Whenever I struggle to understand what God is saying in a piece, I first spend a day in prayer and fasting. As I have done last Sunday. Now, many people have discussed this next piece in great detail, and explained the meaning thereof. I’ll be trying to do the same, but in this I’ll use God’s wisdom and not my own…
In Daniel 7 we read that Daniel had a dream that was greatly upsetting to him, and rightly so. It was just as upsetting for me reading this. Daniel starts out telling us about his dream saying that, “the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea” (verse 2). Meaning there were tumultuous stormy seas with great winds to bring about the “… four great beasts… [that were] diverse one from another” (verse 3). These storms can be difficult times that will bring about these great rulers… On the other hand, with the rise of these great beast we know of another development, for the ‘elect’ of this world, in which they will be gathered from all the earth to heaven ( please read in Mark 13:27).
Now these beast seems similar to Ezekiel’s images, but there is a clear difference. Please see my sequel on Visions of Strange Images. Daniel went on describing these creatures as follows:
1st beast: verse 4- “…was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.“
2nd beast: verse 5- “... [was] like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.”
3rd beast: verse 6- “…another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.”
4th beast: verse 7- “…a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of -it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.”
Now Daniel wasn’t alone in this vision for we read in verse 16 that he “came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.” Don’t we all wish to have someone to clear out things that seems murky at that time? Well, this is the interpretation that was given to Daniel. The man said, “these great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth” (verse 17).
The animal metaphors used in this piece represent the enemy of the church and the behaviour of each of them. Let’s look at some bible text explaining these characteristics:
1- Lion: “…they shall roar, and lay hold of the prey, and shall carry it away safe, and none shall deliver it” (Isaiah 5:29, KJV). Peter warns us “to be sober, be vigilant; Because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” ( 1 Peter 5:8, KJV). But the lion had eagle wings, and we know that wings are there to give flight, motion forward. Isaiah 40:31 (KJV), “…the Lord shall renew their strength: they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” But the wings were plucked to make movement difficult and the beast was made to stand on his feet and was given a heart of man. “For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood” (Proverbs 1:16 KJV). The heart of man causes destruction, because it is conceited and has no humility (Proverbs 18:12).
Bears, we learn in the Word of God, have hardened their hearts – “I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rend the caul of their heart...” (Hosea 13:8, KJV). Matthew 13:19 (KJV) “When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.” Ribs function is to protect the vital organs of man, such as the heart and lungs, however this ruler have it in his mouth, meaning he will be devouring the protection (police, military, and justice systems) of what keeps a countries safe. The Lord warns us, that He will use this ruler to be as sword against His people and that there will be no peace (Jeremiah 12:12).
The leopard is another predator used that will watch over cities for “…every one that goeth out thence shall be torn in pieces: because their transgressions are many and their backslidings are increased” (Jeremiah 5:6, KJV). Great restrictions will be placed on the people and there will be a great persecution of churches. People will disclose information to hand their brother in to authority. We read in Mark 13:12 (KJV), “Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.” This creature had fowl wings, which isn’t strong and he can’t go high or far with them, although dominion was given to him. Four heads represent four heads of state that will have this dominion given to them, and will rule with cruelty, and will tear those apart that will try and escape their rule.
These three rulers will receive their authority from the evil one. Revelations 13:2 (KJV) “And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.”
Now just like Daniel one don’t feel to disturbed by the first three beast, although their appearance can look terrifying. It was mostly on the last beast that the focused rested. What made this last beast then so terrifying to behold, especially if you remember that he lived in the 6th century BC. There weren’t any robots and mechanical things around. I’m sure he didn’t watch the Terminator movies either.
The description of this “dreadful”” and strong” beast with “great iron teeth” “and his nails of brass” which destroyed the remnant of God’s followers, were truly “diverse from all the beasts that were before it,” but most of all “it had ten horns” (verse 7 + 19). The horns fascinated Daniel and his description thereof is that, “there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things” (verse 8). This horn that came up appearance looked different that the other horn for the stature “was more stout than his fellows” (verse 20). This “horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them” (verse 21). I’m looking online to see if ten countries recently formed a coalition and I found in my search the G10 – that consist of 11 industrial countries that meet annually discussing economical issues. These countries include: “Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States, with Switzerland playing a minor role” (Investopedia). Three of these countries will be influence by another who will enter into this circle of elites. This ‘stout’ figure are different from the other countries, and represents pridefulness and greed.
The horns explained in verses 23 to 25:
This last kingdom (or rather kingdoms) will “23-devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.” We can see the growth of great industries and the rise of terms such as McDonaldization, where people are forced to work harder, faster, and for little profit. These great companies took over the world and we can feel the impact they are having on our communities. Sorry, I’m not just talking about MacDonald’s, I’m referring to all giant corporations around the world. Are they God- fearing? Or are they speaking “great words against the most High” (verse 25). Daniel describe their actions as “wearing down the saints” “…and think to change times and laws” (verse 25). How much influence do big corporations have with the governments of today? Having laws changed to benefit themselves… But God is still in control for He promises “they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time” (verse 25). Meaning they will only rule for three and a half years.
A New Hope
But hope prevailed, because Daniel’s vision didn’t end with seeing these great beast trampling over all who believe in the Living God and the Son of Man. Daniel told of the destruction of these beasts, stating “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire” (verse 19). Daniel saw that the horn was speaking, but the horn and the rest of this terrifying “beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame” (verse 11). The other beasts lost their dominion that they were ruling over, although their “lives were prolonged for a season and time” (verse 12). The word I received was that the first three beasts will reign for the first three and a half years, and the fourth the last three and a half years of tribulation.
Not only will God the Father and Jesus return, they will come to judge all those who sided with the beast. In verse 13 we read the promise, “…the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.” We read in verse 10 “ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.” And in verse 26, “but the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.“
And to our Lord Jesus “was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed” (verse 14). To all of us who believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ: “the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever” (verse 18). This is repeated in verses 22 and 27. Whenever something is repeated in any text it gives it a emphasis and truth to it. This is something all of us should be looking forward to.
My prayer for you today is that you will soften your heart for the King, Jesus Christ. For He was, He is, and He is yet to come. He will receive you unto Himself and wash you clean as snow. He will envelope you in His warmth and protection, no matter what storms rage around you. #GodCanDoThis
My discussion today can be found in: