Decoding Daniel - an in depth Bible study of the book of Daniel

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Daniel 7

Outline and Background - Daniel 7

Vision and Dream of the Three Beasts - Daniel 7:1-6

The Four Winds of Heaven

The Great Sea

The First Beast

The Second Beast

The Third Beast

Vision of the Fourth Beast - Daniel 7:7-8

The Little Horn of the Fourth Beast

The Future From God's Perspective

Linking of Daniel 7 to Revelation 17

Vision of God's Throne - Daniel 7:9-12

Vision of the Son of Man - Daniel 7:13-14

Visions and Dream Interpreted - Daniel 7:15-28

Applications of Daniel 7

Visions and Dream Interpreted - Daniel 7:15-28

Daniel was more than a casual observer; he became emotionally involved in the visions. It is assumed that the one the prophet approached is an angel, whom many call “the interpreting angel.”

When Jesus asked His disciples whether they understood, they answered in the positive. Instead of asking Him questions, they went away lacking insight. Not Daniel, he asked questions.

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 for ever—yes, for ever and ever.”

Five kingdoms appeared in Daniel’s night vision: Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Grecian, Roman, and Christ’s (7:2-14). The first four kingdoms are of the earth, the fifth is of heaven. Since there are only four kingdoms of the earth until Christ’s kingdom, the implication is that the Roman Empire will be revived in the end times. This explains the meaning of “the beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction” (Revelation 17:8; see Linking of Daniel 7:8, 23-25 and Revelation 17:8-14).

Daniel’s interest was focused on the fourth beast, its ten horns and the boastful little horn that became more imposing than the other horns. Another feature of the fourth beast, which was not previously mentioned, is “bronze claws.” The extent of the Antichrist’s devouring with iron teeth and crushing with bronze claws is apparent from the books of Daniel and Revelation.

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 (Daniel 7:21-22).

After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb (Revelation 7:9).

I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 7:14).

Of course, a great number of Israelites will be included in this multitude according to Zechariah 13:8:

“In the whole land,” declares the LORD, “two-thirds will be struck down and perish; yet one-third will be left in it.”

In this light, we can understand the interpreting angel’s 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.

Daniel’s prophecy has four descriptive titles for the one who wages war against the saints: “a little horn” (7:8; 8:9 cf. 7:20, 24); (2) “a stern-faced King” (8:23); (3) “the ruler who will come” (9:26); and (4) “the king will do as he pleases” (11:36). The condensed titles are “the Little Horn,” “the Stern-faced King,” “the Coming Prince,” and “the Willful King.” All four titles are wrapped up in the title, “the Antichrist,” which is the popular name employed by commentators.

The Antichrist’s reign of terror will last three and one-half years. Satan will energize one of the horns (the Antichrist) of the fourth beast (the Revived Roman Empire). The Antichrist will pursue the survivors of Israel into the desert, but the earth will protect a remnant of Jews. Then the Antichrist will make war with all who obey God (Revelation 12). However, one hundred and forty-four thousand Israelites will be sealed by God and protected from the Antichrist in the Tribulation, but all others who are saved during this period will face the fury and oppression of this horn, who is energized by the Devil.

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 (Revelation 12:12).

According to the interpretation of Daniel’s vision, the Antichrist will try to change the set times and the laws. The law he will intend to change will probably be the Law of God. Isaiah 5:20 is an example of the kinds of lies the man of lawlessness will speak:

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.

Today, relativism is supplanting truth in the religious, social and political arenas of the western world. If the United States of America and Europe are any indication, the world of the twenty-first century is ripe for the Antichrist.

Daniel 7:24-27 covers the entire Tribulation Period (Revelation 6:1-20:3). Verse 24 belongs to the first three and one half years and verse 25 to the second three and one half years. Verses 26-27 belong to the very end of the Tribulation when Christ comes as the crushing stone and His kingdom, the mountain, fills the whole earth.

The judgment of the Antichrist is unavoidable. “The court will sit, and his power will be taken away and destroyed completely forever.” God’s kingdom will come to earth and His will done as it is in heaven. Then the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples to pray is answered!

Overwhelmed by the conflict between good and evil, light and darkness, the prophet kept the matter to himself. Apparently, Daniel did not reveal these visions for some time.

Bible Studies by Bob Conway

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Experiencing Exodus

Book of James

Life and Passion of Christ

The Holy Spirit

How to Study the Bible

Romans Salvation

Life of the Apostle Paul

Other studies at Spreading Light Bible Studies

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