The Purpose of Daniel 7 and 8

God’s Word has purpose.  Every chapter and verse has purpose.  Isaiah 55:10-11 says,

“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (NIV) (emphasis mine)

Daniel chapters 7 and 8 are no exception.  The visions given in those chapters have a God-given end-time purpose, and are the Scriptural text on which the Four Signposts are based as presented in my book, Hidden In Plain Sight.  If this new interpretation of Daniel 7 and 8 is true, then only now in the end times is the true purpose being revealed.  We know that their true purpose could not be known until the end time because God said in Daniel 12:9 that these words were to be sealed and hidden until the end time. 

Daniel 7 and 8 were traditionally thought of as having served their purpose, prophesying of ancient events that happened only two or three centuries after Daniel’s lifetime.  But now we know that these chapters have only an end-time fulfillment (according to Daniel 7:12,17; 8:17,19), serving as signposts telling the world that this current age is coming to a close, and that the return of the King of Kings is getting closer.

We can think of mankind’s history as a road, and we human beings are the travellers along this road.  World events – whether worldwide or local, great or small – are the features, vistas, and activities that can be seen from the road as one travels along the road.  We Christians believe that at some point the road will end, or make a great change, upon the physical return of Jesus Christ.  At that time the kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of our Christ (Revelation 11:15), and so a great paradigm shift in human society will occur.

To better understand why these four sets of events spoken of in Daniel 7 and 8 can be thought of as signposts, and what is God’s purpose for Daniel 7 and 8, the U.S. Government might be of help, believe it or not.  As it turns out the U.S. Government has made a study of signs and signposts and has derived a set of requirements for what makes an effective sign.  From one of the U.S. Government’s many regulatory and informational websites, there is the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHA) Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).  In Chapter 1A, Section 1A.02, the MUTCD gives guidance to the placement and design of signs and signposts, or as they are called, traffic control devices:

“To be effective, a traffic control device should meet five basic requirements:

A. Fulfill a need;

B. Command attention;

C. Convey a clear, simple meaning;

D. Command respect from road users; and

E. Give adequate time for proper response.

Design, placement…are aspects that should be carefully considered in order to maximize the ability of a traffic control device to meet the five requirements listed in the previous paragraph.”

The visions in Daniel 7 and 8 tell us of events that are to be signposts for us.  But if they truly are to be signposts, then God would have placed them in history’s timeline and constructed them to be useful.  Let us now look at each of the five aforementioned requirements, and compare them to the Four Signposts.

First, the Four Signposts are to fulfill a need.  Jesus told us of the need to be watchful.  Jesus told the disciples about all the things that were going to happen in the end times in Matthew 24:4-31 (wars, Tribulation, His return).  He then told us in Matthew 24:32 about the lesson we should learn from the fig tree of knowing the season we are in.  And He said next in verse 33 that when you see all these things (in verses 4-31) you know the end is near, right at the door.  Then in verse 34 He said that all these things would occur in the span of one generation.

The popular idea in the church these days that nothing more must happen prophetically until the Rapture or Tribulation occurs, is false.  Not only did Jesus tell us to learn to read the seasons, but He told us to be watchful.  How can we read the seasons over a whole generation of time if we are just waiting for a single event which could be years or decades away?  So these Four Signposts fulfill a need – they teach us how to read the seasons.  They are to be used by the saints to know the season we are in.  This will help us stay alert, not asleep, and motivate us further to witness to others of the impending return of the King because we can literally see the time is getting shorter with each Signpost.

A sign can be either be a warning, or a guide.  As a warning a sign “gives notice of a situation that might not be readily apparent.”  An example is that a curve is ahead which cannot be seen.  The Four Signposts are telling us of the things to watch for; what to expect prior to the Tribulation.  As a guide, a sign “shows route designations, street names, destinations, directions, distances, services, points of interest, and other geographical, recreational, or cultural information.”  As a guide, the Signposts tell us that the end is not yet.  For instance, when the leader of Turkey is leading the four-nation confederacy I believe many will think that without a doubt he is the Antichrist.  He will be leading a huge nation that will cover the Middle East.  But he is not the Antichrist, for he is still yet to come.

Second, the Signposts are to command attention.  According to a U.S. Military Traffic Engineering newsletter which interprets the MUTCD requirements, “When developing a signing plan, it is important to use only signs that motorists understand.”  They must also be easily seen.  God’s Word has given us the keys to understand these visions here in the end times.  Having the benefit of centuries of world history behind us we can determine what the seven heads represent.  We can see these four sets of events being fulfilled.  We can see that these four sets of events involve specific countries doing specific things.  When Saddam ruled and then Iraq was democratized, the world media noticed and reported it.  And now Iran is getting ready for its starring role in the Second Signpost.  These are major sweeping events that will grab attention.  As the Signposts play out they will affect much more than merely news headlines.  They will affect your ability to put food on the table, and to make a living.  Oh yes, these Signposts will be more and more noticeable.  The purpose of the message of the Four Signposts is to teach people what the four events truly are.

