Legs of Iron, part 6

The Scriptures identify the transition from Legs to Feet.
The Scriptures identify the transition from Legs to Feet.

Historically, the church has had very little trouble identifying the time periods of the Gold, Silver, and Brass of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2. The time periods of the Lion, the Bear, and the Leopard are as easily identifiable in Daniel 7, as are those of the Ram and the He-goat in Daniel 8. Those figures represent a series of world empires, each dominating the world in succession—Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece.

Part of what makes their identification so simple is that the Scriptures identify the succession of empires for us. Babylon is the “head of Gold” (Daniel 2:38), after which “shall arise another kingdom … and another” (Daniel 2:39). The Scriptures inform us that the successor to Babylon is the Medo-Persian empire, for Belshazzar’s kingdom was “given to the Medes and Persians” (Daniel 5:28). Likewise, in Daniel 8, the Ram with two horns represents “the kings of Media and Persia” (Daniel 8:20). In that dynasty, the Medes came up first, and the Persians “came up last” (Daniel 8:3). The He-goat after them is “the king of Grecia” (Daniel 8:21). Daniel 11:1-3 explains again, in narrative style, the transition from Medes, to Persians to Greeks, as well as Daniel’s position within that chronology.

From that point forward, however, the interpretive challenge increases considerably. After the Greek Leopard in Daniel 7, there is “a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly” (Daniel 7:7), which is usually taken, as we take it, to refer to the Roman Empire. The Fourth Beast is depicted as a body with ten horns (Daniel 7:7), which is suggestive of two distinct periods of Roman rule—one period of unity and one of fragmentation.

But in Daniel 2, after the Greek “belly and thighs of brass” (Daniel 2:32), there is a Fourth Kingdom that begins as Iron Legs, transitions to Iron & Clay Feet (Daniel 2:33), and finally to Iron & Clay Toes (Daniel 2:41-42). We also take that Fourth Kingdom to refer to the  Roman Empire. Under that imagery, there are three distinct periods—the Legs when it is “strong as iron” (Daniel 2:40), the Feet when “they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another” (Daniel 2:43), and the Toes when “the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken” (Daniel 2:42).

It is in the attempt to harmonize these two depictions of the Fourth Empire that the interpretive challenge emerges. Under both figures, the fourth empire starts out exceptionally strong (Daniel 2:40, 7:7), and under both, the fourth empire ends in fragments. But in Daniel 2, before the fourth empire is finally broken into Toes, it undergoes a transition from being strong Legs of Iron, to being only partly strong Feet of Iron & Clay. Understanding the timing of that transition from Legs to Feet is of critical importance to the eschatologist, not least because Daniel informs us that during the Feet, “in the days of these kings,” something of tremendous significance to God’s people was going to occur (Daniel 2:34,44). And yet, identifying that transition from Legs to Feet has been a chronic eschatological challenge.

By way of example from the Early Church, Justin Martyr (100 – 165 A.D.) thought that Jesus had manifested as the Stone at His first advent (Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, chapters 32, 34 & 36). From his perspective, the period of Iron must have ended before Jesus was even born, and His earthly lifetime must have occurred within the period of the Iron & Clay Feet.

But Hippolytus (170 – 235 A.D.) believed that he was currently living during the period of Iron Legs, and that the period of Iron & Clay Feet was right around the corner:

“Then he says: ‘A fourth beast, dreadful and terrible; it had iron teeth and claws of brass’ And who are these but the Romans? Which (kingdom) is meant by the iron— the kingdom which is now established; for the legs of that (image) were of iron. And after this, what remains, beloved, but the toes of the feet of the image, in which part is iron and part clay, mixed together?” (Hippolytus, Treatise on Christ and Antichrist, 25)

With these different views on the chronology of the Fourth Kingdom came significantly different views on the chronology of the impact of the Stone. Justin thought that “the times [are] now running on to their consummation” because the Stone had long since come (Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, chapter 32). Hippolytus, on the other hand, thought he was approaching the end because the Stone was just about to arrive:

“After this, then, what remains, beloved, but the toes of the feet of the image, in which part shall be of iron and part of clay mixed together?  … And after him [Antichrist] it remains that the stone shall come from heaven...” (Hippolytus, Fragments, On Daniel, Second Fragment, paragraph 2)

These two writers are cited for illustrative purposes only, and neither Justin nor Hippolytus can be said to represent the view of the Early Church. In fact, there was no coherent position on this  within the Early Church at all. We believe the absence of a coherent position may be attributed to the fact that the early writers attempted to interpret the meaning of the Stone’s arrival without first attempting to determine the time spans signified by the Legs, Feet and Toes. If they did not know the time spans, they could have no way of determining when the Stone was to strike the Feet, and thus had no way of understanding the significance of its impact.

It is on this specific eschatological point that the timing of the Revelation to John on Patmos is so helpful. As we showed in Part 1, the external testimony on the dating of John’s Revelation is contradictory and indeterminate. Some literary evidence points to a late-1st century vision, and other literary evidence points to the mid-1st century, and none of it can be considered determinative. It has therefore been our aim in this series to confirm the date of John’s vision from the Scriptures, and to identify the transitions from Legs to Feet to Toes in the Fourth Kingdom of Daniel 2. Once those dates are known, the timing and meaning of the impact of the Stone can be understood, and as we shall see, Revelation 17 helps us considerably.

As we noted in Part 1, we are given a clue to the significance of the transition from the Legs by Daniel’s description of the Feet. The period of Iron signifies a time when the Fourth Empire was as strong as Iron, while the period of Iron & Clay signifies a time when “they shall not cleave one to another” for “they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men” (Daniel 2:43). The transition from Legs to Feet is therefore indicated by a transition from an unmingled to a mingled state. Because neither the Iron period, nor any of the preceding empires of Brass, Silver and Gold are characterized as “mingled,” the Iron period must share an attribute with the preceding kingdoms that the Iron & Clay period does not.  As we showed in Part 1, in Daniel’s narratives, “unmingled” is taken to refer to the continuity of a royal family line, and a “mingled” condition is taken to refer to when that line becomes mingled with commoners and foreigners.

With the exception of Alexander—a point Daniel’s narrator makes an effort to highlight (Daniel 11:4)—all the other empires of note handed their kingdoms from father to son within a single family line. The Babylonian empire was ruled by a succession of royalty descended from Nebuchadnezzar, for his son was king after him (Daniel 5:2). Then the Medes reigned, passing the kingdom from father to son, for Darius was “the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes” (Daniel 9:1), and then the Persians reigned passing the kingdom from father to son (see Ezra 4:5-6 and this list of Persian Kings). Alexander’s reign serves as the exception to this rule, as he did not pass the kingdom to his sons. Alexander’s successors then did the same as his predecessors, handing their kingdoms down within the family line, as can be seen by the narrative of Daniel 11:5-39. As we showed in The Single Frame Hypothesis, Alexander’s kingdom indeed was “plucked up, even for others beside those” (Daniel 11:4).

