happen again, shortly before His Second Coming. Our job right now is to build faith so that when the time comes, we will listen to our Father and act! We cannot be looking for a specific date. Jesus told us to watch for an event—the armies surrounding Jerusalem—and to pray always, that we might escape (Luke 21:36).
Once the abomination of desolation is set up, it says in Daniel 12:11, there will be 1,290 days. We have already seen that the length of the Tribulation is 3½ years—or 1,260 days. Since verse 11 says 1,290 days, that means the abomination is set up 30 days before the actual outbreak of the Tribulation. This 30-day period is the time God allows for His people to flee to their place of protection.
Verse 12 then says, “Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.” Here God draws attention to 1,335 days and says those who make it to the beginning of this time period are blessed. This is probably when the work of the Philadelphia Church of God will end—1,335 days before Christ returns. Then God’s people would have 45 days to prepare for their flight. Then there are 30 days to flee, after which the 1,260 days begin—the Great Tribulation.
How long before that time arrives? Well, again, God wants us to focus on events—not dates. He just wants us to be ready because it is coming. But take note of this fact: If the 1,150 days have already been fulfilled, how much longer until these days are fulfilled? Not long!
And so God concludes the revelation by exhorting us to remain steadfast and true until the end. “But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days” (verse 13).
How, then, do we make sure we hang on and endure until the very end? The next chapter will answer that question.