Book of Daniel
Chapter 7, Part 23
In the first six chapters of Daniel, we read and studied the chronology and history of Daniel’s life in Babylon . In those chapters, Daniel went from a young sixteen year old captive to an older man. Daniel started out in Babylon under King Nebuchadnezzar, but served under several kings, Belshazzar, Darius, and Cyrus, always in positions of high leadership. The thing that never changed in all Daniel’s life was his commitment to God, prayer, and worship. He never faltered when it came to doing the right thing that would bring honor and glory to the Lord.
Daniel had interpreted two dreams for Nebuchadnezzar. Now he would have his own dream/visions. This vision in chapter 7 came to him when he was approximately 68 year old and ruling under Belshazzar. This vision begins the prophetic portion of Daniel. Notice that the writing goes from the third person to the first person style.
V. 1 – In this verse we see that Daniel had a dream of visions while he was on his bed sleeping. When he woke in the morning, the visions were still so fresh in his mind that he was able to write the details of them for recorded history. There are three visions recorded from this dream. 1. The three beasts VV 3-6. 2. The fourth best V 7. 3. The scene in heaven VV 13, 14.
As one who has had a couple visions, I can attest to the fact that you never forget the details. The colors may fade, the intensity of the new revelation may wane, but you always remember what was shown to you. I have no doubt Daniel wrote exactly what he’d been shown.
V. 2 – Here is where the first person account begins. Daniel said, “I saw my vision by night.” What Daniel saw was the four winds of heaven stirring up the great sea. This might refer to the Mediterranean Sea as it was referred to as the Great Sea in Scripture, but I believe this is about the sea of gentile humanity (Revelation 13:1; 17:1, 15).* Daniel saw the winds from the north, south, east, and west coming together to rile the sea of humanity. We probably have all seen what happens when the wind comes from one direction then suddenly changes to another. When this happens it causes whirligigs to rise up from the ground. Now imagine the winds from all four directions blowing at once. It would become utter chaos. Please read Jeremiah 49:36; 5:1, Zechariah 6:1-5; Revelation 7:1-3. By these we know that the four winds can be translated to mean four spirits, or angels.
V. 3 – The four beasts Daniel saw Nebuchadnezzar saw as the metals of the image. Daniel will give us descriptions of the beasts represented by each of the metals.
V. 4 – Daniel’s vision begins with the first metal which was gold. Nebuchadnezzar was the golden head of the nation of Babylon . This is the first beast represented by the lion with eagle’s wings. J. Vernon McGee says that the wings denote Nebuchadnezzar’s ability to move his armies quickly to war. This is what gave him the advantage in all conflicts and is what allowed him to enlarge his kingdom so quickly.
Daniel had worked closely with Nebuchadnezzar. “I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man,” most likely speaks of Nebuchadnezzar’s humbling when he became like a beast on all fours feeding from the ground like an animal. He was out of commission for the seven years of his humiliation. When he looked up and gave glory to God, he was raised from the ground and made to stand like an ordinary man. He was restored to the throne, but he never had the same power from then on.
“A man’s heart was given to it” could mean that this king finally understood who God really was and took Him for himself.
V. 5 – The second metal is silver. This was the Median-Persian Empire of Darius the Mede and Cyrus the Persian which is represented by the bear. “It was raised up on one side,” refers to the facts that the Medes were in control at first until Cyrus moved up and took his rightful place in the dual kingdom, overshadowing Media. The three ribs in this bear’s mouth are the kingdoms the Medes and Persian took over: Babylon : Assyria ( Lydia ): Egypt . They, the spirits or angles of the fours winds, gave the bear a command to rise up and “devour much flesh.” To me this indicates that this power came to be at the discretion of God Himself. Later we will see how the Lord used Cyrus and you will understand why I believe this.
The difference between the lion and the bear is the lion moved stealthily, lying low and attacking quickly. The bear came in loud and noisy moving quickly but without grace. It’s said that the Medes and Persians took their families along with them on the missions.
