Daniel - Chapter 7

Daniel 7:1-14 states:
In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying on his bed. He wrote down the substance of his dream.

Daniel said: "In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea. Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea.
 "The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a man, and the heart of a man was given to it.
"And there before me was a second beast, which looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, 'Get up and eat your fill of flesh!'
"After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard. And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule.
"After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast—terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.
"While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke boastfully.
"As I looked,
       "thrones were set in place,
       and the Ancient of Days took his seat.
       His clothing was as white as snow;
       the hair of his head was white like wool.
       His throne was flaming with fire,
       and its wheels were all ablaze.
 A river of fire was flowing,
       coming out from before him.
       Thousands upon thousands attended him;
       ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.
       The court was seated,
       and the books were opened.
"Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. (The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.)
"In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

We are now going to move away from the historical material that we saw in Chapters 1-6 and plunge into the exciting depths of Daniel's prophetic material, starting here in Chapter 7.

Daniel's end-time dream in this Chapter consisted of symbols of real events to come - mysteries we are now able to interpret.

In many ways, Chapters 2 and 7 of the Book of Daniel are similar in that they portray the most comprehensive pictures of history to its conclusion.

Chapter 2 depicted Nebuchadnezzar's dream concerning the great statue with a head of gold down to its feet and toes of iron mixed with clay - a prediction of how the Babylonian Empire would be destroyed by the Medo-Persians, followed by the conquering super-powers of Greece and Rome.

Chapter 7 refers to these identical empires in the form of beasts, indicating that within the final revived Roman Empire there will be many problems during the course of its restoration.

In fact, one major challenge after another can already be observed within the framework of the European Union presently taking shape.

To the extent we saw unity in Chapter 2, we are seeing something much more diverse in Chapter 7.

Regardless of the message, the single most exciting thing that you are now reading is the fulfillment of Daniel 12:4 which says,

"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."

NOTE: Is this true of today or what? -- As for running to and fro, people in today's world don't have time to breath, it seems. The world has evolved to full speed ahead and people can barely keep up. -- As for increased knowledge, this is a no-brainer. What we've observed in just the past 100 years is simply astonishing. -- And as we go forward, any new technology or scientific breakthrough is almost obsolete  before it's even published. - Once again, prophecy unfolding before our very eyes!

The book of Daniel was designed to be a mysterious, closed, sealed book until the time of the end, but, at the time of the end the Holy Spirit would enlighten people to understand and explain this great portion of God's word.

This is now our assignment, and you and I are privileged to have a ringside seat as we begin to unravel the mysteries so long alien to anyone's understanding.

The Time of the Gentiles
The Jewish people controlled Jerusalem until 586 B.C. Then, according to Daniel 1:1, Nebuchadnezzar and is troops marched into the Holy City and took its inhabitants back as captives to Babylon. -- It is important to remember that this single historical event marked the beginning of what is known as "The Time of the Gentiles".

In Luke 21:24, Jesus said,

They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

Jesus was explaining that Jerusalem would remain under Gentile control until the time of the end.

Isn't it interesting that on June 5th through the 10th, 1967, as a result of the Six-Day War - the Jews took control of the Holy City and still remains so today.

Even though we are still in the era of "The Times of the Gentiles", this amazing historical reality reminds us of how close we are to the time of the end.

How an we say this with such certainty? - Zechariah 14:2-4 states,

I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city.
Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south.

This entire scenario began with Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C. and ends when Jesus Christ returns to take Jerusalem back from the Gentiles.

We are extremely close to that time when such an event takes place, and here's why -- The Gentiles could not take Jerusalem from the Jews until the Jews controlled the city -- which happened in 1967 after 2,553 years of Gentile domination.

According to Jesus, the generation who lives to see this event will be alive for the battle to re-capture Jerusalem by the Gentiles.

