In our last study in Daniel 7, the prophet had a vision in the night about four unusual beasts. These beasts represented the empires of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and a future version of the Roman Empire (see the last study) or the revived Roman Empire. In this study we will see more details about the revived Roman Empire and our future. As we look at this chapter, it is important to remember that all of the prophecies in Daniel have been literally fulfilled. We have not seen mystical symbols or had to guess at the meaning of symbols. In fact, the prophet Daniel has explained them with historical events. The symbols have not had mystical meanings but meanings that we understand.

Previous Study

Daniel’s vision about our future centers on four beasts: a winged lion, a bear, a winged leopard, and a dreadful and terrible beast.

The first was like a lion and had the wings of an eagle . . . another beast, a second one, resembling a bear . . . and behold, another one, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird . . . After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong; and it had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed, and trampled down the remainder with its feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth uttering great boasts. (NASB) Dan. 7:4-8

Daniel's Vision of Four Beast

These beasts represent the same kingdoms symbolized by the gold, silver, bronze, iron and the iron mixed with clay we found in our study in Daniel 2. These kingdoms were the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Grecian and the Roman Empires.

Judgment Is Next

Daniel’s vision now leaps forward in time to the judgment which comes before the next kingdom. This is like a movie. Scripture flashes away from the beast and gives us a glimpse of heaven where God is on the throne.

I kept looking until thrones were set up, and the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow, and the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames, its wheels were a burning fire. A river of fire was flowing and coming out from before Him; thousands upon thousands were attending Him, and myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; the court sat, and the books were opened. Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire. (NASB) Dan. 7:9-11

When the Ancient of Days – God the Father – comes. judgment will come too. The Hebrew word for court actually means “judgment.” When God comes. He ends the life of the little horn and sends it to the burning fire. In a few verses. Daniel will ask for the dream to be explained. Then we will discover what this judgment is all about. But for now we need to see that this is not the final judgment because rebellion follows.

As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time. (NASB) Dan. 7:12

Eventually when we come to Revelation 20:6-10 we will discover that God will allow this human rebellion to occur after a thousand years of peace. The world seeks peace today. They believe this will make them happy, but this rebellion will be proof that we do not want peace. Men and women are rebels and they hate God.

Vision in Daniel 7

The Next Kingdom

The visions continue and we see Jesus Christ come and receive His kingdom.

I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations, and men of every language might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed. (NASB) Dan. 7:12-14

The Son of Man is Jesus Christ. He has come to the Ancient of Days, God the Father, to receive His eternal kingdom. This is a wonderful picture of the Trinity. These verses show the Trinity acting separately and yet in verses 9 and 22 God the Father, the Ancient of Days, acts together with Jesus Christ to defeat Antichrist and to pass judgement. The trinity acts as one.

Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (NASB) Philippians 2:9-11

Explanations

Do you understand these visions? Do you want to know what they mean? The prophet wanted to know too! Daniel is disturbed and exhausted but that does not stop him from asking for an explanation of his visions. He turns to someone near by. He appears to be an angel.

As for me, Daniel, my spirit was distressed within me, and the visions in my mind kept alarming me. “I approached one of those who were standing by and began asking him the exact meaning of all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things: These great beasts, which are four in number, are four kings who will arise from the earth. But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.” (NASB) Dan. 7:15-18

Who are the four beasts? Daniel is told that the four beasts are four kings. The beasts are not mysterious symbols but real kings. Later in Daniel 7:23, we discover that these kings represent kingdoms.

Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms . . . (NASB) Dan. 7:23

The lion, bear, leopard and the monster are all related. They are the succession of world power from one kingdom to another. These four kingdoms represent human government, and some day God will destroy the last representation of human government and establish His eternal kingdom.

Prophecies of Daniel

Ten Horns – Horn with Eyes

Now Daniel wants to know the meaning of the fourth beast.

