On the times of the antichrist in Daniel 7
In every generation since the first century, Jesus confirms the covenant, and the promise of God to Abraham, that in his seed all nations will be blessed. Paul called this promise the gospel, in Galatians 3:8. Throughout all the time since he ascended to heaven, after the crucifixion, and his resurrection from the grave, Jesus has been building his church, which is the heavenly Jerusalem. It is the subject of many prophecies, including the prophecy of Daniel 7, where Christians are referred to as the saints of the most high.
Daniel 7:8 describes a little horn that appears in the head of the fourth beast, that represents the Roman Empire. Daniel wrote: “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.”
The eyes like the eyes of a man picture a human point of view, that contrasts with the divine viewpoint. The mouth speaking great things alludes to false beliefs, and superstition.
The fourth beast is described as having ten horns, but the little horn is not counted among the ten. It is therefore another kind of horn. The explanation may be that the ten horns represent secular kingdoms, but the little horn represents a spiritual power. Since it is symbolic of all forms of opposition to Christ, it is referred to as the antichrist.
When the Roman Empire was at its peak, Christ came and set up his kingdom. Daniel’s description refers to Christ as “the Ancient of days.”
I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.
John’s description of Christ in the first chapter of Revelation is remarkably similar to the description of the Ancient of days above.
And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
The thousand thousands who minister in Daniel 7:10 are no doubt believers and saints of the Christian church, represented by the seven candlesticks in John’s vision. Among the books that were opened in Daniel’s vision, there is likely one that corresponds to the seven sealed book described in Revelation 5, where the only person who is found to be worthy to open the seals of the book is Jesus.
In Daniel 7:18, the saints take the kingdom, and possess it forever. Daniel 7:20-21 says of the little horn, that it “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.”
More is said of the little horn in verses 25-26: “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.”
The little horn represents a spiritual power that opposes the Spirit of God. But there are many who say it is a human individual. This is one of the gross errors that characterize the “mouth that spake very great things.” It is one of the doctrines of antichrist. The apostle John said the spirit of the antichrist was already present; he wrote: “And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” [1 John 4:3]
The spirit of antichrist has not gone away since the days of the apostle John, but its presence has continued to influence the church, and seduce Christians with false teachings and interpretations. Daniel’s prophecies show that the duration of antichrist’s influence upon the church would be for “a time, times and a half,” which is one-half of seven times. The antichrist spirit was manifested in John’s lifetime, in the first century, and continues to the present day. The “time, times and a half” is further explained by the prophecy of the seventy weeks in Daniel 9. The following things were to be accomplished in the seventy weeks:
Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
Some of these are yet to be fully accomplished, and the spirit of antichrist has not yet been subdued. The 70 weeks apply to “thy people and thy holy city.” The city of Jerusalem was in ruins, and lay desolate in Daniel’s time, and the people were in exile. Daniel prayed, “O LORD, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.” [Daniel 9:16] The prophecy applies to the saints, those identified with “the mountain of the Lord’s house.”
Isaiah said the mountain of the Lord’s house would be “established in the top of the mountains,” and “exalted above the hills.”
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.
The first two sections of the 70 weeks, which are 7 and 62 weeks, apply to the earthly Jerusalem. The Messiah appeared when those two sections were fulfilled, and in the 70th week, he confirms his covenant with many. The ministry of Jesus was part of the 70th week. He was cut off in the midst of the week. He was buried and on the third day he rose from the grave, and after appearing to his disciples, he ascended to heaven. This is when Isaiah’s prophecy about the mountain of the Lord’s house being “exalted above the hills” was fulfilled; it was raised up to heaven, where Jesus reigns in the throne of God.
The desolation, and the destruction of the city, and the flood that are mentioned in connection with the 70th week apply to the heavenly Jerusalem, not the earthly city. In the 70th week, the mountain of the Lord’s house was raised up to heaven, when Jesus ascended to heaven after his resurrection. Jerusalem then became the heavenly Jerusalem. This has not been understood, by those influenced by, and seduced, by the antichrist spirit. The things of the Spirit of God are hidden from them; they see only what is evident to the eye of flesh, the eyes like the eyes of man. They try to apply the prophecies of Daniel to the earthly city, ignoring the application of the prophecies to the heavenly one.
While the first two sections of the 70 weeks, and the first half of the last week consist of periods measured by earthly units of years, and leap years, the last half of the 70th week applies to heavenly city. The prophetic times that apply to the heavenly city are expressed, not in terms of earthly units as in the previous portion of the 70 weeks, but in symbolic units of time, because Christ’s kingdom is spiritual, and “not of this world.” [John 18:36]
The final half-week, which is represented by the time, times and a half of Daniel 7:25 and 12:7, is indeterminate, rather than a literal period given in earthly units of time. This is confirmed by the numbers that represent the period given in Daniel 12:11-12, the 1,290 days and the 1,335 days. Neither of these equals a natural three and a half years in any calendar, but both fit the pattern of a time, times and a half, where the months are 30 days, and the years are both 12 and 13 months, and the units of one year differ from the rest.
1,290 days = 13 × 30 + 2 × 12 × 30 + ½ × 12 × 30
1,335 days = 12 × 30 + 2 × 13 × 30 + ½ × 13 × 30
The 70 weeks prophecy, and the time, times and a half, which is the last part of the 70th week, continue throughout the present age of the church. The promise that Christ will confirm his covenant with many applies in every generation since the first century when Jesus came. He continues to confirm it, and it is the new covenant, promised in Jeremiah 31:31.