No Trash, Just Truth! - Proverbs 9:10 Ministries

Episode 107 - Things That Go Bump in the Night - Reading Between the Lions Part 7

October 04, 2021
No Trash, Just Truth! - Proverbs 9:10 Ministries
Episode 107 - Things That Go Bump in the Night - Reading Between the Lions Part 7
Show Notes Transcript

We have all probably had dreams that were so disturbing that we have woken up suddenly with our hearts pounding and maybe even in a sweat.  We take a deep breath, relieved and thankful when we realize that it was just a dream.  It may take a while to get the disturbing images out of our mind, but eventually, our minds quiet and we go back to sleep.  Imagine one of those nights; only when you wake up, you realize that what you had was not a dream, but a vision given to you by God that was of things to come.  

To say that would be disturbing is an understatement!  How would you respond?  Would you tell anyone?  Would you keep badgering God for more information?  Would you ask Him to stop showing you these things because they are upsetting?  Do you think you could handle the responsibility of presenting these visions to the people without injecting your own opinion or thoughts?  

Join us as we continue in the Book of Daniel. What things that go bump in the night are intruding into Daniel's dreams?!

Episode 107 – Things that go Bump in the Night

Welcome Back! We are cruising along in the book of Daniel in our series, Reading Between the Lions. We said a few episodes ago, that while God usually works through the ordinary to accomplish the extraordinary, in the book of Daniel, God does the extraordinary outright. He does some amazing things that may never be repeated again. That is something that makes the book of Daniel unique.

A couple of other things that make the book of Daniel unique is that it is part history and part prophecy. So far, we have looked at the first 6 chapters of Daniel. All of these chapters are historical. They are a record of things that actually took place during Daniel’s time under Babylonian and Medo-Persian rule. But beginning in chapter 7, the books turns to prophecy. Daniel received visions and dreams of things that were to take place in the future. While all of it was future to Daniel, only a small amount is still future to us. Much of what Daniel was shown has already happened.

There are a lot of parallels between the book of Daniel and the book of Revelation. Much of it occurring in chapters 7 – 12. We’ll try to point some out as we go. But one other unique thing about Daniel is the theme of dreams. First, with Nebuchadnezzar’s 2 dreams in chapter 2 and 4, and now again in chapter 7. Only this time, its Daniel who is kept awake by things that go bump in the night!

We have all probably had dreams that were so disturbing that we have woken up suddenly with our hearts pounding and maybe even in a sweat.  We take a deep breath, relieved and thankful when we realize that it was just a dream.  It may take a while to get the disturbing images out of our mind, but eventually, our minds quiet and we go back to sleep.  Imagine one of those nights; only when you wake up, you realize that what you had was not a dream, but a vision given to you by God that was of things to come.  

To say that would be disturbing is an understatement!  How would you respond?  Would you tell anyone?  Would you keep badgering God for more information?  Would you ask Him to stop showing you these things because they are upsetting?  Do you think you could handle the responsibility of presenting these visions to the people without injecting your own opinion or thoughts?  

These are all questions Daniel had to ask himself. But before we delve into chapter 7 and Daniel’s dream, we should take a minute to talk about apocalyptic literature – since that is the genre Daniel chapters 7 – 12 are written in. The books of the Bible have several different genres, and usually an entire book is the same genre; Daniel, though, is an exception. Incidentally, Revelation is another exception – we said the 2 were linked!  In Rev., chapters 2 & 3 are an epistle, while the rest of the book is apocalyptic. In Daniel, chapters 1 – 6 are historical narrative, and chapters 7 –12 are apocalyptic.  

 Apocalyptic derives from the Greek word apokalypsis which means unveiling.  Apocalyptic literature is a sub-genre of prophetical writing that was developed in the post-exilic Jewish culture. (meaning after the northern and southern nations were overthrown and exiled.  It was a popular style of writing in the ancient world. As a genre, apocalyptic literature records an author’s visions of things to come that are from God but revealed by an angel or other heavenly messenger. We have said this before, but it bears repeating; the main purpose of apocalyptic literature is to encourage those who were facing persecution. That is why apocalyptic visions usually arise out of oppression or a crisis. It was common for it to be written pseudonymously, meaning the author wrote under an assumed name. However, in this case, and in many of the other prophetic books in the Bible, the author does identify himself. Daniel is the author and states that he is.

