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Daniel: Prophet of the Ages - Book 2

This is a commentary covering the first three of Daniel's visions in chapters 7-9.

Category - Bible Commentaries

Chapter 8

The Angel Explains the Little Horn

In Dan. 7:19-22 the prophet “desired to know” more about the fourth beast and its horns, by which it waged “war with the saints” until the Dominion Mandate was passed to the saints. The angel’s response begins in Dan. 7:23,

23 Then he said, “The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms, and it will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it.”

It is plain that “the earth” is not to be understood as the entire planet. In those days there were many lands that were unknown to the West. Neither did ANY of the four beasts conquer the whole planet. Alexander the Great went as far as the northern part of India, but never tried to conquer lands west of Greece. Rome went as far as Britain, but seldom controlled lands that were farther east than Armenia.

This restricted definition of “the earth” is carried into the book of Revelation as well, where most of the prophecies were not intended to speak of events around the globe. This is especially true of the earlier prophecies, which speak largely of Roman history, such as Rev. 6:8, where “authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth,” meaning a fourth part of the Roman Empire.

Even so, when we consider the extension of the fourth beast (the little horn), papal Rome eventually extended its influence and dominion around the globe. But this occurred only after the explorers brought news of those other lands back to Europe. The latter part of the book of Revelation, then, more easily includes the nations of modern history, unlike the earlier chapters.

How the Fourth Beast was Different

What made the fourth beast “different from all the other kingdoms”? The angel implies that it is their ruthless desire to devour, tread down, and crush the earth wherever they conquered. But all of the beasts were quite ruthless in their conquests. War is about killing and has less to do with military strategy. Likewise, once lands were conquered, the people were subjugated, rather than slaughtered. In general, all four beasts were alike in this way. But Rome did something that the others did not do.

Recall that Daniel’s focus of attention was the war with the saints. Babylon, Persia, and Greece did not make it a policy to persecute those of other religions and beliefs, but normally allowed freedom of religion. Of course, there were always conflicts between religious groups, but the political authorities did not normally single out any of them for extermination. But Rome certainly did.

In fact, in the latter part of the Greek era (168 B.C.), Antiochus Epiphanes—who was an Epicurean—made it his policy to convert the temple in Jerusalem to a shrine to Zeus. This can be seen as the beginning of persecution, though the book of Daniel gives them no such authorization. This caused Judea to revolt under the leadership of the Maccabees. The revolt succeeded in overthrowing the Greeks and gaining independence for a hundred years from 163 B.C. until Rome took control of Jerusalem in 63 B.C.

We may learn from this that God brought judgment upon Greece for overstepping its boundaries, whereas Rome later was able to wage war with the saints without divine intervention, for it was part of the divine plan. The believers were called to share in the sufferings of Christ, identifying with Him in His work as the first dove in Leviticus 14 and the first goat in Leviticus 16.

The Angel Explains the Little Horn

In Dan. 7:24, 25 the angel continues,

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 And 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.

Verse 24 gives us little new information from what we already learned in Dan. 7:8. The only new information is that the little horn “will be different” from the ten horns. So not only is the fourth beast itself different from the other beasts, but likewise the little horn is different from the other ten horns.

The fourth beast differs from the other beasts in that it persecutes the saints. The little horn differs from the other horns in the same way, for “he will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints.” It appears that since the horn is an extension of the beast, in practice it continues this war against the saints, but also extends the war to “the Most High” as well. In other words, not being content to persecute the saints of the Most High, this horn brings the war to the very gates of heaven in the attempt to overthrow God from His throne.

Of course, one may argue correctly that to persecute the saints is to persecute Christ. Christ indwells the saints, using them as His temple. This revelation was given to Saul as he persecuted the church. When Saul was struck down on the Damascus road, Jesus appeared to him and said, “Saul, Saul, why are persecuting Me?” (Acts 9:4).

The angel’s explanation to Daniel reveals the intent behind the earlier statements in Dan. 7:8, 20 about the little horn’s “great boasts.” The little horn boasts that it has overthrown God Himself and has replaced Him on the throne in heaven. Hence, John interprets this further in Rev. 13:5, telling us that these “boasts” were actually “arrogant words speaking blasphemies.”

