Here in the Book of Daniel, we will find Daniel and all of Israel was is captivity. Here, we find ourselves in the first year of Belshazzar, the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel had a dream and visions while he was lying in his bed. The dream and visions Daniel had been prophecy in his lifetime. But in this dispensation or our modern time, the Church age, it is both history and prophecy. We will focus our attention mostly on the fourth beast, the interpretation of the beast, and how it is relevant to our modern times.
His dream and visions consist of:
- The world in chaos, vs.2-3
- Four great beast (Empire) vs. 4-8
- Judgment of the nations vs. 9-12
- The Second Coming of Jesus Christ vs. 13-14
- Interpretation of the visions vs.15-28
Daniel dreamt the four winds of heaven blew against the great sea. That is to say, throughout the four corners of the earth, it was chaos. God has allow trouble to stir the land. When the ďseaĒ is used as a symbol - it often refers to people (Matthew 13:47; Revelation 13:1). Out of the sea or nations, he envisioned four beasts.
The first beast was like a lion that had eagleís wings and were plucked, stood upon his feet and given a manís heart. The second beast was a like a bear and raised on one side with three ribs in his mouth and brought mass destruction.
The third beast was like a leopard, which had four wings and four heads and given dominion.
The fourth beast was the most dreadful beast. It was extremely strong, had iron teeth and ten horns. He destroyed everything that was in his path. Out of the ten horns came another little horn. Because of this little horn three of the ten horns were destroyed. This horn had eyes of a man and speaking great things. Daniel had a lot of interest in this little horn of the fourth beast.
Daniel was a dreamer and an interpreter of dreams. But these visions were troubling to him. For Daniel to get the interpretation of the visions, he asked one of the angelic being standing by.
The interpretations of the beasts are as follows:
The four beasts are four kings that shall rise out of the land. Let us look at the first three beasts briefly.
Remember in chapter two, Nebuchadnezzar also had a dream concerning the future of the Babylon and the known world. He had a dream of great image. This image had a head of gold, breast and arms of silver, belly and thighs of brass, legs of iron, and feet part iron and clay.
In chapter two verses 36-43 gives the interpretation and it also gives insight to chapter seven.
- The head of gold was the Babylonian Empire (Nebuchadnezzar).
- The beast and arms of silver was the Mede-Persians Empire (Darius, the Mede, and Cyrus).
- The belly and thighs was Grecian Empire (Alexander the Great).
- The legs of iron and feet of iron clay mixed (Rome and the revived Roman Empire).
- The first beast of Danielís dream, the lion, was Babylon.
- The second beast, the bear, was the Medes-Persians.
- The third beast, the leopard, was Greece.
- The fourth beast, indescribable, is Rome.
Beast/Arms of Silver
Belly/Thighs of Brass
Legs/Feet of Iron and Iron/clay
The first three of the visions of Daniel had been fulfilled. The first part of the fourth beast had been fulfilled. The first part of the Roman Empire was fulfilled around and about 70A.D. when Domitian the ruler at that time, had invaded Jerusalem and destroyed the temple. The Roman Empire was never conquered, but it self-destructed. The Roman Empire dominated the whole Mediterranean Sea coast. Because of the corruption and power struggle within the Roman government, it collapsed. The Roman Empire had a democratic type of government.
Let's consider the horns that Daniel had seen. Horns when used represent kings or authority. Daniel saw a total of eleven horns. He saw ten horns on the beast and one horn rose up out of the ten. Because of this eleventh horn, three horns where uprooted.
These ten horns or ten kings made up a confederation of ten nations. These ten nations made up the Roman Empire. They were ten separate nations but under one government. Letís look at it in the context of the U.N. The United Nations has most all of the major nations under one roof and governed by one set of rules with one leader.
The dream that Nebuchadnezzar had about the ten toes and the iron clay mixed points towards the mix of Democracy and Communism. Democracy and Communism do not mix.
