“The wise shall understand”
The war of Ail-Shaddai, which begins subsequently to the resurrection of the holy ones, does not intermit, till all the Kingdoms of imperial Babylon become theirs. As the conquerors of the po powers that overcame them in the days of their flesh, the praises of emancipated nations sound the fame of Israel to the ends of the earth. As a nation they become mighty and glorious above all. But if the nation be so great, what may not be expected of those who shall have led the tribes of Jacob to victory and renown, and under the generalship of their commander-in-chief shall have brought the blessings of Abraham upon the world? Daniel anticipates this inquiry by saying, “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for the olahm and beyond”. Speaking of the same period, Jesus also says, “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father”. It is clear, then, that when Daniel’s prediction shall come to pass, the Kingdom will have been established—the work of setting it up will have been finished; and that consequently, Israel will have been grafted into their own olive, and therefore be not only “the people of the holy ones”, but “the holy people”; a distinction not without a difference. The only place in the original of Daniel where Israel is styled “the holy people”, is in the seventh verse of the last chapter, where the time is announced at the end of which their power shall be no more in the scattered condition it now is; but when he predicted their destruction by the Little Horn and the taking away of the evening and morning sacrifice, in the eighth chapter and twenty-fourth verse, he styled them “the people of the holy ones”, but very far from being a holy people. Well, at that time, when the people of the holy ones are a holy people; that is, at the end of the time, times, and the half of a time, or 1260 years, the wise shall shine in the Kingdom of the Eloah of the heaven. But, then, who are the wise?
This is a very important question. It is truly a vital question to every one that reads it. As the inquiry is suggested by Daniel, would it not be proper to let him suggest the answer? This I think is expedient: certainly preferable to the suggestion emanating from myself. Let us, then, hear what he testifies. He tells us that the revealing angel said to him at the end of his discourse, “Go thou thy way, Daniel”, or desist from further inquiries, in reply to a question he put for information, but which was not granted. “I heard”, said he, “but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, when the end of these?” that is, of the time, times, and a half? He was told the reason why he could not obtain the information sought; that it was “because the words were dosed up and sealed till the time of the end”; which was tantamount to saying that when the time of the end should arrive, the time-words would be no longer closed up and sealed; that is, they would speak or become intelligible: for in that time many should run to and fro, and knowledge should be increased. On a previous page I have shown that a time has been present with us for several years, during which many have been running to and fro, to the increase of knowledge considerably. As a result of this Daniel was informed, in effect, that his question would then be solved, and besides was given to know who should not, and who should understand it. “None of the reshaim, unjust shall understand; but the wise shall understand”. The word reshaim signifies unjustified persons as opposed to tzaddikim, justified persons, who are “the wise”. This criticism accords with the words of Jesus, who substitutes the phrase the tzaddikim or righteous, for “the wise”, in the text already quoted; and very properly, for none can become righteous who are not circumspect of mind, intelligent, or carefully considerate of the divine testimony, which is the meaning of maskilim, translated wise.
But if the wise are to be determined by those who can answer the question, “When the end of the time, times, and a half?” where shall they be found? Some ten years ago in these United States, we had a multitude of Reshaim, who claimed to be Maskilim upon the ground that they could answer the question! They published far and wide that the end would be in 1843! But time has proved that they were Reshaim, and not Maskilim; for “none of them understood”. Wisdom, however, hath her beginning in the fear of the Lord, which is precisely the alpha with which they omitted to commence their studies. “Children, I will teach you the fear of Yahweh.” It is a something to be taught, studied, and acquired. “The fear of Yahweh is the instruction of wisdom”; that way of acceptance with the Deity which the Spirit of wisdom teaches in the Holy Scriptures. In the days of his flesh, Jesus was “of quick understanding in the fear of Yahweh”; and so are they who besides him are “taught of God”; and it is only they who are thus taught that are recognized as righteous; for of these it is written, “they shall be all taught of God” (John 6:44, 45). But how doth the Deity teach men His fear? In the days of the apostles He taught them through the Scriptures of the prophets, and the oral instruction of the apostles; but since their time, by the Scriptures of the prophets and apostles only; for an apostle says, “The Scriptures are able to make wise to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus”. And again, he says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for teaching, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works”. Here then is the divine power for teaching men His wisdom. And what more do men need than to be made wise to salvation, instructed in righteousness, perfected, and thoroughly furnished for the manifestation of good works?
They must study it for themselves, thankfully availing themselves of all the help they can obtain from those who are able to teach others, and who have been taught of God before them. “If any man consent not to the wholesome words of our Lord Jesus, and to the teaching which is according to godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing.” Now, he preached the gospel of the kingdom, and commanded all who believed it to be immersed. He prescribed immersion to no one else; because no one could be benefited by it who was not first a divinely instructed believer of the kingdom’s gospel. Those who have obeyed this gospel are the tzaddikim, or justified; those who have not obeyed it are the reshaim, or unjustified. These are not taught of the Deity; their fear of Him, such as it is, is taught them by the precepts of men. The class is very large, and composed of innumerable orders, which, however diversified, have one common characteristic: they are “contentious, and obey not the truth”; they “stumble at the word, being disobedient” (Rom. 2:8; 1 Pet. 2:8). None of these shall understand. This is the divine sentence against them, and accounts for the failure of the many learned writers upon prophecy, to say nothing of the unlearned, in the enterprise of reading correctly the past and future of the world by the light of the prophetic word. Most of them lived too soon, and all of them were ignorant of the gospel; so that being reshaim, with all their learning they could only demonstrate each other’s foolishness, without any of them succeeding in pointing out the truth.
The wise, then, of the time of the end are those who believe “the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ”; and have therefore been “immersed into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 8:12; Matt. 28:19). He who understands these things has laid the foundation of intelligence in the things which Daniel heard but understood not. Being wise, he shall understand them if he give heed thereto. This is the encouragment given; and to help them in endeavour is the purpose of this book; that they may not be taken at unawares by the consummation that approaches rapidly.