Author's Introduction And Key To The Chart

The chart accompanying this volume is a reproduction of a large one used when the content matter of this book was delivered as lectures. Careful study of the diagram will help to clarify the structure of the book of Daniel, especially to those who are unfamiliar with prophetic teaching.

As we begin this study I want you to notice the title of the chart— “Outline of the book of Daniel the Prophet.” I call attention to the name given to Daniel, because it was given to him by our Lord Jesus Himself in Matthew 24:15 and in Mark 13:14. There we find Him warning His disciples concerning the setting up of “the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet”(italics added).

Some critics deny that there was a prophet Daniel. They declare that it is utterly impossible to believe that Daniel lived in the days of Nebuchadnezzar, Darius, and Cyrus, and yet wrote a book which told of all these world empires before any of them, except the first two, had come into existence. Daniel, these learned teachers tell us, was simply a romancer who lived over 200 years later and wrote his so-called prophecies after they had all become history.

As a simple believer, I owe everything for eternity to what the blessed Christ of God accomplished on Calvary’s cross. I prefer to accept His testimony, even if it is in opposition to all the wise men of the day. He declared that Daniel was a prophet. He did not speak of Daniel the historian, Daniel the romancer, or Daniel the novelist but Daniel the prophet—Daniel the man who had enlightenment by the Spirit of God. Therefore he could speak of the things that were not as though they were. I stand for the full inspiration of all the reputed Word of God, and therefore, of the book of Daniel.

The first chapter of Daniel is introductory, and does not itself have a prophetic character. It pictures, for our instruction, the moral condition needed to understand divine ways and counsels. It emphasizes the need of holiness as a prerequisite to growth in the truth.

Chapters 2-9 are each complete in themselves, giving either actual prophetical instruction or symbolic lessons of a prophetic character. As will be readily observed, all culminate in “the time of the end.”

The meaning of this last expression will be made clear by noting the parenthetical period in God’s divine plan. It is indicated by the broad space between the two horizontal lines running across the chart, near the center. Everything noted or pictured above the upper horizontal line represents fulfilled prophecy or history already accomplished. The line itself (see the column headed “Chapter 9”) is coincident with the cross of Christ. Below the second line we have the “time of the end.” This second line represents the close of the present “church-period” at the rapture of the saints or the Lord’s coming to the air. Between the two horizontal lines, we have the whole gospel age, or dispensation of the grace of God. During this time He has been pleased to make known the revelation of the mystery of Christ and the church. This mystery was not made known until the rejection and ascension of Christ, followed by the descent of the Holy Spirit to baptize believing Jews and Gentiles into one body. Thus a heavenly people were secured for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ; they will share His throne as the bride of His heart in the coming age and through eternity.

Now all this was still hidden in the days of Daniel. If the chart were folded so that these two horizontal lines touched, the parenthetical period would be hidden, as was the mystery in Old Testament times. With this period covered, we have an outline of what was revealed to Daniel. The great image is then seen to be apparently continuous; the ten-horned condition of the beast of chapter 7 immediately follows its first rising up.

Chapters 10-12 form one prophecy. The division into past and future occurs between verses 35 and 36 of chapter 11.

Daniel said very little about Christ’s kingdom, as his special theme was “the times of the Gentiles”; but chapters 2,7, and 12 lead us up to this kingdom, although there is little detail regarding it.

May God be pleased to use this little book to stir up His own people to greater devotion to Himself, a more ardent longing for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together unto Him, and to the arousing of any who are still in their sins.