When the Righteous Shine

Daniel 12:1  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.

2  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.

Since the resurrection and judgment were prophesied under the covenant God made with Israel, they both have to happen for the law of Moses to pass away and for God to fulfill his covenant with the Israelites.

Matthew 5:18  For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Just knowing Daniel’s prophecy must be fulfilled for the law to pass doesn’t make it fulfilled. Maybe it hasn’t been fulfilled, the jots and tittles of the law have not passed, and the law is still in force. So we need to find its fulfillment in the New Testament. But first, when did Daniel say these events would occur?

Daniel 12:11  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.

12  Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.

13  But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.
Daniel said the fulfillment of his prophecy would happen near the time of the abomination of desolation. At that time God would raise the dead and judge them, some receiving everlasting life and some receiving everlasting contempt. Daniel himself would be raised.

So when is this abomination of desolation to happen or is it already history? If we can figure that out, we can know the time of the resurrection and judgment. Daniel said the following would come to pass at the same time as the resurrection and judgment:

Daniel 12:3  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.

So we must look in the New Testament for two accounts–the abomination of desolation and the righteous shining as the brightness of the firmament. When we find them we will know when the resurrection and judgment occurred or will occur.
Matthew 13:41  The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;

42  And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
43  Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Daniel said the righteous would shine “as the brightness of the firmament,” and Jesus said the righteous would shine as the sun. Jesus, as did Daniel, placed this shining at the same time that the judgment comes. Now if we can find out when the abomination of desolation takes place, we can be certain of when the resurrection is, when the judgment comes, and when the righteous shine.

Matthew 24:15  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:)

We can easily recognize that Jesus was referring to Daniel 12. Jesus and Daniel spoke about the same occasion. The multitudes will awake and be judged at this particular time–when the righteous shine and the abomination of desolation happens.

But, again, when is this abomination of desolation? Well, Jesus said it would be in the generation to whom he spoke.  After mentioning the abomination in Matthew 24:15, he added:

Matthew 24:34  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

Not only did Matthew record the words of Jesus, but Mark did as well. I will share Mark’s entire account of this occurrence.

Mark 13:14  But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:
15  And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house:
16  And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment.
17  But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
18  And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter.
19  For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.
20  And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.
21  And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not:
22  For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
23  But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.

24  But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,
25  And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.
26  And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
27  And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.
28  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:
29  So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.
30  Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.
31  Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
32  But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

This is simple and straightforward. While no one, not even Jesus, knew the day and hour when he would return, signs would nonetheless warn those who were watching that the day was near. The day would come while Jesus’ audience was still alive. We have found our answer as to when the abomination of desolation would take place and when the resurrection and judgment would occur: in the lifetime of those who were living when Jesus spoke–in that generation, which he said would not pass until all those things were accomplished.

Also notice:

Matthew 16:27  For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
28  Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

Again we see Jesus saying that he was coming in his kingdom to reward people in THAT generation. If we didn’t know what the word “generation” meant previously, we do know now–it was the generation to whom Jesus spoke who would not taste death until he came and rewarded every man according to his works. So, unless some of those people to whom Jesus spoke are still alive today, the resurrection and judgment have come and gone, and Daniel has stood in “his lot at the end of the days.”

Some might think, as I once did, that Matthew 16:27-28 refers to the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended. But this cannot be. For one thing, Jesus was very specific that he would not come that day. In fact, he was going away so the Spirit could come.

John 14:26  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

John 16:7  Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

Secondly, Jesus did not reward every man according to his works on the Day of Pentecost. He rewarded every man at the resurrection, at the judgment, on the day the righteous began to shine.

When the abomination of desolation came in that generation, only 1290 days remained (according to Daniel). That’s about three and a half years, the time the Romans took to destroy Jerusalem. The Romans killed 1,100,000 Jews, but all the Christians, having heeded the warnings of Jesus and his apostles, fled to the mountains and then to the city of Pella. This ended the rebellion that began in Jerusalem in AD 66.

Jerusalem was burned to the ground, fulfilling Jesus’ words in Matthew 22:7. God “destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city” because they had filled up the “measure of [their] fathers” (Mt 23:32). Jerusalem was spiritual Sodom (Rv 11:8), and God destroyed her as he had promised, bringing judgment on her for all the righteous blood ever shed upon the earth (Mt 23:35, Rv 18:24).

And when the old Jerusalem was gone, the new and glorious heavenly city, new Jerusalem, whose “light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal” (Rv 21:11), could behold Jesus (Rv 22:4), seeing him “face to face” as Paul predicted in I Corinthians 13:12, and consummate her relationship as the bride of Christ. Satan could no longer accuse the faithful of the old covenant. The sacrificial Lamb had been accepted and Christ came back to prove it. Hades no longer had any power to hold God’s people, and they were set free–resurrected.

As for you and me, if we believe that Jesus is the Messiah, we will never die (Jn 11:26). We have had our resurrection. We have “been planted together in the likeness of his death” (Rom 6:5) when we were baptized, and we are “freed from sin” (Rom 6:7) and “alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom 6:11). In the eyes of our Father, we shine like the sun. Our light is precious as a jewel and clear as crystal. Blessed be his holy name!