Another characteristic of apocalyptic literature is that there is a distinct difference that is made clear between the present or future circumstances dominated by evil and an age of change that will come. It is usually made evident that any positive change can only happen by a radical divine intervention – meaning it will only happen if and when God intervenes. There is little or nothing humans can do to change their gloomy and maybe even dire circumstances. As with everything in Scripture, it is meant to show the sovereignty and power of God, pointing us to Jesus, Who is our only hope and the only One who can save us.

Getting a full grasp on apocalyptic literature requires studying Scripture and history. It’s generally written using unusual imagery. For example, evil is usually depicted in grotesque forms and figures. Sometimes the imagery is hard to understand. And there’s a reason for that. The imagery is meant to both reveal and conceal. As we will see when we look into the visions of Daniel, if the vision blatantly spelled out who the evil kingdoms were, it would mean big trouble for Daniel and others who told of the visions; so the images are given in a way that they are concealed to the outside world.  However, the message was revealed and was understood by the original audience God was speaking to. 

This is exactly why only the parts of the book of Daniel that had universal application – meaning they were for all people, not just God’s people, were written in Aramaic. Aramaic was the English of that day. The rest of the book is in Hebrew – a language mostly limited to being spoken and understood by the Israelites. While everything in the Bible has application for every Christian, we need to interpret it in light of it being written to a specific people group at that time. When we read the apocalyptic literature in the Bible, we need to be careful not to interpret it in light of our own situation. We need to interpret it from the perspective of the original, listening audience. This is part of contextualizing Scripture and is crucial to correctly interpreting the Bible. As Ligonier Ministries notes, “Books that purport to unveil Daniel’s mysteries are perennial bestsellers, and few take the time to consider whether it is even right to approach Daniel’s work as a book whose signs are coming true only in our day. However, if we consider the text carefully with a view to the original audience, we can see how the text both applies to us and would have made sense for them.”  

Ligonier is dead on. When we put Scripture into the proper context by considering the original audience and comparing it to the surrounding verses as well as the rest of the Bible, we may find that much of it is not prescriptive for us. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t apply to us. Every word in Scripture is important for us to learn because it reveals who God is, His redemptive plan for His people, what He expects of us, and ultimately, points us to Jesus. Okay, onto Daniel’s crazy dream!

          Chapter 7 opens saying that it is the first year of the reign of Belshazzar, king of Babylon, when Daniel had the dream. So right away we see that chapter 7 is out of chronological order. Since its only the first year of Belshazzar’s reign, this events in chapter 7 happened before chapter 5 – which as you may remember was when Daniel told Belshazzar God was going to take his life that very night. 

Daniel has a dream about 4 funky, scary beasts. Let’s read about them beginning in Daniel 7:2. 2 Daniel declared, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea. 3 And four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another. 4 The first was like a lion and had eagles' wings. Then as I looked its wings were plucked off, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man, and the mind of a man was given to it.5 And behold, another beast, a second one, like a bear. It was raised up on one side. It had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth; and it was told, ‘Arise, devour much flesh. 

I’ll read, 6 After this I looked, and behold, another, like a leopard, with four wings of a bird on its back. And the beast had four heads, and dominion was given to it. 7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, terrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong. It had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. 8 I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.

So as the last chapter in our chiastic structure, chapter 7 corresponds with chapter 2. If you remember, chapter 2 was Nebuchadnezzar having a dream about a big statue.

And that statue is directly related to these beasts Daniel dreams about. Both are representations of 4 distinct evil kingdoms that have been in power and oppressed God’s people as we are going to see.  There are a lot of debates about these beasts and their representation, and that has really muddied the waters up.