Dan. 7:24 (above) also tells us that “he will intend to make alterations in times and in law.” We have already shown how this was done by Justinian when he changed the calendar and the laws of Rome before subordinating his civil authority to the spiritual authority of the Bishop of Rome. His accomplishments marked the start of the “time, times, and half a time” that is mentioned later in the same verse.

Forty-Two Months

In Rev. 13:5, John interprets Daniel’s “time, times, and half a time” to mean “forty-two months.”

5 And there was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies; and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him.

The angel’s vague “time, times, and half a time” is thus clarified by John. A “time” is twelve months, or one prophetic year of 360 “days.” The unspecified “times” is precisely TWO “times,” or twenty-four months, or two prophetic years (720 “days”). The “half a time” is six months, or 180 “days.”

12 + 24 + 6 = 42 “months”

360 + 720 + 180 = 1,260 “days”

In his treatment of the prophetic “woman” being persecuted by the little horn, John treats the 42 months as the equivalent of 1,260 days. Rev. 12:6, 13, 14 says,

6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she might be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days

13 And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. 14 And the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, in order that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.

John gives us far more information than we find in the book of Daniel. Daniel saw an overall view with few details. John enlarged upon Daniel’s prophecy but focused mostly upon the events occurring in the time of the fourth beast and its little horn extension. Because of this, he reveals many more details about the little horn’s “war with the saints” and the final overthrow of the beast nations.

This war with the saints has been ongoing for many centuries. It is plain that the 42 months, or 1,260 “days” are really 1,260 years. In fact, this is half of the full “seven times” (2,520 years) of God’s contract with the beast nations, when He raised them up to bring judgment upon Jerusalem.

This time frame was first revealed in the laws of tribulation in Leviticus 26, where we are told many times that God threatened to punish Israel “seven times.” (See Lev. 26:18, 21, 24, 28.) The time frame is related to their refusal to keep their Sabbath land rests (Lev. 26:34, 35). They were to be judged for seven long Sabbaths of 360 years each, that is, 2,520 years.

The law says nothing about dividing the “seven times” into two halves. Neither does it define a “time.” We must go to Daniel to confirm that a “time” is an unspecified length of time, and we must read John’s revelation to define it as 360 “days.” Finally, we must look at the witness of history to see that these “days” are to be applied in years according to the “day for a year” principle found in Ezekiel 4:6.

Dual Fulfillments

The 1,260-year war with the saints (i.e. the “woman” of Revelation 12) brings up the question of timing. When did this time begin? When did it end? As we see so often in prophecy, there is more than one beginning point and thus also there is more than one end point. Prophecy often seems to phase in and then phase out.

The first cluster of beginning points is in the early part of the reign of Justinian when he altered times and law. In a sense, “times” are also rooted in law, because when a calendar is changed, all legal contracts are impacted. Contracts must be dated to have legal force. So we focus on Justinian’s project in changing the laws to Church law.

As we showed earlier, the first draft of his new set of laws came out in 529 A.D., followed by a revision in 530. They were published on November 16, 534 and came fully into effect on December of 534. These are the main starting points to consider, because 1,260 years later brings us to 1789-1794, the time of the French Revolution.

The French Revolution prophetically “killed” the Roman Church. France was known as “the first-born of the Church,” the foremost “Christian Nation.” The French Revolution overthrew the Christian monarch and replaced it with a Republican form of government. It also secularized the nation, wresting it out of the pope’s spiritual hegemony. Out of this revolution arose Napoleon, who was sent to make war on Rome. He took Rome and took the pope captive in 1798, imprisoning him until his death, and killing the papacy until 1804.

John explains this event in Rev. 13:3 as a “fatal wound” of the “beast coming up out of the sea.” But John also prophesies that the fatal head wound would be healed, and this occurred in 1804 when Napoleon reinstated the pope in order to have someone to crown him as emperor.

