Bible Ballistics: Our God Rules All!!! Vol. 6#20
As we continue with our look at Daniel chapter 7, we remember that this is the dream that Daniel received from God during the reign of Belshazzar.
“In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.” Daniel 7:1
We saw last week that the dream was of 4 beasts:
The first beast was like a lion—
The second beast was like a bear—
The third beast was like a leopard—
The forth was a dreadful and terrible beast—
Unlike al the rest
With no description like anything we know.
The fourth beast had 10 horns—
Then a little horn came up among the 10—
Now we can continue to see what Daniel received as the interpretation of this amazing dream, and make whatever conclusions we can from the text. We’ll lay it out in our diagraming format:
“I Daniel was grieved
in my spirit
in the midst of my body,
and the visions of my head troubled me.” Verse 15
Daniel was grieved and troubled in his spirit over the things he saw in the vision, and in his body he is feeling the distress and burden of this overwhelming vision. Daniel asks for understanding of the vision, in the vision, because he desires to know truth. This man who has stood for almost 70 years in public service with devotion and integrity always before his God, is now troubled by his own dream not someone else’s.
“16 I 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.” Verse 16
Daniel approached one of the characters in his vision and simply asked to know the truth of the vision, and his request was granted. James reminds us that we often ask and don’t receive because we aren’t asking the right things, at the right time, or for the right reasons.
“Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. 3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. 4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” James 4:2-4
Daniel was a man of God, with a heart after God, and a life that reflected his integrity and devotion to His God:
no matter the circumstances—
whether in obscurity or prominence—
whether in secret or in public—
whether popular or unpopular.
He was a friend of God—but he served humbly before those in the world. What about us? What do we seek after?
Truth or convenience?
Character or ease?
Intimacy with God or self-satisfaction?
Daniel was a man who wanted truth from his God. And he was willing to walk in it!
“These great beasts,
which are four,
are four kings,
which shall arise out of the earth.
18 But the saints of the most High
shall take the kingdom,
and possess the kingdom for ever,
even for ever and ever.” Verses 17-18
Daniel is given the overview of the entire vision/dream in a nutshell. The four beasts are four kings over the earth. The good news is they aren’t all there is—because Daniel is told that even with the frightful things that he sees in these beasts, they aren’t the final story because, “the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever”! We Win!!! But the focus of the vision seems to be on the fourth beast, so let’s press on, but before we do let’s briefly cover the first three beasts and compare them to chapter 2’s dream.
Lion—equates to the head of gold in chapter 2 and thus is Babylon. I would recommend that you make yourself a list of the things identifying the first beast—wings, plucked wings, stood, had the heart of a man (see chapter 4).
Bear—equates to the arms and breast of silver in chapter 2, and thus is Medo-Persia. Bear raised on one side—remember the Medo-Persians became the “Persian” Empire. The 3 ribs could be Babylon, Assyria and Egypt, and it devoured much.
Leopard—equates to the belly and thighs in chapter 2, and thus is the Greek Empire (which we’ll see more of next week). Notice the leopard had 4 wings and 4 heads. If you would a ‘flying leopard’, and Alexander the Great was known for the speed at which his army moved and conquered.
The Dreadful and Terrible Beast (we’ll call him the DT beast in our study)—was unlike all the others, yet he also parallels chapter 2 and is the legs of iron, and the feet and toes of iron and clay, the only kingdom which is unnamed specifically in the book of Daniel—although it is alluded to, and would be the Roman Empire, but a Roman Empire with two different faces, the first as legs of iron, and a latter day kingdom of iron and clay. And as chapter 2 told us “in the days of these kings” (referring to the 10 toes of the statue), then will,
“the God of heaven
set up a kingdom,
which shall never be destroyed:
and the kingdom shall not be left
to other people,
but it shall break in pieces
and consume all these kingdoms,
and it shall stand for ever.” (Dan. 2:44).
Here we see a parallel of the vision of chapter 7 about the beast and the ‘other’ horn. This also places this “revived Roman Empire”, the ten kings, and the “other horn” at the time in history when Christ shall return and establish HIS kingdom on this earth. But let’s continue with Daniel before we bring our conclusions together:
“Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast,
which was diverse from all the others,
whose teeth were of iron,
and his nails of brass;
brake in pieces,
and stamped the residue with his feet;
20 And of the ten horns
that were in his head,
and of the other
which came up,
and before whom three fell;
even of that horn
that had eyes,
and a mouth
that spake very great things,
whose look was more stout
than his fellows.” Verses 19-20
The fourth beast is: diverse, dreadful, teeth of iron, nails of brass, which devoured, broke in pieces, and stamped the other beasts (the residue) with his feet. Keep in mind the ‘feet’ that are mentioned here, it’s important when we go back and see the “feet and toes” of chapter 2. This beast also had ten horns in it’s head (while the statue in chapter 2 had 10 toes), then another horn arises, uproots three, and is described as having eyes and a mouth that spoke ‘great things’, and was ‘more stout than his fellows’. We see that the emphasis of this dream/vision is the fourth beast and the “other horn” that comes up after and among the ten. But the emphasis on this “other horn” doesn’t stop there:
“I beheld, and the same horn
made war with the saints,
and prevailed against them;
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.” Verses 21-22
Here we have an important piece of information that we often overlook, in our eagerness to go on. We see here that this “other horn” that arises out of the ten horns of the 4th beast comes at a time that must be at the time of the end, because he not only makes ‘war with the saints’ and “prevailed against them”, but the ‘kingdom of the saints’ will replace him. While we have had various times throughout history when men have come against the saints of God, both the Jews as a nation, and/or the church of Jesus Christ, here they are prevailed against until the “saints possessed the kingdom”!!! Now I don’t see any indication that we have at any point, to this time in history, yet “possessed the kingdom”! We are possessed by the KING but we don’t yet possess the kingdom in it’s glory! But we will—IN HIS TIME!!! But there’s more, so let’s press on as Daniel keeps looking:
“Thus he said,
The fourth beast shall be
the fourth kingdom upon earth,
which shall be diverse from all kingdoms,
and shall devour the whole earth,
and shall tread it down,
and break it in pieces.