And that’s not a surprise since it’s not just the statue in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream that these beasts in Daniel’s dream correlate to. They are also related to the singular beast, also called the second beast or antichrist, that John sees in Revelation. And many of you probably know, there is A LOT of debate about revelation and how it should be interpreted. Pertaining to these beasts Daniel sees in particular, Revelation 13:1 – 2 describes the singular beast that correlates with them, “And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. 2 And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear's, and its mouth was like a lion's mouth.” 

If you notice, the singular beast John sees in Revelation looks like a combination of the 4 beasts Daniel sees. Which is fitting since the beast in Revelation represents all the evil rulers of the world who persecute God’s people and have Satan as their master. In fact, if you read chapter 12 of Revelation, you see that Satan is watching as the beast comes out of the sea. Daniel’s dream, too, starts with the beasts coming out of the sea. In both visions, the sea is not an actual geographical sea; it is metaphorical. The image of the sea symbolizes chaos arising because of the beasts.  In addition, Isaiah 57:20 connects the wicked to the sea, saying the wicked are as the tossing sea. 

           If you remember when we looked at Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, we said there were disagreements about the identity of the kingdoms these beasts represent. Some hold that the four kingdoms are Babylon, Mede, Persia, and Greece, while others believe that the beasts represent Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. The difference is whether you think Mede and Persia are represented separately by 2 beasts or if that kingdom (which was a merged kingdom) is represented together in one beast. The difference has to do with dating. We believe there is more Biblical evidence that the four kingdoms are Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome, and that is how we will present them. And we think you will agree when we lay this all out.

          Okay, let’s pick these beasts apart. Beast # 1 is a lion with wings of an eagle.  The wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a man, and the mind of a man was given to it. Some translations use “heart of a man” instead of mind of a man, but the original Aramaic, lebab, means mind.  All agree that this beast represents the kingdom of Babylon, or more specifically, King Nebuchadnezzar.  (Remember Babylon was the gold on the statue from King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream)

  In Jeremiah 4, Jeremiah is prophesying to Judah about their being overthrown by Babylon. Jeremiah calls Nebuchadnezzar a lion whose horses are swifter than eagles.  The lion’s wings being torn off is a picture of the king being turned to an animal in chapter 4.  If you remember, his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails the claws of a bird.  The “Made to stand like a man on two feet is a picture of when King Nebuchadnezzar’s sanity was restored to him.  Babylon was the kingdom in power from 640 B.C. – 538 B.C.  The defeat of the Babylonian Kingdom is prophesied in Isaiah chapters 13 & 14.  

          Beast #2 is a bear raised up on one of its sides with three ribs between its teeth.  It was told to get up and eat its fill of flesh.  This beast represents the Medo-Persian Kingdom. (The silver on the statue from King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream) The three horns represent Babylon, Egypt and Libya; all who were conquered and absorbed into the Medo-Persian Kingdom. Cyrus the Great was king of Persia, and he made Darius the Mede second in command.  They overthrew Babylon in 539 B.C.  King Cyrus was a pagan king, but God used him to fulfill His purposes as prophesied in Isaiah 44.   

The Medo-Persian Empire was known for its greed and cruelty.  It devoured the land and people around it.  At its height, the Medo-Persian Empire was 3,000 square miles and had 50 million people under its control!  Its domination spanned across the three continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa.  

The Medo-Persian Empire taking control of Babylon and the Jewish people is prophesied about in Isaiah 14.  Isaiah shows us that it is not the Medo-Persian Empire who actually overthrew Babylon, but God’s sovereign will working through them. Isaiah 14:22  says this about the Medo-Persian empire, “I will rise up against them,” declares the Lord of hosts, “and will cut off from Babylon name and remnant, descendants and posterity,” declares the Lord. ” There are also references to the Medes and the Persians in Ezra and Esther. The Medo-Persian Empire was dominant from 539 BC – 333 BC. Daniel lived to see the complete prophecy of Beast #1, Babylon, and the beginnings of Beast #2, the Medo-Persians empire. But Beast #3, Greece, takes the reign 200 years in Daniel’s future.