Thus it is notable that when the Greek period fades and the Roman empire rises, the first emperors after Julius Cæsar—the “first king” of the Roman empire—were all in some way related to him:

Julius Caesar,  (declared Dictator perpetuo in 44 B.C.)
— Civil Wars (44 – 27 B.C.) —
Augustus (27 B.C. – 14 A.D.), Julius’ grand-nephew
Tiberius (14 – 37 A.D.), Augustus’ step-son
Caligula (37 – 41 A.D.), Tiberius’ grand-nephew
Claudius (41 – 54 A.D.), Caligula’s uncle
Nero (54 – 68 A.D.), Claudius’ grand-nephew
Galba (68-69 A.D.), related to Julius by marriage and adoption

We note for emphasis that the Scripture’s identification of Cæsar Augustus (Luke 2:1), Cæsar Tiberius (Luke 3:1) and Caesar Claudius (Acts 11:28), necessarily ties them all to the first Cæsar, Julius himself, and their enumeration must begin with him. These Cæsars of the Roman Empire bear a resemblance to the succession of kings of Babylon and Medo-Persia as well as the Diadochi after Alexander, because succession was a family matter.

After Galba, the Cæsars began to come from a diverse and frequently common and non-Roman lineage, although some came from the original line (e.g., Nerva, 96 – 98 A.D.). Thus, it is with Galba’s successor that the imperial line began to be “mingled.” The first seven Emperors of Rome therefore constitute the Iron period, and the succeeding emperors constitute the Iron & Clay. This information aids us greatly in understanding the date of John’s vision in Revelation.

When we turn to Revelation 17, we find that John’s narrator is ever eager to describe to him his chronological position within Daniel’s eschatological timeline. As we discussed in Part 2, in Revelation 17:3 the Scarlet Beast appears by the absence of any crowns to be chronologically between the Serpent of Revelation 12:3 and the Sea Beast of Revelation 13:1. Additionally, John is informed of his chronological position by the fact that the Scarlet Beast “was,” “is not,” “shall ascend” in the future, and yet “is” now (Revelation 17:8). Finally, John is informed that he is receiving the apocalyptic vision between the fifth and seventh kings (Revelation 17:10). Thus, John is three times in this chapter alone reminded of the unique chronological time period in which he was receiving the vision. Clearly, John was to understand and record for us not only the “where” and “why” of his vision (Revelation 1:3,9), but also the “when” of it, too. The “when” of it is very important indeed.

We believe that because John’s vision is so thoroughly Danielic, Daniel is therefore our best instructor on determining the meaning of the seven kings of Revelation 17. As we noted in Part 4, Daniel’s narrator uses the same method to instruct him of his own chronological place in the prophecy as John’s narrator does in Revelation 17:10. Both narrators identify a sequence of actual kings as well as each scribe’s own personal chronography in relation to those kings:

“Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia. And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. ” (Daniel 11:2-3)

“And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.” (Revelation 17:10).

As Daniel was informed of a succession of literal kings and his own place in the unfolding chronology, so too was John. As Daniel was writing on the verge of an eschatological transition—from the Persian Empire to the Greek, from the Silver to the Brass, from the Ram to the He-goat, from the Bear to the Leopard—so too was John on the verge of an eschatological transition.  What John was about to witness was the transition from the Legs to the Feet of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue, and it was a significant transition indeed. As Daniel and Jesus both inform us, it is during the period of the Feet that one of the most eagerly anticipated events in all of eschatology was to occur: the transfer of the kingdom.

Daniel mentions the transfer in Daniel 2:44, and as we noted in Part 3, Jesus invested considerable time in His explanation of its timing (see Matthew 21:33-43). Shortly after Jerusalem was to be surrounded with armies, God would “miserably destroy” its current tenants (Matthew 21:41), “burn up their city” (Matthew 22:7), slay those “which would not that I should reign over them” (Luke 19:27), desolate their house (Matthew 23:37-38), take their kingdom away, and give it “to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof” (Matthew 21:42-43). In keeping with the imagery of Daniel 2:34-35, Jesus identifies the period of that Kingdom transfer with the impact of the Stone on the Feet of the statue of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream:

“Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” (Matthew 21:42-44)

That language in verse 44 is straight from Daniel 2, in which a Stone strikes the feet and breaks them to pieces (Daniel 2:34) and then grinds everything to dust (Daniel 2:35). Daniel places both the impact of the Stone (Daniel 2:34) and the transfer of the kingdom (Daniel 2:44) in the period of the Iron & Clay Feet. Jesus does precisely the same thing in Matthew 21:42-44, using very Danielic language to do it.

As we noted in Part 3, Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and ascension, and the subsequent ministry of His apostles, was entirely passive toward the Roman Empire, and therefore cannot be construed as a judgment against, or fragmentation of, the Fourth Empire. Jesus’ entire earthly ministry, and that of most of His apostles, by all outward appearances, took place during the period of the Iron Legs. One thing Jesus and His apostles never did was “smite” the Roman empire or break it in pieces. Jesus’ testimony, together with Daniel’s explanation of the events to occur in the period of the Iron & Clay, therefore places the destruction of Jerusalem after the Iron period, and during the period of the Feet. That, too, helps us identify the significance of the first seven kings of the Roman empire.

Just as Daniel had been writing chapter 11 when the Silver was about to yield to Brass, John was writing Revelation as the Iron was about to become mixed with Clay. The Legs were about to transition to Feet. Importantly, that places John’s vision during the reign of Nero, the sixth Cæsar of the Iron period of Rome. The Iron Legs end with the death of Galba in 69 A.D., and the Iron & Clay Feet begin with his successor, Otho. Jerusalem would be destroyed, the holy house desolated, and the kingdom transferred, the next year. Thus began the period of the Feet and the transfer of the Kingdom, as both Daniel and Jesus had prophesied.

It is only by determining the chronology of the Legs, Feet and Toes of the Fourth Empire that the significance of the first impact of the Stone emerges. As Justin and Hippolytus demonstrated, if we presume to know the meaning of the Stone without first determining the timing of its impact, the result is incoherence. Because the Stone strikes the statue in the period of the Feet, this interpretation corrects Justin Martyr’s belief that the Iron period ended before Jesus’ incarnation, but it also corrects Hippolytus’ belief that the Iron period had continued well into the third century. When the chronology of the Legs, Feet and Toes is thus determined, the meaning of the strike depicted in Daniel 2:34 becomes clear. The Scriptures inform us of the transition from Legs to Feet in 69 A.D., and thus place the impact of the Stone sometime after that transition, but prior the Toes. In fact, it is because of the impact of the Stone that the statue has Toes at all.

As we noted in our series, The Fifth Empire, the statue of Daniel 2 is not depicted with Toes until after the first strike of the Stone, for the Stone strikes the Feet “and brake them to pieces” (Daniel 2:34). It is only then that Daniel proceeds to inform us of the significance of the Toes, which signify that the fourth kingdom is “partly broken” (Daniel 2:42). It is the impact of the Stone that breaks the Feet and creates the Toes.

As we showed in our article, Do Not Weep For Nicomedia, it was by Jesus’ opening of the Seals of Revelation 6 that the Roman empire, already weakened by becoming mingled “with the seed of men” (Daniel 2:43), was finally broken into its constituent fragments under the reorganization by Diocletian. Reeling from the crushing effects of the first two Seals, Diocletian reorganized the empire into four Tetrarchs ruling over 12 dioceses in 293 A.D.. Over the course of the 4th century, those twelve dioceses were further reorganized into 13, three of which were claimed by Roman Catholicism by its appropriation of the three Petrine Sees in 382 A.D.:  Rome,  Alexandria and Antioch, which by then were the capital cities of their three respective dioceses of Italy, Egypt and Oriens. We explained this fulfillment of Daniel 7 in our two articles, A See of One, and The Fourteenth Diocese.

