Summary: A survey of the Angel’s activities in the prophecy of Daniel and Revelation
The Angels are key players in God’s overall end times plan. He uses them mightily throughout the book of Daniel, the Old Testament parallel to the book of the Revelation. And, even though almost 2600 years have passed since the time Daniel’s book was written, the angels continue to be the same powerful messengers of God today as they fulfill their role as merciful ministers unto His people:
“Bless the LORD, ye His angels, that excel in strength, that do His commandments, hearkening unto the voice of His word. Bless ye the LORD, all ye His hosts; ye ministers of His, that do His pleasure.”(Psalm 103:20, 21)
They will be used mightily in the unfolding of the end times. They appear repeatedly as the servants that God uses to bring forth both of the major series of judgments, the seven trumpets and the seven vials, during the Day of the Lord as recorded in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
Before the Revelation is considered, the book of Daniel must be surveyed as it also reveals much vital angelic activity affecting the time of the end:
“I, Daniel, was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So, he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.” (Daniel 7:15, 16)
Daniel has just received a vision (Daniel 7:1-14) containing near future events involving “four great beasts” [four kingdoms] (Daniel 7:3-7) and far future events (Daniel 7:7-14) which will occur during the end times. He receives the interpretation of this vision from an angel referred to as “one of them that stood by” (Daniel 7:16).
Although Daniel had received a vision from God previously (Daniel 2:19) in order to interpret king Nebuchadnezzar’s first vision, this vision in chapter seven is the first one he was given which required the interpretation of an angel. This complex vision is the first of four end times visions given to Daniel requiring angelic interpretation.
Notice, Daniel “came near unto one of them that stood by” (Daniel 7:16) indicating that there was more than one angel attending this event. Daniel was able to physically come near one of them revealing that they were in his presence during the interpretation. The vision was “a dream and visions of his head…the visions of my head troubled me” (Daniel 7:2, 15) being supernaturally revealed to the mind of Daniel.
The angel gave Daniel a brief interpretation (Daniel 7:16-18) causing him to want more information concerning the fourth beast [end times 8th beast empire (Revelation 17:3, 8-11], the ten horns [the ten kings (Revelation 17:12-14], and the little horn [the Antichrist] (Daniel 7:19-22). He then receives a lengthy, more specific response from the interpreting angel (Daniel 7:23-27).
The next vision given to Daniel is revealed in chapter eight:
“In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first. And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai.” (Daniel 8:1, 2)
The vision is then given (Daniel 8:3-14) followed by Daniel seeking for the meaning:
“And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man. And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. So he [Gabriel] came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.” (Daniel 8:15-17)
Once again, Daniel receives instruction from an angel whose name is Gabriel. He, Gabriel, is told to “make this man understand” and physically comes near to Daniel causing him to be afraid and fall upon his face. Nevertheless, Gabriel continues his detailed interpretation of the vision (Daniel 8:19-26). Then, Daniel responds:
“And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king’s business; and I was astonished [astounded] at the vision, but none understood it.” (Daniel 8:27)
Although Daniel did not fully understand this vision at the time, its time of the end content has been invaluable in determining:
1. The Rise of the Antichrist (Daniel 8:9, 10),
2. The Rule of the Antichrist (Daniel 8:11, 12 23-25a)
3. The Ruin of the Antichrist (Daniel 8:25b)