The Prophet Daniel and The Two Comings of King Messiah
By John McTernan
“But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets…” Zechariah 1:6
When God appeared to Moses and the children of Israel during the Exodus, He gave very clear instruction how to identify the future prophets He would send. Moses was to be the first in a long line of prophets that would stretch more than a thousand years to the prophet Malachi. Malachi was the last Hebrew prophet until the coming of King Messiah.
There were two basic requirements for a prophet. The first is the message he gave must be line with the previous revelation of Scripture and not draw the people away from the God of Israel, Deuteronomy 13:1-3. The second is that all that was prophesied must come to pass, Deuteronomy 18:22. There was no margin for error. All that was prophesied in the name of the LORD would have to happen just as spoken, and the prophet’s message would have to line up with the rest of the Scriptures. If the prophet failed any of these two requirements, the person was to be ignored and considered a false prophet and not a true prophet of God.
God also told how He would communicate with His future prophets. He gave the method by which the prophets would receive the word to relay to the people. God would speak to His prophets through visions and dreams. Moses was unique as he received his message directly from the mouth of God. Moses heard the voice of the LORD and wrote what he had heard. The rest of the prophets down to Malachi received their revelations by visions and dreams. The verse to show this follows:
Numbers 12:6 “And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.”
Daniel was one of God’s prophets. He prophesied about events to happen in his lifetime and events which would occur far into the future. The future events centered around the world empires to come on the scene that would affect Israel and the coming of King Messiah. Daniel passed all the tests that are required to be one of God’s true prophets. The events which he prophesied about which have already occurred have been 100 percent accurate. But Daniel also prophesied about events that have yet to be fulfilled. These events focus on a future world-wide empire and the coming of King Messiah. Both these events will be fulfilled exactly as written by Daniel.
Daniel received his revelations just as the Bible states, in visions and dreams. Daniel was specially chosen by God to interpret prophecies as well as convey them. Not only did he receive these prophecies of God, He also gave Daniel the ability understand all visions and dreams.
Daniel 1:17 “As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.”
The Prophet Daniel received the particular revelations about the coming of King Messiah by both visions and a dream. Since Daniel fulfilled all the requirements listed by Moses to be a prophet, and his prophecies are all tested with perfect accuracy, his prophecies involving future events are of the utmost importance. Daniel’s prophetic message turns out to be so powerful that the precise time for the coming of King Messiah can be determined. Included in this prophecy are also detailed accounts of the ministry in the first and second coming of King Messiah as well as His supernatural existence. Because of the specific time frame set, the book of Daniel is critical in determining who can be Israel ’s King Messiah.
In the New Testament, the Bible refers to Daniel as, “Daniel the prophet,” Matthew 24:15. He was identified by name in the New Testament as being a prophet just as Jeremiah (Matthew 2:17) and Isaiah (Matthew 3:3) were recognized by name as prophets. Both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament recognize Daniel as a true prophet of God sent to Israel.
Coming With The Clouds of Heaven
Daniel 7:13 “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.”
Daniel gives a unique view in the Hebrew Scriptures for the coming of King Messiah. He gives a view from heaven. Daniel sees King Messiah in His preexistence in heaven before the throne of God. King Messiah is referred to by Daniel as the “Son of Man.” The Messiah is seen with an incalculable number of people with Him in heaven. God is referred to as the “Ancient of Days” and described on His throne as King Messiah is before Him. Daniel describes the burning fire of God’s throne and the judgment of all mankind which will take place before the holy God of Israel. Through the Prophet Daniel an incredible glimpse of heaven is seen.
Daniel 7:9 “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. (10) A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.”
Then Daniel tells of King Messiah coming with the “Clouds of heaven” to set up His kingdom on earth. The “Clouds of heaven” are the incalculable number of saints in heaven with Him. King Messiah does not come by Himself to establish His kingdom over all the earth, but He comes with a huge number of believers who are with Him in heaven.
King Messiah will not be a political leader who heads an organization like the United Nations. He will not be a world conqueror like Napoleon. His kingdom will not be established by an human means, but it will be established by His supernatural power. His kingdom will be over the entire world. All nations and people will come under His authority. His rule will be everlasting and will not pass away.
The seat of His power will be in His magnificent temple, on Mount Zion in Jerusalem . At this time, the kingdom will once again be restored to Israel with King Messiah ruling the nations from the throne of David. The Scriptures to show the Son of Man coming from heaven to establish His kingdom follows:
Daniel 7:13 “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. (14) And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”
Daniel 7:22 “Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.” (27) And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.”