The significance of this to our discussion on the Legs of Iron is that it shows that the impact of the Stone in Daniel 2:34, as directed against the Feet of the Fourth Empire, does not signify Jesus’ incarnation (as with Justin). As we can see, Jesus was born during the Iron period, and such an impact would have struck the Legs rather than the Feet. The impact of the Stone in Daniel 2:34 also cannot signify His return (as with Hippolytus). That would have the Stone impact in the period of the Toes, a chronological impossibility, for the Toes themselves do not emerge until after the Stone has broken the Feet into their constituent pieces.

It was also our intent in this series to answer a standard objection to the identification of the seven kings of Revelation 17:10 as seven literal kings.  As we noted in Part 4, one historicist rejected such an interpretation, asking, “what would be the point of ending with Galba? What would be the point of the prophecy?” (John Pickle, Who are These Seven Kings?). Indeed, in isolation, Revelation 17:10 offers no obvious context for the sequence of kings, except that they are Roman. However, once that sequence of kings is understood to refer to the period of the Iron Legs, “the point of ending with Galba” becomes quite obvious.

This interpretation also corrects the Preterist position that identifies Nero as the Antichrist, for Nero’s reign was in the period of the Iron Legs, but Antichrist must of necessity arise in the period of the Toes. That disqualifies Nero entirely.

The interpretation also corrects two inconsistencies in what E. B. Elliott called the “generally received Protestant interpretation.” His interpretation understands the seven kings of Revelation 17:10 as seven successive forms of Roman government (Elliott, Horæ Apocalypticæ, vol iii, 98). As we noted in Part 4, the Beasts and Metals of Daniel 2, 7 and 8 signified a succession of empires, not a succession of forms of government.

Elliott’s erroneous interpretation is grounded on the non sequitur that because Daniel had prophesied a succession of empires with varying forms of government (kings and cæsars), Daniel can be said to have prophesied a succession of forms of government. By that method, the seven kings of Revelation 17:10 are taken, on Daniel’s high authority, to refer to a succession of forms of Roman government.

To illustrate the fallacy of that approach, we note that the successive empires of Daniel 2, 7 and 8 were also fulfilled in governments of increasingly westerly longitudes: from Babylon, to Greece and finally to Italy. Since Daniel’s prophecies of successive empires were fulfilled in kingdoms of increasingly westerly longitude, are we therefore free to conclude that Daniel had prophesied a longitudinal succession of empires, and then impose that rule on Revelation 17? If we were to say that the seven kings of Revelation 17 must, on Daniel’s high authority, represent a westerly, longitudinal succession of seven kingdoms, those of Elliott’s school would be justifiably critical of the approach. Yet Elliott’s method is no different, and it is not hermeneutically sound. His error was that he took a secondary, but historical, attribute of the prophesied kingdoms (their forms of government) and made it central to the fulfillment of the prophesy. Yet the prophecy would have been fulfilled independently of the forms of government.

That is the first inconsistency in the “generally received Protestant interpretation.” We covered the second in Part 5. As we noted there, Daniel deals with each Empire in Daniel 2, 7 and 8 as it becomes relevant to the narrative, rising to conquer, reigning and then falling to its successor. In every account, the sequence identifies events within the time period from Nebuchadnezzar’s rise in 605 B.C. to the establishment and eventual fall of the Roman Empire. The first king of each empire is depicted as the first king of relevance to the narrative, not the first actual king of each nascent kingdom. Nebuchadnezzar was not the first in his line, yet Daniel makes Nebuchadnezzar Babylon’s first king, the head of gold (Daniel 2:38) with his rise to dominance in 605 B.C.. The Medes came to power between 616 and 605 B.C., yet Daniel makes Darius the Mede their first king after the death of Belshazzar (Daniel 5:28-31). There were Persian kings before 538 B.C., yet as far as Daniel is concerned, Cyrus the Great was the first king of Persia. Alexander the Great was part of a long line of Greek kings dating back to 496 B.C., but Gabriel refers to Alexander as the “first king” of Greece (Daniel 8:21).

When Elliott takes the seven kings of Revelation 17 to be seven forms of Roman government, he expands the period of Roman relevance well beyond any Danielic precedent, placing Rome’s first king all the way back in 753 B.C. when Rome was but a tiny village on a remote Mediterranean hillside, almost 150 years before the rise of Nebuchadnezzar. That, too, is a departure from Danielic consistency and continuity, for Elliott’s chronology of “first kings” would therefore be, in order of their appearance, Rome, Babylon, Media, Persia and Greece. There is no justifiable hermeneutical reason for making the “first king” of the Roman nation its first “form of government” when Daniel consistently lists the “first king” as each succeeding empire’s first ruler during the period depicted by each beast or metal. In a Danielic prophetic narrative and chronology, Julius Cæsar is the “first king” of the Roman empire, not Romulus as Elliott would have it.

We note as well that the historical series of “forms of government” is not at all clear from the historical record, and does not match Elliott’s listing. For example, Elliott cites Livius and Tacitus to support his interpretation of a succession of six forms of government up to the time of John’s vision: Kings, Consuls, Dictators, Decemvirs, Military Tribunes and Emperors (Elliott, Horæ Apocalypticæ, vol iii, 96, 98). But Tacitus actually lists seven forms of government, not six, for that same period: Kings, Consuls, Dictators, Decemvirs, Military Tribunes, Despots (which was a return to the Dictatorship) and Princes, by which he refers to the Emperors (Tacitus, Annals, 1.1). Livius, on the other hand marks the transition from Kings to Consuls (Livus, Book 1:60.3), from Consuls to Decemvirs, and back to Consuls again (Livius, Book 3:33.1-1), followed by Military Tribunes (Livius, Book 4:7.1). Neither Livius nor Tacitus provide the listing that Elliott reconstructed, and together they represent a succession of forms of government that go well beyond the six Elliott identifies, since there were apparently two distinct periods of Consuls (per Livius) and two distinct periods of Dictators (per Tacitus).

For these reasons—his illicit method of imposing “forms of government” on Revelation 17:10, the inconsistent, non-Danielic chronology that results, and the lack of historical support for his proposed succession of “forms”—Elliott’s interpretation of the seven kings was found wanting in Part 4 and Part 5.

On one final note, we will address a common objection to the identification of the seven kings of Revelation 17:10 as the kings of the Iron Period of the Roman Empire. That objection is based on the next verse:

“And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.” (Revelation 17:11)

Would this not make Otho the beast of Revelation 17? After all, according to this sequence, Otho is the eighth Roman emperor. The misperception originates from the way the verse is rendered in English. In Revelation 17:10, each king is identified by a definite article:

“five (οἱ πέντε) are fallen, and one (ὁ εἷς) is, and the other (ὁ ἄλλος) is not yet come.”

Thus, the literal rendering of Revelation 17:10 is “the five are fallen, the one is, and the other is not yet come.” That convention is abandoned in the next verse and no definite article is used to modify “eighth” even though it is used in reference to the beast and to the seven. In other words, Revelation 17:11 does not refer to the eighth king, but rather, an eighth king:

the beast (τὸ θηρίον) that was, and is not, even he is an eighth (ὄγδοός), and is of the seven (τῶν ἑπτά)”

Contrast this with Luke 1:59, a reference to the eighth day (τῇ ὀγδόῃ), in which the definite article is not lacking.