Then, as Rev. 13:11 tells us, a new beast arose from the earth to be an ally to the beast from the sea. This second beast is described as a financial (banking) beast, and so we see that the creators of the modern banking system (the Rothschilds) arose to a position of financial power at the same time. In fact, Nathan Rothschild arrived in London in 1798, the same year that Napoleon took the pope captive in Rome.

We must reserve a fuller explanation of those events for another book. Meanwhile, our point is to show that the 1,260-year cycle had two beginning points: 529 and 534 A.D. Those dates correspond to their endpoints in 1789 and in 1794. Between these dates the French Revolution gave the Roman Church a fatal wound by violently “killing” the first-born son of the Church.

There is also a second fulfillment of this 1,260-year period from 754-2014. This also represents the last half of the 2,520-year contract that God made with the beast nations to bring judgment upon Judah.

607 B.C. to 754 A.D. equals 1,360 years. Subtracting the 100 years from 163-63 B.C. when Jerusalem was independent of beast rule brings the total to 1,260 years.

754 A.D. to 2014 equals 1,260 years.

Together, these two cycles of 1,260 years equals 2,520 years of beast rule, which was the time of God’s contract.

The Donation of Pepin: 754 A.D.

Pope Stephen III called on Pepin the Short to help him overcome the Lombards who were in control of Italy in 750 A.D. It was the first time that a Roman Pope had ever crossed the Alps. Pepin raised an army, overthrew the Lombards, and then donated his realm to the Pope. This “donation” gave the Pope temporal power over lands that came to be known as the Papal States.

A new era of earthly power thus began, with the popes claiming more than just spiritual (legal) authority.

Once again, we see a dual fulfillment in a major development of history and prophecy. Whereas Emperor Justinian had given the popes spiritual (legal) authority, Pepin gave the popes earthly authority in 754. This arrangement lasted until 1870 when the Papal States were taken from the pope and incorporated into the new Kingdom of Italy. The Wikipedia tells us,

The "Donation of Pepin", the first in 754, and second in 756, provided a legal basis for the formal organizing of the Papal States, which inaugurated papal temporal rule over civil authorities. The Donations were bestowed by Pepin the Short only three years after he became the first civil ruler appointed by a Pope, about the year 751….

On July 28, 754 Pope Stephen anointed Pepin, as well as his two sons Charles and Carloman, at Saint-Denis in a memorable ceremony that was recalled in coronation rites of French kings until the end of the ancien regime in the French Revolution of 1789-1799.

In return, in 756, Pepin and his Frankish army forced the last Lombard king to surrender his conquests, and Pepin officially conferred upon the pope the territories belonging to Ravenna, even cities such as Forlì with their hinterlands, laying the Donation of Pepin upon the tomb of Saint Peter, according to traditional later accounts. The gift included Lombard conquests in the Romagna and in the Duchy of Spoleto and Benevento, and the Pentapolis in the Marche (the “five cities” of Remini, Pesaro, Fano, Senigallia and Ancona). The Donations allowed the Pope to reign for the first time as a temporal ruler.

Pepin confirmed his Donations in Rome in 756, and in 774 his son Charlemagne again confirmed and reasserted the Donation.

The prophetic importance of this “Donation” is that it was a secondary step toward increasing the power of the “little horn” of Daniel’s visions.

1. From the new Law in 534 to the overthrow of the French Catholic monarchy in 1794 is exactly 1,260 years.

2. From the Donation in 754 to the end of the time of the little horn in 2014 is exactly 1,260 years!

Hence, we have two cycles of 1,260 years, each with a different beginning point, ending 1,260 years later. The first cycle ended with the French Revolution and the “fatal wound.” The second cycle ended in 2014, which was also the end of the 1,480 “Christ” cycle.

534-1794 = 1,260 years

754-2014 = 1,260 years

534-2014 = 1,480 years

The year 2014 was not only 1,260 years after the Donation of Pepin, but it was also the end of the 2,520-year contract with the beast nations in Daniel 7. Thus, in that sense, the Donation of Pepin marked the start of the last half of the full “seven times” cycle. Likewise, 2014 is the endpoint of the important 1,480-year cycle from Justinian’s alteration of law in 534.

