1. Sealed until the Time of the End
The best kept secret in the universe is the time of the arrival from heaven of the King of kings and Lord of lords – Jesus the Anointed King. He is coming to overthrow all the kingdoms of this world, to utterly destroy the wicked, to resurrect and grant immortality and an inheritance to all of the righteous, and to reign as the perfect and just King of the whole world. For several millennia, prophets, wise men, and scholars have searched for this Holy Grail of all divine mysteries. Yet, what God keeps secret no man can discover. Even Jesus Himself was kept in the dark by His own Father prior to His ascension. The Apostles were also kept in the dark because God did not want preoccupation with the end times to derail the commission given to them to preach the Gospel to all nations first. Yet the secret must be revealed when God Himself deems it necessary in order to give His people time to prepare, to procure for themselves oil for their lamps that will endure throughout the last severe tribulation before Jesus returns.
In order to provide hope in difficult circumstances, God told Abraham how long Isaac and his descendants would be oppressed and live in foreign lands before God would deliver them via the exodus — 400 years. God told Israel through Jeremiah exactly how long the Babylonian exile would last – seventy years – before He would deliver them and bring them back to their own land. This allowed the Israelites in captivity to put down roots in Babylon and raise their families. In fact, they were encouraged to do so. “Build houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit. Take wives and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters – that you may be increased there, and not diminished. And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the LORD for it; for in its peace you will have peace.”
God is concerned with how His collective people adapt to difficult times and drastic changes that He brings about in implementing His ultimate plan for history. While in Babylon, Daniel kept track of that seventy-year period, which is why his prayer of repentance recorded in chapter 9 took place at the very end of those seventy years. It was Jeremiah’s prophecy of the seventy year-exile that drove Daniel to confess his sins and the sins of his people in anticipation of God’s imminent deliverance.
It is obvious, then, that God is looking out for His collective people, those who remain faithful to Him and who keep His commandments from the heart. He wants us to be prepared for what is coming. He wants us to know from His Word how to live, both just prior to the time of tribulation, and throughout it. He also wants to provide hope and assurance as we set our affections on the coming Kingdom instead of the pursuits of this world. Everything we need to know is already in the Scriptures. God unseals the concealed things by His holy Breath when His appointed time for unsealing has arrived and is needed.
Understanding when the Messiah’s Kingdom would arrive was something the Prophets and Apostles sought after. They were not rebuked for doing so, only given perspective, priorities, and explanations for why it was being withheld at the time.
1 Peter 1:10-12 (NKJV) 10 Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, 11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven — things which angels desire to look into.
The prophet Daniel was given revelation concerning a series of world kingdoms the last of which will be destroyed by Christ Himself at His arrival. Much of the information given to Daniel was in response to his persistent inquiries, fasting and praying for understanding concerning “the time of the end.” The 70-Weeks prophecy provided Daniel with a very specific and lengthy chronology which had to play out before Messiah would be presented to Israel. From the decree of Cyrus to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple 69 “Weeks” of years must occur, after which the Messiah would be cut off and Jerusalem and the Temple destroyed a second time. After an undisclosed period of time following these events, a final “Week” of years will occur, and the Kingdom would arrive at the close of this last “week.”
In the twelfth chapter, Daniel pressed the angel who was revealing times to him. He wanted to know and understand this gap between the 69th Week and the 70th Week, that is from the Messiah being cut off until the last seven years of tribulation. Yet God refused to reveal this part of the chronology to Daniel.
Daniel 12:4,9-10 “’But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.’ … And he said, ‘Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.’”
The Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary has the following explanation of the Hebrew clause translated “many will run to and fro” in this verse: “’Run to and fro,’ – not referring to the modern rapidity of locomotion, as some think, nor to Christian missionaries going about to preach the Gospel to the world at large [Barnes], which the context scarcely admits; but, whereas now but few care for this prophecy of God, “at the time of the end,” that is, near its fulfillment, “many shall run to and fro,” that is, scrutinize it, running through every page. Compare Hab. 2:2 [Calvin]: it is thereby that ‘the knowledge (namely, of God’s purposes as revealed in prophecy) shall be increased.’ …” The Septuagint makes plain that this was indeed the meaning of the Hebrew idiom, “many shall run to and fro.”
Daniel 12:4,9 (LXX) “’And you, Daniel, close the words, and seal the book until the appointed time of the end; until many should be instructed and knowledge should be multiplied.’ … And he said, ‘Go, Daniel: for the words are closed and sealed up to the time of the end. Many must be tested, and thoroughly whitened, and tried with fire, and sanctified; but the transgressors shall transgress: and none of the transgressors shall understand; but the wise shall understand.”
