A multitude of questions and objections were handed to the author and answered or replied to when lecturing on this book. A selection of those that might pose difficulties to others has been made here, together with abbreviated notes of the answers given. Only those bearing directly on the themes treated in Daniel have been preserved.
1. Is it the antichrist or the Roman little horn who will make the seven-years covenant with the Jews?
In a sense, both; for while the little horn is “the prince that shall come’* of chapter 9, the antichrist will be the representative head of the Jewish nation. They “shall divide the land for gain [or, at a price]” (11:39). The covenant would seem to be made between them, the antichrist acting on behalf of “the many”—a term applied to apostate Judah. Just as “the counsel [or covenant] of peace” is between the Father and the Son (Zechariah 6:13), so “the covenant of death” will be sealed by the beast and the false prophet.
2. Was the placing of the Roman eagles (in the siege of Titus) on the walls of Jerusalem the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel and referred to by our Lord?
No. The setting up of the abomination that causes desolation is the beginning of the great tribulation, and that does not begin until antichrist is raised up by Satan to impersonate the Messiah.
3. The Seventh-day Adventists teach that “the cleansing of the sanctuary” refers to Christ’s entering the holiest of all in Heaven at the end of 2300 year-days in 1844 to cleanse it. Is this the correct explanation of the passage?
It is a perversion of Scripture and blasphemous beyond expression as the Adventist sanctuary-theory makes Satan to be the sin-bearer, and thus the real savior of the penitent! Could anything be more horrible?
Scripture plainly teaches that our Lord “when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3). Of necessity this implies His immediate entrance into the holiest, for the throne of God is there. “We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man” (Hebrews 8:1-2). There on God’s throne in the holiest He has been sitting, not since 1844, but ever since His ascension. Because He is there and the veil removed, believers are able to enter there in spirit too: “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus… Let us draw near” (10:19, 22). Think of our being invited to draw near and enter into the holiest, and the Son, our great High Priest, Himself shut out until 1844!
The sanctuary contemplated by Daniel is earthly, and the prophecy was fulfilled in 2300 days after Antiochus Epiphanes polluted it by setting up a statue of Jupiter Olympus in the holiest (see comments on Daniel 8:14).
4. Does “He shall…think to change times and laws” (7:25) refer to the pope, who changed the sabbath from Saturday, the seventh day, to Sunday, the first day?
As noted in Chapter 7, there is no reference to the pope in the passage. The pope did not change the sabbath. He simply acknowledged the special place given to the Lord’s day. The sabbath is and always has been the seventh day and will be kept as such in the millennium.
The Lord’s day is something very different. It belongs to the present dispensation and commemorates the resurrection of our Savior on the first day of the week. If under law, we are bound to observe the seventh day—the sabbath; but if under grace, we should gladly devote the first day of the week to the worship and service of the Lord.
5. Why is the name of the great king of Babylon spelled Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel, but sometimes Nebuchadrezzar in Jeremiah?
Ancient, as also modern, names were adapted to the speech of the various countries. Nebuchadnezzar seems to be the Hebraic form of the name. The monuments spell it with an “r” in place of an “n” as in parts of Jeremiah.
6. Will you give the exact dates for the computation of the 69 weeks of years that are supposed to have culminated in the cross of Christ?
The Scripture says, “After threescore and two weeks [together with the seven previously mentioned] shall Messiah be cut off (9:26, italics added). Just how soon after is not told us, but able chronologists have shown that 69 sevens of years of 360 days each had passed before Christ died. The clearest explanation of the times seems to be that given by Sir Robert Anderson in “The Coming Prince.” He calculated that exactly 483 prophetic years had elapsed on the day that Christ rode into Jerusalem as the King predicted by Zechariah.
7. Why is Belshazzar called son and Nebuchadnezzar his father if they were not so intimately connected (Daniel 5)?
Because in the Semitic languages son is commonly used for descendant and father for ancestor. Thus the Israelites are sons of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In the same way the kings of Judah are called sons of David, though many generations may have intervened.