V. 6 – The third metal was brass. This beast is the Gracco-Macedonian Empire represented by the panther (some interpret this beast as a leopard). Notice the lion had “wings like and eagles” which is two wings. The panther has four wings. Although Nebuchadnezzar could move his armies forward with great speed, the Medo-Persian army was twice as fast.
We saw a great example of a nation with “four wings on its back” when we moved our troops into Iraq . The first time we went, we populated that nation quickly. The second time we went over we moved much faster. Our military carriers are forever being modified and re-invented to be faster and smoother. This is one of the most significant reasons we are a world power not to be underestimated.
The four heads are those who took authority when Alexander died during a drunken orgy. In case you like the historic facts, those four divisions are there: Cassander took Macedonia : Lysimachus took Asia Minor : Seleucus took Syria : Ptolemy took Egypt ; later followed by Cleopatra.
V. 7 – The fourth metal is iron. This beast is the Roman Empire . This empire is the legs of Nebuchadnezzar’s vision. It is a most frightening beast for which Daniel had no animal representation to give. All he could say was that the beast was dreadful terrible, exceedingly strong, and had huge iron teeth. More is said of this beast than the others implying this is the one that’s most important to eternity.
This is the time of the Gentiles that we are living in now. The Roman Empire ’s resurrection is the last of the prophecies yet to be fulfilled from Nebuchadnezzar’s and Daniel’s dreams. This is depicted by the ten toes made of iron and clay.
The Roman Empire was brutal and lasted a long time. What we need to remember is that this empire was never overthrown. It simply fell apart from within to become many nations. This empire still lives on today in European countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea and North Africa.
In Daniel’s vision, the unidentified beast also had ten horns, which are the ten toes of Nebuchadnezzar’s image. These are ten nations that will come together and form the last world government before Jesus comes. It’s “president” will be the antichrist.
V. 8 – Daniel took special notice of the ten horns in his vision. He said, “I considered the horns,” which means that he pondered them and what could be their meaning even during his dream. While he was wondering about the significance of the horns “…behold, there came up among them another little horn.” This eleventh horn will start small but will eventually grow to overtake and destroy three of the nations. This will cause the other seven to come under the authority of the antichrist who is the “little horn.”
The little horn will have eyes to see, or human intelligence, and a mouth to speak, which we saw in Revelation would be blasphemies (Revelation 13:5). His charm, intelligence and wit will be such that it will confound the peoples of this world so that many will be deceived and run after him.
The ten horns are not a fifth and separate kingdom. Rather, they grow out of the head of the fourth beast, Rome . The little horn will grow out from among those.*
From NBM's Revelation Chapter 13:1, 2 study- "I’m going to rattle some preconceived notions right now. In verse 1, where it says, “I,” change that pronoun to “he.” It’s the devil who called the beast forth from out of the sea and it’s he who was watching and saw the beast rise up out of the sea. What sea is that? The sea of Gentile humanity! (Satan can’t pick from the Jewish or Christian population because they would bring God into things.) The nations will be in unrest. The devil will select a personage from one of those troubled nations to reunite the Roman Empire. He will be the beast placed in charge of the world systems, but will be totally under satan’s control. The beast, the antichrist, will think he’s doing his own thing, but he’ll be serving the devil."
Book of Daniel
Chapter 7, Part 24
V. 9 – Daniel’s vision now changes venue. He’s now seeing into heaven. Daniel saw the same things here that John did in Revelation 1:13-16. The difference between the two visions is that Daniel saw God, The Ancient of Days and John saw Jesus, the one Like the Ancient of Days.
What Daniel sees is God the Father; the Ancient of Days; the eternal God. “I watched let’s us know this vision was as clear to him in his spirit as the images we see on a movie screen are to us. The vision was vivid, detailed and unforgettable. “…till thrones were put in place.” These are the thrones of judgment (Revelation 20:4). Daniel saw God, the Ancient of Days, sitting on one of the thrones wearing a pure white robe and he had pure white hair. This whiteness demonstrates His holiness and righteousness; His incorruptible nature (Proverbs 16:31 ).
