In my previous study, I discussed how the resurrection is inextricably tied to both the Great Tribulation and the appearing of Jesus (2Timothy 4:1), and when this is realized, one simply cannot divide the Olivet Discourse at Matthew 24:36, to say that all that comes before it refers to Jesus’ spiritual coming in 70 AD, and all that comes afterward refers to Jesus’ alleged physical Second Coming sometime in our future. At this time I hope to approach this idea from a slightly different perspective to further substantiate what I’ve done in my study on the Great Tribulation, so that study is connected to this one, but both should be able to stand alone, as far as proving my point is concerned. The one merely reinforces the other.
Daniel spoke of the resurrection of the dead and connected it with a time of great trouble for the Jewish nation:
And at that time Michael shall stand up, the great ruler who stands for the sons of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation; until that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. (Daniel 12:1-2; emphasis mine)
Daniel is referring to the Jewish nation, for the angel speaks of the sons or descendents of his people. He is also speaking of a time far into Daniel’s future (cf. Daniel 12:4, 13), but it was a time near to Jesus (Matthew 24:21-31), and Jesus claimed everything he predicted would come to pass in that generation in which he and his disciples lived (Matthew 24:34).
Notice that Daniel was told that Michael shall stand up at that time. At what time? At the “time of trouble” (Daniel 12:1). Who is Michael? It is assumed he is an angelic being, probably due to Jude 1:9 where he is referred to as “the archangel,” but all that means is he is the leader (arch) of the angels. It is merely assumed that the word archangel refers to an angelic being. Another place where Michael is mentioned is in Daniel 10:13, where most translations make him “one of the chief princes,” but Young’s Literal Translation has it “first of the chief heads,” making him the ruler of rulers or the Prince of princes etc. Daniel 10:21 says Michael is the Ruler of the Jews! Does this mean he is Jesus? I believe it does, but this does not make Jesus an angelic being, any more than Jude 1:9 makes Michael an angelic being. That idea is read into the texts.
Let’s consider two more scriptures that deal with Michael, the Ruler of the Jews. Daniel 12:1 says, at that time, or the time of the great trouble for the Jewish nation; at that time, or the time of the Great Tribulation that Jesus mentioned in Matthew 24:21; at that time Michael shall stand up. Revelation 12:7 mentions a time when Michael and his angels (messengers) wage war against the dragon (Satan) and his angels (messengers). The result of that war is that the dragon, that old serpent, Satan, the Devil, was cast out of heaven and down to the earth (Revelation 12:7-9). But, when did this war take place, and when was Satan cast out of heaven and down to the earth?
One can search from Genesis to Revelation, but one wouldn’t find such a thing occurring except in Luke 10:18. The context is that Jesus sent out seventy of his disciples, and they returned rejoicing as though from a battle, for they claimed that even the demons were subject to them through Jesus’ name (Luke 10:1, 17). Jesus replied that he beheld Satan as lightning fall out of heaven, implying to the earth, which infers Luke 10:17-18 is the timeframe for Revelation 12:7-9. This would identify Jesus as Michael, and his angels or messengers would be his disciples. Satan’s angels or messengers would be the Jewish authorities and their disciples. It was spiritual warfare taking place during Jesus’ public ministry.
Now, returning to Daniel 12:1, we can identify Michael standing up as Jesus standing up to save or deliver his people out of the “time of trouble, such as never was” or the “great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world…” (Matthew 24:21). When did this event take place? According to Jesus’ words, his disciples were to flee Jerusalem when they saw the abomination that brought desolation to the Temple (Matthew 24:15-21; compare this with Matthew 23:37-38; 24:1-2). Once we compare Matthew with Luke, we can understand what time Jesus referred to:
And when you see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that its destruction has come. And let those in Judea flee to the mountains. And those in its midst, let them go out. And those in the open spaces, let them not go into her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. (Luke 21:20-22)
It seems self evident that Matthew 24:15-21 describes the same event as Luke 21:20-22. Some groups will try to jump through hoops and over a great many hurdles in a vain effort to prove otherwise, but the text seems very clear. This is the time when Jesus promised the high priest he was coming to judge Jerusalem and the Temple (Matthew 26:64), and Daniel 12:1 says it is the time when Jesus would stand up for his people and deliver them out of “the time of trouble”. Christian historians record such a time cir. 66-70 AD or during the Jewish war with Rome.
All the above was mentioned to show that Daniel 12:1-2 says that the time Michael / Jesus stands up for his people to deliver them out of the ‘time of trouble’ like no other in Jewish history, and this was also the time of judgment and resurrection. Judgment, resurrection and the coming of Jesus are inextricably tied together (2Timothy 4:1). While these things may not fit the eschatology we embrace, the eschatology we embrace should fit the word of God. If Jesus came even spiritually in 70 AD, the judgment and the resurrection should have occurred at that time. This is what the word of God tells us.