Daniel has always been a fascinating book for all Bible students. Of its twelve chapters, the first six tell of intriguing acts of God’s power among Daniel, his three friends, and the King of Babylon, where the Jews had been carried into exile. The last six chapters are prophecy, some of which has already past (which would be history to us) and some for the last days yet to be seen.
For anyone with an interest in the last six chapters of Daniel, I would encourage, first reading those chapters, then concurrently reading the books of Maccabees and the portion of Josephus’ Antiquity of the Jews for the period covering the rise of Alexander the Great through the time the Romans came into power. Then read the last six chapters of Daniel again. Also this study in Josephus will give a great deal of insight into how Herod and Pilate and other rules came into power during the time of Jesus’ sojourn in the flesh among us.
At one time, I enjoyed studying the Bible and the church in history, prophecy, and God’s law of love. Now I don’t have as much interest in history or prophecy, but trying to learn more about understanding God’s law of love. This is most needed, as I am so far from it, and to me, it would seem much more important than anything else. If I love you, should I judge you, especially since I am so far from being all that I should be under God’s law of love. But if I told each of you (whatever few may stumble onto this post and read it) that you are filthy sinners, whose righteousness are as filthy rags before the Lord, would I be judging you? Maybe so, maybe not. I would certainly be telling the truth. If I were telling you this as to try to detract from the truth that I myself am as a filthy rag compared to God, then I would be judging. If I were telling you this for the purpose of trying to call God’s wrath upon you, I would certainly be judging you, and as I judge, so would I be judged. If I told you this as simply a fact, I would simply be telling the truth. I would want to plead with you each to be therefore perfect, as Christ is perfect. But I must never forget how woefully wicked I am.
(All passages from the NASU) Daniel 7: 21 "I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them 22 until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom.
23 "Thus he said: 'The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it. 24 'As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings. 25 'He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. 26 'But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever. 27 'Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.'
As Satan, his angels, and the people of this world do not serve the Highest One, then the judgment and declaration that all dominions will serve and obey Him indicate that this passage refers to the end of this world as we know it. But in verse 21, the horn (which represents a world ruler) was waging war with and overpowering the ‘saints’ until the judgment. Some count this horn as a Roman emperor and referring to the tribulations of the early church under the emperors, yet according to this verse, this war was to go on until the judgment was passed in favor of the saints. This ‘judgment’ in favor of the saints could refer to John’s reference in his first epistle that it is our faith that overcometh the world. For those of us still in this world, we are still battling spiritual wickedness in high places. Yet, in a sense, we are overcomers, as we have been judged righteous as Abraham was counted as righteous because of his belief. But in truth in the flesh we are still so far from perfect, so as Paul said, I find two laws- with the mind I serve the law of Christ, yet in this flesh, I still fall into the law of the flesh (Romans 7). As it says in verses 21- 22 this battle continues until the saints take possession of the kingdom. Now the Kingdom of Christ exists within this world within His church. So, for each believer claiming salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ, could that be each individual taking possession of that kingdom? Saints here is plural, but each individual in the kingdom constitutes a plural nature. Or is it referring to the final judgment and our glorious possession in Heaven.
Then, the passage goes on to the fourth beast (by the way, the horn and the beast were referencing a vision of Daniel which is here being explained- but the interpretation of the explanation sometimes varies from theologian to theologian). This fourth beast has horns of his own and his battle against the saints goes on till the ‘end’. But many may dispute who these saints are as many put this into context with the final seven year Tribulation period referenced in Revelation, and many feel that the saints will be raptured before this period. Again, I refer to Paul’s statement to the Thessalonians that ‘at the last trumpet, we will be changed in the twinkling of an eye.’ Now the Revelation Tribulation commences with seven seals, followed by seven trumpets. If at the last trumpet is when we will all be changed, then it certainly appears that the rapture will not occur till after the seven seals and the first six trumpets. But I don’t know, and I’m not going to pretend to know, and I sort of lost interest in prophecy and history and prefer to concern myself with striving to live in God’s law of love, and I’m still not at all good at that.
Daniel 12: 1 "Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. 2 "Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. 3 "Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.
I will leave these last three verses without comment, as each can study for himself.