The significance to our understanding of Revelation 17 is that the Beast is not the eighth Roman emperor, but is an eighth that may be grouped with the kings of the Iron period. Indeed, just as the Sea Beast of Revelation 13 is comprised of the three preceding empires—the Lion, the Bear and the Leopard—it also has elements of the form of the fourth Beast of Daniel 7. The Antichrist emerges from among the horns of Daniel 7:7-8, is “of the seven” kings of the Iron period (Revelation 17:11), and is comprised of the three preceding empires as well (Revelation 13:2). Thus, as we also noted in The Fifth Empire, the second judicial movement of the Stone is against the all the materials together—Iron, Clay, Brass, Silver and Gold (Daniel 2:35)—for it is directed against Antichrist, which is comprised of all the materials together.  Thus, it is true that Antichrist rose up as an eighth emperor of the Roman empire, but it is not identified in the Scriptures as the eighth.

In any case, the Church historically has had very little trouble identifying the time periods of the Gold, Silver, and Brass of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2 because the time periods are depicted for us in the Scriptures. As it turns out, the time periods of the Iron and Iron & Clay, the Legs, Feet and Toes, are provided in the Scriptures as well. That information from the Scriptures aids us greatly in understanding the period of Jesus’ earthly life, the timing of Jerusalem’s destruction, the transfer of the kingdom in the Danielic chronology, significance of the impact of the Stone and the fragmentation of the fourth empire in Daniel 2:34, the rise of Antichrist and his ultimate destruction in Daniel 2:35, and not insignificantly, the timing of the book of Revelation within the Iron period, under the reign of Nero.

18 thoughts on “Legs of Iron, part 6”

  1. Tim,
    Thanks for starting to write again. I cannot express in words, the gratitude that i have for you taking the time to share all of your insights with me personally. I am looking forward to future installments and future fellowship. If you are up to it could you answer a question related to our personal discussion? We are under the fifth seal. What does this mean for living prophetically and practically. I have some opinions but would like to hear yours.

    Gus

    1. Thanks, Gus.

      First, thank you for your kind words. I’m glad to be writing again, too. Per my article, Do Not Weep for Nicomedia, the seven seals were complete by 358 A.D.. Also, the seven trumpets began immediately thereafter, and my understanding of the Trumpets is reflected in the articles on the topic (starting with The Trumpets, part 1). By my reckoning, six of the Trumpets have sounded.

      I also had a separate series on the Bowl or Vial judgments (because they are treated separately in Revelation, and are not sequential to the Trumpets), in which the first five Bowls are complete. You can read that series starting with Leaving San Franciso (the Bowls, part 1).

      As I mentioned in the last article on that topic, we may be in the midst of the sixth Bowl as we speak, since the current invasion of Europe began in earnest after the Euphrates dried up. My point in recounting this is to say that we’re under the fifth Vial, and possibly under the sixth. But I’d say the Fifth Seal is long past.

      That said, I don’t have any particular advice for believers in this time except to keep the faith, study the Word, stay in fellowship with your fellow believers, continue “stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). “Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king” (1 Peter 2:17). It was 560 years from the Fourth Trumpet, the dimming of the sun, moon and stars in 536 A.D. (Revelation 8:12) to the Fifth Trumpet (the Crusades) in Revelation 9:1-12, and then another 820 years from the Fifth Trumpet to the two myriads depicted in the Sixth Trumpet (WWI & WWII) in Revelation 9:13-21. If there are many centuries between Trumpets (so it appears to me), and there has only been one century since the last Trumpet, I think patience and perseverance is the order of the day. I’m afraid I have no practical advice apart from what Christ and His apostles have taught us.

      Your thoughts?

      Tim

  2. Question. If you are correct that the eighth king would not refer to Otho in your framework, and the seven kings are of a particular dynasty, then would it not follow that the eighth would be of that same dynasty? E.g. Nerva. But even in the Wikipedia link you provided, Nerva adopted Trajan who then became the next Caesar. Would he not then be the ninth? A lot of the rest of what you said does seem to follow something of a logical pattern (not sure whether I agree with it, but regardless). This, however, seems like a bit of a sticking point.

    1. Thanks, Dan. You asked,

      If you are correct that the eighth king would not refer to Otho in your framework, and the seven kings are of a particular dynasty, then would it not follow that the eighth would be of that same dynasty? E.g. Nerva.

      Not necessarily. In a Danielic framework in which the seven kings of Revelation 17:10 are the kings of the Iron Period, the reference to “an eighth king” is merely a statement that the Iron Period found a later expression in Antichrist, long after the Iron Period was over. This same construct is found in Daniel 7:12 “As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.” The rest of the Beasts are the Lion, the Bear and the Leopard, or from the perspective of Daniel 2, the Gold, the Silver and the Brass. Here in Revelation 17, the Iron period gets an extension of life, too. The question before us, I believe, is, “What does the extension of life mean?”

      From Daniel 2 the Stone strikes the Feet alone—the Iron & Clay—breaking them in pieces (Daniel 2:34). Then all the rest are broken together with them—this time including the Legs—signifying a later judgment against all the preceding periods. In Chapter 2, Daniel does not say how a Stone striking chronologically in the Feet can render a judgment against the preceding empires, but Daniel 7 gives a hint: the preceding empires are granted an extension of life. But then in Daniel 7, after the Body of the Fourth beast is destroyed, and the other beasts are granted an extension of life, the only judgment that remains is against the Little Horn. No judgment is depicted against the preceding empires, as there was in Daniel 2.

      We discover the full meaning of that extension of life in Revelation 13, when we find that the Sea Beast is the Little Horn of Daniel 7, and is made up of all the preceding empires, too—the Lion, the Leopard and the Bear, and by valid inference, the Gold, the Silver and the Brass. But note that the first Beast of Revelation 13 has attributes of all the Beasts of Daniel 7, including that fourth terrible beast, which is why the total number of heads and horns of the Sea Beast equal the total number of heads and horns of the four beasts of Daniel 7. Thus, Antichrist is made up not only of the Lion, the Bear and the Leopard plus the Fourth Terrible Beast, but also is comprised of Four empires that preceded the impact of the Stone on the Feet—the Gold, Silver, Brass and Iron. In some way, the Antichrist is a manifestation of all the preceding empires. The second strike of the Stone is directed against him (Daniel 2:35), and in similar fashion, that is the same judgment against the Little Horn of Daniel 7:26, for both judgments represent the judgment against the Sea Beast (Revelation 19:20), which itself is a conglomeration of the four beasts of Daniel 7 and the Four Empires preceding the Feet—the Iron, the the Gold, the Silver and the Brass.

      “Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them.” (Daniel 2:35a)

      “But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.” (Daniel 7:26)

      “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” (Revelation 19:20).

      The only way the Final Judgment against Antichrist can also be a judgment against all the preceding empires and periods together is if all the preceding empires and periods together are granted an extension of life in the form of the Beast. When Daniel 2, Daniel 7, Revelation 13, 17 and 19 are all taken together, that is what we see. Thus, the reference to the Beast being “an eighth” king does not mean that “the” eighth emperor is the Antichrist, or even that the next emperor of the Julian line is the antichrist. It simply means that just as in Antichrist the Gold, Silver and Brass get an extension of life, so too does the Iron. And just as the Little Horn of Daniel 7 emerges from among the Iron & Clay Toes, the final judgment is also against the Clay, too (as per Daniel 2:35).