          Beast #3 is described as a leopard with four wings and four heads given authority to rule. This beast is the Greek Empire. (The bronze part of the statue from Nebuchadnezzar’s dream) The leopard represents a fast predator.  In 333 B.C., under Alexander the Great, the Grecian Empire quickly and powerfully conquered the Medo-Persians in a series of battles. The four heads and four wings could represent them being dominant in all four directions. Greece became the master of millions of square miles covering Asia, Africa and Europe.  It included nations (as we know them today) such as:  Iran, Turkey, parts of Central Asia, Pakistan, Thrace, Macedonia, much of the Black Sea coastal regions, Afghanistan, Iraq, Norther Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Libya.  The four heads and four wings could also represent that right before his death in 323 B.C., Alexander the Great divided the Kingdom of Greece into four separate kingdoms. 

The empire of Greece reigned during much of the intertestamental period which is the 400 years between the Old Testament and New Testament. It came to an end in 146 B.C. after a lot of in fighting and jostling for control. It eventually fell to Julius Caesar and what was then the Roman Republic. We can find some historical information about Greece in the Apocrypha in the First Book of the Maccabees, chapter 1(I’m abridging) – “It came to pass after Alexander of Macedon had utterly defeated Darius, the king of the Medes and Persians, that he reigned in his stead, as he had before reigned over Greece. And he waged many wars and captured fortresses and slaughtered the kings of the earth; and he made his way to the ends of the earth and despoiled a multitude of nations. He mustered a very mighty army and ruled over the lands.  Afterward, he fell sick, and knew that he was going to die.  So he called in his distinguished servants who had been brought up with him, and divided his kingdom among them while he was still alive.

So how about the 4th beast? Well, now things get a little muddy. Beast #4 is described as being a terrifying and powerful beast with large iron teeth that crushed and devoured its victims and trampled on whatever was left. The text says this beast is different from the other 3, and we are going to see that is very, very true. It is the only one not likened to an actual animal, and the only one that is called terrifying. The iron teeth correspond with the iron and clay in Nebuchadnezzar’s statue.

Something else different about this 4th beast is that its the only one that had 10 horns. And there’s something really crazy about these horns. Daniel says,  “there came up among them (the 10 horns) another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.” To get a handle on this beast, we are going to have to skip around a little in this chapter because there is an interlude of sorts between Daniel’s vision and the interpretation. But we will come back to that. Daniel stays silent after getting the visions of the first 3 beasts, but after the fourth, he makes an inquiry of the angel as to the identity of this beast. The angel says this about it in Daniel 7:19 – 21 says, “Then I desired to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the rest, exceedingly terrifying, with its teeth of iron and claws of bronze, and which devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet, 20 and about the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn that came up and before which three of them fell, the horn that had eyes and a mouth that spoke great things, and that seemed greater than its companions. 21 As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them, 

Okay. This beast is set apart because it is an already/not yet prophecy. We see these a good bit in Scripture. In one way, the prophecy has already been fulfilled, but in another way, it is pointing to something that is still in the future. And we will try and flesh this out as clearly as we can. So let’s start with the already fulfilled part of this beast. This 4th beast is the Roman Empire. (This is the iron and clay part of the statue in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream). It was unlike the other previous kingdoms. 

And even Nebuchadnezzar’s statue showed it to be unique. While the other 3 kingdoms were made of one single metal, Rome was represented by iron and clay.  In 146 B.C., the Battle of Corinth was fought between the Roman Republic and the Greek city-state of Corinth and its allies. The battle resulted in the complete and total destruction of Corinth. This battle marked the beginning of the domination of the Roman Empire over the known world.  

At its height of power in 117 A.D., the Roman Empire included the nations (as we know them today) of England, Wales, Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium, Gibraltar, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Albania, Greece, Hungary, Bosnia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Israel,  the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, Asia Minor, and some parts of Mesopotamia. The iron teeth are a symbol of the voracity and greed of the Roman Empire. They devoured their victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left.  The Roman Empire was known for after conquering a territory, taking the best of the lands for themselves. So, Chris, how about these 10 horns and this little horn with eyes and a mouth that blasphemes God.