Ancient of Days has nothing to do with chronological age. God has no beginning, no end, and is eternal, everlasting. Daniel’s focus here was not about God’s age, but about His appearance.
“His throne was a fiery flame; its wheels a burning fire…” Please read Ezekiel 1:4-28 when you have time. God is a consuming fire. His judgments are severe, but totally righteous.
“Its wheels a burning fire,” means that His judgment goes out in all directions. God can be everywhere present at once. Wheels denote easy movement. He can turn to see in all directions, and none can escape His sight.
V. 10 – “A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him...” God is all-powerful. God is the authority in the universe. When the judgment takes place, He will be up for the task. This fire that emanates from God depicts the fierceness of His wrath and judgment. Again, as is often stated in the Bible, where can one go to hide from God? There is nowhere God can’t see into, over, or around.
God has often used fire to show Himself. He appeared to Moses in fire, He was fire in the desert for the Israelites and on top of Mt. Sinai , and He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah with fire from heaven.
“A thousand thousands ministered to Him.” Angels surrounded God’s throne waiting to serve Him and to go forth and perform whatever God gave them to do. They were never at ease, watching TV or playing games. They were continuously on God for a word from the Lord.
Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him.” (Revelation 5:11) These are the people who were awaiting judgment. Would the fire emanating from God consume them or purify them? That’s what the books’ contents would decide.
“The judgment was set, and the books were open.” Think of the Perry Mason show for a second. See the large judgment bench the judge sat behind? Can you see the people stand as the judge enters the court room and takes his seat? See how eagerly or how nervously the accused waits for his defense to be presented. All the files (books) are open and lay upon the table. Each item of the prosecution is then presented. The rebuttal of the defense attorney begins. Both sides of the room present evidence either against or for the defendant. Then the judge stands, turns around and goes to chambers. The jury is sent to the debating room to decide the defendant’s innocence or guilt and records it in writing for the judge. The judge reads the verdict and passes sentence.
When the Lord Ancient of Days takes His seat, He won’t need a jury. He has impeccably written notes of the life of the person standing before Him. His guilt has already been attributed to him. Now God will look at the book and see if this person’s name was written there. Did they love the Lord their God with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength? If so, they are purified for eternity. If not, they will eventually be consumed by the fierce fires of hell.
Remember, as Paul said, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (II Corinthians 5:10). The only way to receive a good judgment is to be redeemed in the Blood of Christ
V. 11 – Notice in this verse Daniel makes it clear that he was watching. The little horn is the antichrist that Daniel saw kill the three heads of the ten and take their place in verse 8. The little horn will appear just before Jesus’ second coming. He will speak blasphemously against God and heaven. This revelation of the Tribulation must have caused Daniel great suffering as he watched the horn violate His heavenly Father whom He so worshipped.
He then watched while the fourth beast (the rebuilt Roman Empire ) was judged and destroyed (Revelation 19:20 ; 20:10 ). This is the end of the “Times of the Gentiles.”
V. 12 – “As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.” This refers to the former nations of Babylon , Persia and Greece . They were defeated by armies and their kingdoms fell into the hands of their conqueror. They were not totally destroyed yet, however. Their cultures were assimilated into the culture of the nation who took them over. Eventually, the fourth nation will fall. Jesus will knock down all the kingdoms that are here and will set up His rule.
Book of Daniel
Chapter 7, Part 25
V. 15 – “I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.” Daniel was troubled, distressed, in the spirit that was in his body. (My center column notes say this literally means, “…in the midst of its sheath.” That’s like placing a sword in its sheath.) To born again Christians, our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit but they are also the tents that house our own spirit. It was Daniel’s spirit that was disturbed by what he saw because the things taking place in his dream of visions seemed so real. This was no ordinary dream; it was a revelation from God of what was to come. Daniel was seeing over 2,500 years into the future, and what he saw caused him grief.