Then I desired to know the exact meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its claws of bronze, and which devoured, crushed, and trampled down the remainder with its feet, and the meaning of the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, and before which three of them fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth uttering great boasts, and which was larger in appearance than its associates. I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom. (NASB) Dan. 7:19-22

The answer focuses on the ten horns of the four beasts and the horn with eyes. These ten horns are a future version of the Roman Empire and the horn with eyes is the Antichrist. Here we discover that the Antichrist arises from the revived Roman Empire. He is arrogant, challenges God, and goes to war against “the saints of the Highest One.” He is finally defeated when the Ancient of Days comes.

Then I desired to know the exact meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its claws of bronze, and which devoured, crushed, and trampled down the remainder with its feet, and the meaning of the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, and before which three of them fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth uttering great boasts, and which was larger in appearance than its associates. I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom. (NASB) Dan. 7:19-22

Fourth Beast Is a Kingdom

When we come to verse 23, we are finally told that the ten kings arise from the fourth kingdom at a later time. The fourth kingdom does not start with ten kings. They come later during a period of time called the Tribulation. The horn with eyes – the Antichrist – follows.

Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms, and it will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it. As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings. And he will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. (NASB) Dan. 7:23-25

The Antichrist comes to power by removing three other kings and taking their place. He is a powerful individual who declares war on “the saints of the Highest One” for three and a half years. These saints are called the holy people in Daniel 12:7.

Overview of Daniel 7

And I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, as he raised his right hand and his left toward heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time; and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people, all these events will be completed. (NASB) Dan. 12:7

Did you notice that “the holy people” are defeated during three and half years? Earlier in Daniel 12:1 we discover that these people are also called “sons of your people.” Throughout the Old Testament the Israelites are called God’s chosen people or “holy people.”

For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. (NASB) Deut. 7:6

The Antichrist will go to war against the Jewish people. This is hatred. But God eventually comes and defeats the Antichrist and the kingdom will be established.

But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever. Then the sovereignty, the dominion, and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him. (NASB) Dan. 7:26-27

Daniel never asks about the “extension of time” that was mentioned in his dream in Daniel 7:12, so no more information is provided.

Conclusion

The revelation finally comes to an end.

At this point the revelation ended. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts were greatly alarming me and my face grew pale, but I kept the matter to myself. (NASB) Dan. 7:28

Daniel is exhausted and under stress. Have you ever served the Lord and been exhausted from serving Him? Have you ever decided that you no longer wanted to “put up with this?” That was not Daniel’s reaction. Later in Daniel 8:2,7 we will discover that Daniel was exhausted again because he served God. Daniel was a faithful man.

 

God is faithful too! The New Testament tells us that God is faithful to us when it comes to our salvation (1 Cor. 1:9). He is faithful to save us. He faithfully protects us from being tempted too much (1 Cor. 10:13). He is faithful even when we are not (2 Tim. 2:13). He is faithful to forgive our sins when we confess them (1 John 1:9). Did you know that God wants to encourage us to be faithful?

And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary. (NASB) Gal. 6:9

His message is simple. Do not stop. Keep going. Why? Here is His encouragement to us.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. (NASB) 1 Cor. 15:58

History records that Henry of Bavaria became weary of court life and determined to enter a monastery in order to serve God. When he presented himself to the Prior Richard, the faithful monk gave him the strict rules of the order. The king listened eagerly and enthusiastically expressed pleasure at the prospect of such complete consecration.

Then the monk insisted that obedience was the first requisite of sainthood. The monarch promised to follow his will in every detail. Then the monk replied, “Then go back to your throne and do your duty in the station that God has assigned you.” The king took up his scepter and from then until he died, his people said of him, “King Henry has learned to govern by learning to obey.” He learned to be faithful.

Our Savior, Jesus Christ is Lord of lords and King of kings. Some day He will be the only lord and only king who will rule. Today, He faithfully rules from His throne in heaven, and some day He will faithfully rule on a physical throne on this earth. Come Jesus. Come! What a glorious future . . .