While almost all scholars agree the 10 horns correspond to the 10 toes from the statue in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, that’s where the agreement ends. The meaning of the 10 horns and this little horn varies greatly! There are several views about how these 10 horns and the little horn represent an “already” prophecy, meaning while it was in Daniel’s future, it is in our past. We’ll touch on a few. One theory is that the 10 horns represent the 10 kingdoms of Rome that all existed during the height of their reign. These ten kingdoms are Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Britain, Sarmatia, Pannonia, Asia, Greece, and Egypt The little horn is the Turkish empire, which rose out of Asia, Greece, and Egypt. And they reason that since Islam is the national religion of Turkey, that equates to blaspheming God and making war with the saints – meaning the people of God.

Another theory is that the horns represent the first 10 Caesars or emperors of Rome. And out of them comes the little horn who is the 11th Caesar, Titus.  Titus was not the last Caesar, but he is considered the most dangerous to the Jewish people. Titus was a military commander whose family rise began under the emperor Claudius, and who he personally served under the Roman Caesars Nero, and his father, Vespasian.  So there’s the correlation to coming from 3 of the horns.

And the reason he is the little horn is because he is considered the most dangerous of the Caesars to the Jewish people. And he spewed he ultimate blasphemy against God. Right before he became a Caesar, while still being a military leader, Titus led an assault on the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D., destroying it completely. The destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem is still the most catastrophic event in Jewish history. Destroying the house of God, they theorize, would definitely count as speaking blasphemies against God and making war on God’s people.  

          And we will just do one more from the already fulfilled aspect. Some believe that like the first theory we mentioned, the 10 horns represent 10 kingdoms or provinces within the Roman Empire, but they do not think they all 10 existed at the same time. In fact, some came out after the demise of the Roman Empire in 395 AD. They theorize that the last kingdom of the Roman Empire didn’t fall until the reformation with the beginning of the Protestant Church. In other words, the 10th “kingdom” represented in the beast is the Roman Catholic Church which of course the Reformers dethroned as the sole church of Christianity by branching off into protestantism. So who does this camp think is the little horn who blasphemes God  and sets itself up against the people of God? Might shock some to learn that they think it’s the Papal dynasty. 

          One of the proponents of this theory is Sir Isaac Newtown. Here’s what he said, “The Roman church was the most powerful force in Europe—a little horn that became more stout than its fellows. By the time Cardinal Hildebrand became pope (1073), he was affirming that the Roman pontiff should not only be the universal head of the church, but also the ruler of the world.  The little horn was said to speak “great things” which were “against the Most High. The blasphemous arrogance of the popes is well-known to students of church history.” There are lengthy arguments for all the views we presented, but for time’s sake, we can’t present them. But whichever it is, it has already been fulfilled. Now let’s talk about the not yet representation of this beast. 

This beast is more than just the Roman empire. The angel tells Daniel this about this 4th beast in 7:23 – 25, there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth,which shall be different from all the kingdoms, and it shall devour the whole earth, and trample it down, and break it to pieces. As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise, and another shall arise after them; he shall be different from the former ones, and shall put down three kings. He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change the times and the law, and they shall be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.

           Okay. Let’s start taking this apart. This beast is from all kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and breaking it to pieces. This beast represents Satan’s kingdom. First, we said that all 4 of the beasts in Daniel correspond with the beast in Rev. who is also called the antichrist and man of lawlessness. Rev. says that Satan controls this beast. Let’s start with devouring the earth, trampling it down and breaking it to pieces. When you put this up against other Scripture, the “earth” represents unbelievers. Now it is true that Satan can make life for believers pretty miserable, but he can’t devour us – not if we have the Holy Spirit indwelling in us. We belong to Jesus and are sealed. However, God does allow him to have dominion over unbelievers. 2 Cor 2:4 says, “(the gospel) is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” 

          Satan’s kingdom is and will continue to destroy the lives of those who do not belong to Jesus. The angel says, “As for the ten horns,out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise, and another shall arise after them; he shall be different from the former ones, and shall put down three kings.” This is a direct correlation to Revelation chapter 17 which says, “And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns.” These 10 horns represent 10 evil leaders, kings, rulers, etc that set themself up directly opposed to God and who Satan pulls the strings on.

