Updated: Feb 5
The Lord spoke to Daniel in a vision and said, “At that time Michael, the great prince, the protector of your people, shall arise. There shall be a time of anguish, such as has never occurred since nations first came into existence. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.”
This is an optional Old Testament selection from the Episcopal Lectionary for the Twenty-sixth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B 2018. In the numbering system that lists each Sunday in an ordinal fashion, this Sunday is referred to as Proper 28. If chosen, it will next be read aloud in an Episcopal church by a reader on Sunday November 18, 2018. It is important because it is seen as a prophecy of the end times, making it fit the theme seen in the Gospel reading from Mark 12.
When we read, “The Lord spoke to Daniel in a vision,” this is not stated in verse one of chapter twelve. Daniel was a man of many visions sent to him by God. In chapter eleven the written text tells of a vision being shown to Daniel in the first year of Darius the Mede’s reign. After chapter eleven told of the future for Persia, that vision has continued into chapter twelve, with focus now being put on the people of Israel.
At an earlier time (as told in chapter eight), Daniel was shown the angel Gabriel. In chapter ten he first met the angel Michael. Now, he is being shown the angel Michael again, who will be sent by God in the future. God is telling Daniel of the end times.
Certainly, this vision could be interpreted as predicting the downfall of the Persians by the Greeks, and then the downfall of the Greeks by the Romans. All of those subsequent events would make this a prophecy that came true. However, in the vacuum of three verses, alone without context, makes these words be not truly been fulfilled to this day, meaning they are prophetic of the great end of the world [as we know it].
If one looks at the Bible Hub Interlinear for this reading, one will see a link to a similar reading [if not the same message repeated], which is Revelation 1:1-3. In John’s book, there is no mention of the specific angel, Michael, although John did mention his revelation came by way of an “angel” of God. This specificity should not be overlooked as having meaning.
The name “Michael” is one that asks a question: “Who Is Like God?” When that name is then attached to the literal Hebrew that says, “the great prince who stands [watch] over the sons of your people,” the one who is like God is Jesus Christ. This deduction can then be affirmed by John, where the beginning of his Revelation states, “Revelation of Jesus Christ.” That specificity then matches the specificity of Daniel, such that Michael is the Christ Spirit, the prince of peace.
Because Daniel wrote of Michael that he was “the great prince,” this also affirmed the prophecy of Isaiah, who wrote: “For a child is born, unto us a son is given, unto us and will be born dominion upon his shoulders; and will be called his name wonderful, councilor, god [“el“], mighty father everlasting prince of peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) That element of peace must now be seen as that which “shall arise” or “shall stand up.” This strength that watches over the people of God [Christians, when Michael is understood as the Christ Spirit] will be called upon when “there shall be a time of anguish” or “times of trouble and distress.”
When Daniel wrote, “There shall be a time of anguish, such as has never occurred since nations first came into existence,” this becomes a match to Jesus telling his disciple, “nation will rise against nation.” The oldest civilization dug up by archaeology points to the Sumerians, which was in the Fertile Crescent, post-Flood. Because Jesus spoke of when the beautiful buildings of the Temple of Jerusalem would all be overturned, as far as their private question asked by the disciples, the expected historic answer would relate to the history that occurred in 70 C.E. Comparing those words of Jesus to Daniel’s makes it clearer to see how Jesus was not talking about a Great War, as much as he was telling of the time when religion [Christianity] would reach “times of trouble.”
Daniel wrote of this time being a first since any nations existed. The cornerstone for any worldly nation is its religion, from which priests are dedicated to the gods [for Israel one God], to ensure the life of each nation. Jesus had told the pilgrims and leaders of Jerusalem, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” (John 2:19) He was not referring to the physical destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem, but the people being led away from the decadence and corruption that it represented. Likewise, he told his disciples Judaism would be thrown down [“not one stone will be left on another”] in similar metaphor. Daniel prophesied when the world would no longer have nations seeking to please spiritual deities; and John also wrote of those end times.
God does not seek pilgrims who might come to Him, as a majestic building. God wants hearts to live within. Therefore, Jesus Christ was prophesied as the tumbling down of building being a substitute houses for God.
When Daniel is then said to have written, “your people shall be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book,” the better translation that does not paraphrase says, “at that time that shall be delivered , your people everyone who is written in the book .” More than a whole people being “delivered,” the “time that” has been prophesied as coming [“a time of anguish”] will be delivered. Once all people are amid terrifying times, then not only will “your people” be held accountable, but “everyone” whose name is written “in the book” shall find themselves removed from the world. That will not be a rapture of the innocent, but the time of final judgment for all mankind.
This “book” is then the Akashic Records, or the Book of Life. The possessive pronoun “your,” which is applied to the word “people,” can be read as meaning the Israelites, since Michael [the Christ Spirit] has been appointed by God to govern the righteous. Still, the possessive reflects back on God [Yahweh], as He is the one to whom all Israelite hearts should be married. Through the prince of peace – Jesus Christ being reborn in both Jews and Gentiles – who stands up as the one who watches over God’s people [from within their souls], all humanity will have been given the opportunity to receive the Christ Spirit and be protected from these end times. The Book of Life then records who shall be given eternal life, or life back in a world that can no longer sustain life as we know it now.