Although Daniel was able to interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and the hand writing on the wall for Belshazzar, he could not comprehend what these visions meant. We know by Daniel 7:1 that this vision took place after interpreting the dream for Nebuchadnezzar and while Belshazzar was ruling Babylon . Chronologically, chapter 7 should come before chapter 6. When chapters 6-9 are arranged chronologically, they look like this 5, then 7 & 8 and then 6 & 9.
Pastor Hal Seed said, “Because Daniel is composing his book according to the style of every Middle Eastern storyteller. He’s telling it in chiastic (http://www.drmardy.com/ chiasmus/types/chdefinitions.shtml) style, where stories echo and mirror each other in symmetrical fashion.” He divides the Book of Daniel this way:
DAN. 1 = INTRODUCTION
.…DAN. 2 = FUTURE HISTORY (4 kingdoms)
……….DAN. 3 = PRESERVATION OF FAITHFUL SERVANTS
……………DAN. 4 = HUMBLING OF THE KING (Nebuchadnezzar)
……………DAN. 5 = HUMBLING OF THE KING (Belshazzar)
……….DAN. 6 = PRESERVATION OF FAITHFUL SERVANT
…. Dan. 7 = FUTURE HISTORY (4 kingdoms)
V. 16 – The one who “stood by” was an angel, probably Gabriel. (He will be revealed in chapter 8 by name.) Daniel came near to him and asked for the interpretation of what he was seeing. He wanted to know the details of what he was seeing and how they would play out in real life. Understand that he is still sleeping and dreaming as he speaks with the angel. When Daniel asked for the interpretation, the angel freely gave it.
V. 17 – “These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.” These four are Babylon , the lion (head of gold); Medo-Persia, the bear on his side (silver); Greece , the winged leopard with four heads (brass or bronze)*, and Rome , the mongrel beast (iron). All four of these kingdoms came up out of the world. This agrees with Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the image. Each of these rulers was worldly and operated with worldly means (taxes and tributes). As with our rulers today, they understood and taught things according to worldly views. Remember, Daniel and all the guys from Jerusalem were trained in the occult and in the language and literature of Babylon . To listen to the world leaders today would set us in line with abortion, euthanasia, the occult, and distorting the Bible for self-gain to name just a very few.
V. 18 – “But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even for ever and ever.”
Some believe the “Most High God” to be God the Father. I don’t take to that belief. I believe the Most High God is Father, Son, and Spirit. They, as one God, are the highest God of gods. People in that day, as now, gave their allegiance to false gods. Only those who belong to the Highest God will inherit the kingdom with Jesus.
There are many Scriptures which agree with this declaration in verse 18. Let’s look at a few.
“And there 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” (Daniel 7:14 ).
“It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him…” (II Timothy 2:11).
“And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father” (Revelation 2:26 , 27).
“And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 22:5).
V. 19, 20 – Daniel is now focusing his attention on the fourth beast, Rome . He wanted to know how and why this beast was different from the other three. He personally knew the first three kingdoms and was still serving in one of them as he dreamt this. He had no idea about the fourth that was still to come.
It seemed this fourth beast had more cruel power than the others. Rome was a force to be reckoned with. It had teeth of iron and nails of brass that tore apart what it went after. What was left, it crushed with its feet. When Rome conquered a nation, it did not go in as conqueror, but as liberator. In its pride, Rome thought it was the savior of the nations they took over and that everyone on earth wanted to be ruled by Rome . This is the beast that destroyed what it conquered then waited for it to be rebuilt before the king would enter the city.
He also wanted the truth about the ten horns that were on the beast’s head. He particularly wanted information about the “other horn” that grew out of the head as he watched. This horn uprooted three of the ten horns (kingdoms) as it grew. Daniel wanted to know who this guy was who spoke “great things (blasphemies)” (Revelation 13:6) against God and His children and who appeared greater than all the other kings.