The Four Beasts
Daniel dreams about four winds and four beasts -- all which represent the same four powers we read about in Nebuchadnezzar's dream in Chapter 2 - Babylon. Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome, along with the 10 toes of iron mixed with clay - a description of the revived Roman Empire, a re-grouping of nations I personally believe to be the European Union.

The fourth beast has 10 horns, similar to the 10 toes on Nebuchadnezzar's image, again symbolic of the restored Roman Empire. - The four winds blowing upon the sea indicate turbulent times -- and all these nations near the Sea of Galilee, the Dead Sea, and the Mediterranean have indeed experienced troubled times throughout history.

However, only when the E.U. ultimately produces the Antichrist will the world truly know what real trouble is. It will be nothing like the problems these nations have been prior to this time in history.

Isaiah 57:10 says,

"But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt."

Now let's look at the four beasts and describe what each represents:

  Beast #1 - A lion with the wings of eagles - it is the same power that was described in King Nebuchadnezzar's dream as the "Head of Gold" - the Babylonian Empire. The wings of the lion suggest that it is a swift beast, with the ability to conquer great nations with its mighty armies.

But, as its wings are "plucked", the kingdom begins to deteriorate, even though there remains a hint of Nebuchadnezzar's humanitarianism. -- Since verse four makes reference to this first beat "Being given a man's heart," you'll recall that this is the manner in which Nebuchadnezzar closed out his days after his conversion experience -- compassionate, docile, and caring for his subjects.

  Beast #2 - It is a bear that raises itself up on one side, holding three ribs in tis teeth - conceivably representing Lydia, Babylon and Egypt -- a hungry beast and capable of gorging itself.

Following the pattern of Nebuchadnezzar's image, this second beast is a symbol of the Medes and Persians, with Darius ruler of the Medes and Cyrus, the Persians. Ultimately however, the Persians demonstrated greater strength because of their massive armies, and, as a result, the bear "Lifted itself up on one side", indicating Persian political and military superiority, all borne out by historical fact.

  Beast #3 - This is Greece, a leopard with four wings and four heads. - The wings picture the speed of Alexander the Great and his enormous armies, reckoned to be the swiftest in the known world. Alexander conquered 1 1/2 million square miles of the globe, stretching for more than 11,000 miles from Greece in the west to India in the east.

The four heads represent, I believe, the four generals who divided up the kingdom after the untimely death of Alexander.

  Beast #4 - This is Rome - a terrible beast with enormous power to defeat anyone in its path. So violent is this beast that no animal on earth can represent it. - Its iron teeth are similar to the toes on the image composed of iron mixed with clay as observed in Chapter 2. Its 10 horns are a graphic description of the final revived Roman Empire.

As a point of interest, I want to share another, more modern point of view ---

Daniel 12:9 says, "Go thy way, Daniel; for the words are closed up and sealed til the time of the end."

In Chapter 12, we see Daniel, the author of one of the two most powerful prophetic books of the Bible, struggling for understanding.

He wanted to know what all this was about, but God made a sovereign decision to not reveal these mysteries until the time of the end.

However, there will be one generation that will be able to understand what Daniel wrote about some 2600 years ago and that generation is the last one prior to Christ's triumphant return. -- We are that generation.

Having said that, some expositors believe that because of this, the images seen in Daniel's visions and dreams would then have to apply to end-time, or modern-day interpretations.

We will look at this point of view/position and will use the four beasts of Chapter 7 as an example.

In the teachings we just walked through, Daniel's dream of four beasts pretty much paralleled the statue portrayed in Chapter 2, that being the statue which represented a comprehensive picture of history to its conclusion.

But, in this new, more modern interpretation, instead of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome being the nations of interest, it now becomes Great Britain, the U.S., Russia, Germany, and the ten-nations that exist in the times of the end, at the time of Christ's second coming. The thinking also is that all the nations mentioned here must exist at the same time.

Back to Daniel 7:1-7 and the four beasts and how the symbols apply ----

  Beast #1 - The lion - England has always been symbolized by the lion.

  Beast #2 - The bear - Today, the bear is the symbol used for Russia.