Daniel also reveals how King Messiah will establish His kingdom on earth. He shows that when King Messiah comes and establishes His kingdom, He will destroy a world empire set against the holy God of Israel. There will be an ungodly empire that will affect the entire world. This empire will be in total rebellion against God and His Messiah. At King Messiah’s second coming, He will totally destroy this rebellious kingdom and then establish His kingdom over the entire earth with righteousness and justice.
Daniel interpreted a dream of the Babylonian King, Nebuchadnezzar. This dream involved four kingdoms which were coming upon the earth to rule over Israel . The kingdoms were pictured in the vision as being a huge statue of a man made in gold, silver, brass, iron and a mixture of iron and clay. The statue was then destroyed supernaturally. Daniel said this would occur in the “latter days” or the time of the coming of King Messiah to rule on the earth.
The Lord Jesus, King Messiah, at His second coming will destroy this world kingdom represented by the huge image. In the vision King Messiah is described as a “Stone that was cut without hands.” This means no human effort will be involved. God is going to establish the kingdom without any human involvement. It is totally of God. The Stone completely destroys this image until nothing is left.
Daniel 2:31 “Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. (34) Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. (35) 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:…”
After the destruction of this terrible world empire, God will establish His kingdom, and King Messiah will reign over all the earth. The Stone is then viewed as a great mountain which fills the entire earth. This event remains to be fulfilled:
Daniel 2:35: “and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.”
Daniel 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. (45) Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.”
Combining Daniel Chapters Two and Seven
Daniel chapters two and seven both unfold the coming of King Messiah. Chapter two reveals the view from earth as King Messiah comes to crush a terrible world kingdom and establish His own kingdom. Chapter seven shows King Messiah coming from before the throne of God with the “Clouds of heaven” to establish His kingdom.
Both chapters show that the kingdom will not be established by any world organization or government. This kingdom will be established after God destroys the corrupt world system and then creates His own kingdom upon the earth. There will be no mistaking the establishment of King Messiah’s kingdom. It will be established during what the Bible prophets call the “Day of the Lord.”
Other prophets add to Daniel’s picture of the coming of King Messiah to set up His kingdom. For example, the prophet Zechariah describes that the nations of the world will gather together in a unified attempt to destroy Israel and Jerusalem . The Hebrew prophets, with great detail, write about the dispersion and restoration of Israel. They show after the Jews were dispersed into all the world, God would again bring them into their covenant land, and Jerusalem would once again be the capital. The nations would gather together to destroy Israel , and this would trigger the second coming of the Lord Jesus. This gathering of the nations to destroy Jerusalem is the beginning of the Day of the Lord.
Zechariah 14:1 “Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. (2) For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle;…”
The Day of the Lord begins with God’s judgment of the nations. It includes the second coming of the Lord Jesus; the building of His magnificent temple in Jerusalem ; the establishment of His kingdom over all the earth; and His rule over all the nations for a 1000 years.
Just as Daniel wrote about the coming of King Messiah, Zechariah wrote of the judgment on the nations in rebellion against God and the destruction of their armies. Zechariah wrote of the method with which armies would be destroyed. The armies would be obliterated supernaturally in the presence of the Messiah in His glory.
Zechariah 14:12 “And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.”
King Messiah will stand on the Mount of Olives as He defends Jerusalem . Daniel prophesied that He would come with the “Clouds of Heaven.” Zechariah wrote of Him coming as the LORD God with all His saints. Both prophets saw the Messiah coming supernaturally with a large host from heaven. Zechariah referred to King Messiah as the LORD my God:
Zechariah 14:3 “Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. (4) And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east,…(5) …and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.”
Daniel’s visions and dream of King Messiah’s first and second comings and the establishment of His kingdom is in complete agreement with all the prophets. Daniel gives extremely important information about the preexistence of King Messiah before the very throne of God in heaven before He sets up His everlasting kingdom on earth. Daniel chapters two and seven show the awesome details of the second coming of God’s Messiah to establish His kingdom over all the earth.
However, Daniel in chapter nine portrays a completely different view of King Messiah. His words proclaim the Messiah’s first coming–not to establish His kingdom over all the earth, but to deal the problem of man’s sin. This chapter reveals He would die for others. His death would pay the penalty of man’s sin and is a complete and separate appearance on earth. Thus, we see the two comings of King Messiah. The purpose of the first coming was to deal with penalty of sin and provide reconciliation with the holy God of Israel. Daniel prophesies that the second coming is to establish His kingdom over all the earth.
