A Preterist View of Daniel 7

I was quite surprised in reading Scot McKnight’s views (read at this link here or click here for entire PDF) to see how he interprets the events of Daniel 7 as being fulfilled in 70 A.D. Here is the next post critiquing the Preterist position.

Early in Scot’s presentation of the actual position, he briefly mentions Daniel 7 in relation to the coming of the Son of Man. The connection is with the use of the title, “Son of Man”. Since Jesus applies the title to Himself, and Daniel used the title for a Messianic figure, the understanding is that Jesus saw Himself as the Son of Man of Daniel 7. I agree completely so far. The issue of debate is whether or not Jesus was strictly referring to events that would occur in 70 A.D. Scot’s quote here gives the same impression that he gives all through his presentation, that Jesus saw it all happening in 70 A.D. along with the destruction of the temple. Here is that early-on quote:

“Jesus mixes Isa. 13:10 and 34:4, “the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the skies will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky/heaven, and then (now quoting Dan. 7:13f) the tribes of the land (not ‘earth’) will beat their breasts in mourning, and they will see the Son of Man ‘coming’ on the clouds of the sky with much power and glory. And the Son of Man will send his angels/messengers with a great trumpet blast, and the Son of Man will gather his elect ones from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other” (Matt. 24:29-31). The End.”

Later, Scot tries to make a connection between the coming of the Son of Man in Daniel 7:13 and Matthew 24:30. The only problem is that Scot has Jesus traveling in the wrong direction. Read this quote:

“Let me begin with the obvious: the word “coming” in Matt. 24:30 translates the Greek word erchomai, a term that means “coming” but not specific with respect to “descending” or “ascending.” To answer the direction of that “coming,” we need to look at the source for Jesus’ comments, and that source is Daniel 7:13 and there was described the ascent of the Son of Man before the Ancient of Days to receive political dominion. I can’t tell you how significant this conclusion is for understanding the prediction of Jesus. The plain sense of these words, because Jesus is so clearly appealing to the Daniel text as somehow fulfilled in the future, is that Jesus sees the words of Matt 24:29-31 as his victorious reception of power as King and ruler over a body of people. Jesus is announcing the fulfillment of Daniel 7, that is his exaltation and authorization with power before God, and not his ‘return’ to earth. That event is in some sense his ‘appearing’ (parousia; 24:3, 27, 37, 39).”

It is true that there is no mention of descending in Matthew 24:30, but there is no mention of ascending either. Scot tries to go back to Daniel 7 to make a point, namely that Jesus is ascending up to heaven as the judgement is occurring. But there is no mention of ascending in the Daniel 7 text either. The Son of Man comes to the Ancient of Days who has taken His seat, so to speak, in order to pronounce judgement on the worldly kingdoms. Yes, Jesus is appealing to the title “Son of Man” and applying it to Himself. The Son of Man of Daniel 7 comes before the Ancient of Days in order to receive His kingdom. But the Son of Man does NOT ascend from earth to heaven to receive that kingdom. In fact, Daniel 7:14 describes that kingdom as occurring here on earth (it includes the nations), so the coming of the Son of Man should have its destination being here on earth.

Scot makes a great point concerning his exaltation and authorization with power before God being the description in Daniel 7 and not his return to earth. But this does not mean it was fulfilled in 70 A.D. or even at Pentecost. Instead, let’s look at the text of Daniel 7 and see the prophecies that must be fulfilled in order for the passage to be in the past. Daniel 7:7, 24 tells us that there will be ten kings at the time of the destruction of the beast of iron. No fulfillment of this has ever been recorded. Secondly, a little horn will appear amongst the ten horns, make war against the saints, and persecute them for three and one half years. No fulfillment of this has ever been recorded. Thirdly, but it’s actually the main point of the vision, the fourth beast must have a consistent interpretation as the other three. It is a secular empire that will be judged at the time of the coming of the Son of Man, and it is none other than the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire was not judged in 70 A.D.

Since Scot has it settled in his mind that the Coming of the Son of Man is actually Jesus ascending to the Father to receive authorization to rule over the church, he jumps to his next conclusion. The cosmic signs are not literal, but metaphorical language for political judgement. Instead of the empire system being judged, Scot has it that Israel is being judged. Here are some clips:

“With the term coming settled, we can ask about the astral phenomena, the mourning, and the gathering of the elect. …astral disasters are celestial metaphors for earthly political disasters – when Israel, when Judah, or when Egypt falls, when a political kingdom collapses, the ancients resort to heavenly phenomena falling, to the sun and moon failing to give their light, that is to cosmic sympathy and correlation. Incidentally, when Pentecost occurred Peter saw what happened as a fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32, and there is absolutely no idea that the sons and daughters speaking was the fulfillment but the astral phenomena yet to come – in fact, the speaking in tongues was simultaneously political disaster for Israel.”