V. 21 – “I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them…” This same beast who spoke against God and His tabernacle made war against the saints of God (Revelation 13:7). This horn was fighting against the saints of God. He was having them killed or starving them to death by not allowing them to buy without the mark of the beast. But for how long would he be allowed to continue? Only…
V. 22 – “Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.” The Ancient of Days here is the Christ. He was given dominion (the right to govern) by God in verse 14. At this point in time, Jesus will come to earth and judge the saints ( Israel not the church) and they will be found not guilty. At that time they will take their rightful place as the chosen ones of God (Exodus 19:5, 6).
To this day Israel has not been loyal to the Lord God. After they pass through the Tribulation they will realize the truth of Jesus as Messiah they have waited and watched for all these thousands of years. They will bow down and adore Him and they will receive the inheritance God promised to them through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
* Greece had four wings and four heads because their ruler, Alexander the Great, died leaving no heirs. This kingdom was divided between his four commanding generals.
Book of Daniel
Chapter 7, Part 26
Tonight we will recap a bit of what we have learned so far from Daniel.
1. Daniel and his friends chose not to defile themselves by eating and drinking what was sacrificed to idols. They chose instead to eat fruits and vegetables and drink water. They were healthier and “fatter” meaning looked better, than the ones who ate the forbidden stuffs.
The other captives ate what the steward supplied for them. They apparently didn’t have the same devotion to the God of Israel that these four did. But notice this, nowhere in this account are we told of any great thing they did. Like them, we can get caught up in the trappings of the world “eating and drinking” of the supposedly good things of this world and neglect so great a salvation as Jesus provides. Even born-again Christians can become trapped in this world, although we are admonished to live in the world but not to love the world. (I John 2:15) Although we are of the world, we must not be part of worldly things. (II Corinthians 6:14-18)
2. Daniel interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the image. The image symbolized the four great kingdoms that would rule in this world. Babylon was the head of gold, and that gave Nebuchadnezzar a rush of pride. In his pride of position, Nebuchadnezzar had a replica of his vision built. At the dedication, the governors came to him and suggested a musical call to worship and that at the sound of the instruments, everyone should bow and pay homage to the statue which, in essence, would be worshipping Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel’s friends refused to bow to the king or his statue, keeping their worship for the true, living God of heaven alone. They were tossed into a fiery furnace that was stoked seven times hotter than usual. But they were not alone. A fourth Man met them in that hot box, walked them around, and, I venture to say, sang praises with them till Nebuchadnezzar told the men to bring them out. They didn’t have a burn on them; their clothes were not scorched, nor did they smell of smoke. Where was the fourth Man when they came out? Back at the right hand of the Father.
When we start to walk as though we live in the world and begin to accept the things of this world, we are walking in sin. When we put things in our day before God, we are saying that they are more important than He in our lives. Most Christians will say they love the Lord with all their heart, but if we don’t take time to read the Word, pray, praise, worship, and give God thanks daily, we are in effect canceling out what our words say. For us to receive the kind of protection these young men did, we need to do what they did, and that is, put God first in all aspects of our lives. We should love God, love others, love ourselves, and like everything else. Love is a God given emotion that involved the spirit and soul. Love should not be wasted on new shoes, television shows, money, or any other inanimate object. Love is meant to be reciprocal, things can’t love you back.
3. Nebuchadnezzar had a second dream. Daniel gave the interpretation saying the king would walk on all fours and eat the grass of the fields like an animal for seven years. One year later as the king did a walk-around on the roof of the palace surveying his kingdom, he made a fateful statement, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the [might of my power], and for the [honour of my majesty]?” This led to the fulfillment of his second dream. He went from abounding to abasing in a split second because of his prideful boasting.