Where is the U.S.? - Let's go back to the first beast, the lion. - Just so happens that this lion has eagle's wings on its back. - What nation is symbolized as an eagle? -- The U.S.A.!

The Bible says the eagle's wings are growing out of the lion. - Where did America come from? England is our mother country.

Next we see the eagle's wings "plucked" from the lion. this teaching suggests that Daniel saw America's declaration of Independence. -- 2300 years before it actually happened!

Interestingly, America has two symbols:

1.  The eagle
2.  Uncle Sam - We see in verse four that when the wings were torn off, "It was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a man, and the heart of a man was given to it."

-- Very interesting --

  Beast #3 - The leopard - Germany has several things depicted by the leopard, one being a tank, or weapon of war. - The prophecy also speaks of these nations having dominion -- If we look at the four heads of the leopard, Germany has had this dominion some three times in recent history. It has started the last three major wars, the first being the Franco-German War in 1870, and of course Word Wars I and II. - Also, remember that they were the Third Reich in World War II.

The fourth head is yet to be shown, but some believe that Germany, already by far the strongest economic power in the E.U., will lead the 10-nation world power still to come.

Some even think the Antichrist will come from Germany. She was part of the old Roman Empire, so prophetically, it would work.

  Beast #4 - The horned beast - Verse 24 tells us that these ten horns are kings that shall arise.

Revelation 17:12-14 states,

"The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast. They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers."

So what is this teaching's message? -- In the last days of these nations (Great Britain, U.S., Russia, Germany and 10-nation confederacy), Jesus is coming back. - Their existence all at the same time proves it.

Going back to the first interpretation, some may ask, "How can these things be? How can you be so certain that your interpretations of Daniel's dream is correct?"

First of all, the nations are mentioned by name in Daniel 1:1, 8:20, 8:21 and Romans 1:7. - These empires cover a period of 676 years. Adding scholarship to the truth of God's word, a prophet by the name of Esdras wrote in A.D. 90 that there was little doubt that the fourth beast was Rome.

Add to these the research insights of Drs. Gaelein, Schofield, Bultima, Ironside, Barnhouse, Dehaan, and other evangelical scholars, and the evidence mounts that the only possible meaning of the symbolic fourth beast is Rome itself. -- Specifically, Dr. Harry Ironside, Pastor of Moody Memorial Church, said there will arise a great confederacy of nations springing forth from an old Roman Empire that will become the devil's last trump card.

It is only within the last century that God has been unsealing the mysteries of this book -- and Daniel's dream.

While the significance of the first three beasts is relatively easy to interpret because of its solid basis in historical fact, the 10 toes (Daniel 2:41-42 and 44) and the 10 horns (Daniel 7:7, 20, 24 and Revelation 12:3, 13:1, 17:3, 7, 12,16) must now be addressed in some detail.

To do this, we need to go back to the year 1947 when Benelux came into power and Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg - the first three horns of the terrible fourth beast, and the first three nations of what presently comprises the European Union.

In 1957 France, Italy, and Germany joined the confederation, making it six, with the treaty of Rome ratifying this amalgamation.

In 1973 Britain, Ireland, and Denmark joined for a total of nine. -- Then, on January first, 1981, Greece joined the group to make it ten in number.

At this point many Evangelicals were elated, making the assumption that all the members of the group had finally been assembled.

But this is only the beginning. - Eventually, the fourth beast becomes a world empire -- the New World Order -- something we are already beginning to witness. Daniel 7:23 states that he shall devour (or engulf) the whole world. Revelation 13:7 add, "Power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations."

No longer is this fulfillment of prophecy something you and I read about in the Book of Daniel alone, but it is also the subject matter for the editors and correspondents of the pages of your daily news sources - prophecy is being fulfilled in black and white each day for those who have "eyes to see and ears to hear!"

Now, I recommend you go back and re-read verses 8-14.

The Little Horn
Now lets look at the "little horn" of Daniel 7:8. - Who and what is it? What is its influence? Martin Luther said that this little horn is the New Testament Antichrist of the future, and I agree.

