(Culmination of World History in Light of Daniel 7)
Fred Bischoff (www.scripturefirst.net)
1. The dream and visions of Dan. 2, 7, and 8 lead to God's everlasting kingdom. (Explicit: Dan. 2:44; 7:14; implied: 8:14).
2. There are four main kings/kingdoms pictured from the time of Daniel to God's kingdom. (Chap. 8 starts with the second.) The first three kings/kingdoms are explicitly named. First: Nebuchadnezzar/Babylon (1:1; 2:37, 38); Second: Media and Persia (8:20); Third: Greece (8:21). Daniel lived under the first two (1:1; 5:28; 9:1). The third ruled during the period between Malachi and Matthew.
3. The earthly focus in the vision of Dan. 7 is on the fourth beast. From end of the third beast, the prophecy deals with fourth until the judgment and God's everlasting kingdom. A total of 10 verses of vision deal with fourth beast in all its phases and activities, whereas 7 verses cover God's kingdom, 4 verses the vision overall, and 1 verse with each of first three beasts.
4. The entire New Testament (Christ's life on earth, and the apostles') was under this fourth beast. This kingdom is mentioned by its Caesars (the first, Luke 2:1, Caesar Augustus; the second, Luke 3:1, Tiberius Caesar; the fourth, Acts 11:28, Claudius Caesar) and by its name ("the Romans", John 11:48). John was shown that this fourth beast is a three-fold power: dragon, beast, false prophet. (Rev. 12, 13; compare Dan. 7:14 and 8:23 with Rev. 11:18). These appear to describe characteristics of the fourth kingdom that are in some respects chronological and in others continuous. John was told that these three united were Babylon, which union is shown to eventually fail (Rev. 16:13, 19; 17), with each individual component meeting its end (Rev. 19:20; 20:10). Peter called Rome Babylon (1 Pet. 5:13). The ancient religion was and is still alive.
5. The coming of Christ / His kingdom / judgment (also pictured as a marriage) includes His first, second, and third comings to this earth (from the first coming judgment, John 12:31, through the second coming judgment, Rev. 19:11, until the third coming judgment, Rev. 20:12, 13) as well as another important event of Dan. 7, His coming to the Ancient of days. All of these comings occur in the time of fourth beast, and each coming in its own specific way contributes to the final end of that power (which is but the final corporate manifestation of the great controversy).
6. How does God's kingdom get set up? Does it "break" just like the fourth kingdom "broke" the previous ones? It is set up by warfare, but not by a carnal one. It comes by salvation, power, authority, the blood of the Lamb, and the word of testimony. The throne is David's throne. It is set up by judgment, a judgment that involves all comings. (2 Cor. 10:4-6; Rev. 12:10, 11; Isa. 9:7; Luke 1:32).
7. His first coming announced the kingdom and explained it: "at hand", "is like". ("At hand": Matt 3:2 John the Baptist; 4:17 Jesus; 10:7 disciples; Matt 13 "kingdom of heaven is like" 6 times; compare Luke 13:18 "kingdom of God"). Note how this coming was announced: "shall bring forth a son", "unto you ... a Saviour", "behold the Lamb of God." (Matt. 1:21; Luke 2:11; John 1:29). It also ratified the covenant behind the kingdom by the death of the Testator (Luke 22:20, 29; Heb. 9:15-17); such death was necessary because of sin in multiple ways, chiefly that agape must sacrifice self. This sacrifice was typified by the death of the sacrifices on all the festivals, especially the Day of Atonement.
8. The first coming occurred during the fourth beast (Luke 2:1-5), but did not stop / prevent the fourth kingdom from speaking great things nor end his power over the saints. The descendants of Abraham, having adopted a Babylonian philosophy, actually instigated this power, and identified with it, to accomplish the death of the Holy One (Matt. 2:16; John 11:48; Matt. 23:34-37, compare Rev. 18:24; Acts 3:13-15; John 19:15). The death of the Testator, while the greatest cosmic victory ever (not well grasped at the time), foreshadowed the continued prevailing of this beast over other holy ones (John 15:20; 16:33). In fact the greatest boasting (2 Thes. 2:3) and persecution (Matt. 24:21; Luke 21:12, 16; Rev. 2:10) came after first coming; therefore, it was not the complete fulfillment of Daniel's judgment.
9. The first coming was the judgment of this world in the sense that Satan was cast down in the eyes of all unseen participants and observers in the controversy. They could now say, "That world is judged" (John 12:31; compare Luke 10:18; Rev. 12:9, 13). The first coming was also judgment on Christ as He was made a curse for us, on our account (Gal. 3:13). The first coming was the opening of these hidden things of the truth and the lie, as the mystery of God was revealed (not finished in a final sense) (Rom. 16:25; compare Eph. 3:3-10; 6:19; Col. 1:25-27).