This story of the king reminds me of the rich man in Luke who had so much there was no room for it all. Luke recorded, “And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?” (Luke 12:16-20)
Sometimes, like this poor soul, we count out property instead of our blessings. Aren’t they on in the same, you might ask? Yes and no: Blessings are gifts from God which includes prosperity in all things. Property is what we accumulate without God’s agreement. This property often leads people to live in debt beyond their means to pay. This is not a blessing. The man above had property galore, but he had no blessings. He was self-centered, giving himself the praise for what he accomplished, and shutting God out all together. God made it clear to the man that he would die that very night, then what would happen to his precious property? It would go to people who couldn’t care less about him, but wanted his worldly goods. This man should have accepted Jesus as Savior, which is the ultimate blessing, prospered his soul (read the Bible, pray, give thanks, etc…), and allow God to prosper him otherwise. (III John 1:2) If we have gone ahead of God in accumulating property, we need to repent and we must remember to always give God the praise and glory for what we do achieve in this world. We can do no [good thing] without God.
4. After Nebuchadnezzar died, his son, Evil-Merodach succeeded him to the throne. He ruled for two years before being murdered by Nebuchadnezzar’s son-in-law, Neriglissar (Nergal-Sharezer of Jeremiah 39:3, 13). Neriglissar ruled for four years. After his death, his son, Labashi-Marduk, took the throne and ruled two months before being assassinated by Nabonidus, another of Nebuchadnezzar’s sons-in-law. He reigned 17 years. Belshezzar was Nebonidus’ eldest son. He was placed in the position of co-regent with Nebonidus who was away from Babylon for 10 of the 17-years of his reign. (A co-regent is someone who acts as king due to the king’s youth, illness or absence.) In essence, Belshazzar was king of Babylon while his father was away conquering other territories and lands. Belshazzar gave a party for “a thousand of his lords”. During the party, Belshazzar called to have the gold and silver vessels that had been used in service of God’s temple to be brought in and used by his lords, his wives and his concubines. This was a desecration of what was holy unto God. They all drank wine from these vessels and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone. Every god that could do them no good. But THE God of heaven saw this and sent this twit a message. In the study of this verse, I gave you this information, ““And this is the writing that was inscribed: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, and PARSIN (UPHRASIN). This is the interpretation of the matter: MENE (literally a "monetary toll"), God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; TEKEL (literally a "tokenary weight"), you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting; PARSIN (literally a "division" or "portion"), your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.” This translation of the phrase “MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN” was taken from Wikpedia*.” And that very night, Belshazzar was assassinated and Darius the Mede took over the kingdom.
Belshazzar was like his predecessor, Nebuchadnezzar and walked in pride. Belshazzar took things to an extreme that even Nebuchadnezzar feared to go. Nebuchadnezzar took the holy vessels from the temple, but he kept them stored and cared for. He never used one cup or dish from that supply. Belshazzar defiled all the pieces. Nebuchadnezzar became as an animal, Belshazzar died. There are levels of sin.
5. When Darius took over Babylon , He named 120 satraps and three governors to who they would report. Daniel, the Jew boy captive was named one of the governors. In his position under this king, his spirit shown through and his excellence of service came before the king so that Darius would have named Daniel head over all the kingdom. The governors and satraps found out and they plotted against Daniel to find some sort of error he made to accuse him with. But his ministry to the king was so impeccable they could find no wrong, so they had to devise another way to get rid of him. Once again, pride came into play. They went as one before the king and made a recommendation that he would sign a decree saying that for 30 days no one could worship anyone but Darius himself. If they worshipped any other god, or God, they were to be thrown into the lion’s den. If the king had gotten out of pride for two minutes, he might have asked, “Why only thirty days? If I’m worthy of praise, why not just make a decree that makes me the object of all worship?” Fortunately for them, the king never thought of that. If he had, this would have meant they would suffer the same fate of the lions if they worshipped their false gods. Daniel refused to bow to anyone but the Living God of Heaven. For this he was tossed into a den with ravenous lions. When the people came to tell Darius the offender was Daniel, the king spent a long day trying to figure out how to save Daniel. Watch what Darius told Daniel before allowing him to enter the den. “Your God, whom you serve continually, he WILL deliver you.” He did not ask if God would save Daniel, or suggest Daniel might ask God to save him. He stated a serious fact: Your God WILL save you. We know the story, the Lord Himself shut up the mouths of the lions while Daniel was in that den. Yet, when the men who had accused Daniel were thrown in with their families, they were torn to shreds and eaten.
