As we consider the times in which we are living, have you ever wondered about the connection of our lives and the lives of the fathers’ who journeyed in the desert. It is my conviction that we may possibly be the generation which will be alive to witness the return of the Lord.
I also understand, that each generation that lived possibly believed the same thing. You see, the “blessed hope” of the second advent has always served as an anchor for the followers of Christ. The difference with this generation is the number and rapid pace in which the signs of His coming are taking place.
The books of Daniel and Revelation contain information regarding the unfolding and timing of events over the course of human history. One interesting thing I learned along the way is that “prophecy is history in advance and history is prophecy fulfilled”. Isn’t that an interesting thought? So when we read the chronicles of history, we are reading the surety of God’s prophetic plan. Holding this view enables us to rest assured in the promise of God, who created the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them”.
When Daniel received his visions of the coming kingdoms, the angelic messenger instructed him;
‘but thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” (Dan 12:4)
Please note that he was instructed to seal up the words, because they were for the time of the end, yet at that time, knowledge would be increased.
This was not only knowledge in general, but knowledge of the understanding of the prophecies. We will return to this point later, but remember that according to the messenger, knowledge would be increased. The book of Daniel has been unsealed for for a few hundred years and in fact, was instrumental in the work of the reformers since the 16th century.
When John received the revelation of Jesus, the message was quite different. Wheras Daniel was told to “seal the book”, He was instructed “seal not up the words of the prophecy of this book; for the time is at hand.” (Rev 22:10) One way to understand this difference is that Revelation and Daniel are companion books. They are like two book ends holding the rest of the scriptures together. Revelation is the key to unlocking Daniel and vice versa. These two books should be studied together and used to interpret each other.
This may be a new approach for some, so let me provide an illustration using the symbol of the antichrist power. Let’s examine the below chart.
Antichrist Power: Revelation 13
|Four beasts from the Sea. vs.3||Four Beasts in one from sea. vs.1, 2|
|Lion. vs.4||Lion vs.2|
|Bear. vs.5||Bear. vs.2|
|Leopard. vs.6||Leopard. vs.2|
|Ten horned beast vs.7||Ten horned beast. vs.1|
|Mouth Speaking great things. vs.8||Mouth Speaking great things. vs.5|
|Makes war with the Saints. vs.21||Makes war with the Saints. vs.7|
|Power for 3.5 years = 42 Months. vs.25||Power for 42 Months. vs.5|
Most bible prophecy can be understood by comparing Revelation with the Old Testament and the book of Daniel in particular. These similarities are not a coincidence. God deliberately concealed many things like this so that they would not be seen until the time of the end. This applies to mostly all prophecies involving the book of Daniel and Revelation. They are speaking of the same events but emphasizing different aspects and bringing out more detail.
The same holds true for the books individually. The chapters sometime repeat themselves but go into more detail. This is one of the reasons that so much confusion and I may add fanciful interpretations abounds regarding these texts. Alternately, by understanding historically what the symbols mean in Daniel, the Revelation becomes road-map for the end-times that Jesus intended for it to be.
Think on these things.