"Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.Daniel 12:2(NASB)
Daniel was given many astonishing visions and prophecies, which concerned his people Israel and the holy city of Jerusalem. Some of his writings described Israel's immediate future while others give us a glimpse into the end-times; the coming satanic antichrist and a terrible time of great tribulation, which is to descend on the whole earth - as God pours out His wrath on an unbelieving generation.
The final chapter of his book gives a peep into the terrible time of tribulation, which Jeremiah calls 'the Time of Jacob's Trouble'. Daniel was told to seal up his prophecy until the 'end of time'. He was not permitted to understand its greater impact, but with the knowledge we glean from the whole counsel of God - both old and new testaments, we can identify this period as the final three and a half years of Daniel's prophetic "70 weeks".
It is during this time that Michael, the great prince of Israel and archangel of God, who stands guard over the sons of Israel, will rise up to protect them. Although they will have to endure the greatest time of distress, the world has ever seen, "everyone who is found written in the book - (the Lamb's book of life) will be rescued". They will come forth from the dust of the ground; be resurrected from the dead and receive their earthly inheritance.
From the beginning, the nation of Israel learned about bodily resurrection. Abraham and his seed had been promised an inheritance, in Canaan, and Isaiah foretold, "your dead will live. Their corpses will rise. You who lie in the dust, will awake and shout for joy".
Ezekiel was set down in a valley full of bones, and witnessed the Spirit of the Lord breathing life into the lifeless bodies of the faithful remnant of Israel and witnesses their future, spiritually revived, while Hosea wrote the famous words, "O Death, where are your thorns? O Sheol, where is your sting?" which Paul repeated in his own chapter on the resurrection of the saints - "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?"
Not everyone will be saved. Only those who have faith like Abraham will be declared righteous. Only the remnant who believe on God, and Jesus Christ Whom He has sent, will be redeemed. Only the "true Israel of God" which Paul identifies as believing Jews, from all dispensations, including martyrs in the great tribulation, who wash their robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb, will be saved and resurrected unto life.
Only saved men and women who are Abraham's descendants, by faith, and heirs according to promise, will rise again and be part of the "resurrection unto life". We read in Habakkuk, "the just will live by his faith", while Daniel wrote: "many who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, and be resurrected to everlasting life, while many more will awake to disgrace and everlasting contempt", which Paul calls "the resurrection of damnation" - where the worm will not die and the fire will not be quenched.
Martha of Bethany believed Daniel's words. She knew her brother would rise again in the resurrection on the last day, and Jesus made his startling claim, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die". However, God has given a divine order to the resurrection. First the Lord Jesus - the first-fruit from the dead; then Church age saints before the great tribulation; then old testament saints at the end of Daniel's 70th week.. along with tribulation saints. Finally, the damned will be raised to stand before the great white judgement throne of God - 'a resurrection of disgrace and everlasting contempt'.
Today God's ancient people have been regathered into the land in unbelief, but a faithful remnant will respond to the everlasting gospel and be spiritually revived, at the end of the tribulation period. They will awake and rise from the dead, into life everlasting and those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead many to righteousness, will sparkle like the stars forever and ever. Praise His holy name.
Heavenly Father, thank You for all we can learn from the book of Daniel about the end times and the resurrection of the dead. Thank You that I have been saved by grace, through faith in Christ and that every member of the human race has the free-will to trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins or to reject His offer of salvation. Thank You that anyone can be declared righteous - by faith, and that Jesus is the resurrection and the life for He is the First-fruit from the dead. Protect Your people, Israel we pray, and lift the partial blindness that has for so many centuries blinded Jewish men and women to the truth of the glorious gospel of grace in Christ Jesus our Lord - this we ask in His precious name, AMEN.