8. Does Ezekiel 45:19-20 refer to the cleansing of the Heavenly sanctuary at the end of the 2300 year-days, as in Daniel 8?
See reply to Question 3. The sanctuary of Ezekiel, as the entire context makes plain, is the millennial temple, to be built in the midst of the land of Palestine and hallowed for divine service in the time of the kingdom. From chapter 40 to the end of the book, we read Ezekiel’s description of this temple and its position and the position of the tribes of Israel to the north and south of it. The verses referred to in the question speak of the special dedication service when the temple will be ready for the renewal of the priestly service and the memorial sacrifices to be observed in the coming age by the earthly people—very much, I judge, as the Lord’s supper is observed among Christians.
9. Do you not think that Christ is to reign in Heaven instead of on or over the earth?
No. Heaven is never said to be a sphere of Christ’s kingdom. The heavens rule over the earth, but we do not read of saints reigning in Heaven. When the Bible speaks of reigning with Christ, it implies controlling something that must be kept down. A king in a kingdom implies there is something to be repressed. People talk about the saints reigning in Heaven, but Scripture never so speaks. The saints are equal in Heaven: all are children with the Father. But in the kingdom one may have a greater place than another, as the kingdom has to do with rewards for service in this life.
Notice how Scripture puts it. In the present age the Lord Jesus says, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake” (Matthew 5:10). In our age Christ is not openly reigning; He is rejected and we are called on to suffer with Him, because Satan is the god of this age. “If we suffer [with Him], we shall also reign with him” (2 Timothy 2:12). This is not the time of His power; He is not reigning now and so righteousness suffers.
In the millennium, or kingdom-period, we read, “A king shall reign in righteousness.” In that day righteousness will not suffer, it will reign—that is, all evil will be kept down. But it is evident that there will be evil still. At the end of the millennium Satan comes up from the bottomless pit and finds a great host ready to follow him; this shows that there will be many in the millennium who will be simply kept under by the power of the King—such as those that have not been regenerated. People in the millennium will need to be born again just as much as they do now.
When we come to the new heavens and the new earth, does righteousness reign then? No; we read, “We.. .look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2 Peter 3:13, italics added. Read also Revelation 21.) The kingdom will be delivered up to the Father; God will dwell with His people; righteousness will dwell in the new heavens and the new earth; there will never be an enemy throughout eternity to lift up his head against God. Of course, the kingdom of God is forever and ever. That is, He will never surrender His throne or be superseded by any other.
10. Might not Daniel have avoided being cast into the den of lions if he had acted according to Matthew 6:6 in making his prayer three times a day? Would he not then have avoided giving offense?
The prophet acted according to the dispensation in which he lived. The words of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 6:6 have a different application and are a rebuke to hypocritical pretenders to a holiness they do not possess. In 1 Kings 8, note Solomon’s prayer. He requested mercies of the Lord for His people when driven out of their land if they should pray “toward this place.” Daniel acted accordingly and evidently with divine approval.
11. Does Daniel 7 go on to “the day of God” of 2 Peter 3? What is the difference between the day of the Lord and the day of God?
It is the bringing in of the kingdom, or the day of the Lord, that is contemplated in Daniel 7. The day of God is the eternal state. In 2 Peter 3, the two are seen overlapping, as it were, in the last great conflagration; it is the close of the one and the beginning of the other.
12. Is the seventieth week identical with the great tribulation?
The seventieth week will be a period of tribulation for all earth-dwellers; but it is the last half of the week, or 1260 days, that is called “the tribulation, the great one.” This will be the season of antichrist’s power and the beast’s war on the remnant.
13. Will Daniel and the rest of the Old Testament saints be raised with the saints of this dispensation at the time of the rapture of 1 Thessalonians 4?
The word is plain—“Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming” (1 Corinthians 15:23, emphasis added). This includes all saints from Abel to the end of the present age.
14. Will Old Testament saints be manifested with the church at the judgment seat of Christ?
Surely; how else could Daniel stand in his lot at the time of the end (Daniel 12:13)?
“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).