Here’s the part that I just don’t get. Scot has already laid out a sketchy time line for a 70 A.D. fulfillment. The disciples will be persecuted but the gospel will go forth. There will be an abomination of desolation (which Scot equates with being the destruction of the temple). After the abomination of desolation there will be intense persecution. Then after that intense persecution will be the cosmic signs, the Coming of the Son of Man, and the gathering of the elect. So the abomination of desolation begins at 70 A.D. with the great tribulation, coming, and gathering occurring immediately after that, or so I thought. But now Scot is pointing to the events of Pentecost as being the time of fulfillment for the Olivet Discourse. This is a severe. Scot’s whole premise is built upon the fact that Jesus is answering questions about the destruction of the temple and nothing more. But here Scot is giving the interpretation that Jesus was actually speaking of events other than the destruction of the temple.

You cannot believe that the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70 is the abomination of desolation and believe that the Coming of the Son of Man was fulfilled at Pentecost since Jesus has placed the Coming of the Son of Man AFTER the abomination of desolation in His sequence of events. It is truly difficult for me to believe that Scot has a good grasp of what the prophecies of Joel meant in their original context. If the cosmic signs are symbolic for political disaster (which they may be) then it is political disaster upon the Gentile nations which come against Israel, see Joel 3:9-17, but it is Israel’s restoration which is spoken of. See this post here for more.

The view that Daniel 7 was fulfilled in the first century simply does not work. There was no judgement upon the empire of this world (the fourth beast) leading into the age to come. The Roman Empire continued for several centuries after 70 A.D. The little horn never appeared and in John’s writings we read about an antichrist that will yet come. Note: John wrote after the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D. The saints did not receive the kingdom (here on earth) after a time of intense persecution by the little horn. All people, nations, and languages did NOT come to serve the Son of Man in the first century. Daniel 7 awaits a future fulfillment, as does Daniel 2.

Scot points out at different times that the conservative Evangelical view is in need of criticism for its futuristic interpretation of the Olivet Discourse. I would point out that Scot is in need of criticism for his Preterist (past tense) view of Daniel 7. There is no proof that the events that Daniel saw have been consummated. The kingdoms of this age are alive and well and under the influence of Satan. They have not been judged and given to the burning flame. The Coming of the Son of Man of Daniel 7 in order to judge remains yet future as does the Coming of the Son of Man of Matthew 24:29-31.

There are just too many inconsistencies for this view to work.

Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

-The Orange Mailman

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14 Responses to A Preterist View of Daniel 7

  1. Aaron says:

    While I wouldn’t equate the coming of the Son of Man in Daniel 7 with the coming of Matthew 24, it seems clear that the coming of Dan. 7 is a reference to the ascension. The image of the Son of Man being given authority and sovereign power is perfectly mirrored by Ephesians 1:20-21 where Christ is seated above all rule and authority. This begs an easy question. Is Christ currently reigning over all the kingdoms of this earth? I think you bring an assumption into the equation–that when Jesus is truly reigning as King over the earth, there won’t be any opposition to that rule. While Daniel 7 does mention “all peoples, nations, and men” worshipping Jesus, this could be taken two other ways: 1.) The term “all” is typical hyperbolic language found in prophetic literature. (for example, Peter said that Joel’s prophecy that God will pour out his Spirit on “all” people was fulfilled at Pentecost) 2.) The truth is that people from “all” nations will worship Jesus, but this is not a confirmation of universalism. Revelation 5:9,10 speaks of people from every tribe and nation being purchased by Jesus’ blood.

    What is the alternative? That Christ will force every single person to worship him at his coming? That is contrary to everything we know about the character of God. Or, will there only be righteous believers left on the earth (and thus all will worship Jesus)? Even the dispensational view of the end times is contrary to these positions. At the end of the millennial reign, millions of people will show their true attitude toward Jesus by rising in open rebellion and war. Jesus’ reign will not be a time where people are forced to follow him, nor will it be a time where people will be willingly compelled to follow him (if that even makes sense).

    How is Jesus’ Kingdom reign described? As a process of putting his enemies beneath his feet.
    “For he must reign until he has put all enemies under his feet.” I Cor. 15:24. Christ is currently the King of all, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be opposition – just as rebellious knights or vassals opposed to an earthly king wouldn’t mean the king is not the ruler.

    Jesus did remove the authority of the earthly rulers when he died and ascended to the Father’s side. This was primarily achieved by the judgment placed upon Satan (John 16:11) – the one who gave authority to the beasts.

    • That’s just not going to work because the ten horned beast is destroyed at that time. When Christ ascended, there was no ten kingdom confederacy here on the earth. And later John would receive a revelation that the destruction of the ten horned beast was yet future at the end of a 42 month reign, which has not yet occurred. So you could pick out one little aspect of Daniel 7 and try to make a case, but when one looks at the overall picture, it just doesn’t work. Thanks for the response though.

      Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

      -The Orange Mailman

      • Aaron says:

        For clarity, do you think the coming referred to in vs. 13 is the second coming of Christ? If so, how do you reconcile this with the clear statement that Christ “came up to the Ancient of Days”?

        It doesn’t say the ten horned beast is destroyed at Christ’s coming. Daniel sees the vision in stages. After Daniel sees the Ancient of Days with the open book it says “I kept looking until the beast was slain.” There is an undeniable, but unspecified period of time that passes between the court scene and the destruction of the beast. At other times when Daniel says “after this I kept looking” there is clear extended period of time between events, particularly between the rising of each beast. You could say the time that passed was 1 day or 10 days – but you don’t have any contextual reason for saying I’m wrong if I say the time that passed was 200 years.

        What is clear is that the beast’s dominion is taken away when Christ received all power and authority (vs. 26) – but there is direct indication that the kingdoms are not completely obliterated when their dominion is taken away.

        “as for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time” (vs. 12)

        The vision makes no mention of a ten kingdom confederacy. The ten horns are ten kings from one single kingdom. “The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom” (vs. 23) not ten separate kingdoms.

        While we could squabble on how the details of the beasts might have matched the details of past kingdoms, the visions of Daniel 2 and 7 are very clear on some important points. 1.) There would be four earthly kingdoms until the Kingdom of God is set up. 2.) The Babylonian empire was the first of the four kingdoms.

        From this information and the record of history it is not controversial to label the fourth beast as the Roman empire. Revelation 17:9 says the seven heads of this beast are seven mountains. Roman writers commonly referred to Rome as the city on seven hills. But most informative is the fact that Jesus came during the Roman empire. John the Baptist said the Kingdom of God was at hand. And when Jesus came he said the Kingdom was in their midst.

        What do you think the fourth empire is?

      • The ten horns are all from a single kingdom, true, and are seen all at the same time. Therefore the ten kings are contemporary from the same empire and can be termed a ten nation confederacy. In fact, a little horn arises among the ten horns (which all exist at the same time within that empire framework) and subdues three out of those ten in his rise to power. These events precede the destruction of the beast and no history can be corroborated to demonstrate that they occurred.

        It is true that an extended period of time is spoken of since the previous three empires are allowed to continue, but this is unclear as to how long the other three are allowed to continue. Are they allowed to continue after the beast with great iron teeth stamps them and digests them? Then when the beast is judged their ultimate time is up? But it is obvious that the Ancient of Days is sitting to render judgment as the thrones are being cast down. This is the destruction of the beast issued by divine decree from heaven. The Son of Man receives His kingdom from the Ancient of Days and begins to reign.

        You can read many of my views on Daniel at this link here. Thanks for the comment.


        Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

        -The Orange Mailman

  2. Aaron says:

    Just because the ten horns all appear at the same time in the vision, there is no interpretive rule that says the 10 kings must exist at the same time in order for there to be a proper fulfillment. (Think how long the vision would have been if God depicted one horn rising after another in succession.) Unless you can give me a reason why God would not use a comprehensive picture of a single beast with 10 horns to depict a single empire over a long period of time, why should I adhere to your particular interpretation?

    I can think of several reasons why I shouldn’t side with your interpretation.

    1.) We have an example of a beast with two horns (the ram of Daniel 8:3) where each horn represents more than one king and none of the kings exist at the same time. Daniel 8:20 says the kings represent the kings of Media and Persia. This wasn’t a two king confederacy. (in fact each horn represents the MANY kings of Media and Persia). When Cyrus conquered Media he didn’t share the kingdom with any other horns.

    2.) The legs and feet of the statue represent a single kingdom. Their is no literal indicator that there should be a span of 2000+ years between the legs and the feet. I don’t understand how you could call a future confederacy of 10 kingdoms to be a continuation of the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire is finished. There is no remnant of such an empire today. Any future large empires would not be the same empire – even if it was called the Roman Empire. Your only move here is to say that the future empire is a spiritual representation of the Roman Empire, and hence depart from your strict literalism.

    The interpretation we are given says that the iron legs represent one facet of this single kingdom (the crushing power of iron) while the divided feet represent another facet of the same kingdom (strong parts and weak parts) – with both facets being in operation simultaneously. There is no indication that there is a long gap between the two facets – there is every literal indication that they exist at the same time.