          Okay, so if that’s the case, what is the little horn that comes out? Daniel 7 says,        “This horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saint of the Most High , and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom.” This little horn is the antichrist. So Chris, let’s flesh this out a bit.

The Antichrist is also mentioned in Daniel 9:27 as we will see later as the “ruler who will come” who sets up the abomination. And again, this correlates with Revelation. The fact that this little horn comes out of 3 horns could be a metaphor for it displacing the power of earthly kingdoms, since 3 is used as a symbolic number in the Bible. It means completeness, but with a Trinitarian reference. Throughout Scripture, beginning in the garden in Genesis, Satan has set up a counterfeit kingdom that tries to mimic God’s kingdom, but is directly opposed to it. And never has Satan wanted to make war on God’s people more than after Jesus defeated him at his crucifixion and resurrection – which was during the Roman empire. Coming out of 3 horns could be a sign that this is the antichrist (which we will define in a minute) who sets up against our Trinitarian God.

There are different views on whether there is one antichrist or reoccurring antichrists throughout history. “Anti” in Greek is ante.  It has two meanings:  “against” and “in place of.”  It could be someone, several people or an institution who works against God or someone who seeks to subvert the authority of God and be looked to in place of god. An antichrist is both. It is someone, a group, government, institution who is working against God while simultaneously seeking to be a god themselves.

So is there one antichrist who will come in the future as many believe or have there been many antichrists throughout history. Again, the answer is both. John talks about many antichrist in 1John 4:1 – 3, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.

Paul mentions that there is also a single antichrist who he calls the man of lawlessness in 2 Thes. 2. He says, “For that day will not come(meaning Jesus’ second coming) unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.” So, Chris, how can it be both?

Paul’s man of lawlessness is the same as the antichrist, which is the same as the second beast in Rev. 13. We don’t have time to really delve into this, but we did go into it in our Deciphering Rev. series, so I encourage all of you if you are confused, to listen to it. Okay, when one last thing we will touch on quickly is that the angel says that this evil beast will reign over God’s people for time, times, and half a time. Again, we talked about this in Rev., but “time” is defined as a year. So time (1 year), times (means 2 years), and half a time (half a year). So it comes out to 3 ½ years. The mention of three and a half years corresponds with the duration of the Antichrist’s rule in Revelation 11:2; 12:14; and 13:5. It’s not a literal time period. When you contextualize it and compare it to other Scripture is means a time that God’s people will face suffering.

          Head hurt yet? Well, worry not! Let’s quickly look at the part we skipped over in Daniel 7 so we can end this episode with some encouragement. All these beasts, even this fourth beast which is Satan’s kingdom have already been dealt with by God and are not someone we need to fear. Daniel 7:11 – 12 says, “I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. 12 As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. As we all know, or should know, Satan, the antichrist, and all the wicked’s fate was sealed at Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. And spoiler alert – they will be condemned to hell and torment for all eternity.

And as even further encouragement, the angel tells Daniel in verses 17 – 18, “These four great beasts are four kings who shall arise out of the earth. 18 But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever.’ It’s not just Jesus that prevailed over all evil, but through Him, His people (the saints) do, too! This kingdom the angel is speaking of is God’s kingdom. And as children of God, brothers and sisters of Jesus, we share in Jesus’ inheritance of God’s kingdom!

So let’s end with the important take aways from these beasts. The beasts get progressively fiercer.  This dream was a prophecy to Daniel to show the people that things would get worse in the world before they get better. But it was also to give them hope that God is sovereign over it all and already had a plan in motion to defeat these beasts and save His people. We on this side of history know that plan is Jesus. Jesus has prevailed and through Him, all His people have and will prevail, too.

And the angel shows this future victory of God’s people to Daniel in verses 13 – 14, “behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man,and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.”

And that’s an encouraging place to end for today. 

Thanks for tuning in. Just a reminder, The Bible Blueprint – A Guide to Better Understanding the Bible from Genesis to Revelation is available on Amazon and all major book outlets. Its also available on kindle and as an e-book, and the audible narration for it will soon be released! You may recognize the voices of the 2 people who narrate it!

Have a blessed day everyone!