The numeric value of “Christ” in Greek is 1,480. Jesus died on the 1,480th Passover celebration since the first one that was observed in Egypt. Likewise, the Holy Spirit was given to the church on the 1,480th Pentecost since Mount Sinai. In essence, the Old Covenant was in force for 1,480 years, during which time Israel and Judah became corrupted and were finally sent into exile by divine decree.

It appears that what happened to the first church, that is, the “church in the wilderness” (Acts 7:38), was repeated in similar fashion in the second church under its Pentecostal anointing. When Justinian adopted his new legal codex in 534, he inadvertently gave the church 1,480 years in which to prove itself, whether it would truly follow Christ or not.

In the end, these laws of men enslaved the people with the Feudal System. The laws of Justinian did not adopt the law of Jubilee, which had the power to set all creation free.

On Dec. 30, 2014 we reached the 1,480th anniversary of Justinian’s law coming into effect.

It was also 1,260 years since the Donation of Pepin.

It was also the end of the “seven times” allotted to the beasts to rule the world (607 B.C. to 2014 A.D.).

The year 2015 marks 1,480 years after Justinian agreed to become the civil enforcer of Church law as demanded by Pope Agapetus. Other endpoints continue until 2017.

The Divine Court Decree of 2014

Daniel 7:26 says,

26 But the court will sit for judgment, and his [the little horn’s] dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever.

The timing of this judicial proceeding could not take place prior to the terminal date of the divine contract. Since this court session was to be held in the divine court of heaven, it seemed important to some of us on earth to know when this court would be in session. Our study of timing in the book of Daniel and Revelation, along with our study in the divine law, convinced us that the divine court was scheduled to “sit for judgment” toward the end of 2014.

Further revelation by prayer indicated that the precise date was to be the eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles, that is, Oct. 16, 2014. For this reason, we bore witness to the decree at that time, so that the earth would act as a double witness to the heavenly decree.

Daniel 7:27 continues,

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.

This ends the Angelic explanation of Daniel’s vision. The vision climaxes with the transfer of authority from the final beast system to the saints of the Most High. This is a further explanation of Dan. 7:22, which says, “the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom.” I like the CV, which reads, “the stated time is reached, and the kingdom is safeguarded by the saints.”

Likewise, Dan. 7:24 (CV) tells us that the saints “shall receive the kingdom and they will safeguard the kingdom unto the eon.”

In other words, this is more than just a transfer of authority. It is the time that the Dominion Mandate at last is given to those who will not abuse it. The Kingdom of God up to that point in time had been ruled by men with the heart of beasts, men who ruled by the laws of men and with selfish motives. Even in the earlier days before Jerusalem was brought under divine judgment, most of the kings of Judah misruled the kingdom.

But this began to change by the end of 2014, as God began to reorganize His government and to empower those He has called to “reign with Christ.”

This is the stage of the kingdom mentioned briefly in Dan. 7:9, “I kept looking until thrones were set up.” The angelic explanation focused upon that statement, showing that these thrones were for the saints of the Most High. They are distinct from the Great White Throne, which, according to John, will be set up in about a thousand years. Meanwhile the saints will “safeguard” the Kingdom, implying that they know they are but stewards and not owners of the Kingdom.

Daniel 7:28 concludes,

28 At this point the revelation ended. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts were greatly alarming me and my face grew pale, but I kept the matter to myself.

Knowledge can be dangerous. Knowledge of the end of nations can be thought of as treasonous. So Daniel was careful not to spread this knowledge to the public. This verse indicates that his audience was small when he “related the following summary of it” (Dan. 7:1).

Who did he tell? Was it his three friends who had been with him from the beginning? We do not even know if they were alive in 548 B.C, the first year of Belshazzar. But they are the likely candidates, and no doubt they helped Daniel preserve his writings, passing them down to the religious leaders of the Jews in Babylon.

All we really know is that the writings of Daniel were given to Ezra after the fall of Babylon, who included them in the canon of Scripture.