The Books of Revelation and Daniel contain many prophecies concerning future events, at least from the standpoint of each of the writers of these two books. Future beast kingdoms that rule the earth concern both books in profound ways. Consider, for example, Daniel chapters 4 and 7 and Revelation 11:7, 13:1-18; 14:8-11; 15:1-2; 16:1-2, 10, 13; 17:3, 7-18; 19:19-20; 20:4, 10. We believe that we now stand at the time of the fulfillment of these prophecies. I believe that one of the clearest proofs for this is that the historical record proves that Adam was created a few years over 6,000 years ago and that we have now entered the seventh day (7th thousand year period of man’s history), the prophetic day of rest.
Before reading the rest of this article, please read all of Daniel chapter 4. Now run your Bible program and do two searches, one for “seven times,” and one for “seven years.” You will find many examples of both, but you will not find one verse that says that seven times equals seven years. Yet how many times have you heard that Nebuchadnezzar spent “seven years” in the wilderness? If you find that verse, please email me to tell me where it is. Consider the following passage from Daniel 4.
At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon. The king spoke, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty? While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken; The kingdom has departed from you. And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make you to eat grass like oxen, and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever he will. The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws. And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up my eyes unto heaven, and my understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honored him that lives forever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: (Daniel 4:29-34 KJ2000)
I believe that chapter 4 of Daniel gives a long term prophecy of the “beast kingdom” called Mystery Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar, of course, was the first king of ancient Babylon that transformed that nation into a world empire. His dream foretells that the heads of the world political system would become as a beast of the field for “seven times.” By the end of those seven times, according to God’s reckoning, the beast’s hair would become as “eagles’ feathers” and his nails like “birds’ claws.”
The phrase “seven times” probably, then, does not speak of a future seven year period of time. The phrase seems to be prophetic language for the entire period of time of man’s authority over the world, from Adam until the end of the Beast Kingdom’s authority. Likewise, the passages in Revelation dealing with “time, times, and half a time,” “42 months” and “1260 days” probably are not literal periods of time, but relate to a portion of the “seven times” mentioned in Daniel. Clearly, most passages in the prophetic books cannot be taken literally. Why would we then consider the time periods to be literal? Also, does this passage from Daniel 4 prophetically speak of the United States, the nation symbolized by the great eagle? And do birds’ claws show that this great eagle, the symbol of Mystery Babylon, rules in the end by demonic power?
Now consider the four beast kingdoms of Daniel 7. According to that Scripture these beast kingdoms rule until the end of the age of the Gentiles (age of man) when the Ancient of Days destroys the fourth kingdom. After that the other kingdoms still exist, but they no longer possess their dominion and authority. These kingdoms will thus continue under the authority of the Kingdom of God that Jesus establishes at that time. This appears to mean that the governmental manifestation of Mystery Babylon at the end of Gentile world history will be utterly destroyed, but that the time of national governments will be extended. Their power is limited, however, because they must then submit to the authority of God’s government through his overcoming saints. These are the saints who rule with a rod of iron, the scepter of Christ’s justice and mercy.
It is then that the remaining beast kingdoms acknowledge that the Most High rules, that He lives forever, that his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and that his kingdom is from generation to generation. This is the yet future period of time when the knowledge of the LORD shall fill the earth as the waters cover the sea!
Let us continue on the narrow path toward that Kingdom so that we may be accounted worthy to rule there with Jesus our LORD.