SPECIAL PREPATORY NOTE: ON PROPHECY, HISTORICAL CONTEXT, AND THE BIBLICAL PATTERN
In Genesis 3:14-15, God said to the Serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all the cattle and all the living creatures of the field! On your belly you will crawl and dust you will eat all the days of your life. And I will put hostility between you and the and between your offspring and her Offspring; He will strike your head, and you will strike His heel.” (NET)
A lot has unfolded since God’s statement above, but not everything. To try and show the pattern of what will happen, let’s look to the Book of Daniel and try and connect some dots because John, in Revelation, refers to events in the future by referencing events of the past.
Daniel Chapter 2 tells us of a statue of a man that embodies the totality of the kingdoms that rule at the time and will in the future. In the midst of these man-centered kingdoms, an everlasting kingdom will rise up during the time of a strong and weak people. As the everlasting kingdom rises, the last kingdom will fall. We are talking about man-systems and governments.
Again, Daniel chapter 7 shows an overview picture of all the dominant coming kingdoms and their rule. We have a one like a son of man… a human brings forth rule from heaven (God’s will) over all the kingdoms of the nations and are still in operation because they are differentiated from the Anointed One’s people. The last ones to be conquered are headed by a little horn that rises up out of the fourth of beasts (kingdoms) as thrones are set up (I take this the be the Church Age).
Within the of time of the fourth beast (kingdom), Daniel 8 explains that Little Horn (man rising to power) the temple will be desolate (second temple in Jerusalem) thus stopping the sacrifices and thereby God’s established means to be present with His people (Jews). The people would fight back against oppression and win back their independence (the Hanukkah Story) which lasts about 100 years then Rome returned in force the govern the nation.
Daniel 9 then tells us that after all that… we have the coming of the Anointed One (Jesus Christ). He, Jesus, will put an end to sacrifices and offerings once and for all (as the author of Hebrew explains). This is the time of Daniel 7’s fourth kingdom and the little horn. Just like in earlier times the Jews overcame the oppressors; so likewise the person of Christ Jesus overcomes the oppressor (little horn) and the people in Him rule in freedom from sin and death forever.