The first 6 chapters of Daniel were written history and the last part of Daniel is prophecy. Some of the prophecies have already been fulfilled and some of the prophecies are still waiting to be fulfilled. Some believe some of the prophecies in the last part of Daniel are duel prophecies which means that they were fulfilled but they also can apply to events in the future. The prophecy in Daniel seven is an overview of the end times and the rise of the anti- Christ that is to come. More details about the anti-Christ will be given later in the book of Daniel.
Theologians believe that chapter 7 is the most important chapter in the book of Daniel because it provides the most comprehensive and detailed prophecy of future events to be found in the Old Testament. All the Stories we have heard so far in the book of Daniel give us reassurance for the future that God can take us through the fiery furnace; the Lion’s Den and survive some of the most evil Kings that have ruled on the earth.
Why would God gives the Jewish nation prophecies that did not apply to many of them? How would they gain encouragement from it? The Jews found encouragement in the promise of God that no matter how dark or unsure things became, God was promising them a future. Israel would always have a place in the future a promise that has not been made to any other people or nation. (Jeremiah 29)
The promise of a better world has always encouraged God’s people and it is what encourages Christians today as we wait for the fulfillment of the life to come. Are you not encouraged that no matter how bad this place gets that there is something better waiting for us in eternity? God already knows how the whole earth ends and He has given us things to look for so that we will not be scared but encouraged that things are playing out just like He knew they would.
Most people do not read the prophecies because the symbolism confuses them and so they just stay away from it. We should always accept the plain sense of the text unless there is good reason to adopt some other meaning and the Bible does most of the explaining for us.
Everyone of the symbols you see are things you understand and know because you know the meaning behind them. So we understand symbols in there context but can you imagine someone 2000 years from now, if all these businesses no longer existed, trying to figure some of these symbols meant? So as we read the Bible do not get bogged down with them because we will explain what they mean.
Your View vs Gods View
View: The Things that can be seen from a particular place.
God has a view of things that we do not have because God is not only above the Universe, He has seen from the start to the ending of all of humanity.
If you have ever been to a really big corn maze they have a tower that rises above the corn for you to either get a glimpse of where you need to go or for someone to guide your way since you can only see so far. God not only sees what is happening now, He has seen everything that has already taken place and His view allows us to trust Him to guide our every step. This is good news because He was able to see every sin we ever committed and die for it before we were ever born. Romans 5:19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous
It was Christ obedience to die for our sins that put us back in a right relationship with God for all who believe not our own works.
If we are honest we have a limited view of the world and even our own lives. We use the phrase “hindsight is 20/20” because we always see clearer after we have experienced things in life. God has 20/20 vision because He is all knowing and knows exactly what is going to take place and when. Even if we had access to all the truth that exist in the world our minds could not comprehend what is taking place. God sees what is going to take place and He can comprehend it because He is God.
From God’s View
1) The Earth Is In Turmoil
Daniel had his vision when Belshazzar was the King who was also the King who saw the hand writing on the wall. He was the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar and he was placed over the city of Babylon as the King. (This vision took place before Daniel 5)
When Nebuchadnezzar dreamed of the statue he was fascinated by the precious materials it was made out of. Man’s view is that the world has something great to offer but God sees the world differently. God sees into the hearts and souls of humanity and He sees that they are really struggling with every day life.
Turmoil means to be Disturbed, Confused and Uncertain .
If we are honest turmoil seems to describe our world and what people are going through. Although there will be times of peace and clarity everyone has to agree that the world, in general, is in turmoil.
Four winds of Heaven churning up the great sea
The Sea regularly stands for people or nations in scripture (Isaiah 17:12-13; Ezekiel 26:3; Revelation 13:1,13:11,17:1,17:15)
People of the earth are like the sea that is constantly in a state of unrest because of God’s judgment, Satan’s activity and people who do not know God. While people do all they can to live a peaceful life without God the reality is that they are in constant turmoil whether they want to admit it or not. People medicate themselves with alcohol and even prescription drugs to escape the chaos they feel in their own lives searching for peace that they will never find apart from God. The chaos is caused by the lack of control they do not have over their circumstances and the world that they live in.
Read Daniel 7:3-6
From God’s View
2) The World will become worse not better
One of the things we keep hearing is how we are headed for a better tomorrow but the Bible tells us that the world will only grow worse leading up to Christ return.
Jesus said in Matthew 24:12 “And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.”
