The Visions Of The Prophet Daniel Part 4 - End Time Prophecies

by Joseph Hunting

Among all the great prophets of Israel none was given a more comprehensive overview of world history than Daniel. His Divinely inspired interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream spanned the rise and fall of world empires from Nebuchadnezzar's reign to the Millennial reign of the Messiah.

Some years later he was given a further revelation which highlighted the rise of the latter-day world ruler who "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" (7:25). This despot, like Hitler, will have an intense hatred of the Jews. Daniel describes him as "a king of fierce countenance . . . and his power shall be mighty" . Thus the prophet describes the end-time world ruler referred to in Scripture as the Antichrist.

In the ninth chapter the angel Gabriel again revealed to Daniel one of the most important prophecies in Scripture – the precise time for the Messiah's first advent and subsequent death. (For details see "Visions of the prophet Daniel" Part 3 , June VINEYARD ).

After fasting for three weeks Daniel was visited again by the angel Gabriel who gave him a detailed ball-by-ball description of future events. "Now am I come to make you understand what shall befall your people (Israel) in the latter days: for the vision is yet for many days" (10:14).

So precise and detailed are the following prophecies that some Bible students believe they were written after the events occurred. That, however, is not the view held by this writer.

In chapter eleven the rise and fall of the three last Persian monarchs is followed by an amazingly accurate description of Alexander's rise to power and the subsequent division of his empire into four kingdoms.

The prophecy then covers the wars between these kingdoms fraught with intrigue, plot and counterplot. Fourteen verses (21 to 34) are devoted to Antiochus Epiphanes, and in verse 32 we get a brief glimpse of the uprising of the Maccabees described in more detail in the Apocrypha (1 Maccabees 44-50). The victory of the Maccabees is still commemorated after two thousand years as Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights. It is also one of Israel's festivals mentioned in the New Testament (John 10:22).


From verse 35 the prophecy is "even to the time of the end" . Gabriel gave Daniel an important clue concerning the Antichrist. He is "the prince that shall come" and he is identified with "the people that shall destroy the city and the sanctuary" , a prophecy fulfilled by the Romans in 70 A.D. (9:26). Just as Gabriel's prophecies to Daniel have had their fulfilment exactly as prophesied there is no reason to doubt that the Antichrist will emerge from one of the countries that made up the Roman empire at the height of its power.

Gabriel also gives another important clue. This "prince" will make a covenant with Israel which will commence the countdown for the last seven years of this age. "And he shall confirm a covenant with the many for one seven (of years), and in the midst of the seven (years) he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease" (9:27).

Just what the covenant will be is not stated. I suspect that it may be connected with the building of the Temple in Jerusalem. Another important clue is that the covenant is made "with the many" . Could this mean that the Moslems (who presently control the Temple Mount) will be included in the agreement, which will enable the Temple to be erected over the Holy of Holies? Only time will supply the answer. An interesting comment in this regard was made by the Messiah Yeshua that throws light on the Temple being rebuilt in Jerusalem. "When you shall therefore see the abomination of desolation (a reference to the Antichrist), spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (a reference to the Temple), then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains; . . . For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be" (Matthew 24:15,16,21).

What was "spoken of by Daniel the prophet" ? The answer is the warning given to Daniel by Gabriel concerning the last days. "And he (the Antichrist) shall plant the tabernacle of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands for the children of your people: and there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time . . . " (11:45; 12:1).


And so Daniel was told to finish his prophecy, but not before Gabriel told him that at the time of the end "many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased" (12:4). It is interesting that both Daniel and Amos refer to men running to and fro. If Daniel's prophecy refers to the acceleration in world-wide travel it is interesting to observe that in all mankind's history until two hundred years ago nothing traveled faster than a horse could gallop. Then came the advent of steam power which transformed traveling time on both land and sea. A hundred years ago a German scientist named Otto invented the internal combustion engine which paved the way for Daniel's prophecy to become a global reality. One has only to spend an hour or two at Heathrow or Los Angeles airports, to name just two international airports, to realize how truly "many shall run to and fro" .

The prophet Amos also speaks of a future time when "I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: and they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it" (Amos 8:11-12) -- a picture of eager searching after God's word and ways -- but too late!

And that was only part of the end-time prediction. "Knowledge shall be increased" leaves one breathless in the contemplation of the knowledge explosion during the past fifty years. Who would have ever thought of men walking on the moon, or the role that computers would play in everyday living? There seems to be no limit to the explosion of knowledge in every realm of human existence.

Daniel's final word for those living in the end-time is: "From the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that makes desolate set up, there shall be a thousand, two hundred and ninety days (Daniel 12:11). Thus, the 490 year time span spoken of by Gabriel in Daniel 9:24 will "finish the transgression, make an end of sins, make reconciliation for iniquity and bring in everlasting righteousness" with the reign of the Messiah on plant earth.