    3.) The fourth beast of Daniel 7 had ten horns from the moment of its appearing. Your interpretation suggests that you can separate the initial appearance of the beast from a later appearance of the beast with ten horns, but you have no interpretive grounds for doing so. The text doesn’t say that. The beast has ten horns when it devours the other beasts. The only progression specified is another horn that pops up among them. This detail presents other problems for your view. It says the little horn will subdue three kings. What about the other 7 horns? According to a literal interpretation, they are not subdued. Does your eschatological view allow for 7 kings ruling along side the anti-christ?

    A historical interpretation of these events recognizes a series of rulers of the Roman empire beginning with the first dictator of Rome – Julius Caesar. Depending on whether or not you count Marc Antony, the 11th horn could be Vespasian or Titus. The Roman invasion of Israel did last 42 months, from April 67 to the end of August 70.

    • This is a classic example of wanting history to fit the prophecy so bad that the original prophecy is ignored in favor of an interpretation. First off, there is absolutely no reason why not to see the ten horns as existing at the same time since they do so on the great iron beast. Three kings are simultaneously subdued by one little horn as it arises. These three kings do not cease to exist or cease to reign. The text does not say this. They are brought low, subdued, made humble. The final result is that all ten kings are still there reigning with the little horn among them.

      This corroborates with the book of Revelation. In Revelation 17 we have an explanation of the ten horns. The ten horns are ten kings which all give their power to the beast at the same time, see Revelation 17:13. In fact, at the time of John’s vision, none of these ten kings had even begun to reign as of yet, see Revelation 17:12. These ten kings together hate the woman sitting on the beast and together burn her with fire, see Revelation 17:16-17. But now let’s look at your objections.

      #1~ The beast with two horns in Daniel 8:3-4 was a two king confederacy. Josephus testifies that Darius the Mede (the son of Astyages) and Cyrus the Persian began to rule at the same time. At first Darius seemed to have more dominance, but later the Persians gained the dominance in the empire hence modern history regards it as the Persian Empire. The vision is accurate in that one horn came up first, both existed at the same time, and the horn that came up last became the more dominant of the two. Further, the male goat had four horns in the latter portion of the vision. These four horns are seen together and represent the four divisions of the Greek Empire after the death of Alexander the Great. Cross referencing the vision of the third beast in Daniel 7:6, we see that the leopard having four heads is accurate. Even though the division of four did not appear until its final form, the vision was true. In like manner, even though the great iron beast will not have the division of ten kingdom until its final form, it is still completely accurate.

      #2~ There is a division between the two sections of the statue. It is the same kingdom, yet two different portions of its existence. This is why the iron section is considered strong and breaking all things in pieces. Yet then the description of the iron and clay mixture is given separately. The kingdom which was previously strong would be divided having some of the strength of iron and some of the weakness of men. It is in the days of this divided kingdom that the entire colossus is struck thereby defeating the entire system as a whole. The Rock is Christ. He smites the colossus at once. He is the One who will reign because the Rock becomes a kingdom here on this earth because the Stone becomes a mountain. Iraq, Iran, Greece, Rome, all of these still exist in some way having not been completely defeated allowing sinful government to continue. While a long gap cannot be seen in the statue itself, I have no choice but to believe in a future literal fulfillment because the fulfillment of the past aspects were fulfilled so literally.

      #3~ While the fourth beast of Daniel 7 has ten horns from the moment of its appearing, this does not mean that the Roman Empire was not in view. It is the Roman Empire, but in its final form just before it is destroyed by a divine judgment issued by the Ancient of Days. The Roman Empire continued for many centuries beyond its confines of the entity that overtook the Greek Empire. It never had ten kings ruling simultaneously. Yet the same could have been said of the Greek Empire. When Alexander the Great began to rule, some could have scoffed and said it was not a fulfillment of Daniel 7. Yet in its final form it completely fulfilled the prophecy in every literal way conforming to the symbolism. So there are no problems presented for my view. The little horn arises among the ten horns which are yet future. Three are subdued, but the other seven do not need to be subdued. The interpretation will be given later in the book of Daniel which presents a dark ominous figure who will commit an abomination of desolation, exalt himself above every god, but will still meet his decreed end. Again, all ten horns (after three are subdued) are seen in the book of Revelation together giving their power to the beast, who is the eighth king after a series of seven, see Revelation 17:11. The 42 months of Revelation 13:5 is against the saints, not against unbelieving Israel like the campaign of Vespasian and Titus.

      Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

      -The Orange Mailman

  3. Aaron says:

    Don’t you think that if you had ten kings reigning simultaneously, that you would also have ten kingdoms? How then can they also be one kingdom? A league of ten kingdoms does not equate to a single kingdom. The same beast of Revelation also had 7 heads, which also represent 7 kings. Of these 7 kings, it says five have fallen (died) and one was ruling at the time of John’s writing. How does this fit into your view? This betrays your notion that when a beast has a number of something (heads, horns) that they must all exist at the same time – it also betrays the idea that this beast is a future version of the Roman empire, because some of the heads were past tense to John. Or do you suppose that there is a gap of 2000+ years between head 6 and 7, not to mention hundreds of other heads who would have ruled in the midst of that gap?

    1.) I read some of Josephus’ accounts, and I don’t see where he says Darius and Cyrus began to rule at the same time, and that Darius seemed to be more dominant at first. My brief research indicates that Cyrus initiated the Persian empire when he dethroned Astyages as king of the Median empire. Cyrus governed the kingdom through the aid of some of the deposed rulers of the Median empire, including Astyages and Darius. It sounds like Darius was given a portion of the kingdom to rule over, especially the throne of Babylon after it was conquered. Perhaps it is true that Darius was given a place of prominent rule on the exact same day that Cyrus took control of the Median empire – but Cyrus was still the main king. Furthermore, it sounds like Darius died 2 years after he given a place of rulership. If the shorter horn is Darius, why is it that he is depicted as being present when the kingdom is destroyed by the next beast? Why also are the succeeding rulers of the Persian empire not represented by any additional horns?

    Your interpretation doesn’t fit the details because Daniel 8:3 says the longer horn arose AFTER the shorter horn. If the shorter horn is Darius and the longer horn is Cyrus – this would indicate that Darius was ruling before Cyrus arose (which betrays your statement that they arose at the same time – and it betrays the testimony of history). On the other hand, it makes more sense to see the shorter horn as representing the Median empire as a whole, and the longer horn representing the Persian empire as a whole.

    2.) Yes the areas of Greece and Rome exist today – but they are not the same kingdoms as they once were. The only similarity is the persistence of their ancient name. A kingdom is not defined by a geographical region – nor is it defined by a genetically related people group. A kingdom is defined by a system of government and a lineage of rulers who uphold that system of government. The ancient system of Greek and Roman government have long since vanished. Consider the alternative – by this definition, the United States should be considered a continuation of the Native American kingdom, because they ruled here in the past. Or, the US should be considered a branch of the Kingdom of England, because it was settled by people from England.

    3.) “The 42 months of Revelation 13:5 is against the saints, not against unbelieving Israel like the campaign of Vespasian and Titus.”

    Yes, that is true. Although, the 42 months of Revelation appears to be a different event, where the Jews are the recipients of the attacks.

    A historical viewpoint notices that Nero’s campaign of tribulation against Christians was 42 months from the time Rome was burnt in 64 AD til Nero’s death in 68 AD.

    Matching exact historical events and people with the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation certainly isn’t my specialty. I do find many preterist based historical scenarios to be compelling – but I am primarily compelled by the contents of Scripture. I would rather base by interpretation of the symbolic aspects of the visions on the clear information stated by Daniel and Jesus, particularly Jesus’ statement about the Kingdom being present when he was on the earth.

    I’m still curious to hear your answer about why Daniel says the Son of Man came UP to the Ancient of Days…

    • A kingdom can hold many smaller kingdoms within it, as Ezra 1:1-3 shows. Esther 1:1 terms them provinces. Each of the four beasts in Daniel 7 conquered multiple countries and added them to their empire. They would have rulers in place underneath an ultimate ruler, such as King Herod beneath Caesar Augustus who was emperor.

      The Medo-Persian Empire was fulfilled exactly how the vision of Daniel 8 prophesied it would be. First off, note that the Bible states that it was Darius the Mede that took the kingdom from Belshazzar, see Daniel 5:31. Darius is the one who set 120 satraps over the kingdom to govern it, and 3 overseers over them. Yet we see that it was a dual kingdom (of sorts) because the satraps and presidents refer to the law of the Medes and Persians, see Daniel 6:8, 15. The Medes are placed first here because they are more prominent. However, a short time later, Ahasuerus the king of Persia is recorded of having the power of Persia and Media (another reference to the duality of the empire) in Esther 1:3. The seven princes are referred to as being of Persia and Media, see Esther 1:14, but see how the order of prominence has changed. Persia is now placed first because the horn which came up last is now more dominant.

