How many times have you been told by someone, or heard on a radio program, that one of the reasons that they know we are in the last days is because "knowledge has increased" (Daniel 12:4)? The futurist misses the timing of this "knowledge" because he is looking for something to come. Many people believe that end is so close that the "knowledge" has already come or is nearly complete. When would the increase of knowledge come?
A direct parallel to Daniel 12:4 is Revelation 22:10. Daniel, as well as John, received a vision of the time of the end. Daniel is told to seal up the book, till the time of the end. Ok lets say that Christ is coming in the year 2000. From Daniel's time, approximately 586 BC till 2000, is over 2500 years. Ok, that is a good reason to seal up the book, amen? Twenty-five hundred years is an incredibly long time for a book to be sealed up until the end. Then at the end the seal of the book would be loosened, right? So after five-hundred years (many days) had passed from Daniel to Johns book of Revelation, the angel of the Lord tells John at the end of the book to "Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand" (Revelation 22:10).
"Seal not", why? "the time is at hand." If Johns vision was referring to events nearly 2000 years to come, the book should have been sealed up with John just as well as it was with Daniel. The visions that Daniel received of the end were referring to "many days" (Daniel 8:26; 10:14). "At hand" has nothing to do with events 2000 years to come.
Not only was it for many days, but it was concerning what would befall the "Jews" in the latter days. So after many days (500 years) what exactly befell the Jews? Not one stone of the temple was left upon another (Mat. 24:2), and the armies surrounded Jerusalem (Luke 21:20-22) in 70AD, because those were the days of vengeance, that all things which are written were fulfilled. The end of the Jewish age.
The knowledge spoken of in Daniel is the wisdom given by the Holy Spirit to understand the deep things of God (Hab. 2:14). Things which in ages past had not been revealed to men, but to those in Paul's day it had "been" revealed (1 Cor.2:6-10). Although the Spirit led men of old as the Old Testament was written, they didn't understand how the promises were to be fulfilled (2 Cor.1:19-20), but once the redemptive work of the Spirit had been given at Pentecost the knowledge of the glory of God was revealed in Jesus Christ (2 Cor.4:3-6). The gospel of Christ reveals the glory of God in Jesus. All of God's promises are fulfilled in Christ.
Peter also says that it was to "them" that the Old Testament men prophesied of the things which "then" were being reported in the gospel through the Holy Ghost (1 Peter 1:10-12). The prophets inquired and searched diligently, about "grace" that would come to who? They searched diligently, but it was not known to them how God would accomplish His eternal purpose. This knowledge was a mystery in time past, but to those in the first century church this mystery had been revealed, even the mystery of the Gentiles being partakers of God's promises "in Christ" (Eph.3:3-6, 8-10).
By now it is obviously clear that the "knowledge" spoken of by Daniel, is that spoken of by the New Testament writers regarding fulfillment of Gods redemptive plan. Knowledge of redemption and the redeemer. We must know how it is that we are saved. Only the Spirit can take a man beyond the carnal way of justification by works. Today the Spirit works the same way. Not with increased wisdom beyond Paul, no, but the knowledge of Jesus Christ that causes us to glory in Him - Christ crucified. We know Him and He will never say to us - I never knew you.
Someone may say, "True, that knowledge began at Pentecost, but it is still increasing till today and will increase until the end". They may also bring up Isa 11:9 to prove that knowledge must increase until the "whole earth" is full of the knowledge of the Lord. Fortunately, this verse is fulfilled already (Acts 2:5,9-11,14; 8:1-5,14,25; 9:31; 10:37, 17:6; 24:5, Romans 1:5,8; 10:18 15:19, Col.1:6,23, 1 Pet.4:6, Heb.4:2, 1 Tim.3:16. Titus 2:11).
Unlocking the mysteries of the book of Revelation wasn't the "knowledge" Daniel wrote about. It's the knowledge of salvation revealed in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Many professing Christians utter with their lips to know Jesus Christ, when if fact they know "their" Jesus, but not the Savior that only God can reveal to man. It really seems that most professing Christians today don't know the severity of their depravity. Without knowing the unsearchable need of a Savior, it's likely that they have fashioned a Jesus like unto them, and not according to truth (John 17:3, Jer.9:23-24).
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