To continue in Revelations, we need to examine the book of Daniel. While I know that many of my faithful followers will benefit from this, I also know that there will be other who read future posts and won’t understand what I’m saying because they won’t have this background. What do you do? I decided to write out this small intercession.
For the sake of not having 5000+ words in this segment, I am specifically going to keep my writing to the book of Daniel as much as possible. Trust me, I can easily get off into how these things relate throughout the rest of the Scripture, and even into much of what Paul or Peter or John have written. Know that with everything I am putting here, I have details from other books as well to add and reveal that this is indeed the correct interpretation. This is seen from Isaiah through Malachi, and from the Olivet discourse to the words of Paul to the book of Revelations, and all of the other apostolic proclamation in between.
To begin our trek to understand the basic foundations for the end times, we look at Daniel chapter 2. Nebuchadnezzar has a dream, and in this dream he sees a statue with four different elements, but the fourth element contains two distinct parts. The head is gold, and the interpretation says that this is Nebuchadnezzar. After him shall come Medo-Persia, who will then be followed by Greece, who will then be followed by Rome. It is interesting to note the feet of iron and clay. Something about this fourth kingdom is being revealed. There is one sense in which we can see with the inception of the Caesars that Rome was changed, and indeed this is when Christ was born. Yet, to another degree, we see that this kingdom with the ten toes being ten kings reaches unto the end of the age.
When we pick up in Daniel 7, we find four beasts. The first beast is like a lion with wings of an eagle. This represents Nebuchadnezzar (see Daniel 5). The second is bear with three ribs in his mouth and raised up on one side. Just like the Persians were stronger than the Medes, so too was this bear raised up on one side. Medo-Persia had three conquests, represented by the three ribs. The third beast is was like a leopard, which had four wings and four heads. This beast represents Greece. First, Alexander takes over the known world, and then when he dies, his four strongest commanders were given quarters of his kingdom. Lastly, this final beast represents Rome, but specifically has ten horns just like those ten toes were pointed out in Daniel 2. This is the Antichrist kingdom.
Continuing in the narrative, we find this “little horn” to come up upon this fourth beast. This takes us to Daniel 8, and we’ll come back to Daniel 7 in a moment. In Daniel 8, there is a ram with two horns – one longer than the other. Remember the bear lifted on its side? This is the same symbolism for Medo-Persia. Then, a goat comes flying across the land. This goat represents Alexander the Great. When this goat is successful, his horn falls off and four replace it. Once again, remember the four heads and the four wings on the leopard. These are the four rulers of the four segments of Greece. Then, a “little horn” grows up on one of the four horns. Notice in Daniel 7 that this little horn uproots three horns, but here it grows on top of one horn. This is telling us details to how to identify the Antichrist – he shall come out of one of those horns from Greece, but will uproot three other kings in the kingdom of the beast.
Daniel 7 reveals to us that out of this fourth beast shall come a little horn, and he shall boast against the Lord with mighty blasphemous words (verse 8). Then, we see the establishment of the throne of the Ancient of Days, and the coming of the Son of Man upon the clouds when the little horn (Antichrist) is throne into the lake of fire. This sounds an awful lot like Revelation 19. Daniel 8 then adds that this little horn will “set itself up to be as great as the Prince of the host”, and will take away the daily sacrifice and bring the sanctuary low (verse 11). “Because of rebellion” (Dan 8:12), the host of the saints and the daily sacrifice will be given unto him, which explains to us how this man will enter the very temple area itself in Revelation 11 and establish the abomination of desolation in Revelation 13.
When we come to Daniel 9, we find seventy weeks. These are sets of seven year intervals. At the 69th week, Jesus is crucified (the text says, “the anointed one will be cut off, but not for himself”). The 70th week is then describing what we saw regarding this little horn in chapters 7-8. All scholars separate this 70th week from the first 69. The question is how for forward it is pushed. Most preterists will claim it took place in 70 A.D. with the destruction of the temple. Premillinnialists will say that it is still yet future.
There is a covenant confirmed for one week (seven years). Halfway through it, we find the estblishment on the wing of the temple the “abomination of desolation” – referred to by Jesus in Matthew 24:15, Mark 13:14, and Luke 21:20 (in Luke it doesn’t use the exact phrase) as a future event (it cannot be fulfilled by Antiochus Epiphanes).
We find this abomination being referenced in Revelation 13:14-15, where a statue is erected in honor of the beast. This happens halfway through the week, which we see in Daniel 11:21-45 is an elaboration of this wee (follow the Hebrew antecedent from verse 45 backward to come to verse 21 as the beginning of this character). So, for the first three and a half years, there is an illusory peace established, and for the last three and a half years, we find stark terror.
To connect this man in Daniel 11 with the Antichrist, we see him to “come to an agreement” and coming to power “with only a few people” (Daniel 11:23, and remember the confirmation of the covenant in Daniel 9:27 and the “little horn” seems to speak of a small insignificant man who would rise to power). This man will attempt to invade Israel, but will be stopped by ships from Kittim, and will turn back in fury against the holy covenant (Dan 11:30). He will then show favor to them who forsake the holy covenant (remember Daniel 8:12 with the language of rebellion). Then, his armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and abolish the daily sacrifice (remember Daniel 8:10-11). He will establish the abomination of desolation (the exact phrase used in Daniel 9:27 and Matthew 24:15 as a future event).
We see after this that the Antichrist will corrupt those who violated the covenant, but they who know their God will resist him firmly. This is where the “time of Jacob’s trouble” enters (Jeremiah 30:7). This is the last three and a half years. In Daniel 11:33-35, we read about this man killing by the sword, burning alive, capturing, and plundering anyone who resists him. The abomination of desolation, according to the Olivet discourse (Matthew 24 and parallels), is the destruction of Jerusalem and the time of the Gentiles when they shall have power over that land. During that time, anyone who opposes the Antichrist will be persecuted most severely. This is where the church enters in, because we are those wise who will refine and purify and make spotless the Jewish people who are being persecuted with us. The appointed time is the return of Jesus, where the coming of the Son of Man upon the clouds shall throw the Antichrist into the lake of fire (Dan 7:11-14), and the Church and Israel shall marry their God, and shall dwell in the Land together with Him forever (Dan 7:26-27).
It is this seven year cycle that Revelations 6-19 repeats. When we reach chapter 20, we find the Kingdom of God established upon the earth, which is what Daniel 7 speaks of. We find the cycle going over and over again through the book of Revelations, and so when we come to the seals, the question is where they fit in the timeline. When we come to the trumpets, the question is where they fit in the timeline. When we come to the woman in the wilderness, the establishment of the Antichrist, and the harvest of the earth (Rev 12-14), the question is where that fits on our timeline. Where do the seven bowls of wrath fit in our timeline? It is not one big chronology, but the same events repeated over and over again. Yet, I don’t want you to think that this means the seals are the trumpets, the trumpets are the bowls or wrath, and all of the above is somehow tied together with the other narratives in Revelations. They are all distinct, though they are within the same timeframe.
So, when we begin to look at Revelations 6, understand that we’re looking at a parallel between the seven years marked out in Daniel and the seals. That connection will be made clearly in the next post, but for you who cannot live without knowing, examine the three records of Jesus’ Olivet discourse (Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21) and how they parallel the six seals. Then, notice how the Olivet discourse parallels Daniel’s prophecies.