Although many people try and hold out a future of a better world the reality is that the evilness that is in the human heart will not allow such a world to exist. As people continue to live their lives separate from God they will become more and more selfish and more and more heartless toward their fellow man.
Read Daniel 7:17
The bible lets us know that the symbols that are mentioned are the Kingdoms that Daniel already prophesied would take place through Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. . Babylonian, Persian, Greek and Roman Empires were what Daniel interpreted would come in order and that prophecy was fulfilled.
Nebuchadnezzar saw a statue of a god or a man made of the precious metals of the earth but from God’s view these were animals with an appetite for destruction. We may see the technology and how we can have a better tomorrow but God sees how mankind continues to destroy each other. We tend to see things as being good and that most people are good people but God sees their heart and the wickedness we do not see. The same is true for the nations.
Nations have animals as their symbols like the Bald Eagle which is the Unites States of America’s symbol.
So although these animals may seem funny or mythical to us they share a meaning that those in that country and during that time would have understood.
Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar were symbolized by this Lion/ Eagle in other passages of scripture. (Lion: Jeremiah 4:7;49:19,22; 50:17,44 and Eagle: Jeremiah 49:22; Lamentations 4:19; Ezekiel 17:3; Habakkuk 1:8) Statues of Winged Lions have been found in the ruins of Babylon showing that this animal was their national symbol. The wings being torn off are what happened to Nebuchadnezzar when he lost his mind but he was able to walk again after he humbled himself before God.
This was the Medio- Persian Empire and the Bear was raised up on one side because the Persians were stronger than the Medes.The three Ribs were its conquest of Babylon (539 B.C.) Lydia (546 B.C) and Egypt (525 B.C.)It was told to devour more and that is what the Medio-Persia empire was known for because it was constantly conquering more lands.
A Leopard being a fast creature had its speed increased by the four wings. Alexander the Great conquered other Empires for Greece quicker than any other conquest that had taken place.Alexander the Great conquered Asia Minor in 334B.C. and then in 10 years conquered the Medio-Persian Empire to the borders of India. (He was 32 Years old) After Alexander the Great died and after some more turmoil between who would rule the empire, his generals divided the land into four parts which represents the four heads.
Rome had more power and conquered more lands and its Kingdom was larger than the kingdoms that preceded it. It crushed or broke into pieces anything that got in its way and would trample them through its powerful army. Just like the Iron in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream ran all the way down into the toes so the Roman Empire is still part of what we have in our world today but mixed with Clay. Horns always symbolize Kings or Kingdoms in scripture (Revelation 13:1, 17:2 also Psalm 132:17, Zechariah 1:18; 1 Samuel 2:10)The people of Daniels day understood having a King not the governments we have today so it could mean 10 Nations. The Ten Horns relate to the 10 Toes in the dream of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2) The number ten can mean completeness or it can be an exact number. Some believe the World will eventually be broken up into 10 Kingdoms or ruling nations that rule equally and then the Anti –Christ will rise out of those Kingdoms
A little Horn came up
Read Daniel 7:23-24
This King or Kingdom will outgrow all the other 10 Kingdoms and will violently overthrow 3 Kings or Kingdoms and by force make all the Kings subject to him.
Eyes Like a man and a Mouth that spoke boastfully or great things
Eyes symbolize human personality but also Intelligence, insight, and wisdom. (Zechariah 3:9, 4:10; Revelation 4:6. 5:6)He will speak blasphemies against God and his message will revolt believers but will cause non-Christians to be drawn to him. He will be very smart and well-spoken which will make him convincing and he will rule the entire earth. To blaspheme God means that he would demand worship of himself. (Cover this more in later chapters)
Revelation 13:5-6 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months.6 It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven.
The Roman Empire will have three stages: The Beast Stage, 10 Kingdom Stage, and Anti-Christ stage. The Stone that crushed the feet in Daniel 2 will be the stone that take out all the previous rulers ending the gentile rule on earth. (See also 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12; Revelation 17:12-13; 2 Thessalonians 2:3 )
Read Daniel 7:25
In God’s View
3) God’s Children will suffer
This little horn bothered Daniel and he wanted to know more about him because in his vision he was a very evil person. (God’s perspective not man’s perspective) It is not popular to teach about God’s Children suffering because many people have taught a false doctrine that God’s children will not have to endure hardship for believing in Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches us that many of God’s children suffered for their faith beginning with the first believers in Acts and it will happen all the way till the end of time.
