I've been teaching through Daniel now for about 3 months and I've finally gotten to the prophetic portion of the book; the part that so many people want to talk about; the part that so many people have disagreements about. I find it fascinating to say the least.
One thing that I've been looking at is this: how a person views the prophetic portions of the book of Daniel will determine how this same person views other texts such as Matthew 24, 2 Thessalonians 3, Revelation, etc. I thought I had somewhat of an understanding of some of these prophetic texts, but I have come to see that some of what I thought I understood, I actually did not understand. The reason? Not digging deeply into the book of Daniel which comes prior to all of these other prophetic texts.
When it comes to the intial stage of the Kingdom of Yahweh or the Messianic Kingdom there are basically three views.
To get a bit more technical there are two branches of the pre-millennial view defined best as "historic pre-millennialism" and "futuristic pre-millennialism." But for the sake of brevity we will keep it at 3 views for now.
Both the a-millennial position and the post-millennial position deny that there will be a literal 1,000 year earthly reign/kingdom of the Messiah. A-millennialism doesn't really believe in a millennium (as its title suggests) believing rather that the 1st coming of Yeshua (his death, resurrection, etc.) was the fulfillment of the binding of Satan mentioned in Revelation 20. The "millennium" is simply a figure of speech meaning a long time. They believe that the church will continue to be persecuted and will receive a greater amount of persecution just before the second or consummating coming of the Messiah. This second coming will bring on the eternal kingdom where we will live forever in heaven with the Messiah.
Post-millennialism is extremely similar minus one major point. Those in this "camp" believe that Yeshua's first coming brought on the "millennium" (still figurative), but instead of the church suffering, they believe that things on this current earth will continue to get better and better and that the church will eventually gain control and dominance over the earth to usher in the second coming of Messiah, the eternal kingdom, living in heaven forever.
What is the same in both views is that the Messianic Kingdom is current, and that it is a figurative kingdom ruled from heaven through the agency of the church. I find both of these positions very hard to swallow in light of what we read in both Daniel 2 and Daniel 7 concerning the timeline of prophecy and the kingdom of Yahweh.
I'll be brief here. All four kingdoms (represented by precious metals in Daniel 2 and vicious beasts in Daniel 7) represent literaly, earthly reigns/kingdoms whereby literal laws and rule govern a literal realm. Every single place in the book of Daniel where the word kingdom (Hebrew = "malkoo") is used means exactly this. When the Messianic Kingdom comes on the scene as the stone in Daniel 2 and the Son of Man receiving the kingdom from the Ancient of Days in Daniel 7, it is not good exegesis of the texts to move from earthly kingdoms to a Messianic Kingdom that is not an earthly kingdom reality, but rather runs along contemporaneous with the many man-made kingdoms of the earth in our current time, or really for the last 2,000 years.
The Messianic Kingdom in both chapters of Daniel comes on the scene after the fourth beast is judged and killed. History teaches us that the Romans Empire (the fourth beast) continued at least in its first form strongly until the end of the 4th century A.D. This does not align with the prophetic portions of Daniel. This must mean that there will be a final form or revival of this Roman Empire yet in the future out of which will arise 10 contemporaneous kings, and and 11th king (the little horn) that will govern for 3 1/2 years. At the conclusion of this final form of the fourth beast the Messianic Kingdom will come on the scene. Yeshua will return and the literal 1,000 year reign of Messiah (spoken of 6 times in Revelation 20) will commence.
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Blog by Matthew Janzen. Lover of Yahweh, Yeshua, my wife and 5 children. All else is commentary.