      I’ve mentioned this in a previous comment, and I’ll summarize it here: Roman Catholicism is a recapitulation of the whole history of the Preceding Empires—the Gold, the Silver, the Brass, the Iron and the Iron & Clay. From the Babylonians comes the worship of the Queen of Heaven; from the Persians, Zoroastrianism in which “the honor rendered to an image passes to its prototype”; from the Greeks, philosophy and “after the rudiments of the world”. From these proceed the worship of Mary, worship of representations of God, and transubstanatiation, etc… From the Iron period, Roman Catholicism takes its imperialism, etc… Thus, Roman Catholicism is yet another king of the gold period, yet another king of the Silver period, yet another king of the Brass period, and yet another king of the Iron period.

      Certainly, Roman Catholicism is an extension of life for the three pagan empires that preceded the Roman Empire, and an extension of the Iron period, as well.

      Thanks,

      Tim

  3. TIM–
    You said: “Thus, it is true that Antichrist rose up as an eighth emperor of the Roman empire, but it is not identified in the Scriptures as the eighth.”

    I’m kinda with Dan on this one.
    Your putting the word “an” in place of no definite article in the Greek text in Rev 17:11 can be a bit arbitrary. Notice there is no definite article in front of “seven” in verse 10 either.

    The literal translation renders these two verses thusly:
    Rev 17:10 “and there are seven kings, the five did fall, and the one is, the other did not yet come, and when he may come, it behoveth him to remain a little time;
    11 and the beast that was, and is not, he also is eighth, and out of the seven he is, and to destruction he doth go away”

    One could just as easily put the word “the” in front of the word “seven” in verse 10, but in modern English it sounds strange. It doesn’t with “eighth” in verse 11. The English translation provides better syntax for understanding. As it reads literally, “eighth” alone with no article can be used either as a title designation or a number in sequence. So it boils down to authority. Is the King James Version of the New Testament an inspired translation of the Textus Receptus or not? If so, then the word “the” should be there. Was the 1516 Erasmus translation of the late Byzantine texts inspired? He was Roman Catholic in full communion with the Pope. Maybe. Maybe not.

    Looks like you are addressing a common objection on whether or not one single article should be translated “an” or “the”. That’s awful thin and could be considered by many to be verbal slight of hand, especially when the objective is to add “proof” to a personal agenda–presuppositional hermeneutics.

    You also said: “Certainly, Roman Catholicism is an extension of life for the three pagan empires that preceded the Roman Empire, and an extension of the Iron period, as well.”

    Yes, it can be construed as such. So can the British Empire and so can the United States of America. And one that really fits is the Illuminati and Free Masonry. It all depends on one’s presuppositions, wouldn’t you say?

    1. Bob,

      You said,

      “Looks like you are addressing a common objection on whether or not one single article should be translated “an” or “the”.”

      I’m not advocating for the translation of any article at all. There is no article there, either definite or indefinite. Ancient Greek was not lacking in definite articles, but of indefinite articles it was completely bereft. Yet the text is legitimately rendered in English as “a” or “an” almost 1,800 times in the New Testament. In front of “eighth” John put nothing. It’s not like he ran out of “the”s. He used a definite article for “the five” and “the one” and “the other” in the previous verse, and then again for “the seven” immediately following. But he left it out before “eighth.” Why?

      I’m fine with Young’s literal translation saying “and the beast that was, and is not, he also is the eighth, and out of the seven he is, and to destruction he doth go away” (Revelation 17:11) because there is no definite article before “eighth.” I’m fine with ESV saying “it is an eighth but it belongs to the seven, and it goes to destruction,” because the indefinite article is how the absence of a definite article is rendered in English. What I am not fine with is inserting a definite article in front of “eighth” as if it made no difference that John omitted it.

      The verbal sleight of hand is saying that adding a definite article where John explicitly omits a definite article “provides better syntax for understanding” at precisely the point where you need a definite article to create a syntax that supports your personal understanding, and then implying that my omission of a definite article that John himself left out is deceptive. You wrote on January 29,

      “The beast is the eighth king. Does that mean he is next in line after Galba? It doesn’t fit.”

      If John had said, “the eighth,” then it would mean he is next in line after Galba. But he didn’t say “the eighth.”

      What John does is say that Beast is eighth “and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition” (Revelation 17:11). Where in scripture do we have a beast getting an indefinite extension on life like this? The answer is in Daniel:

      “As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.” (Daniel 7:12)

      In what way did they get an extension on life? In the form of the Beast of Revelation 13:2. John has done the same thing in Revelation 17 as Daniel did in Daniel 7. Revelation 17 is Danielic at the core, and to Daniel we must go for our understanding.

      You may disagree, of course. It is not my objective to convince you. If I understand your personal epistemology, eschatology is in the realm of the unknowable anyway, and therefore no position can possibly be proven to be true. Under that paradigm, the inverse must necessarily be admitted: that no position can be known to be false, either, and therefore you cannot possibly disprove anything.

      Best regards,

      Tim

  4. TIM–
    You said:
    I’m not advocating for the translation of any article at all. There is no article there, either definite or indefinite. Ancient Greek was not lacking in definite articles, but of indefinite articles it was completely bereft. Yet the text is legitimately rendered in English as “a” or “an” almost 1,800 times in the New Testament. In front of “eighth” John put nothing. It’s not like he ran out of “the”s. He used a definite article for “the five” and “the one” and “the other” in the previous verse, and then again for “the seven” immediately following. But he left it out before “eighth.” Why?

    In verse 10 he also left it out before “seven”. Why? You seem to say that if a definite article is left out that we are free to assume “a” or “an” but not “the”. Obviously the translators of the King James version missed that one, so I will assume you believe the translation is NOT divinely preserved.

    You also said:
    “You wrote on January 29,
    ‘The beast is the eighth king. Does that mean he is next in line after Galba? It doesn’t fit.’
    If John had said, “the eighth,” then it would mean he is next in line after Galba. But he didn’t say “the eighth.” ”

    And I meant that Galba doesn’t fit because he didn’t last long enough to make anyone consider him to be the Anti-Christ, much less pull all the stunts the Anti-Christ is supposed to pull.

    And you said: “You may disagree, of course. It is not my objective to convince you. If I understand your personal epistemology, eschatology is in the realm of the unknowable anyway, and therefore no position can possibly be proven to be true. Under that paradigm, the inverse must necessarily be admitted: that no position can be known to be false, either, and therefore you cannot possibly disprove anything.”

    Ok, so let’s talk about eschatology–the study of the last things or endings. You have a historist view (Historists consider the Book of Revelation to be a symbolic prophetic presentation of the struggle of Protestantism to survive the continuing persecutions of the Papacy. Historists usually consider events such as the Great Tribulation as having occurred during the period of absolute papal supremacy from 538-1798.”–Wikipedia), which tells me that your hermeneutics are certainly pre-suppositional. I get that. I used to be pre-millennial myself and fell into that mindset when Y2K came around preparing for the end time.
    (Right, Bob. What an idiot!)
    I came to the realization that it is not for us to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. He did not even reveal it to the apostles when they asked Him directly, including John. And as you have shown, anyone who has tried, from the Early Church Fathers throughout the years to present day, whether Catholic or Reformed or otherwise, has made mistakes. And some of them are considered great biblical scholars. The convenience of the historist position is that they look at what has happened already in history and then fit the bible verses of choice to the events just like you have. And just like your theories, there are gaps and holes that just don’t seem to hold water.
    You are right. That is not convincing.