Before examining chapter nine, consider the problem with man’s sin. God had established clear and specific guidelines under the law of Moses detailing how to deal with sin. When you understand God’s system under the law, the ministry of King Messiah to free the people from sin becomes very clear. Before King Messiah could reign in His glory, God had to provide a way to deal with the sin that inherently separates man from God.
The Coming of King Messiah and the Problem of the People’s Sin
“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” Isaiah 59:2
When God gave the children of Israel the law which reflected His holiness, He also gave a series of blessings if the law was obeyed and a very long list of curses if the law was broken. God clearly warned Israel to obey the law or face serious judgments. There were fearful consequences for breaking the law.
The Bible first lists the blessings which would come upon Israel if the people obeyed the law. These blessings are found in Leviticus 26:3-13, and Deuteronomy 28:1-14. Immediately following the blessing is a series of specific curses which would fall on the nation for disobeying the law. The people’s obedience brought the blessings and the rebellion brought the curses.
The Bible specifies the curses in several places. No one can mistake the judgments for disobeying the law. They are clearly detailed in the law of Moses. One of these judgments is the dispersion of the children of Israel into the nations. Actually, the precise judgment was the land was to be made a desolation and the people scattered into the nations. The Scriptures to show this follow:
Leviticus 26:14 “But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; (15) And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant:” (31) And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savour of your sweet odours. (32) And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it. (33) And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.”
Deuteronomy 28:15 “But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: (64) And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.”
It was for their disobedience that Israel suffered this judgment, just as Moses and the law specifies. Israel disobeyed God’s commandments and the land was made desolate, and the people were taken captive to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, conquered Judah and Jerusalem in 606 BC. Israel rebelled under His rule. So again, the Babylonian king attacked and conquered Jerusalem in 586 BC. The children of Israel were delivered into the hands of their enemies. The Babylonian army destroyed the land and took the people captive to Babylon. Daniel the prophet was one taken captive and carried away with the remainder of Israel. And Nebuchadnezzar became God’s servant of judgment to fulfill the law.
Jeremiah the prophet had warned Israel of the coming judgment for disobeying the law. He tried to turn the people from iniquity, but they would not listen to his warnings. The people hardened their hearts in rebellion, and God through Jeremiah pronounced judgment on the nation. Jeremiah prophesied that the punishment would last a 70 year time period. The entire land would be desolate and the people captive in Babylon for a total of 70 years.
Jeremiah 25:11 “And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.”
There was a specific reason why the punishment was set for 70 years. The law of Moses required that every seventh year the land must rest from farming. There would be no planting or harvesting crops in the seventh year. There was to be no work in the vineyard. All agricultural activity would have to cease for the entirety of the seventh year to give the land a Sabbath rest.
God would bless on the sixth year for enough food to carry through not only for the Sabbath rest but for three years. The land had to rest for the entire year to obey this law. God connected obeying the seventh year Sabbath rest to dwelling safely on the land. So Israel ’s failure to obey the Sabbath rest of the land meant their safety and well-being was at stake. The Scriptures to show this follow:
The land was to be given a sabbath rest on the seventh year:
Leviticus 25:4 “But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard. (5) That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither gather the grapes of thy vine undressed: for it is a year of rest unto the land.”
The sixth year would produce enough crops for three years:
Leviticus 25:21 “Then I will command my blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years.”
Israel ’s dwelling safely on the land depended upon keeping this commandment:
Leviticus 25:18 “Wherefore ye shall do my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; and ye shall dwell in the land in safety.”
Israel failed to obey the Sabbath year rest of the land. So they received the punishment for a 70 year time period specifically for violating the Sabbath rest. God disciplined the nation, and the land was desolate for 70 years, and therefore, the punishment met the exact requirement of the law. Israel was punished with one year in captivity for each seventh year land Sabbath that was missed. Thus, the resting of the land which should have taken place every seven years over a long period of time was fulfilled in 70 consecutive years. The punishment fit the exact breaking of the law! The punishment was not capricious, but tied directly to the law’s requirement for the land’s Sabbath rest.
2 Chronicles 36:20-21: “And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: To fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfill threescore and ten (70) years.”
Leviticus 26:43 “The land also shall be left of them, and shall enjoy her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them: and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity: because, even because they despised my judgments, and because their soul abhorred my statutes.”