24 And the ten horns
out of this kingdom
are ten kings that shall arise:
and another shall rise
and he shall be diverse from the first,
and he shall subdue three kings.
25 And he shall speak great words
against the most High,
and shall wear out the saints
of the most High,
and think to change times and laws:
and they shall be given into his hand
until a time and times and the dividing of time.
26 But the judgment shall sit,
and they shall take away his dominion,
to consume and to destroy it unto the end.
27 And the kingdom and dominion,
and the greatness of the kingdom
under the whole heaven,
shall be given to the people
of the saints
of the most High,
whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and all dominions
shall serve and obey him.” Verses 23-27
Now we find this “other horn” acting against God and His people. He will attempt to change times and laws—God’s sovereign control of all things—and destroy God’s people, both the Jews and Gentiles who believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God. BUT (verse 26) “the judgment shall sit”!!! The Lord Jesus and God Almighty, His Father, shall rule and reign. In other words this ‘horn’ will wreak havoc only until ‘his’ time is up and the Lord Jesus, that ‘stone cut out without hands’ will crush and overcome this wicked one. (See Dan. 2:44) Jesus IS the stone!!! His return will eliminate the competition, eventually in total!
I’d like to share just a couple of scriptures for you to ponder on this week—you decide who is who—Jesus will eliminate the imposter, whether you call him Anti-Christ, the man of sin, the son of perdition, that evil, or the “beast”:
“And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9 Even him, (our ‘other horn’)
whose coming is after the working of Satan
with all power
and lying wonders,
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness
in them that perish;
because they received not
the love of the truth,
that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God
shall send them strong delusion,
that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned
who believed not the truth,
but had pleasure
in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12
“And I stood upon the sand of the sea,
and saw a beast (our ‘other horn’)
rise up out of the sea,
having seven heads and ten horns,
and upon his horns ten crowns,
and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
2 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.
3 And I saw one of his heads
as it were wounded to death;
and his deadly wound was healed:
and all the world wondered after the beast.
4 And they worshipped the dragon
which gave power unto the beast:
and they worshipped the beast,
Who is like unto the beast?
who is able to make war with him?
5 And there was given unto him a mouth
speaking great things
and power was given unto him
to continue forty and two months.” Revelation 13:1-5
Do you see the similarities—the ‘horn’ is the beast of Revelation 13, the “wicked” of 2 Thessalonians 2, the ‘anti-Christ’ in 1st and 2nd John. This one who will stand against God in the last days, but who will be overcome by the Lamb of God upon His return in power and glory. If you’ll notice in our passage from Revelation 13, the beast is described in reverse order of the beasts that Daniel saw in Daniel 7—the leopard, the bear and the lion. Why in reverse? It’s a matter of timing—Daniel was in the kingdom of the lion/Babylon, so as he looked, he was looking forward to the bear, the leopard and the DT Beast. John, as he wrote the book of the Revelation was in the first part of the Roman Empire—the DT Beast—so he was looking back from the DT Beast and saw the leopard, the bear and the lion, just reverse of what Daniel saw—but both saw the same thing. Think about it.
Daniel closes by telling us that while God has given him this amazing picture of the future, it troubled Daniel to consider that the future for God’s people would include such suffering before the eternal kingdom would come in!
“Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.” Verse 28
So in conclusion Daniel, in contrast to Nebuchadnezzar, saw the reality of the worldly kingdoms—the beastliness of man. Nebuchadnezzar was distracted by the glitter of gold; Daniel was disturbed by the reality of the battles that remained for the people of God. Are you still focused on the glitter of gold, or are you committed to the battle of God.
“Thou therefore endure hardness,
as a good soldier
of Jesus Christ.
4 No man that warreth
entangleth himself with the affairs of this life;
he may please him
who hath chosen him
to be a soldier.” 2 Timothy 2:3-4
What about you and me? Are we fighting the good fight or have we sold out to the enemy. What we will hear when our Lord calls us home or comes for His own?
“His lord said unto him,
thou good and faithful servant:
thou hast been faithful over a few things,
I will make thee ruler over many things:
enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Matthew 25:21
Let’s recommit ourselves to faithful service, not lazy presumption. Even so Lord Jesus, come quickly!