    Example: Daniel describes empires in the form of beasts. Where is his description of the beast depicting the fifth empire? I only see four beasts. To be true to Danielic prophecy, if there is a fifth empire, where’s the beast?
    Also Daniel uses horns to depict kings. When does Daniel transition to horns depicting Christian diocesan bishops while Roman kings are still seated on the throne? As you would say, that’s not what Nebuchadnezzar saw.

    Can you at least plug those holes? I’ve got more for the seal-bowl-trumpet judgements, too.

  5. “And I meant that Galba doesn’t fit because he didn’t last long enough to make anyone consider him to be the Anti-Christ, much less pull all the stunts the Anti-Christ is supposed to pull.”

    That should read Otho.

  6. Tim,

    I hope you are doing well. Quick question. I am sure you have seen the film Patterns of Evidence, and the claims made by the producer regarding the dating of Exodus.

    http://patternsofevidence.com/

    Assuming the 1260, 1290 and 1335 days in Daniel are fulfilled according to your thesis, do you find any issues that could effect your chronological dating that could be in error similar to dating as was found in the patterns of evidence film? I’m not sure how controversial these historical dates are using archeology to determine the time of the Exodus and if they would ultimately effect your dating of the period of Daniel at the time of the Maccabees, etc.

    1. Walt, I am well, thank you. I hope you are well, too. I haven’t seen Patterns of Evidence. When I get through tax season, I’ll try to take a look. Thanks,

      Tim

  7. Tim,

    One more question. Do you agree with the following sermon commentary on the distinction of Antichrist?

    ———-
    1. First, how does the Antichrist confess Jesus is the Christ?
    a. In order to answer this question, it is necessary to provide a brief review of the previous sermon, wherein we saw that the Apostle John prophesies that the Antichrist is coming.
    (1) John distinguishes this one Antichrist from many antichrists (in 1 John 2:18). For this one Antichrist that is coming (but is not yet come in John’s time) is in the singular (Antichrist) and has the singular definite article (“the” in the Received Text and in all of the other places that Antichrist is used— 1 John 2:22; 1 John 4:3; 2 John 7). The definite article, “the” (in the Greek text), draws attention to this particular Antichrist, as distinguished from all the other “many antichrists” (in the plural) that already existed in John’s day. Thus, though the many antichrists are already working their deceit and false teaching in John’s time, they point to a particular Antichrist, whose coming is future to that of John’s time, and who will deceive the world by his deceit and false teaching.
    (2) This Antichrist that is to come is not a single individual, but is rather a single immoral institution—just as the individual Beasts of Daniel 7 were immoral civil empires with many kings that lasted for hundreds of years; just as the first Beast (in Revelation 13:1) with seven heads and ten horns is an immoral civil institution though consisting of many kings; just as the second Beast (in Revelation 13:11) with two horns like a lamb is an immoral ecclesiastical institution though consisting of many bishops and cardinals; just as the False Prophet is an immoral ecclesiastical institution though consisting of many bishops and cardinals; just as the Great Harlot is an immoral ecclesiastical institution though consisting of many clergymen; and just as the faithful Bride is a moral ecclesiastical institution though consisting of many faithful Christians—so the Antichrist is not a single individual, but is an immoral institution, consisting of many popes through history that is united with the civil Beast and with the ecclesiastical Beast to war against the faithful Church of Christ for 1,260 years.
    b. Another very important truth that was presented in the previous sermon that will help us in understanding how Antichrist denies Jesus as the Christ is this: Antichrist is not one who professes to be hostile to Christ or professes to be the enemy of Christ. To the contrary, Antichrist is one who presents himself as representing Christ, who is Christ’s substitute upon earth. In other words, Antichrist’s opposition to Christ is not expressed by professing himself to be the enemy of Christ, but is rather expressed by professing himself to be the Vicar of Christ, who assumes to himself and usurps the office and prerogatives of Christ as earthly head of the Visible Church. In the previous sermon, it was demonstrated from Scripture and from credible Greek sources that the Greek preposition anti (in antichristos, i.e. Antichrist) yields the meaning “in the place of”, i.e. one who stands in the place of Christ. Amazingly, this is likewise the meaning of the title taken by the Pope or Papacy, the Vicar of Christ (from the Latin, vicarius), i.e. one who is a substitute in the place of Christ. Thus, whenever the Pope declares himself or is declared by others to be the Vicar of Christ, it is published far and wide for all who have ears to hear what John here prophesies, namely, that the Pope and the Papacy is the Antichrist that was to come (for Antichrist and Vicar of Christ mean essentially the same thing, one who comes in the place of Christ).
    c. But one last piece of information that was noted in the previous sermon was that the historical reference of John to “many antichrists” (in 1 John 2:18) likewise demonstrates that the meaning behind the words, antichrist (in the singular) or antichrists (in the plural), is not professed hostility as the enemy of Christ, but is rather deceitful subterfuge as the representative of Christ. For the Apostle John states that these “many antichrists” were once united with the faithful Church of Christ, but departed from it over their false and deceptive teachings about Christ (1 John 2:19; 1 John 4:1-3). In other words, these “many antichrists” (1 John 2:18) and “many false prophets” (1 John 4:1) did by their words confess Jesus to be the Christ, but they perverted and wrested the Scriptural teaching concerning Christ and the work of Christ to their own destruction (2 Peter 3:16). These “many antichrists” did not profess themselves to be the enemies of Christ (neither does the Papal Antichrist), but rather the “many antichrists” claimed to be the true representatives of Christ (as does the Papal Antichrist), even in promoting their heresies and false teachings among professing Christians at that time. That is why the Apostle John warns the faithful Church to test those who say they are prophets (1 John 4:1)—because they would come from among the sheep, but were liars (Acts 20:28-30; 2 Peter 2:1). The “many antichrists” professed to be Christ’s representatives, but they were actually liars in perverting the truth concerning Christ, His humanity, His office of Mediator, and His work of redemption. Thus, just as these “many antichrists” profess to be the representatives of Christ and to proceed from within the Visible Church of Christ, so likewise does the Antichrist that was yet future to the Apostle John (i.e. the Pope or Papacy).
    d. Now with that bit of review from the previous sermon, it becomes obvious how the Papal Antichrist confesses Jesus is the Christ. He does so by taking upon himself the mantle of Christ (as the Vicar of Christ), claiming to be the representative of Christ, in outwardly professing that Jesus is the Christ who became man in order to atone for sinners. There is a profession of many truths taught about Jesus Christ on the part of the Papal Antichrist. But as we shall see, it is not only what is professed, but what is meant by what is professed that determines whether the profession is the truth or whether the profession is actually a lie. For even the “many antichrists” in John’s day would have professed various truths concerning Jesus Christ, and yet it was not only what they professed, but what they meant by what they professed that revealed them to be antichrists, who claimed to represent Christ, and yet were actually liars in opposing the Christ of the Bible.

    1. Thanks, Walt. With one minor exception (paragraph 1.(2)), I completely concur. (I take the Beast of Revelation 13:1-2 to be the Little Horn of Daniel 7:8, the papal antichrist, but take the second beast to be the Apparition of Mary). But I wholeheartedly agree that Roman Catholicism confess Jesus is the Christ with its “lips,” but its “heart” is far from Him: “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” (Matthew 15:18).