Letís look at this eleventh horn or king that Daniel was concerned about. This king was will be the head of the revived Roman Empire. He will be a political genius, and arrogant. He will have some kind of Jewish background, because he will denounce the God of his Fathers. The people of God will know him as the Anti-Christ. He will make a treaty with Israel, Syria, and Palestine. He will persecute the Christians. He will allow Israel to restore the practice of their ceremonial sacrifices. And ultimately bring the abomination of desolation to the temple of the Jews (Daniel 12:11; Matthew 24:15), he will be the ďwillful KingĒ (Daniel 11:36), the one who will bring the fulfillment to the prophecy of the 70 weeks in Daniel chapter 9, the man of sin in 2 Thessalonians 2:4-8, and the beast in Revelation 13:1-10.
As revealed in the Revelation 13, this king will receive his power from the dragon, who is Satan himself. He will be totally possessed by the devil. When he breaks the peace treaty with Israel, he will go into the temple and declare to be God. That will start the worst of times, Jacobsís troubles (Jeremiah 30:7). Literally, all hell will break lose. Letís see how these empires compare to our modern times.
The Babylonian Empire was on the banks of the Euphrates River and the southern part of Mesopotamia. That area is now called Iraq.
The Mede-Persian Empires were between the coast of the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf. It is now called Iran. Persia named was change to Iran in 1935.
The Grecian Empire homeland was in the Balkan Peninsula. It territory extended throughout the Black Sea area and Asia Minor and as far west as Spain. It is still known as Greece in the Southeastern Europe.
The Roman Empire was the wealthiest and strongest nation of its time. It began as a little city of the coast of the Tiber River and over time it stretch as far as North Africa and Spain. Now the city is found in Italy.
With knowing some of the highlights of the Anti-Christ, how will this apply to our modern times? Some say, the Church will be rapture. Words had been uttered, I will not be here, so why even talk about it. Hopefully with further study of the end times, we will revamp our thinking on what the ministry and kingdom building is all about.
There are several biblical prophecies that had been fulfilled before our eyes, but the Church is sleeping. Jesus said, ďTeaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: (Matthew 28:20) I believe we are closer to the Second Coming of Christ than we have ever been in history. The stage is been set for the Anti-Christ. Letís look at some of the known events that suggest that we are getting close to that time.
In 1989, when the Berlin wall that divided East and West Germany came down, it was a sign. The wall had to come down for the Roman Empire to be revived. Remember the Roman Empire was along its coast and its borders will likely expand beyond their original borders.
The peace treaty that is being developed in the Middle East is a sign. In 1995, Yitzhah Rabin and the negotiator came close to settling on a treaty, but it was time yet, so, he was assassinated on his way to a peace rally in Tel-Aviv. The peace treaty process brought a burden to the world (Zechariah 12:2, 3). When the Anti-Christ comes on the scene he will one be able to revive the Rome Empire and bring peace to Israel.
The development of the test-tube baby was just the beginning of Cloning. Cloning is an evil practice. In three years, scientist vowed to have a human being cloned, if they have not already. The concept is to extract the DNA from an Embryo and add someone elseís. An a biblical principle to think about, God is the only one who can give a soul to anyone, if the scientist clone another human being and insert artificial intelligent (computer chips) in it, that flesh and blood will lead to total possession of evil (Revelation 13).
We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places, (Ephesians 6:12).
A good example of this is when President George Bush stole the election. This is just one account that goes on in congress.
What are we to do seeing the signs of the times? We are to keep the faith and do the work of the ministry that God has given us to do. We are to use the weapons of our warfare. They are not carnal, but spiritual, putting on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:13-17). We combat and operate through the power of God, the operation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the Ascension Gifts of Christ, and helping to prepare others to stand. This is our mission. This is kingdom building. Some say, I will not be here, that is ok, but the service is for others and not particularly for us. The generations behind us, what are they to look for and how will they combat the evil in their time if we are not making them aware and prepared.
This ministry or mission will take place until the Saints of God come into the unity of the faith and the stature of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13); Then and only then will the prophecy of Daniel will be fulfilled. Then will the thrones of God be put in place and the fire will come forth from the throne and the books will be open and the judgment of the nations and Anti-Christ will take place (Daniel 7: 9-12, 26). Then will the people of God be rapture from the earth. When the full plan and purpose of God is accomplished we all will be in the kingdom of the Most High God (Daniel 7:22, 27).