Note: You can listen to an audio recording of this study here.
Please take the time to read Daniel 7:1-28
This vision is a vital part of Scripture. The material it deals with is among the most important issues of all revelation. In terms of sheer volume there is no other period of earth’s history of which God has so much to say as of that time addressed in this vision. Daniel evidently regarded these matters of immense importance. He also saw it as his duty to publish and communicate these truths to others, v1-2. This is doctrine that must be preached – especially as we are now closer to this period of time than any other previous generation in the Church.
The vision divides clearly into two parts. There is a focus upon scenes on the earth and a scene in heaven. The focus is on earth to begin with, v3-8; shifts to heaven, v9-14; and then back to earth again, v27 etc. The clear lesson is that events on earth are linked with those in heaven—another vital part of the theme of this book, the sovereign purposes of God being carried through.
I THE TIME PERIOD THAT IS THE MAIN FOCUS OF THIS VISION.
1. A time-line is developed. The vision as a whole parallels that of Chap 2. However, it is clear that the fourth kingdom is the main focus of Chap 7. The crisis rather than the course of history is in view. It especially relates to the fourth kingdom in its final phase, when it has been resolved into ten kingdoms. Cp v23-24, 2:42-44, Rev 13:1, 17:12-14.
2. A climax. It is a period that climaxes in the sudden pouring out of wrath on the little horn; when the wicked are judged and the saints of God take the Kingdom with Christ, v25-27, 2:44-45. It is a period therefore that leads right up to the end of the age, v11-12, 21-22.
3. Definitely defined. The time in view as Daniel describes these events is precisely defined, v25. Cp 4:16. This is a 3 1/2 year period that culminates in the return of Christ in power and glory (not 1260 years or Nebuchadnezzar’s 7 year period [2520 yrs] of madness would only have ended in the middle of the last century). Cp 12:7, Rev 11:2-3, 12:6, 13:5. It is a time period defined by counting back from Christ’s return.
Continued in Rise and fall of the Antichrist, Pt2. Click here to read.