In Part One we connected the time stamp of time, times, and half a time from Revelation 13 with the vision in Daniel 7. We know this 3½-year period covers the prophetic career of the Antichrist, compliments of another connection. We get the same beastly description in both Revelation 13 and Daniel 7. The first eight verses in Daniel reveal the rise of the final beastly kingdom by showing us what has happened in history with four beastly empires: the lion representing Babylon, the bear representing Persia, the leopard representing Greece, and the fourth beast representing Rome.
So why is this beastly collection repeated in Revelation? The Spirit is confirming that the Antichrist and his coalition of armies will come from this same geographic region of the Middle East. Again, the Spirit leaves us with no doubt that this is the final invasion of Israel because He repeats another phrase to confirm the connection to Daniel 7. “And he [the Beast] was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months [3½ years]” (Rev. 13:5). Daniel’s overview tells us in verse 11 that “I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame.”
We know from Part One that what happens in between this rise and demise of the Antichrist is the placement of many, many thrones in Heaven’s throne room. The heavenly court is seated and the books are opened. The heavenly judgments bring his demise.
How are the thrones occupied? A fiery river goes forth from the Ancient of Days—a thousand thousands and ten thousand times ten thousands, an innumerable company of angels are sent forth. For God “makes His angels spirits, His ministers a flame of fire” (Psalm 104:4).
Our Lord described this scene in Matt. 24:30-31 (ESV). “Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
So how do the angels gather us? Do all the believers around the globe shoot up like bottle rockets and somehow come together in the sky above? No, Father has something much better in mind for us. As foreshadowed in Elijah, chariots of fire with horses of fire, manned by angels, will appear (2 Kings 2:11). The four winds will converge into a whirlwind, like whirling wheels, for “the Lord will come with fire and with His chariots, like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire” (Is. 66:15).
This divine limousine service takes us back to Heaven. The innumerable company of angels comes back with an innumerable company of the raptured Church! The completed Bride, the 144,000 thousands, stands before the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:10), singing the new song of the Lamb (Rev. 7 & 14).
Now joined together in Heaven, our Lord declares the decree over His Bride, empowering us to be fully conformed in mind and soul to Christ. The seated court can now declare the judgments over the earth—God’s fury over the godless, rebellious nations and people. It’s the wrath of that Day.
The sixth chapter of the Song of Solomon paints an interesting view of this awesome, whirling spectacle. The Shulamite woman—literally Solomon’s girl—strolls into the garden to check on the fig trees, to see if they’re blooming yet. The Berkley version of the passage says that before she was aware of it, her soul’s fancy or desire seated her in a princely chariot and she was whisked away!
In short, what we see here in Daniel 7 is what we saw in Rev. 12. It’s Christ’s second ascension, and this time around He’s got His Bride with Him, and we’re all standing before the Father’s throne. We’re raptured in order to execute justice against the Antichrist and to bring deliverance to the revived Jewish believers. This is what it means in Hebrews 3:1 when it says we are partakers of the heavenly calling. This is our hope of His calling (Eph. 1:18). It’s the general assembly and church of the firstborn (Heb. 12:23). Truly seeing this as our not-so-distant future is what enables us to stand in comfort, hope, and victory while we are yet on the earth.