In Daniel 7, four beasts are described, that are easily identified with the four successive world dominating cultures of Babylon, the Medes and Persians, the Greeks, and the Romans.
In the fourth beast, representing the Roman empire, there were ten horns. Among them a little horn emerged, having eyes like the eyes of a man. Daniel was especially interested in it, and said that this horn made war with the saints.
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.
Daniel said the little horn would subdue three kings, which must be referring to events that occurred in the days of the ancient Roman empire. The horn was to remain to the end of the age, spanning a period of time called “a time and times and the dividing of time.”
And 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 “thinks to change times and laws,” and the time represented by the “time and times and the dividing of time” is a notable target. The human-like eyes in this horn suggest that it represents a human point of view, that opposes the divine point of view. In Isaiah, God says his ways are not man’s ways, and his thoughts are not man’s thoughts.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
The little horn represents an earth-bound, limited point of view. The natural, human viewpoint has dominated the saints, and it has hindered them from understanding prophecy.
Jesus said, heaven is God’s throne, and earth is his footstool. The normal units of time, such as day, month, year, are all earth-bound. God dwells in heaven, the entire universe. Should we assume that for God, time always depends upon the earth’s period of rotation, or the monthly orbit of the moon, or the earth’s orbit around the sun, as it does for us?
In the 70 weeks prophecy, the time to the arrival of the Messiah is given in terms of earthly units, that are measured by years, both sabbatical cycles of seven years, and cycles of leap years. And the ministry of Jesus and John the Baptist evidently spanned a period of three and a half years, the first part of the 70th week. Jesus ascended to heaven, and he reigns on David’s throne in the heavenly Jerusalem, where earth units no longer apply. The last half-week in the 70th week is not a natural three and a half years, but it is symbolic, and spans the whole age of the church. The church age is represented by the series of bars below. The various prophetic numbers given to represent the time, times and a half are also shown, in declining order. All of the periods terminate at the end of the age. They show that the remaining of the little horn's influence is decreasing.
|Time, times and a half|
|3 ½ days|
The numbers show a progressively smaller time remains. The 42 months works out to about 1240 days, as a lunar month is a little less than 30 days. The 3 ½ days at the end of the age is the time during which the two witnesses lie as corpses in the street of the great city called Sodom and Egypt. [Revelation 11:8] This city represents worldly society. It is not the earthly Jerusalem, because Jesus was crucified “without the gate.” [Hebrews 13:12]
The little horn attacks the truth about the “time, times, and a half” that is presented above, by saying either it has already ended, in the first century, which is preterism, or that it is yet future, as claimed by dispensationalism. Other things that belong to the saints are their identity, and their place. In Revelation 12, the saints are represented by the woman, who has a place prepared by God, where she is nourished for “a time, times, and a half.” The wilderness is her “place.”
And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
The woman’s place is prepared by God, which is stated in verse 6. This indicates that the church’s history has been working out a divine plan. The biblical scholarship of past centuries has now become widely available through the Internet. The present is a time of opportunity. The two wings of an eagle given to the woman represent an understanding of prophecy, as with the wings of eagles, she is equipped to soar high above the earth and view things from above, which represents a divine perspective, one that is not dominated by the horn having eyes like the eyes of a man, which represents the natural human perspective.
The little horn also seeks to deny the woman’s identity; she is “the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven,” [Hebrews 11:23] and the heavenly Jerusalem. She is pictured by the group standing on mount Sion together with Christ, in Revelation 14:1; these are the ones who are sealed with the spirit of God, who are called “the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb,” and they are identified with the 12 tribes of Israel. But the little horn denies this, as dispensationalist Ford Cyrinde Ottman did, in his commentary on Revelation, where he sought to apply these prophecies to the Jews.
Copyright © 2011, 2013 by Douglas E. Cox
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