      This is what Josephus has to say about the Medo-Persian Empire from Jewish Antiquities 10:249. “Although he was full of dread at this revelation, Belshazzar did not withhold the gifts he had promised Daniel. But soon afterward, both he and Babylon were captured by Cyrus of Persia, and this was the end of Nebuchadnezzar’s descendants. Now Darius the Mede was the son of Astyages, who ended Babylonian rule along with his relative, Cyrus. He took Daniel to his own palace in Media and honored him as one of the three principal satraps in the land.” The Median Empire preceded the rise of Cyrus, who after gaining control, termed himself the King of Persia. But the Median Empire was in place first thus showing how even though it was a dual type kingdom, one aspect was more dominant at first, then the second aspect became more dominant toward the end. But it was essentially one empire with provinces within that empire.

      As far as the seven headed ten horned beast of Revelation 13, scripture explains in detail what these heads and horns symbolize. With the heads, we have a succession of one kingdom after another. Five are past, one is present, and one is future which will be for a short time, then an eighth after that. So it is obvious that there is progression. With the ten horns, however, it is obvious that they all exist at the same time. The ten horns together give their power unto one man, the eighth king, the beast. At the time of John’s vision, none of the ten kings had received any authority as of yet, see Revelation 17:12. They will receive authority with the beast (the eighth king) for a brief period of time with him, see revelation 17:12 again. They will give their authority unto this beast, see Revelation 17:13. The ten kings also hate the woman and together burn her, see Revelation 17:16, which destruction is lamented in Revelation 18. So it is obvious with the ten horns that we do NOT have a succession, but ten contemporary rulers all in a confederacy of sorts.

      Further, Daniel prophesies that the three previous beasts will be devoured by the fourth beast. The three previous beasts have the characteristics of lion, bear, and leopard. When we see the vision of the beast from the sea (Mediterranean Sea just like the beasts in Daniel 7) in Revelation 13, we see the three characteristics of lion, bear, and leopard all within the being of this beast with ten horns. There is continuity between the dragon of Revelation 12 and the beast of Revelation 13, but the crowns have been transferred from the seven heads to the ten horns showing the authority is now vested in the ten kings rather than an empire as a whole. So what Daniel envisioned as future John sees as fulfilled in the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire had engulfed the previous empires within its being. Now all that awaited was the appearance of a ten nation confederacy within the bounds of that empire. Three kings would be subdued, then all ten would give their power unto one man thus fulfilling the prophecy.

      The kingdom was present in the ministry of Christ and the apostles. Yet Christ stated that He would leave and return, Luke 19:11-27. During that absence His followers must be about the business of the kingdom. The apostles understood that the time of refreshing would not come until the return of Christ from heaven to earth, see Acts 3:19-21, which incidentally occurs after the repentance of Israel. As for my answer to the Son of Man supposedly coming up to the Ancient of Days, that is answered in my post above. And feel free to read my other post on the book of Daniel as a whole. Thanks for the comment.

      Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

      -The Orange Mailman

      • Aaron says:

        There are obviously some things we will never see eye to eye on. Although I was raised in a dispensational church and believed that end-time scenario most of my life, I haven’t really begun to research the dispensational details until I was confronted with another approach to certain scriptures. So, if anything, this has helped me get a clearer picture of the dispensational details.

        Your Josephus quote proves the point that it was Cyrus who was the chief leader who conquered Babylon. He was in charge before and above Darius. It sounds like Darius took over the area of Babylon when it was given to his control by Cyrus – which is why Daniel says Darius took the kingdom from Nebuchadnezzar.

        As far as the beast of Rev 13 and 17 – it doesn’t say the 7 heads are 7 kingdoms, it says they are 7 kings.

        I am confused on your interpretation of the dragon of Rev 12. Is this not a picture of Satan?
        And if so, what do you suppose the 7 heads and 10 horns of Satan represent? Clearly not kings or kingdoms – but perhaps they are symbolic numbers regarding Satan’s character.

        Are you saying that the Kingdom left when Jesus left?

        One key verse that I think goes against the dispensational view is I Cor. 15:23-28. It says that when Christ comes, then will come the end when Christ delivers up the kingdom to the Father. Christ does not take the throne of the Kingdom at his second coming – he gives over the Kingdom to the Father. This means that Christ is currently reigning as King of the Kingdom (which includes the earth) and is putting into subjection those things that he has already been given authority over.

        Do you think it is going to take a thousand years for Christ to put all enemies under his feet? There is certainly a progression indicated here.

        The last area you hinted on that we surely disagree on, and which got the ball rolling in my head regarding a changing of my dispensational beliefs is the nature of Israel. Galatians 4:21-30 is very clear that the natural, fleshly sons of Abraham “shall not be heir” of the promises.

      • Hello there. Just to let you know, I am not a dispensationalist, I am a Historic Premillennialist. I tend toward Futurism but where the scriptures are clear that a Historicist or Preterist approach is necessary, I concede to those points of view. In fact, the post you are commenting on was part of a larger series on Preterism that I did. Some Preterists liked it so much that they posted links to it on their website.