It is clear from Daniel that while this critical piece of chronology (from the crucifixion until the last seven years of tribulation) was being withheld until “the time of the end,” it is equally clear that this last bit of information will indeed be unsealed when God deems it appropriate for His people to possess and to understand. This is no doubt what Paul had in mind when he wrote the following to Timothy:
1 Timothy 6:13-16 (LGV) 13 I charge you before the God who sustains life in all things, and Anointed Jesus, the one who testified over Pontius Pilate the good profession. 14 You are to keep this commandment, unblemished, blamelessly, until the Advent of our Master Jesus Anointed, 15 which [God] will reveal in His own appointed times – the King of kings and Master of masters, the Blessed and Sole Sovereign, 16 who alone holds immortality, housing unapproachable light, whom no man has seen nor is capable of seeing, to whom be honor and age-enduring dominion, Amen!
The Greek word translated “reveal” means to privately disclose hidden things. This word is never used of Jesus’ actual coming publicly in power and glory. Paul stated that God will “reveal” (disclose) the second Advent of Christ “in His own appointed times”. This is no doubt to give His people time to prepare, to acquire sufficient “oil” for their lamps to endure the darkness of the last tribulation.
In the Seventy-Weeks prophecy Daniel was told exactly how much time must elapse from Cyrus’ decree for the restoration of Jerusalem (which had just occurred) until the Messiah would arrive and be “cut off,” totaling 492 years. It would be pointless to watch for the specific signs of Messiah’s first coming outlined in the Prophets significantly before that period of time had elapsed. This information was intended to give faithful Jews like Daniel and those who would come several generations after him a reasonably narrow window of time during which they should expect Messiah to come. This was so they would know the season in which to begin watching for the specific prophesied signs of His appearance, including the arrival of His forerunner John the Baptist, a child being born of a virgin, His donkey ride into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, etc. The need to first have a general timeframe before the specific signs could be recognized was so that they would not mistake the signs. Anyone could claim to be the forerunner of the Messiah, and cry out in the wilderness. Anyone could claim to be virgin-born. How could one verify that someone’s mother was a virgin? Anyone could ride a donkey into Jerusalem and claim to be the Messiah in fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy. Any martyr could be said to be the “Lamb of God” of Isaiah 53. Daniel’s prophecy limited the fulfillment of these prophecies to a very narrow window of time. Daniel’s chronology was also meant to leave the unfaithful priesthood with no excuse for not knowing the timeframe and thus rejecting the Messiah when the specific signs occurred together, pointing to one man.
If the Gospel of the Kingdom has not yet been proclaimed to all nations by missionaries, it certainly is now available to all nations via the internet. This world-wide availability of the Gospel is probably the meaning of the following passage:
Revelation 14:6-7 (NKJV) Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth – to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people – saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”
The primary obstacle for unsealing the end-times was the Gospel being made readily available to all nations as Jesus told His disciples: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” And again, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Likewise Paul told the Thessalonians: “But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.” The time of the gap between the 69th and 70th weeks has been withheld so as not to be an obstacle to the Great Commission. But it was promised to be unsealed during “the appointed time of the end,” so that “many should be instructed and knowledge should be multiplied.” God will privately disclose the Advent of Christ “in His own appointed times.” He will not disclose it to the scoffers who say “where is the promise of His coming?” He will not unseal it to unfaithful servants who say, “My master is delaying his coming,” so they can “eat and drink” (live as though the end of the age is far off), and thus become “drunk” with their own self-deceptions. He will not disclose it to those whose affections are on this world, seeking to acquire possessions and live comfortably in this present age as though they are not “strangers and pilgrims,” or those determined to use the arm of flesh to keep propping up the present world system for their own ease and comfort rather than striving for the age to come. God will, however, disclose the Advent of His Son to His faithful servants who have a heart like Daniel’s (as displayed in his prayer in the ninth chapter), those who faithfully and willingly strive to keep God’s commandments with a repentant heart, those who “do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” God stated plainly upon whom He takes notice: “But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word.”
Go to: 2. Watching and Readiness in the End Times
 Mark 13:32
 Matt. 24:14; Acts 1:4-8
 Gen. 15:13,16
 Jer. 29:10
 Jer. 29:5-7
 Dan. 9:1-3
 Dan. 2, 7, 11, 12
 This included the Jubilee year intercalated after every 7 weeks of years, making every seven “Weeks” 50 years rather than 49. Thus the whole period of 69 weeks is actually 492 years not 483 years.
 Dan 12:4,9 (NKJ)
 δείκνυμι (Strongs # G1166) Gen. 12:1 LXX; Dan. 12:1 LXX; Matt. 16:21; John 5:20; John 14:8; John 20:20; Acts 7:3; Acts 10:28; Heb. 8:5; Rev. 1:1; Rev. 4:1; Rev. 17:1; Rev. 21:9.
 Compare the plural “times” to 1 Thess. 5:1. The plural indicates, not a specific day or hour, but a timeframe, a window of time.
 Dan. 9:24-27
 Isa. 40:3-5; Mal. 3:1
 Isa. 9:6-7
 Zech. 9:9-10
 Matt. 24:14
 Acts 1:7-8
 1 Thess. 5:1-2
 2 Pet. 3:4
 Luke 12:45
 2 Cor. 4:18 NKJ
 Isa. 66:2 NKJ