The little horn, times, and laws
The little horn that arose among the ten horns of the fourth beast in Daniel 7 thinks to “change times and laws.” [Dan. 7:25] It makes war with the saints, and overcomes them.
“I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.” [Dan. 7:8]
Eyes like the eyes of a man depict a fallible human viewpoint.
“Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.” [Dan. 7:19-24]
Daniel said that the little horn will “wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws.” And they would be “given into his hand;” the little horn would succeed in deceiving many of the saints about “times.”
“And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.” [Dan. 25-26]
The “times” that the little horn seeks to change include important prophetic time periods such as the 70 weeks of Daniel 9, and the “time, times and a half.”
The little horn, and theories of dispensationalism, seek to destroy the continuity of the 70 weeks by separating the 70th week from the previous two sections, of seven weeks and 62 weeks, and inserting a huge gap between them, that extends for about 2,000 years.
Such a portentous gap in the 70 weeks is absurd, and is nowhere supported in Scripture. Time has no gaps. And yet, millions believe the flawed teachings of dispensationalist authors and preachers who misinterpret Daniel’s prophecies.
The little horn attacks the symbolic nature of the “time, times and a half,” by saying that it is a literal three and a half years. But all the numbers associated with the “time, times and a half” in Scripture resist such a literal interpretation. These numbers present a diminishing series, as if it was a continually changing time period, and that is its true interpretation; it represents the remaining time of the Church, which is constantly decreasing. The numbers are 1,335 days, 1,290 days, 1,260 days, and 3.5 days. Each fits the pattern of “a time, times, and a half,” and each represents the remaining time of the church after certain events in her history. The 1,335 days and the 1,290 days are mentioned in Daniel 12:11-12. Each is a symbolic three years and a half, where the years are of two kinds, regular years of 12 months, and leap years of 13 months, and one year differs from the rest, in each case. Months are 30 days. But natural months are not exactly 30 days, but a little less. In the 1,260 days of Rev. 11:3 and 12:6, all years are 12 months, and months are 30 days. None are a natural three years and a half, but they are symbolic periods, depicting the remaining time of the Church.
One of the effects of the dispensational approach to the 70 weeks is that it turns a prophecy about Christ comforting His Church throughout the present age by confirming his covenant, and sending his Spirit to guide the saints to the truth, into a prediction of a debacle, and seven frightful years of unprecedented tribulation, and destruction, and death. That is bad news.
The good news is that the dispensational interpretation of Daniel’s 70 weeks is wrong. No Scripture supports the notion of a 2,000-year gap in the 70 weeks, or a future seven-year tribulation. The prophecy of the 70 weeks promises spiritual blessings that will be poured out upon the Church after the antichrist spirit has succeeded in making her desolate by its false teaching.
The little horn also seeks to change times, and laws. An example of a change that it seeks to make in the law is illustrated by Acts 3:22-23. Here, the apostle Peter says that Jesus is the prophet that Moses said should come, and every soul, that is every ethnic Jew, who refuses to hear him is cut off, “destroyed from among the people.” But the little horn opposes this law. The Jewish state in the Middle East is Israel, according to the little horn, and those who are deceived by it.
Dispensationalism is based on the flawed premise that the Church and Israel are separate, and distinct, in the Bible. By “Israel” the dispensationalists always mean ethnic Jews. But the law of Moses said that any person who does not hear the prophet, who is the Messiah, Jesus Christ, is excluded from Israel. The New Testament teaches that being a “Jew” is spiritual and no longer depends on race, or national and ethnic heritage. [Rom. 2:28-29]
The prophet Isaiah said that the mountain of the Lord’s house will be established in the top of the mountains, above the hills. This prophecy was fulfilled by Jesus, the only begotten son of God, when he ascended to heaven, after his resurrection.
“The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” [Isa. 2:1-3]
Jesus is represented by the mountain of the Lord’s house. Judah and Jerusalem represent his people, the saints, who trust in Jesus Christ, and who dwell in his kingdom, whose names are written in the book of life. The saints are the Israel of God in the New Testament.
Hebrews 12:22 says,
“For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched… But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.”
Mount Zion, which cannot be touched, and the heavenly Jerusalem represent the Church. In Isaiah’s prophecy, Judah and Jerusalem are identified with the mountain of the Lord’s house. After Pentecost, prophecies about Judah and Jerusalem apply to the heavenly city.