Can you hear Jesus talking to the lions before Daniel arrived? “Ok, guys and gals, a friend of mine is coming here today. I don’t want you to hurt him. He’s a tiny tidbit and not large enough to share. But – if you leave him alone, I’ll send you plenty to fill your tummies.”
The depictions I’ve seen of this scene show the lions pacing back and forth around Daniel. What I see in my mind is the lions all sleeping near Daniel anticipating the feast to come.
Understand the message in this portion of Scripture. No matter what man or government might tell you, never go against the Lord God, Jesus Christ, or the Holy Spirit. Our salvation and security are in God. With the government trying to tell us when, if, and where we can pray, we need to grab this message more steadfastly than any other time in history since Daniel.
6. In chapter seven, Daniel doubled back to Belshazzar to tell us of his dream of the four beasts. There was the lion with eagle’s wings, the bear lying on its side with three ribs in its mouth, and another beast that looked like a leopard with wings on its back and four heads. The fourth beast was given as a separate revelation. It was such a fearsome sight that Daniel had no comparative animal to tell us what it looked like. All he could say was, “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold 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.” The little horn (the antichrist) will kill off three of the horns and take their place. This little horn will sit blaspheming the Lord and His temple. Here Daniel saw the Ancient of Days, God Himself, sitting on His throne. Daniel was fascinated by the scene before his mind’s eye and could not help but watch as the beast spoke its profanity. He watched till God killed the beast and cast him into the lake of fire. And Daniel kept watching, which means he was actively taking part in the vision. And then Jesus came on the scene and took His place as King over all the nations.
We really need to watch our words. One of my pet peeves is the word luck. The world might consider that things come by luck, but Christians know better. We reap what we sew. There is no luck involved, only words we speak. If we speak love, we reap peace. If we speak hate, we reap corruption. To me, using the word luck to describe how one feels about what God has done for them is blasphemous. Let me give you an example: Someone prays for ten dollars to buy food for their family. Later in the day, they are given ten dollars. What do they say? “I am sooo lucky! I needed ten dollars and someone gave it to me.” Where is the mention of God in this? Where is the thanksgiving? Is it luck that answered that person’s prayer? How about these things that Christians say often, “I’m so lucky I have a good home”, I’m so lucky my church helps me out”, and “I’m so lucky my kids turned out well.” The list goes on. What about wishing luck to each other? If you believe like many Christians that “luck” is just a word, I won’t bother you about it. But, let me ask you this question, why do you pray?
7. Daniel was disturbed by his vision so approached an angel nearby to interpret the vision for him. The beasts again represented the four kingdoms of this earth. The angel told Daniel that the “saints of the Most High [God]” would receive and possess the kingdom forever. This is the saved ones of Israel he’s referring to.
8. Daniel’s curiosity was peaked about the fourth beast which was different from all the rest, “exceedingly dreadful” with teeth of iron and nails of bronze which “devoured and broke in pieces.” He wanted to know about the ten horns, the three that fell, and the little one that spoke evil and that took the place of the three. He wanted to know why the beast was making war against the saints until the Ancient of Days came and judged in favor of the saints and gave them the kingdom.
Hallelujah! This takes us up to date. Next week we will study Daniel 7 23-28.
God bless you all!
Book of Daniel
Chapter 7, Part 27
Last time we studied together Daniel had asked the angel, most like Gabriel, to explain his dream/vision about the fourth beast, the little horn. We’ll pick up now in Daniel 7:23 where the angel is describing it.
