Excellent post John146There is a sense in which "the time of the end" began long ago if "the time of the end" is equivalent to "the last time". Have you considered the possibility that we should understand "the time of the end" as being the same as "the last time" that John mentioned here:
1 John 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
Since it was already "the last time" in John's day what event was it that brought things into "the last time"? Wouldn't that have been Christ's first coming? Notice that what identified it as being "the last time" was the presence of many antichrists. In order for there to be antichrists, Christ had to come first, right? So, I don't think "the time of the end" necessarily has to only refer to the very last days preceding the return of Christ. I believe "the time of the end", or what John called "the last time", began long ago and is still ongoing today. According to Luke (based on cross referencing Luke 21:20-24 with Matt 24:15-22 and Mark 13:14-2), the abomination of desolation had to do with the time when Jerusalem would be surrounded by armies and destroyed. Well, that is exactly what happened around 70 AD. Jerusalem was surrounded by the Roman armies and the city and temple were destroyed. The destruction of the temple fulfilled the prophecy Jesus gave when He said that no stone of the temple would be left upon another (Matt 24:2, Mark 13:2, Luke 21:6).
Daniel 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
The book was to be sealed until the time of the end. So, when was it that people began to understand the prophecies contained within the book (which would indicate that it was no longer sealed)? Didn't Jesus expect people to understand the prophecy even back when He referred to it?
Matt 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand )
What Daniel 12:4 indicates is that the prophecies contained within the book of Daniel would be sealed and not understood until "the time of the end". Well, Jesus expected people to understand the prophecy regarding the abomination of desolation a long time ago when He gave His Olivet Discourse. So, it must be that the time of the end had already arrived at that point. There is no basis for thinking that the abomination of desolation can't occur until sometime in the future because the time of the end (supposedly) hasn't arrived yet. I believe I have shown that there is strong evidence to suggest that "the time of the end" not only has arrived but began already long ago.
Understanding the prophecies of the book of Daniel would require the book to be unsealed and would require "the time of the end" to have begun. You claim to understand the prophecies of the book. Therefore, even you must believe we are now in "the time of the end". Yet you try to claim that "the time of the end" has not yet begun and won't begin until sometime in the future. If that's the case then the book of Daniel must still be sealed and no one, including yourself, would be able to understand it yet. So, is the book still sealed or not? If it is then why are you acting as if you understand it? It has to be unsealed first in order for anyone to understand it and it was not to be unsealed until "the time of the end". If "the time of the end" has not yet begun then the book remains sealed and no one can yet understand it. But if you agree that it is already unsealed then wouldn't that mean "the time of the end" has begun rather than not beginning until a future time as you claim?