      I addressed this in part in Removing Jesus.

      Thanks,

      Tim

      1. Yes, I remember reading “removing Jesus” and the effect it had on me back nearly two years ago in June 2014. I wrote then, and reading the article again today has not changed my feelings on the matter.

        “Walt
        June 1, 2014 at 10:19 am

        Tim,

        Your commentary is so incredible and factual that I don’t know why it is so difficult for anyone to understand that the Papacy is Antichrist. Could it be more clear in what you just wrote for even those who are ignorant of Scripture, or that are ignorant of the different views on eschatology?

        Reading what you just wrote made me almost want to cry and beg Catholics (and Evangelicals, Baptists, Pentecostals, etc.) to come out of her my people….quickly.”

  8. Tim,

    One final question. Most reformed, as you know, look at the 1260, 1290 and 1335 in Daniel using the Day-Year Principle, but you do not. Where do you find fault with the following summary of that principle?

    Please don’t take these questions as any sort of personal attack as they are not intended this way.

    ———-
    II. The Day-Year Principle As Used By The Holy Spirit In Scripture.

    A. Numbers 14:34. Here we find the Lord judging Israel based upon a Day-Year Principle. The Israelites find themselves upon the borders of Canaan. Spies had been sent out into the Land, where they explored Canaan for 40 days (Numbers 13:1,2,25). When they returned, the unbelieving report of the 10 spies (which was the majority report) declared it was impossible to take the Land, while the believing report of Joshua and Caleb (which was the minority report) declared that all things are possible with God, and that the God (with whom it is impossible to lie) had promised the Land to Israel. Sadly, the people of Israel (collectively) believed the unfaithful majority report rather than the faithful minority report. The Lord then states that Israel will bear its sin in the wilderness for 40 years—for the 40 days the spies went throughout the Land, they would spend 40 years in the wilderness, i.e. for one day, one year.
    1. Carefully note the emphasis on the Day-Year Principle in Numbers 14:34 from a literal rendering of the Hebrew text: “According to the number of the days which you spied out the land, forty days, A DAY FOR THE YEAR, A DAY FOR THE YEAR, you shall bear your iniquities forty years.” Why is “A DAY FOR THE YEAR” repeated by God in the Hebrew text? It is repeated for emphasis, so that this Principle might be indelibly marked upon the minds of the Israelites and upon our minds as we read and seek to interpret Scripture (and especially prophetic Scripture as we shall see).
    2. God Himself gives a very specific reason for the 40 years that Israel would bear its sin in the wilderness: A DAY FOR THE YEAR. And God repeats it for emphasis, so that later on in the Scripture we might use this interpretive key to unlock time periods found in prophetic portions of God’s Word. Thus, it is God Himself that first uses the Day-Year Principle.

    B. Ezekiel 4:4-6. In this prophetic Book of the Bible (that is filled with figurative language), Ezekiel is commanded by God to act out in symbols stated time periods of sin that were perpetrated against the Lord by the Northern Kingdom of Israel and by the Southern Kingdom of Judah.
    1. Ezekiel is first commanded to lie on his left side for 390 days as exhibiting the sins of the Northern Kingdom of Israel (Ezekiel 4:5). Then the Lord commands Ezekiel to lie on his right side for 40 days as exhibiting the sins of the Southern Kingdom of Judah (Ezekiel 4:6).
    2. But what is significant is what God says the prophetic time periods of 390 days and 40 days mean in actual calendar time for the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah in bearing their sin. God says in Ezekiel 4:6, “I have appointed thee each day for a year” (literally in the Hebrew text, “A DAY FOR THE YEAR, A DAY FOR THE YEAR”). Now where have we heard that language before? It is precisely the same language that was used in the Hebrew text back in Numbers 14:34. Thus, the 390 prophetic days equals 390 actual calendar years, and the 40 prophetic days equals 40 actual calendars years according to God’s own interpretation here in Ezekiel 4:4-6.
    3. I would submit that both of these time periods provide the reasons why the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah incurred the judgment of God that fell upon them. The sin of the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the 390 year period of time would seem to have begun with the sin of Jeroboam in leading the revolt against Judah and in leading Israel into idolatry (as we see in 2 Kings 17:22, where it is stated that it was due to Jeroboam’s idolatry that God brought His judgment upon Israel). And the sin of the Southern Kingdom of Judah and the 40 year period of time would seem to have begun with the sin of King Manasseh in leading Judah into the grossest forms of idolatry (as we see in 2 Kings 21:10-13, where it is stated that it was due to Manasseh’s idolatry that God brought His judgment upon Judah). Thus, it is God Himself, who once again, uses and presents to us the interpretive key of the Day-Year Principle.