This little horn's appearance was not for an earlier period in history, but for the end times of Daniel 12:4.

"...But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge."

Why? Because this little horn - the Antichrist - arises at the last day out of this grouping of ten nations. Since the E.U. is now in place, there is little question that the Antichrist can- and will - arise very soon.

The Beast Speaks
Verse 11 says the little horn, or beast, speaks, and his words are great. - This event takes place during the tribulation hour, when the little horn, the infamous Antichrist, finally arises and comes to power.

Revelation 13:5-6 states -

The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven.

The Antichrist blasphemes God Almighty and eventually calls himself God, but at a great cost to this "beast" because Jesus Christ will destroy him with the brightness of His coming. 2 Thessalonians 2:8 reads -

And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.

However, there is even more devastation ahead as the beast and false prophet are cast into the lake of fire burning with fire and brimstone. Revelation 19:20 says,

But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.

Furthermore, when Satan is cast into the lake of fire 1,000 years later, the Beast and false prophet are still in existence, proving that the fires of Hell do not annihilate anyone, as some cults teach. Revelation 20:10 states,

And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

And what about the other beasts in Daniel's dream? When did they have their dominion taken from them? This is a fascinating question, and an important one.

The Medes and Persians destroyed Babylon; Greece destroyed the Medes and Persians; and Rome destroyed Greece. - Their kingdoms and powers were taken away. Yet, the passage tells us that they still exist because all their customs and cultures were passed on to each nation that conquered them, meaning that they are still with us in some way.

Remember, for example, that the old Persian Empire is today's Iran and parts of Iraq. - Would you not agree these two nations are still with us, continuing to create havoc in the area and around the world with their commitment to regional conflict and international terrorism?

The Son of Man and the Ancient of Days (vs. 7:13)
In his dream, Daniel had a vision of one like the "Son of Man" coming with the clouds of Heaven. This is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. This prophecy is about to happen because the term "Son of Man" is definitely the Messiah and the Saviour.

Let's look further! - The term "Son of Man" is the precise one Jesus used repeatedly to describe Himself. - Matthew 8:20 says,

Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."

Then, Matthew 24:30 states,

"At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory."

Now the "Ancient of Days" - Yahweh - presents the kingdom to His Son, Jesus Christ. This is the moment when the stone cut out without hands smashes the feet of the image in Daniel 2:45 -

This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands—a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces.

"The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and the interpretation is trustworthy."

This announces the Return of Christ because He is the stone, or rock. I Corinthians 10:4 -

...and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.

Then comes the tremendous battle we read about in Revelation 19 where Christ comes on a white horse -

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. (Revelation 19:11)

And the armies of Heaven follow Him -

The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. (Revelation 19:14)

Then verse 19 says, "And I saw the beast (the Antichrist, the little horn) and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him (Jesus) that sat on the horse, and against His army."

But they do not prevail. This is the time when the prophecy of the stone smashing the feet of the image is fulfilled. Daniel 2:34-35 -

While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were broken to pieces at the same time and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.

It's all over for the world powers at this point because Jesus Christ has arrived to set up His kingdom.

However, as the Lord appears, the armies of the revived Roman Empire attempt to stop the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army. But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.
(Revelation 19:19-21)

Psalm 2:1-6 says,

Why do the nations conspire 
       and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth take their stand
       and the rulers gather together
       against the LORD
       and against his Anointed One.
"Let us break their chains," they say,
       "and throw off their fetters."
The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
       the Lord scoffs at them.
Then he rebukes them in his anger
       and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
"I have installed my King
       on Zion, my holy hill."

This is a clear picture of this final battle.

This will be the great climax, that moment in history when Gentile dominion will end, and when Jesus Christ is seated on the throne of David.

Luke 1:32-33 states,

He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."

After the 1,000 year reign of Christ, the earth is purged and Christ is re-commissioned and rules eternally upon Earth.

Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For he "has put everything under his feet." Now when it says that "everything" has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all. (1 Corinthians 15: 24-28)

That's why Ephesians 3:21 adds, "Unto Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."

Verses 15-27
"I, Daniel, was troubled in spirit, and the visions that passed through my mind disturbed me. I approached one of those standing there and asked him the true meaning of all this.

"So he told me and gave me the interpretation of these things: 'The four great beasts are four kingdoms that will rise from the earth. But the saints of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever—yes, for ever and ever.'

"Then I wanted to know the true meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others and most terrifying, with its iron teeth and bronze claws—the beast that crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. I also wanted to know about the ten horns on its head and about the other horn that came up, before which three of them fell—the horn that looked more imposing than the others and that had eyes and a mouth that spoke boastfully. As I watched, this horn was waging war against the saints and defeating them, until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom.

"He gave me this explanation: 'The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time.

" 'But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.'

The Interpretation
Daniel had no one to help him understand what he had been dreaming, so God provided a messenger to interpret the dream on his behalf (vs. 16 - angel).
The message of Chapter 2, Nebuchadnezzar's dream, had been so clear and unified whereas now his own dream was very different. The edges of his understanding challenged, all because he was dealing with four beasts -- not an immense, one-piece image of gold, silver and bronze -- but a mixture of four beasts acting out their individual nature in fits of anger, violence and conquest.
Then suddenly, something very exciting happens in verse 18 where the saints of the most high take the kingdom. -- This is when Jesus Christ returns, and, as we have already seen in Daniel 2:44-45, the stone smites the feet of the image, placing Christ and His saints in control.
In Revelation 19:11-14, when Christ returns on that white horse, we discover that the armies in Heaven follow Him. A picture of the church returning to Earth.
I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.

Jude 14 says, "Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints." - They had no way of saying millions or billions in the first century, so they used the term tens of thousands.

But there is also the group of saints, the 144,000 Jewish messengers who preached the gospel of the Kingdom. Revelation 7:4-8 states -

Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.
       From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed,
     from the tribe of Reuben 12,000,
     from the tribe of Gad 12,000,
       from the tribe of Asher 12,000,
     from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000,
     from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000,
       from the tribe of Simeon 12,000,
     from the tribe of Levi 12,000,
     from the tribe of Issachar 12,000,
      from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000,
    from the tribe of Joseph 12,000,
    from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000.

Also, Matthew 24:14 says,

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

You see, not only will many Jews be converted through massive, worldwide efforts of evangelism, but multitudes of Gentiles will also be saved, many of whom are put to death for loving the Word of God. Revelation 20:4-5 speaks of this treachery:

I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection.

The saints (or church), are coming from Heaven. Those who have died during the Tribulation are then raised from the dead (Revelation 20:4).

Now we have saints from Heaven, Tribulation saints who are brought back for the dead, Jewish saints who were also resurrected, and saints who are still alive on Earth at Christ's return who somehow escaped the death penalty for rejecting the "Mark of the Beast" - As stated in Revelation 13:15-18

He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666.

They will all rule and reign with Jesus Christ giving further credence to the passage, "If we suffer, we shall all reign with Him." 2 Timothy 2:12.

The European Union - Antichrist - and 666
While general concern may have prevailed in Daniel's mind regarding much of the dream, there seemed to be a special confusion concerning the fourth beast. Daniel had a reasonably adequate understanding of Babylon, the Medes and Persians, and Greece, largely since they already existed within his own time frame.

But this next beast we see in verse 20 - Rome and the revived Roman Empire, would come centuries later and he could not in his day, know anything about this mystery without the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit concerning end-time events.

This was the empire with the two legs and ten toes, and the animal with ten horns that was a composite of all the others. Ten toes and ten horns. -- Try though he might, Daniel could not grasp their meaning -- yet now, some 2500 years laster, you and I are on the edge of watching such Revelations unfold as the European Union (the revived Roman Empire) flexes its international muscles, preparing the world community for the advent of the Antichrist.

