Two and one half millennia ago, a Hebrew prophet under forced exile to Babylon was given a panoramic vision of future history by God. The prophet, Daniel, recorded his visions in the book that bears his name. Daniel’s vision outlined the rise and fall of four successive world empires; the fall of Babylon to the Medo-Persians, which later fell to Alexander the Great’s Greek Empire, which then fell to Rome. Daniel foretold Rome’s collapse, and its subsequent revival, concurrently with the restoration of Israel, at some point in future history.But when Daniel was given the vision of events in the last days, the prophet was staggered at what he witnessed. Imagine, for a moment, being someone living in the sixth century before Christ and being given a peek at the world as it exists today. Then, having seen the unimaginable, Daniel was instructed to write down what he saw.
When Daniel emerged from the vision, the angel instructed him, “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”
Daniel was dumbfounded.
“Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, ‘My Lord, what shall be the end of these things?'” For the second time in the same chapter, the angel told Daniel, “The words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end” (Daniel 12:8-9 NKJV).The prophecies of Daniel were indeed “sealed” for centuries following the Reformation. The early Reformation leaders like Luther and Calvin gave Daniel little attention, pronouncing both Daniel and Revelation either symbolic or allegorical.
But in this generation, the prophecies of both books are unsealed. Daniel’s vision of a global government headed by a prince of a revived Roman Empire is all but fulfilled in this generation.
For the first time in 1,600 years, there exists a modern version of the old Roman Empire, although, as Daniel predicted, “partly strong and partly weak,” compared to the iron of Imperial Rome.
There exists, for the first time since before the prophet Daniel was born, a geopolitical entity called “Israel.” Neither existed until this generation. Israel was reborn in 1948. The Benelux Treaty that kicked off the unification of Europe was signed in 1948.
That same year, Bell Labs introduced the transistor, whose invention marked the birth of the Computer Age.
The angel told Daniel his vision would be unintelligible to generations other than the one to whom it was addressed, a generation whose hallmark would be that of ever-increasing knowledge.
Thanks to Bell Labs’ 1948 invention, Moore’s Law of Computer says that today’s computers get twice as smart every 18 months to two years. That means we get twice as smart.
The angel also identified the generation of the time of the end as one in which “many would go to and fro” – the generation that witnessed the birth of rapid mass transportation.
According to World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan, “An outbreak or epidemic in one part of the world is only a few hours away from becoming an imminent threat somewhere else.”
Chan specifically identified mass travel as facilitating the rapid spread of infectious diseases.
“No country can shield itself from invasion by a pathogen incubating in an airline passenger or an insect hiding in a cargo hold,” Chan told Reuters.
She also warned that there was a good possibility of another major scourge like AIDS, SARS or Ebola fever with the potential of killing millions appearing in the coming years.
“Infectious diseases are now spreading geographically much faster than at any time in history,” Reuters quoted the World Health Organization as saying.
“Faster than at any time in history,” is the assessment of the most advanced medical technology the world has ever known, caused by our ability to “go to and fro” from one continent to the next – for the FIRST time in history.
“But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”
Many run “to and fro,” knowledge is increasing at an exponential rate, and more books have been written about the prophet Daniel in this generation than in the last 2,500 years combined.
What is that telling you?