Oppress means to wear away or wear out. Christians will be harassed daily and religious holidays, religious laws and religious freedoms will be eliminated. This is known as the tribulation as talked about in Matthew 24:1-14; Mark 13:1-3; Revelation 6-9
Matthew 24:21-2221 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened
Matthew 24:25 Jesus says See I told you ahead of time so that when His disciples experience such pain they do not fall away from the faith. That is why we do a disservice to people by not telling them that following Christ can bring hardship and pain. God uses all of the hardship and pain for His glory and it tells the world that we really believe what we say we believe when no amount of heartache or pain will cause us to change our minds. One of the strongest testimonies that Jesus Christ rose from the dead is that not one disciple recanted his story even while facing excruciating pain and death. God always uses pain in His children to produce results that would never be reached through joy and happiness.
1 Peter 4:13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.
Read Daniel 7:26
From God’s View:
4) God has always ruled as Judge
God is always ruling and we may say that verbally but we do not always believe it. From our view it seems that God is weak or has forgotten us but Daniel reassures us God is still ruling. The court is sitting in judgment and will take the anti-Christ power away. What Court? The one found in Daniel 7:9-12 whereDaniel sees God sitting on His throne calmly waiting for the Day of Judgment. which means He has always existed and has seen everything that has taken place first hand. God will not need eyewitness accounts to determine His verdict because His ruling will be perfect based on Him seeing it and also because of His moral purity. The Ancient of days was “white as snow” which means moral purity (Isaiah 1:18; Revelation 1:14) White Hair is a sign of old age and God’s eternal nature. Fire is a common symbol of judgement and River of Fire means God’s Judgment will be poured out.God allows the Anti- Christ to rule for a time but then He will tolerate him no more and cast him into hell. (Revelation 19:20)
The books were opened: Books were symbolic of God’s memory of Deeds which is every word, thought and deed of every individual. (Revelation 20:12; Malachi 3:16 )
Psalm 56:8You have kept count of my tossing’s; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?
Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.
Read Daniel 7:13-14
Daniel then sees Jesus, the second member of the trinity, appear before God as one who sacrificed Himself for His children and it is Jesus who now will rule. The Son of man is the very title Jesus used to describe Himself. (Mark 14:61-62) The only time He made mention of being the messiah was with the Samaritan woman (John 4:26) but all the other times Jesus used the title Son of Man. Son of Man means Jesus was fully God and fully man. Coming on the clouds of Heaven showed that Jesus was also deity. (Psalm 104:3; Isaiah 19:1) Jesus said many times He was the Son of Man coming on the clouds of Heaven.(Matthew 24:30; 25:31; 26:64) showing that He was God in the flesh.
The very position Satan wanted was given to Jesus and the thousand year reign will begin (Matthew 24:29-31; Rev20:4-6)
Read Daniel 7:27
From God’s View
5) God’s Children will rule
Don’t you wish some of these politicians would call you so you could tell them what to do? We all believe that one phone call we could straighten out the U.S.A. God’s Children will be the ones ruling the world one day under the headship of Christ. War will be no more and universal peace and prosperity will finally be reached when Christ rules the world. Believers will inherit the earth as Jesus promised in Matthew 5:5 and those who are not saved when Christ returns will be thrown out. (Matthew 13; 25:31-46) Nature will be delivered from bondage of sin and decay (Isaiah 35; Romans 8:18-25) and there will be peace.(Isaiah 2:1-5; 9:1-7)
Revelation 20:4 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 about Jesus and because of the word of God. They[a] had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
In 1 Corinthians 6 Paul rebukes the church for taking each other to court because they will be the ones who judge the world. How can we rule with Christ if we cannot handle these smaller matters? See also 1 Corinthians 6:2-3
In the midst of the craziness that is happening in our world we cannot lose God’s view of the it. We live in a sick and depraved world from God’s view and we need to remember that people need to accept the free gift of Jesus Christ before they die or He returns. The earth is in turmoil in Gods view and although there might be some good things that happen people will become more and more selfish leading to more destruction not peace. No matter what we walk through in this life we have been given the power of the Holy spirit to give us the strength to endure. God sees all and no one is getting away with anything so we can trust in Him that He will judge righteously and justice will be done in the end. We need to remember that what we do here on earth matters and we will be rewarded for it and placed in positions of leadership in eternity based on how we handle the assignments God has given to us. We do not earn our salvation but we serve out of gratefulness to our God who has lavished gifts upon us.
Nothing we do for eternity is in vain and God see all that we do and it is recorded