V. 23 – The fourth beast is the revived Roman Empire that will come up in the last days. I think the concessions the Catholic church has been making and is making now is part of that revival. They have faced a steady decline for hundreds of years and have basically revised their doctrine to suit the congregation. They stopped preaching exclusively in Latin. In the church we used, they went from Latin to French to English in a ten year span of time. When we were children hats for women was a must. (I remember woman wearing the silly white Spanish mantillas that only looked good on Spanish women.) Men and boys always wore suits, women and girls dresses. They would never dare enter the sanctuary inappropriately dressed. The church revised their edict for not eating meat on Friday to eating meat on all Fridays except Good Friday. Some Catholics still won’t eat meat on Fridays especially during the 40 days of the Lenten season before Easter.
I don’t know what other changes the church has made, but they are making themselves more user-friendly all the time which is what will draw the people. It should be truth and love that draw people, but it is ease of conscience that will win out.
The angel told Daniel that the fourth beast will “devour the whole earth” and “trample it and break it.” (Understand, please, that this will occur in the last 3 ½ years, or the Great Tribulation period of the Tribulation.) Unlike the kingdoms before it that had limited reign, this kingdom will take over the entire earth by force, “devouring” (killing) all who oppose it, trampling their kingdoms (Daniel 2:40 ), and will set up a one-world government. We could get into all the speculation about the United Nations, the League of Nations , the European Union, etc… but it serves no purpose. We know the Word and the Word will be done.
V. 24 – The angel explains that the ten horns are the ten kings who will come to rule the nations. There will be one unlike any other ever before, the little horn, who comes up from among them and destroys three of the other kings, or kingdoms. He will be more evil and more destructive than any other ruler in history.
V. 25 – This “king” will speak “pompous” words against the Lord. In other words, he will talk about himself so boastfully that it will turn into blaspheming the Lord. Satan did that with his five “I wills”. “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit” (Isaiah 14:12 -15). And the same fate will befall this mouthy king.
No man can continually and with malice blaspheme the Lord, His Son, His Spirit, or His temple and not burn for it.
This king will think he can change even the thoughts of God concerning the destiny of hell for all unbelievers including himself. But the antichrist is going to the blazing inferno. God allows him to persecute, torment, and even kill Christians, but only for an appointed time. It will seem a very long 3 ½ years to those suffering, but God will prevail. All that takes place is part of God’s redemption plan.
V. 26 – When the judgment court takes its seat, the antichrist will be dethroned and his power removed from him. He will never again be allowed to rise to power. He is finally and for all time the defeated foe. When someone goes to court and is found guilty of murder, some states put the criminal to death. They strip him of all possessions and power, place him behind bars, and when the time comes, execute him. That’s what will happen to the antichrist, the false prophet and the beast (Revelation 19:20 ).
V. 27 – When the Lord takes the kingdom from the horn He will return it to Israel . Lets read what Paul told the church at Thessalonica, “1 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (II Thessalonians 2:1-12).
People want to know when these things will take place. Desperately they try to pinpoint dates and times, but they forget, it’s in God’s time, not man’s that Jesus will “catch away the saints” and the Tribulation will begin.
Are the signs of the end all around us do you think? What are some of the signs?
V. 28 – Daniel has been a man of super human faith, will, and strength since his captivity. He had a good, but at times, difficult life serving under all the different kings. That’s why it’s surprising to read this verse. “Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations (to think on, be in deep, searching thoughts about) much troubled me, and my countenance (face) changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart” (Daniel 7:28 ). We have a countenance of face, but we also have a countenance of spirit. I venture to say both Daniel’s Spiritual and physical countenance fell when he heard what was to come. This was serious news. As with Mary who pondered in her heart the news the angel gave her about being the mother of the Lord in (Luke 2:19 ), Daniel pondered and kept this news to himself, hidden in his heart.
We should learn to discern which dreams and vision God gives us for sharing and edifying the church and those we are to keep and pray over.
Rev. Suzanne L. Taylor
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