Third, a sign should convey a clear and simple meaning.  They should be legible, and have a simple message.  The Four Signposts are simple.  It may take many months or years for a Signpost to play out, and their may be many different people and minor events involved, but it all sums up to one major theme.  Simplistically the Four Signposts can be described as:

1) Saddam rules and then Iraq is democratized;

2) Iran charges out and conquers much of the Middle East;

3) Four nations band together and take back the Middle East, forming one great nation;

4) The one nation breaks into four, and there is war as the four jostle for supremacy and they are all re-united by force.

The message of the First Signpost with Saddam and Iraq could be thought of as, “We have finally arrived at the end times, and the last generation is now here.”

The message of the Second Signpost with Iran could be, “The years have advanced sufficiently and we are now at the next stage – the stage where the birth pains start to seriously intensify. ”  Day-to-day life is going to become harder for most.

The message of the Third Signpost with the four nations could be, “No, the leader of Turkey is not the Antichrist yet, and birth pains will continue to intensify.  At any moment the last stage will begin.”

The message of the Fourth Signpost where we see the man who is to be Antichrist uniting the four new fragmented nations and assembling his empire as, “This is it.  When these wars are over and these nations are united, the Tribulation will begin.”

Fourth, a sign should command respect.  It says “pay attention!”  These Signposts will get the attention of everyone on the planet.  The problem is, will people know what they are saying?  The lexicon, this message, must go forth so the saints can understand.

Fifth, a sign should be placed to “give adequate time for proper response.”  The First Signpost was placed in time to tell us that the end times had officially begun.  The Second, Third, and Fourth Signposts are spaced out in times pre-ordained by God to let us all know that we are step-by-step closer to the final seven years.  And the Second Signpost, which is the ramping up of the end time trials, has as a precursor the longer horn of the ram’s two horns growing up later.  We are given a short time, a few years at most which we are in right now, before the main event of the Second Signpost begins.

In conclusion, God is not silent about the years between the establishment of Israel as a nation in 1948, and the Tribulation in the future.  He has ordained that there are signposts to be read at intervals leading up to the Tribulation.  He has given us the keys to know what season we are in.

Categories: Signpost Theology, The Four Signposts

11 replies

  1. Well written Mark. I noticed that the President of Iran “fired” the only female member of the Iranian parliament this past week: Did he consult with the Supreme Leader on this or is he flexing his muscles and testing the waters for greater authority? The Supreme leader is getting pretty old correct; whereas the President is comparatively young and vigorous.

  2. Hi James,
    I looked it up, and yes, Ahmadinejad fired the only female on his cabinet. He has the power to do this, with the Supreme Leader’s consent. Silence from the Supreme Leader is consent. This action is usual and follows the constitution. The Supreme Leader is near 80 and Ahmadinejad is in his 50’s, but this shouldn’t matter. The horns on the ram represent men in government offices. If the Supreme Leader’s horn is not Khamenei, it will be his successor. If the other horn, the one that grows longer and later isn’t Ahmadinejad, it will be someone else allied with him.

  3. Hi Mark,
    Very good post.
    I have copied here for your interest a piece I recently received from Ed Rogers, Author/Speaker, ( who regularly writes in USA on the Muslem problem worldwide). You may already have knowledge of this of course.

    “Iranian press reports conveyed by Chinese media describe a “massive” six-day military exercise launched by the Iranian navy on Friday. The drills come at a time of generally heightened tensions between Tehran and regional Arab states, and just days after Gulf Cooperation Council states lashed out at Tehran for interfering in their internal affairs and threatening their territorial integrity. Iran’s Arab neighbors have expressed grave
    concerns about Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, echoing the warnings of Western analysts to the effect that nuclear weapons will give Iran immunity to take over disputed territory it claims for itself, including the entire nation of Bahrain. In July 2010, the UAE’s ambassador to the United States publicly made the case that the
    benefits of bombing Iran’s nuclear installations outweighed the costs. Leaked cables emerged later that year indicating that Saudi Arabia had privately urged U.S. officials to strike Iran.”

    In light of the second signpost, this is most interesting!

  4. Mark and everyone: this guy might think he is the islamic “john the baptist” hand picked by you know who to usher in the Mehdi, complete with Allah’s special gift/reward to him:(a private harem?) appearing on t.v. interviews with numerous leaders from Israeli society?

    Quote from wikipedia: (AdnanOktar has written numerous books under the pen name Harun Yahya. “Harun” refers to the biblical Aaron and “Yahya” refers to the New Testament John the Baptist.)

    At a minimum he bears watching as he appears to have Israel’s “ear”.

    See/hear also one yahya’s “spokeswomen” give the siren call to Israel through the interviewer: “trust us(turkey)”….

