In our final segment and study of the
last hour and appointed time of Daniel,
we examine Paul’s quotes of Daniel.
Is Romans 13:11 Daniel’s appointed
time to awake out of sleep?
Remember the story I shared with you
earlier about my mother.
Well, she had a very unique way of
letting us know that it was the
appointed time to awake.
If we did not get out of bed immediately upon that first loving but firm shake, she would silently walk back toward the kitchen. Our eyes would close and we unfortunately would fall back asleep.
Well, my mother would come back the next time, only she would have a glass of ice water that she would sprinkle in our faces. Ohhh. I can still feel the shock of that water.
If we didn’t respond that time, she had resorted to one last method that proved a much hotter solution.
What means did God use to remind his people Israel of the appointed time for their change or resurrection? Paul used the metaphor of awakening from sleep just before dawn.
And do this, knowing the time that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.
The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. (Rom. 13:11, 12)
As Paul uses the metaphor of sleep, it is understood that sleep occurs in the night. Hence, he writes the night is far spent.
Dunn comments that the aorist used in conjunction with prokopto (far spent) meaning to advance, forcefully implies well advanced.
In other words, the night had run it’s course. It was the last hour before dawn. The resurrection light had drawn near. The day was at hand.
That is how Paul interpreted the Daniel’s prophecy of awakening from sleep in the dust of the earth.
Sleep used as a negative image is common in Greek philosophical Jewish O.T., (Prov. 6:4, 9), and N.T. tradition (Eph. 5:14, 1 Thess. 5:6–10).
Salvation Already But Not Yet
Resurrection is the equivalent of salvation for those of Daniel. They would be “delivered” out of their tribulation. The key here is to recognize that the salvation begun when they believed was now nearer in realization than when they first believed.
The time of belief points backward to the past when they began the journey of faith in arising out of sleep. The word now is again eschatological. It represents the whole time from the beginning of their belief up to the time Paul wrote.
However, there was yet a future end time goal to be attained as it was nearer, (imminent or at hand), though not yet fully accomplished.). In every text we can see that future perspective of salvation which only arrives at the Parousia.
In Mark 16:16, the text is “shall be saved.” In Romans 6:4, it is shall be in the likeness of his resurrection and should (aorist subjunctive, also a future) walk in newness of life.
Hence, we have salvation about to be manifested at the Lord’s appearing.
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him he will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. (Heb. 9:27)
Lest once concludes that this eagerly awaited salvation merited a 2000 year gap, Paul quickly reminded those first century saints that they could “see the day approaching.”
He then quotes Habakkuk and says that coming of the Lord would arrive in a very little while without delay.
For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry. (Heb. 10:37; Habakkuk 2:2, 3)
Then the Lord answered me and said; Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.
For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
This is a very important text in that it links the appointed time of Daniel to Paul’s end time message. Thus, we demonstrate very clearly that the Parousia and resurrection of Daniel’s last hour was near and indicated by Hebrews 10:37.
The original context applied to the Chaldean invasion of Judea when Nebuchadnezzar burned the temple to the ground and carried Israel into captivity. Thus, it’s primary application is an imminent destruction of Jerusalem.
It is interesting that Paul cites the prophecy in view of the coming day of vengeance upon Israel, (Heb. 10:25, 30, 31), to show the Lord would not delay once the vision was under way.
Before we cover that, note that Paul addresses the Jews in Antioch of Pisidia with the very language of Habakkuk 1:5, to show that the ultimate fulfillment and application of the prophecy applied to the Jews of his day.
Beware therefore, lest what has been spoken in the prophets come upon you:
Behold, you despisers, Marvel and perish! For I work a work in your days, a work which you will by no means believe, Though one were to declare it to you.”
However, in stark contrast to the Gentiles who begged to hear more of the message, the Jews became envious of the multitude, contradicted and blasphemed Paul’s gospel.
Paul, as did Jesus, pronounced the woe of destruction upon the Jews.
Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold we turn to the Gentiles.” (Acts 13:46)
Now why would Paul be applying this prophecy concerning “everlasting life” (see Daniel 12:2), to the Jews of his day, if the promise of resurrection was not imminent? This was indeed the appointed time of the vision!
Habakkuk said it would be some time before the prophecy would apply, thus explaining the 600 year delay from Daniel to the first century. (Daniel 8:17, 26, 12:4, 13). It would tarry for a while, but once the time came for it to be fulfilled, it would surely come and not delay.
Since he applied it to Jews in the first century that is evidence that the appointed time had indeed come!
Thus, Paul affirmed that the day of salvation was nearer than when they first believed. The night of darkness was far spent. The day of the resurrection was at hand.
The time of the very last hour to awake from sleep drew near upon the first century church. Paul wrote a resurrection was about to be of the just and the unjust, (Acts 24:14, 15, 2 Tim. 4:1).
Peter wrote God was about to judge the living and the dead, (1 Pet. 4:15, and that the time had come for judgment to begin, 1 Pet. 4:17).
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