Is Daniel a legitimate prophet? Is his book trustworthy? How do we know?
The prophecy of Daniel 2 is so compelling and its interpretation so straightforward that critics have contended that the book of Daniel could not have been written during the time of Babylon but was written sometime after the fall of Rome. In Matthew 24:15 Jesus says: “ ‘Therefore when you see the “abomination of desolation,” spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place’ (whoever reads, let him understand).”
Jesus, while living on earth during the time of the Roman Empire, states that Daniel is a prophet and gives a ringing endorsement of not only the prophet’s authenticity as a real reliable prophet but also the veracity of the book written by Daniel, indicating that we should read it. In other words, if we believe in Jesus, we can also believe in Jesus’ words authenticating the prophet Daniel and his book. If you are a believer of Jesus, you must also believe in the credibility of Daniel and that Daniel 2 and its dream happened when it said it happened.
Is There a Secret Rapture?
The dream of Daniel 2 indicates that the second coming of Christ will be a tumultuous event that will strike at the feet and destroy the entire image. The dream indicates that the coming of Christ will mean the cessation of any earthly power even in its iron-and-clay form. The belief in a secret rapture espouses the idea that Christ’s followers will be secretly snatched from the earth and taken to heaven, while those remaining are left to continue through the tribulation. From even a cursory read of Daniel 2, one can see that the secret rapture is not possible, given the way the second coming happens. It comes as a huge stone that ends all human history as we know it.
The theory of the secret rapture is based on two main ideas: the thief in the night, and the one being taken and the other left. The thief-in-the-night idea can be easily dispelled simply by reading the other part of 2 Peter 3:10: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.” This is anything but secret. The “thief in the night” refers to the notion that, just as a thief comes at a time we least expect it, Jesus’s coming will suddenly happen and many will be taken by surprise. It will not be a secret event that we will miss.
The other mantra of the secret rapture is the phrase, “one will be taken and the other will be left” (see Luke 17:24–37). In verse 37 Jesus gives an indication of the state of the wicked, when the disciples ask “Where, Lord?” and Jesus says to them, “ ‘Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.’ ” In other words, the wicked are not given a second chance when they are dead. They are food for the birds (see Rev. 19:17, 18).