        Revelation 12 shows Satan, but this is Satan as he has worked through governmental systems throughout history. The final system that Satan will use has ten kingdoms, so that is why Satan is pictured having the ten horns. Yet the crowns are not on those ten horns when we see Satan in Revelation 12. When we come to Revelation 13, the crowns have been transferred from the seven heads to the ten horns showing that the final kingdom that he will utilize has come with the power of the devil now present in those ten kingdoms that give their power to the one man, the eighth king, who is the beast that ascends from the bottomless pit.

        The kingdom did not leave when Jesus left. The work of the kingdom is now. But the kingdom is yet future in some sense because the language that Jesus used has not been literally fulfilled, see Matthew 8:10-12, 25:31-32, 26:29, 64 for some examples.

        I Corinthians 15 ~ I tend toward the classic Premillennialist interpretation. The coming (parousia) spoken of in verse 23 is when they that are Christ’s will receive their resurrection bodies. He must reign (beginning at the parousia which is a term used of physical presence of dignitaries) until all enemies are put under His feet, at which time will come the end. Presently Christ is excepted from all things being put under Him, but one day that will not be the case. Death will not be destroyed until after the thousand years according to Revelation 20:11-15. Isaiah 65 pictures a kingdom with death diminished but not ultimately defeated. Psalm 72 pictures the reign of the Messiah which will be here on earth, and we will reign here on earth with Him, see Revelation 5:10, but that is definitely future after the first resurrection, see Revelation 20:4-6.

        As far as the relationship between the nation of Israel and the church, I would check out my series on Jeremiah’s Covenant Revelation. It would take a bit to read the whole thing, but The Continuation of Ethnic Israel Distinctions will most likely answer that particular aspect of where I stand.


        Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

        -The Orange Mailman

  4. Aaron says:

    Matt. 8:11-12 Reclining at the table with Abraham, etc. could be a symbolic reference to the gentiles partaking in the inheritance of Abraham through Jesus. Even if it is a literal picture which hasn’t literally happened yet, this doesn’t mean that the Kingdom hasn’t fully come. This is a picture of what will yet happen in the Kingdom that has now come. Interesting though that sons of the kingdom will be cast out into darkness – is this not a reference to the natural born Jews being cut off from inheriting the kingdom?

    I don’t doubt that the Kingdom of God that exists now will undergo progression – even Jesus said his Kingdom rule will be a process. But this doesn’t mean that the Kingdom of God is not fully here now.

    I do agree that Matt 25:31 is the future final judgement – but even though the sheep will inherit the Kingdom, it doesn’t mean that the same Kingdom is not here now, although undoubtedly in a lesser developed state than will be on the final day. In a similar vein, we will inherit eternal life (Matt 19:29), but we also currently have eternal life (John 3:36). The eternal life will look a little different at the end, but it is no less real right now.

    Matt. 26:29 does not point to the Kingdom of Daniel 2 being a future Kingdom. The Kingdom of Daniel 2 can be here right now, yet Jesus is just saying that at some future point in this Kingdom he will drink the wine.

    Matt. 26:64 is a classic preterist text – since it says the high priest who accused Jesus will see Jesus sitting at the right hand and coming on the clouds. If Jesus didn’t do those things in the priest’s lifetime, this wouldn’t make any sense. It is interesting that Jesus is sitting AND coming, presumably at the same time. If coming in the clouds is imagery of judgment (as the preterist can list several examples of this being the case) then the priest truly did see it. A similar passage is Revelation 14:16 where Jesus is sitting on a cloud AND using his sickle to judge the land at the same time.

    What is your picture of the future Kingdom? Will Jesus crush all the kingdoms of the earth in a single blow and start ruling from Jerusalem? Will he initiate peace and justice in a single day? How long will it take him to bring rebellious people into submission?

    How do you reconcile the prosperity pictured in Isaiah 65 where there will no longer be crying with Psalm 72 where people will be crying for help, people will face affliction, and will face oppression and violence? Also, how do you reconcile the fact that Isaiah 65 is a picture of the new heavens and new earth, yet Revelation 21 puts the new heavens and new earth as happening after the millennial reign?

    • Jesus told a parable to correct those who thought that the kingdom of God would immediately appear. It’s found in Luke 19:11-27. The nobleman (Jesus) has gone into the far country. Only after he returns has He received the kingdom to reign over its citizens. But the kingdom work is going on right now. II Timothy 4:1 places the judgment, the appearing of Christ, and the kingdom all together, all future. Plus, I’m a student of Ladd. The kingdom is more of a relationship than a state of being. Why get caught up in future versus present? It’s both/and. So you can point to scriptures that place the kingdom in our midst. I’m not going to dispute it. But there are a significant portion of scriptures that tell us that the kingdom is future. At the seventh trumpet the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of God and of His Christ, see Revelation 11:15.