    Quoted as saying: “Ozbudak hosts a television show called, ‘Building Bridges’, with a variety of other young Turkish women. They have stated on the program that in order to ensure peace, “we believe that this can only be done through a Turkish Islamic Union, where all the countries will be independent in their states, but they will be under one roof and Turkey will be the spiritual leader of this Turkish Islamic Union”.

    Yahya looks ridiculous surrounded by 3 to 4 glamorous young women caked with makeup and looking like hookers on his t.v. show: its a wonder that anyone would take him seriously.

    Don’t take my word for it: have a look/listen.

  5. Interesting, James. As far as the importance or relevance of this Adnan Oktar is concerned, he may be anything from a sideshow to a spokesperson for mahdi, who knows. Still way too early to tell. The most interesting thing I take away from this is Turkey’s desire to dominate the region. Turkey of course will eventually end up dominating the region, at least temporarily in the Third Signpost.

  6. Joel Richardson vis-a-vi Joel’s Trumpet blog has reported on Adnan Oktar whom Joel has also interviewed on his blog. Oktar is the most influential author in the Muslim world and is extremely popular in the Middle East. I have tried to read some of his stuff which I find from a Western perspective, well, ridiculous and couldn’t even finish reading one thing he wrote. But Oktar is not to be underestimated and it is understandable how Israelis could be influenced by this author considering the location of Israel’s neighborhood. So from a popular Middle East culture perspective or more likely Turkish propaganda Oktar is the current “ring master.” Still, popular culture can be highly influential, heck, look at our own and how our moral views have changed this last 20 years!

  7. I would ignore this vainglorious Mehdi pretender, but for the fact numerous israeli/judean politicians/rabbis are stumbling over themselves to flatter and pay homage before him and declaring allah to be their god: “in shalla “; “mahshalla”)
    (One wonders why; but one can easily see how many Judeans will be taken in by the spirit of Antichrist especially as they follow their leaders prostrations and receive the just wrath of God for equating the Holy One of Israel with Allah.)

    Harunyaha appears on tv with his prayer beads: probably praying hard to allah to make him the mehdi and of course for one more female victim of his mohammedan lust.

  8. This Adnan Oktar is quite a character: I have been researching him today:
    He claims descendancy from King David.(Lists his geneology on one of his numerous websites):

    He also lists the physical attributes of the Mahdi which he coincidentally has:


  9. Sorry, one more point I just discovered: Yahha was born in Ankara: on a map it looks to be within the ancient Assyrian Empire.

  10. THe seven year tribulation is a false assumption. It is based on a verse in Daniel 9 which tells about the sacrifice and oblation ceasing in the midst of the week. This verse was fulfilled when Christ was crucified in the midst of the week. He preached for 3 and one half years. When He was crucified the sacrificial system was cancelled with the tearing into of the veil of the temple. His disciples preached only to the Jews for the next 3 and one half years only to be rebuffed when they killed Stephen. After that the were sent to the gentiles. IN Revelation, the tribulation is said to last only 42 months, not 7 years. Please open ur eyes before its too late.

  11. I believe that the seventieth week spoken of in Daniel 9:27 is the basis for people saying the tribulation is 7 years long. You are right about the 42 months, that is the Great Tribulation spoken of in Revelation, the period of time between the abomination that causes desolation and the second coming of Christ. Christ himself told us of this in Matthew 24:15-21 where he wants to be sure we understand about the desolation (as Daniel mentioned) and that in vs. 21 the persecution would be the greatest that it ever would be. And then in vs. 29 Jesus says immediately after that distress he returns.
    There are many who have your view. The one problem I have with it is this – the seven weeks and sixty-two weeks reflect the total time just as Daniel said between Artaxerxes’ proclamation and the exact week that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Therefore the seventieth week – even a continuous one with the sixty-ninth – would have started after Christ was crucified.
    You say to keep your eyes open – in this we both firmly agree, brother. That we need to do. And we need to do so in order that we are not taken by surprise. I have debated with historicists who have taken this same position. I ask them and you to keep eyes open and watch for the signposts. The next signpost, the second one, if this signpost interpretation is true is the sign that will tell you that God’s plan is marching forward, and that this terrible event is not something to fear but to take heart about.
    I have told doubters and I stand by these words that if Iran’s government is replaced, or if the country is enfeebled such that it could never invade the Middle East and never do what I believe Daniel 7 and 8 says it will do, then I will apologize openly on this site and stop all further posts.
    But until that day – either the day it is obvious that Iran could never do the invasion, or the day it actually invades – I will do what I believe I am supposed to do and that is be a watchman and warn the church and tell everyone that the invasion of Iran is the next step in God’s end time plan, just as I believe God’s Word declares in Daniel 7 and 8.
    Blessings, Don. I appreciate your heart.

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