“Thus he said: ‘As for the fourth beast, there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all the kingdoms, and it shall devour the whole earth, and trample it down, and break it to pieces. As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise, and another shall arise after them; he shall be different from the former ones, and shall put down three kings. He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand for a time, two times, and half a time.Daniel 7:23-25 RSV
Several very important deductions are made mandatory by these words. Note that the “saints” existed throughout the period of the little horn, itself a part of the fourth beast, having arisen out of it.
“Shall be diverse” is twice mentioned – in both Daniel 7: 24 and Daniel 7:25.
Not all of that diversity is spelled out here; but the New Testament sheds further light upon it.
The diversity is seen in that:
- The little horn is a religious kingdom, as indicated by its two horns (of a lamb) (Revelation 13:11)
- It shall prevail mightily, continuing, even to the end.
- It will think to change times and law, especially as regards sacred things (changes were made in such things as baptism and the Lord’s Supper, the two central ordinances in the Christian religion)
- It became a terrible persecuting power of God’s true people; it formed alliances with the kings of the earth, etc., etc.
“Time and times and a half a time”
The key fact of what this means is plainly taught in the Book of Revelation.
But as far as we have been able to determine, the true meaning is today unknown by practically the whole world of Bible scholars.
Some references regarding “Time” in the Holy Scriptures
- The Christian martyrs of Revelation 6:10 pleaded with God to tell them, “How long?” it would be before the final judgment at which time they would be avenged upon those who had slain them.
- From the answer given, it is obvious that that vengeance would come at the final judgment in the end of time, that is, at the end of the whole Christian dispensation.
- The answer? And it was said unto them that they should rest yet FOR A LITTLE TIME (until all the future martyrs who were yet to die in the faith should join them).
- Here the whole Christian dispensation is called “a little time.”
When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood,Revelation 6:12 RSV
- Revelation 12:12 explains the hatred of Satan for God’s church, a hatred which, of course, exists during every moment of the Christian dispensation.
- What is the reason? “Satan has great wrath, knowing that he hath but a SHORT TIME.
- How long is that? It is the total time between the First Advent and the Second Advent of Christ.
Rejoice then, O heaven and you that dwell therein! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”Revelation 12:12 RSV
- God promised to nourish his church during her wilderness probation (Revelation 12:14).
- This period is described as “always, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:18-20); but it is also referred to in this passage (Revelation 12:14), as A TIME AND TIMES AND HALF A TIME.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”Matthew 28:18-20 RSV
- This same period when God will nourish his Church in the wilderness, protecting her from Satan’s hatred, is also called in Revelation 12:6 A THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED AND THREE-SCORE DAYS.
and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which to be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.Revelation 12:6 RSV
- The authority of the little horn (identified with the fourth beast of Daniel) is stated in Revelation 13:5 to continue for FORTY AND TWO MONTHS. Since both Daniel and Revelation make it clear that this period is actually to last until the end of time, it becomes mandatory to believe that all such time-references in Revelation have exactly the same meaning.
- Every one of these means “THE WHOLE CHRISTIAN DISPENSATION.”
And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months; it opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven.Revelation 13:5-6 RSV
- “They shall live and reign with Christ a THOUSAND YEARS” (Revelation 20:4-6). As long as saints “suffer with Christ,” they also “reign with Him”; and therefore this “THOUSAND YEARS” can be nothing else except the whole dispensation of Christ, lasting all the way from the First Advent through the Second Advent of Christ.
Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom judgment was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus and for the word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life, and reigned with Christ a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and they shall reign with him a thousand years.Revelation 20:4-6 RSV
The above understanding of these mysterious time-references in Daniel and Revelation is absolutely necessary to any complete understanding of these prophecies.
A careful coordination of the passages in Revelation, with the revelations in this prophecy (Daniel 2 and Daniel 7), with due respect to other New Testament references to this same phenomenon, namely, that of the Great Apostasy from Christianity which was specifically foretold by the New Testament authors, will fully confirm all of the positions which we have advocated in the interpretations presented here.
THE CHARACTER OF THE ANTICHRIST
The view here is that antichrist in his fullness has not yet appeared; although, as the apostle John said, “there are many antichrists.”
If, as so many believe, there is to be a final and terminal antichrist who will be destroyed by the Second Advent of Christ, it is obvious that he has not yet appeared upon the earth.
The one certainty regarding the antichrist is that he shall appear as the head, the usurper and the unscrupulous dictator over the apostate church itself.
What will antichrist be like?
The usual opinions are that he shall be an individual of gigantic mental power, unbelievable audacity and the most extreme wickedness.
During the apostasy of Israel, Antiochus Epiphanes was such a person; later, after the final rejection of Christ by the hierarchy of Israel, the total profanation of the Jewish temple by a band of ruthless brigands led to the final overthrow of Judaism.
The bold and devilish deeds of some of the lesser “antichrists” who have appeared in our own times are precursors of what may come later on a vaster scale than ever.
The revolt against all rule and authority, the spread of Nihilism, the increase of infidelity and agnosticism, the unblushing proclamation of atheism and the support given to it in the scientific and political world, the deification of materialism, are all the precursors of Antichrist.
We may figure him as an individual, a man of more commanding abilities and far greater wickedness than the first Napoleon; one who will subdue the world, and in the height of his impiety and ambition proclaim his atheism, and that man himself is God!
Our world is drenched in the blood of the innocent, and seems to be rushing headlong towards World War III.
The time to get right with God is now.
Ours is a spiritual War, and we’re on the front lines.
We must dig in, pray, worship, plant seeds, remain alert and ever vigilant; because no one knows when our Saviour will return for the great day of judgment!