      What does that future kingdom look like? Perhaps Exodus 15:15-18, Deuteronomy 30:1-10, Psalm 72, Micah 4:1-7, Isaiah 35, and Jeremiah 23:5-8 would be a good start for my views. Prosperity in Isaiah 65 is in Jerusalem. Psalm 72 explains the relationship of the Messiah to the entire earth, a King of kings. He will forcibly cause wars to cease, see Psalm 46:9 in context. Gentile nations will see the wisdom of God going forth from Mount Zion and will seek Him out, see Isaiah 2:2-4, Zechariah 8:20-23, and Isaiah 49:22.

      In Matthew 26:64 Jesus addresses a group of people when He states, “Hereafter ye shall see the Son of Man…” The KJV shows it to be the plural you because it is translated as ye which is the second person plural. So Jesus is not talking to one person. Earlier He addressed the high priest singular because that is translated as “thou hast said” which is second person singular. What Jesus is doing is shifting from the high priest to the nation of Israel as a whole. He used language similar to this in Matthew 23:39 when He said, “Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, ‘Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the LORD.'” So even though a remnant had cried out these very praises as Jesus entered Jerusalem, Jesus addresses the nation of Israel as a whole stating, “until YOU ALL say ‘blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD’, you all won’t see Me until that time.” So it’s fairly weak to insist that the high priest had to see Jesus coming when Jesus was using a word for a plural group of people when He made that statement.

      The Son of Man coming on a cloud in Revelation 14:14-16 is the therismos harvest. That word therismos is used for the gathering of souls into the kingdom of God at the end of the age, see Matthew 13:39. Until then, the wheat and tares are growing together. The final separation is performed at that time as He comes again from heaven to earth. Shortly after, those who are harvested are seen safely before the throne of God, Revelation 15:2, while those on the earth suffer the wrath of God during the bowl sequence, see Revelation 16.

      Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

      -The Orange Mailman

  5. AI says:

    The Roman Empire had a seat of government in York, which later extended to America. This is why America uses an eagle insignia and has a domed capital. The Vatican could also be seen as a continuation of Rome, while most people connect it to the harlot. However, Edward Gibbons states that the early Christians viewed the Roman Empireas the harlot of Babylon. At any rate, since there are only four beasts in Daniel, I would think Britain and America are manifestations of the same beast. All three are capitalistic-usury based systems.

  6. Steve Smith says:

    I see Daniel 7 as future and not a retelling of Daniel 2. Working within the Bible only I’ve come to this conclusion:

    The lion with eagle’s wings is Jerusalem, and the eagle’s wings is God’s protection. Once the wings are plucked, then the midpoint, great tribulation begins, i.e. the restrainer is removed, Michael the archangel. Judah is compared with a lion early on in Genesis. After the wings are removed their heart turns from a lion’s heart into a man’s heart, a downgrade, as they follow the antichrist. Remember, God gives credence to the temple and the sacrifices, the Mosaic covenant, but the antichrist defiles everything, by removing the sacrifices, claiming to be God in the temple, and having a statue of himself there.

    The bear is the antichrist’s influence on the world. People will worship and kill for him, those who refuse to obey. The times, time, and half a time, is first mentioned in Daniel 7 a few verses after the bear. I believe the 3 ribs represents times, time, and half a time. They are told to eat your fill of flesh, i.e. the great tribulation.

    The leopard is Jordan. The wings on the leopard are God’s protection, which is why the antichrist can’t conquer them in Daniel 11. Ammorites, Ammon, Moab, and Edom, are the 4 heads. The house of the leopard in Scripture is the area of Ammorites and Moab, that was conquered by Israel. Of course Jordan won’t be perfect, as God mentions to not hand over Israel’s survivors in the day of their distress, and Jesus will come to Edom and stains his with blood, i.e. judgment on Edom.

    The last kingdom is the one the antichrist comes from. Scripture makes it clear he comes from the four divisions of Alexander’s empire, Greece. It appearsthe western part, due to Muslims dominating the rest today. Interestingly the WEU, had 10 nations, and Greece was a part of it. So some type of union of 10 kings / nations, in which the antichrist is the 11th king who subdues 3. Also interestingly, the EU now wants an army of its own, which may very well be the army the antichrist controls one day. I also see the iron and bronze reference, besides referring to a strong quality of the kingdom, referring back to Daniel 2, Rome & Greece, i.e. the western part of Alexander’s empire, we should be looking towards.

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