10. The events of the first coming were observed by few in the world, and were understood by yet fewer (Luke 24:18, 25, 26, 46-48). The gospel commission was to tell everyone else in world (Matt. 28:19, 20). When "this gospel of the kingdom" (the good news brought at the first coming about the everlasting kingdom mentioned in Daniel) goes as a witness to all the world, "then the end" (the second coming and what follows) will come (Matt. 24:12-14).
11. In between the first and second comings, came the "son of perdition." He was one who was in the inner circle like Judas, and who like him refused to be cleansed of the principle of the worldly kingdoms, which all are infected with. Instead, he brought it into the temple of God. The key point in this was the fact that those so deceived love not "the truth" but believe "the lie." (2 Thes. 2:3-12; compare John 17:12; Luke 22:19-29). This "son of perdition" is the little horn of Daniel and the sea beast of Revelation (Rev. 13:1-10). Those who did love "the truth" and rejected the "great things" spoken "against the Most High" were worn out, made war against, and prevailed against, TILL... (Dan. 7:21,25).
12. The beginning of the second advent judgment spanned from end of the 1260 years (1798; Dan. 7:25) to end of the 2300 years (1844; Dan. 8:14). Encompassed within this period of beginning judgment are the following:
a. the rise of land beast (false prophet, USA has horns like a lamb = show true power; eventually making an image to the sea beast (New Rome) = last effort of little horn to war against the saints, even as judgment is proceeding) (Rev. 13:11-18)
b. beast from the bottomless pit (the new manifestation of satanic power; French Revolution; while a reaction against sea beast, not different in character from it; therefore is really infighting; see Napoleon's desire to be Caesar) (Rev. 11:17)
c. the deadly wound ("the most promising of disciples betrays the master" = descendents of the Franks turn on bishop of Rome) (Rev. 13:3)
d. the beginning of messages (3 in number, First angel's message proclaiming gospel as judgment announced; Second angel's message announcing Babylon's fall; Midnight cry announcing bridegroom's coming) to prepare a people for mysteries coming before second coming of Christ (Rev. 14:6-8; Matt. 25:1-13)
e. the beginning of antitypical day of atonement (blood of atonement begins to be applied in that specific way) (Dan. 8:14)
13. The judgment was underway in earnest (investigative and "proclamative" in nature) after October 22, 1844 with the following:
a. 3 more messages (further opening of hidden things: Third angel's message revealed wrath, cross; Laodicean message revealed wretchedness; Loud cry revealed Babylon) (Rev. 14:9-12; 3:14-21; 18:1-8)
b. within 50 years the image to the beast began to be formed (coercing counterfeit worship) (Rev. 13:14; see What is Patriotism...?)
c. invitation into the marriage supper (Matt. 22:2-4; compare Luke 12:35, 36) = "this gospel of the kingdom" = enduring agape in face of abounding lawlessness (no agape) (Matt. 24:12-14) = sealing to stand, settling into "the truth" so cannot be moved when storm / plagues break (Rev. 7:3, 4 compare 14:1). Using two metaphors, this is the giving of the kingdom to the Son in heaven, and the making ready of the bride for the marriage. (Dan. 7:14; Rev. 19:7, 8). This is where we are! We are still under the fourth beast.
d. the "mystery of God finished" (Rev. 10:7)
14. As a thief in the night will come the end of the pre-second advent investigative and "proclamative" judgment and the beginning of the executive judgment as the storm / plagues begin (Rev. 15, 16)
15. The second coming in visible presence and power will signal the following:
a. THE END of this world order (Dan. 2:35, 45; 7:11, 26)
b. the ripe harvest of the earth reaped (Rev. 14:14-20 compare Matt. 13:19)
c. the beast and false prophet given to flames (part of the destruction prophesied by Daniel) (Rev. 19:19, 20)
d. the righteous being told, "Come ..., inherit the kingdom" and ushered into the marriage supper of Lamb (Matt. 25:34; Rev. 19:5-9)
16. The judgment continues 1000 years: (Rev. 20:1-6)
a. the dragon cast down again
b. desolate earth (nuclear night?)
c. further opening of hidden things in heaven; final investigation
17. Third coming of Christ / His kingdom:
a. the final opening of hidden things = panorama
b. every knee bow (Rom. 14:11; Phil. 2:10), but those who do not have seal/name in forehead (evidence forcing them) are cast to the fire
c. the dragon cast to fire (final casting of devil; this is the end of Daniel's judgment) (Rev. 20:7-15)
d. the final establishment of the everlasting kingdom; the victory of agape (Rev. 21:1-5)
e. the end of antitypical Day of Atonement (This day, as a 1000 years, deals with all the powers of wickedness, in one day. The dawning of this day began a few prophetic moments earlier in the events leading to and preparing for its beginning. At its end, the harmony, the "at-oneness" of agape is restored to the universe. All issues of the great controversy have been covered. Rev. 20:2, 3 compare 2 Pet. 3:8.)