During the terrible Tribulation hour, the Jewish people are primarily the saints against whom the Antichrist prevails. Jeremiah 30:7, "Alas for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble."

Jacob is another name for Israel. (2 Kings 17:34). We find that when Satan is cast to Earth he becomes extremely angry when he realizes his time is exceedingly short (Revelation 12:12) -

Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short."

For this reason, he makes every attempt to obliterate the Jewish race (Revelation 12:13)

When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.

He persecutes the woman who brought forth the manchild - that woman is Israel.  - The son that came from her is the man-child, and this antichrist is trying to get rid of all those who came forth from her, as well as millions of Gentiles.

Both groups find salvation during the Tribulation. Revelation 7:14 says,

And I said to him, “Sir, you are the one who knows.”
   Then he said to me, “These are the ones who died in[a] the great tribulation. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and made them white.

These are the ones who have come out of the great Tribulation and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the lamb.

At this point of time, the Antichrist will call himself God and the false prophet sets up an image of him to worship. The Bible says in Revelation 13:15,

He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed.

He says "Bow down and worship this image of me and take my mark '666' or you will lose your head." (See Revelation 13:15-18 and 20:4.)

This is the period of time when the Antichrist will prevail over the saints. -- But to reiterate the good news, the Lord Jesus Christ ultimately returns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. (Revelation 19:16), and defeats the Antichrist and his hoards (Revelation 19:19-21 and Psalms 2:1-6).

Good news indeed!!

The Reign of the Antichrist
Before we close this chapter, tis important to review the activity of the Antichrist for the 84 months (7 years) that he appears on Earth.

His reign begins when he makes a peace contract with Israel and the nations. Daniel 9:27 says,

He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.'  In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.

(In chapter 9, we will carefully walk through 70 weeks.)

The Hebrew word for week in the above passage is "shabua", a time period of seven years, or 84 months. In the midst of the week or "shabua" - after 42 months - he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.

His first item of business is to make peace with Israel, an agreement he honors for 3 1/2 year. Then he will turn against everything in the treaty.

We know that since she became a nation in 1948, Israel has neither been at rest nor at peace. Soon a peace treaty of seven years duration will be seen. - But as we've seen, it will be short-lived. After the desecration of the temple, during this last 3 1/2 years called the "Great Tribulation", all will evolve into the final Battle of Armageddon.

During this period, the Antichrist is mortally wounded but comes back to life. - That's why everyone marvels at him, literally standing in awe of his great political prowess and enormous ability to move the hearts and minds of people globally.

To the world he appears to be like Jesus returning to life. - It's at this point that he magnifies himself above every god (Daniel 11:36) and exalts himself above all gods to a deceived world. 2 Thessalonians 2:4 says,

He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

He literally says, "I am God." - Today, as we watch the rapid acceleration of the New Age movement and its "I am God" philosophy, we need to be acutely aware that this satanic activity has already proved instrumental in preparing the way for this great deceiver to set himself up for worship (Revelation 13:15), a time when he literally "wears out the saints" (Daniel 7:25).

This activity takes place through the end of the 7-years when Jesus Christ ultimately returns and destroys the evil one with the rightness of His glory, casting him into the Lake of Fire where he remains forever and ever.

Verse 28 -

"This is the end of the matter. I, Daniel, was deeply troubled by my thoughts, and my face turned pale, but I kept the matter to myself."

Daniel's Reaction
When his dream had been explained by the angel Gabriel, Daniel felt a sorrow in his heart, for he now began to understand what would one day happen to his people, the Jews.

His dream had helped him catch a glimpse of the turbulent times of persecution that would fall upon them.

He was rightly disturbed and confused because he was not totally privy to understanding the great blessings - the rest of the story - that would ultimately come to his people - blessings we will discover as we continue to unravel the sealed prophecies of the time of the end, even as we see Daniel's humanity surface when he is physically and psychologically devastated by the vision he sees in Chapter 8.

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