    C. Daniel 9:24. This, dear ones, is without a doubt one of the most significant prophecies in the Old Testament, and it too is based upon the Day-Year Principle.
    1. Here in Daniel 9:24, we see that 70 prophetic weeks are determined for God’s people Israel in order to accomplish redemption for His people through the work of Jesus Christ. Now 70 prophetic weeks equals 490 prophetic days (70 weeks x 7 days per week=490 prophetic days). It should also be noted that the Hebrew word translated “weeks” (sha-bu-im) is always used in the Old Testament to refer to a week of days, i.e. a week consisting of seven days (for example, sha-bu-im is used 20 times in the Hebrew Old Testament [according to The Englishman’s Hebrew and Chaldee Concordance of the Old Testament, p. 1224,George V. Wigram], 4 times in the singular and 16 times in the plural, and each time it refers to a week consisting of 7 days).
    2. Now note what is said in Daniel 9:25, “from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem” (this is most likely a reference to the decree of Artaxerxes to Ezra in Ezra 7:11-26), “unto the Messiah [i.e. the Anointed One—GLP] the Prince” (this refers to Christ and most likely to the time in which Christ was anointed by the Holy Spirit as the Holy Spirit came upon Him at the time of His baptism by John the Baptist in Matthew 3:13-17), “shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks.” In other words, from the decree of Artaxerxes to Ezra until Christ’s anointing and baptism, the angel speaking to Daniel said there would elapse 69 weeks (7 weeks + 62 weeks = 69 weeks). It should be obvious that a literal 69 weeks or a literal 483 days (which is literally 1 year and almost 4 months) cannot take us from the decree of Artaxerxes (in 458 b.c.) to the anointing of Christ by the Holy Spirit at His baptism by John (in 26 a.d.).
    a. However, using the Day-Year Interpretive Principle that the Holy Spirit has already given to us in Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:4-6, when we interpret 483 prophetic days as 483 actual calendar years, we see the most amazing fulfillment of prophecy: From the decree given to Ezra (in 458 b.c.) to the anointing and baptism of Christ (in 26 a.d.), precisely 483 years had passed. God is without controversy using the Day-Year Principle of interpretation in Daniel 9:24-25.
    b. Then (according to Daniel 9:26a and Daniel 9:27a) Christ is “cut off” (i.e. crucified) 3 ½ years later in the middle of the 70th week of years. This again demonstrates that the Holy Spirit has given to us the Day-Year Principle as a means of interpreting prophetic periods of time .
    c. Therefore, when we come to the Book of Revelation (a highly symbolic prophetic portion of Scripture, just as is true of Ezekiel and Daniel where we find the Day-Year principle used by the Holy Spirit), we ought to be already predisposed to the Day-Year Principle in considering time periods like 1,260 prophetic days, 42 prophetic months, and a time, times, and half a time (especially since Daniel uses that same prophetic time period, a time, times, and half a time to refer to the papal “little horn” that is prophesied to come in Daniel 7:25).
    d. Early Church Fathers also used the Day-Year Principle to interpret the 70 weeks of Daniel (or 490 prophetic days) to mean 490 actual calendar years. For example, Tertullian (c. 160-220 a.d.) interpreted the first 69 weeks of Daniel (in Daniel 9:25—7 weeks + 62 weeks = 69 weeks) as giving the time period up to the first coming of Christ. “How, then are we to show that Christ came within the sixty-two weeks? . . . Let us see, then, how the years are fulfilled up to the advent of Christ” (Adversus Judaeos [Against the Jews], Chapter 8.1ff.). And from that time on, there are found various Church Fathers using the Day-Year Principle to interpret the time periods in the Books of Daniel and Revelation.
    e. The Day-Year Principle likewise became the classic, historic Reformed and Protestant interpretation of prophetic time periods in the Books of Daniel and Revelation from the First Reformation onward. In fact, it was the Counter-Reformation efforts of the Roman Catholic Church that argued against the Day-Year Principle of the Protestant Reformation, and rather defended a literal interpretation of the 1,260 days of Revelation.
    (1) It was the Jesuit priest, Francisco Ribera, who systematized futurism and interpreted the 1,260 prophetic days in the Book of Revelation as 1,260 literal days (contrary to the Day-Year Principle) in seeking to identify antichrist with a future worldwide leader (in his Commentary on the Book of Revelation, 1590).
    (2) And it was another Jesuit priest, Luis de Alcasar, who systematized preterism and interpreted the 1,260 prophetic days in the Book of Revelation as 1,260 literal days (contrary to the Day-Year Principle) in seeking to identify antichrist with Nero (in his Commentary on the Book of Revelation, 1614).
    (3) Both of these Jesuit priests sought to undermine the Day-Year Principle. For these Jesuit priests understood that if they interpreted the 1,260 prophetic days as literal days (rather than as calendar years per the Day-Year Principle), they would take attention away from the Roman Catholic Church and the papacy (which had existed for hundreds of years) and rather turn the attention of people to figures in past history or figures in future history, whose power against the church would be limited to a mere 3 ½ year period of time. However, when the Protestant Reformation applied the Day-Year principle to 1,260 prophetic days (in the Book of Revelation) to mean 1,260 actual calendar years, these prophecies that are found in Daniel and Revelation were revealed to be fulfilled by the apostate Church of Rome (the Great Harlot of Babylon) and by the Papacy (the Antichrist) who would usurp the office of Christ and who would war against the true biblical religion of Jesus Christ in reference to a period of time consisting of 1,260 years.

    In conclusion, dear ones, prophetic time periods in Scripture remind us of a very important truth: God has ordained all our days. We do not live by chance from day to day, but every event in history (and every event in our lives), and even the very number of days that each of us shall live has been ordained by the Lord (Job 14:4,5). We are taught by such truths to beseech the Lord to teach us to number our days that we might live wisely rather than foolishly (Psalm 90:12). For we at times forget that the days we live here upon the earth are numbered and short. The strength we feel today in these mortal bodies will pass away, and so will all our earthly possessions (Psalm 39:4-5). Therefore, dear ones, life for the Christian is summed up in the words of the Apostle Paul (Philippians 1:21). What is it for you to live? What gives meaning and purpose to your life? If your life is not Christ, but is rather something earthly, you will leave your life behind when you die. But if Christ is your life and your reason for living, you at death will be going to enjoy your life forever and ever with Christ in heaven. Let us not be foolish. Today is the day of salvation, not tomorrow, or the next day. All our days are in God’s hands. Let us then live each day as if it were our last in faith and hope in Christ.

    1. Thanks, Walt. I agree with the day-year principle as described in the sermon. However, regarding the 2,300 “days,” in Daniel 8, they are described not as “days” but as “evenings and mornings,” as clear a reference to literal days one could ask, referring to the literal days of creation. I summarized my position on this in All the Evenings and Mornings. As regards the 1,290 days, the inclusion of the extra 30 days is a reference to the lunar calation of the Jewish calendar. In any given 3 1/2 year period, either one or two intercalary months would have to be added. Where two intercalary months are added, the 3 1/2 year period would be 1,290 days. And since the 1,335 days are just a 45 day extension of the 1,290, they would be literal, as well. Intercalation, of course, is only necessary if literal days are in view. I summarized my position on this in The Intercalation of Time.

      Thanks,

      Tim

  9. I just noticed I shared this post back then, and not much has changed here either for those who seek to research the Covenanters of Scotland.

    While the new book published entitled “Founding Sins” http://www.amazon.com/Founding-Sins-Antislavery-Radicals-Constitution/dp/0190269243 written about Covenanters has a lot of facts, it is unfortunate that the author does not make any distinctions (or comparisons) between the “extreme” apostles and prophets of Scripture, and the “extreme” Covenanters in their stand against slavery and the founders Godless constitution (vs. SLC and NC). If he would have actually read the authors below, rather than ignoring the SOURCE documents of the authors themselves, it would have been intellectually honest…rather than politically NY Times correct!

    ———
    June 1, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Kevin, in addition to Tim’s work, I recommend the following ministers be studied:

    1) John Knox (1510 – 1572) – 62 years
    2) Alexander Henderson (1583 – 1646) – 63 years
    3) George Gillespie (1613 – 1648) – 35 years
    4) Hugh Binning (1627 – 1653) – 26 years
    5) Samuel Rutherford (1600 – 1661) – 61 years
    6) Robert Baillie (1602 – 1662) – 60 years
    7) Archibald Johnston, Lord Warriston (1611 – 1663) – 52 years
    8) Richard Cameron (1648 – 1680) – 32 years
    9) Donald Cargill (1619 – 1681) – 62 years
    10) Alexander Peden (1626 – 1686) – 60 years
    11) James Renwick (1662 – 1688) – 26 years
    12) David Steele (1803 – 1887) – 84 years

    Here are a few of my favorite websites for those interested:

    http://www.truecovenanter.com/
    reformedcovenanter.wordpress.com/
    http://www.wildersmith.org/ (Wilder-Smith the “father” of the intelligent design movement)
    reformed.org/index.html
    http://www.puritandownloads.com/
    reformedpresbytery.org/
    covenanter.org/
    http://www.sermonaudio.com/main.asp
    http://www.apuritansmind.com/
    http://www.aleppocodex.org/
    http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/index.html
    http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/puritan
    http://www.scottishreformationsociety.org/
    http://www.reformation-scotland.org.uk/
    http://www.biu.ac.il/JH/Responsa/
    http://www.bible-researcher.com/links03.html
    solomon.tcpt.alexanderstreet.com/
    biblehub.com/commentaries/gsb/
    http://www.biblegateway.com/
    http://www.genevabible.org/Geneva.html
    http://www.jewishhistory.org.il/history.php
    creationwiki.org/Main_Page
    http://www.dr-fnlee.org/index.html
    http://www.come-and-hear.com/
    http://www.glaird.com/kiminter.htm
    josephus.org/#mail
    infomotions.com/alex/?cmd=search&query=covenanter
    archive.org/details/texts

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