When Daniel was told by God, through Michael [Christ], “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,” “dust” should be read as metaphor of a body of flesh [“ashes to ashes, dust to dust,” such that the breath of life is blown into dust and then taken away through mortality]. The word “sleep” should be recognized as synonymous with death, but being mortal is being born of death. The word “awake” is then the realization of eternal life, which transforms the soul from that eternal spirit reincarnated repeatedly into dust that requires sleep into one that desires to forever be returned with God. The word “many” is then less a number of souls, but the suddenness that “greatly” falls upon mankind, during these times of distress. This is then all souls being awakened to the day of reckoning.
That judgment is then stated as, “some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” This, again, is a paraphrase, where the literal Hebrew states: “these to life , everlasting these and to shame and contempt everlasting .” The great awakening is to “life,” which is the soul state. A soul cannot die, as it is “everlasting.”
There are no words written that distinguish “some” being given “everlasting life” and “some” who will find “shame and contempt everlasting.” ALL souls will find they will get to “sleep” as a mortal one last time. ALL souls then lose their illusion of material bodies and must face “life everlasting.” This is where the word “many” is the number of souls that will find the “shame” of having forsaken God Eternal for temporal pleasures. In return, their “life” will find “contempt everlasting” as God’s rejection of those souls.
When Daniel was told, “Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky,” this refers to those who accepted the protection of Michael [Christ] and stopped being souls led by human brains. They sacrificed their self-egos to be led by the wisdom of the Christ Mind. This means the ones who will “shine like the brightness of the sky” will have sacrificed their human faces to wear the face of God. Those will be the Saints reborn of Jesus Christ, having married God in their hearts.
When that voice went on to say, “those who lead many to righteousness [will be] like the stars forever and ever,” this means the Saints will be the ones who have been granted redemption and salvation to shine like the sun [a star that reflects the light and the true of Jesus Christ] forevermore. The purpose of a Saint is to “lead many to righteousness,” with “many” being the great unknown number of soul that will awaken from their earthly slumber saying, “Ruh roh.”
While many should allow themselves to be led to righteousness, many will prefer to sleep in the dust of the earth. Thus the saying “head in the sand” is born.
This includes all those who foresee a rapture of God-fearing Christians who have no presence of God’s love in their hearts for their fellow neighbors that call themselves Christians of a different variety. Christians today would rather strike down other Christians, as Gentiles against Gentiles [“nation against nation”], rather than receive the Holy Spirit and go into the world “leading many to righteousness.”
As an optional Old Testament reading selection for the twenty-sixth Sunday after Pentecost, when one’s own ministry for the LORD should be underway – one should be trying to lead others to righteousness, rather than draw the contempt of God from persecuting true Christians and falsely claiming a right to speak for Jesus Christ – the message here is to wake up and see how the message always has been to see the lure of the flesh and the material realm is distracting one from a personal ministry for the LORD. Life misleads a soul to self-worship and losing sight of God.
The Episcopal Church lectionary cycle is not some random schedule of Biblical readings. They were arranged with purpose and from spiritual insight making those choices be placed together. The Day of Pentecost [fifty days after the first full day of the Passover] represents when one has opened one’s heart to God and had Jesus Christ be resurrected within one’s flesh. The “after Pentecost” season [called “Ordinary Time”] is then when one’s ministry for the LORD should be underway. It is not alright to sit in a pew, year after year, lifetime after lifetime, never feeling one can risk material stuff for a gamble on God.
Advent is the dawning that rebirth must be a personal experience of Jesus born again. Christmas is the prophecy of that rebirth in oneself. Epiphany is the realization that one is too sinful to gain salvation. Lent is the purging of one’s addictions to sin, to make oneself acceptable to God in marriage. Easter is the willing sacrifice of self-ego so one can be raised by the cleansing of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost is the Law being written within one’s heart, which releases Jesus Christ into a new Saint, which must minister to the needs of others, by passing on the Holy Spirit so the cycle renews.
The end times are then dependent on one receiving the Spirit from the readings each week. One needs to not hear meaningless stories, but be filled with the wisdom of discernment. The readings must have a personal connection for one to be self-motivated to begin the cycle all over again. Otherwise, one will be just like the many who will find life everlasting as a punishment for having wallowed in the sins that only exist in a material realm.
Try to imagine an addiction to heroin and then being locked into a void where nothing material exists. A soul will then crawl up and down imaginary walls for eternity, with no relief.
One does not need to know heroin personally to imagine such a scenario. One gets to fill in the blank as to what would be most distressful to lose, going “cold turkey” for eternity without _________.
Anything short of God filling that blank means eternal anguish.