The Four Beasts and The Little Horn
We have been studying the book of Daniel, we have been studying these prophecies written over 2500 years ago; a collection of prophecies I have repeatedly referred to in this series as the greatest collection of prophecies in the history of the human race. I said we’re going to spend a couple weeks going through these prophecies and this is our third week. Tonight we will book looking at Daniel 7. These were written down by a guy named Daniel and they’ve been in the bible ever since. A lot of scholars think that Daniel 7 is actually the most important chapter in Daniel’s predictive prophecies.
If you missed the last couple of weeks, you’ve missed a lot. I am going to try and catch you up to speed, but I urge you to look at the previous two studies. We have been looking at visions that Daniel had. In Daniel 2, we saw that he had a vision interpreting a dream of a giant statue. We saw that this statue represented a series of empires that lead right up to the end of human history. The first one we saw was Babylon, which was the empire that was in control when Daniel got this vision. The second was the Medo-Persian Empire. They would be the empire that would conquer Babylon and where Daniel would spend the final couple years of his life (under the Medo-Persian Empire). After 200 years they would lead to mighty Greece, and after Greece held control for 150-200 years they would fall back and Rome would rise to the fore. We also saw that these legs of iron on the statue, as you move down into the feet, we saw a change take place. We argued that there was a gap between Rome and the final kingdom that this predicts. We argued that the Roman Empire would fall and splinter into many nations but at the very end of human history, nations descended from Rome would reunite into a shaky coalition that would become one more powerful than any nation in the world and we called that Rome 2. And that’s all from Daniel 2.
In Daniel 8 we saw that bible prophecy is like a tapestry, where it all interweaves together and as we step back and see the big picture that’s what really starts to be impressive. We see correlation in chapter 8 that focuses in on just two of these kingdoms from Daniel 2. Daniel saw this vision with a ram with these two horns, and we said this ram with two horns represents the Medo-Persian Empire. They were dominant for a time but then came a goat with a single horn a unicorn goat. And that ram destroyed the Medo-Persian Empire and it said explicitly that this kingdom is Greece. We saw that it predicts the progression of the Greek Empire after the death of Alexander the Great. We saw that that one horn was broken off and in its place sprouted up four horns, which represented the four divisions of the Greek Empire we know from history. We also saw that after a time, one horn that Daniel calls “the small horn” comes out of one of the offshoots of that Greek Empire. And this small horn, we saw last week in that lengthy history lesson, is a very important ruler to sprout out of the Seleucid Empire, an offshoot of Greece. A guy named Antiochus Epiphanies, who launched the fiercest persecution the Jews had ever seen up until that time. Very bad. This is where we get the holiday of Hanukkah from, at the end of this conflict with Antiochus Epiphanies.
I said last week that these were important for two reasons: (1) these are important fulfilled prophecies and for Daniel they were still future but for us they are historical. As people looking back we can see in hindsight that what he predicted is exactly what happened and (2) these are not just a matter of historical concern, but these serve as “types” of thing that are still to happen in the future. So these give us a preview of the end times, these are like what is going to happen in the future (what happened there with Antiochus and this persecution of the people of God).
I threw this word “types” out there at the end of last week and I didn’t really have time to explain it. What is a “type?” Because that is an important concept in bible prophecy. The word type comes from ancient coin making procedures. The Greek word is “tupas,” it is the make that is left when something gets hit. Let’s say you want to make a coin. If you wanted to make a coin like this, you would need a piece of metal, and you would need to carve a mold, like the mold that was discovered that made this coin.
[Upper bronze stamp of the Athens tetra-drachm, which was found in Egypt, and the tails of the Athens silver coin of the 4th century BC (http://muzeydeneg.ru/eng/?p=665)]
And so what you do, you’ve got your type and you take your metal and you place your mold on it, and you go “BOOM” and you whack the thing into the coin and it leaves its imprint., which leaves you with the type and the anti-type. Now the biblical writers seized on this concept because it has relevance for bible prophecy. In bible prophecy, you have God knowing the end, He knows what’s coming. It’s like He has this mold and will just go around whacking stuff and the thing that He produces has some correspondence with something that is yet future.
The most common “types” in bible prophecy is types of Christ. God goes all around the Old Testament whacking stuff with these mold that kind of look like Jesus. For example, in the Old Testament God came up with this thing called the Tabernacle, it was this tent they set up and God’s presence would symbolically dwell there. Well then, we come to John 1 in the New Testament and it says that in Jesus Christ God came down and he put on flesh and he “tabernacled” among us. And so the tabernacle in the OT, this tent that had the presence of God symbolically there, that was a picture of what God would do in Jesus Christ where he would come and dwell, like the body was his tent that he walked around in for 33 year. It is almost like you’ve got your mold, he sets it down, and he’s like BOOM and you peel the metal off and you say “okay, here’s Jesus and I can kind of see a resemblance with the tabernacle.
Again, for example, there is the Day of Atonement sacrifice. There was this one day where this one sacrifice would be offered to cover the sins of all the people, and we get to Hebrews 9 and we see an explicit linkage between that sacrifice to cover the sins of all the people and the real sacrifice that it pointed to, which was Jesus Christ offering himself once for all time (and that one didn’t need to be offered again, unlike this day of atonement sacrifice). So you see these pictures where God sets his mold down, and he whacks it, he pulls it out, and you can see a resemblance, in some sense, to Jesus Christ. So types of Christ are the most common, you see them all over the place, and you see them where scripture identifies them and I think we should restrict, to call something a type, we should restrict that to things that scripture says is a type.
The End Times is the other most common set of templates, the most common types in the bible. And when we come to Antiochus Epiphanies, it’s like God has this model of what the future is going to look like and he makes one here in Antiochus Epiphanies. He shows, “there are some things with how this guy is like that is going to be similar to another future, evil ruler of the end times.” Last week I said that this ruler, he will rise from the final empire in the vision. He will demand to be worshipped as God. He will desecrate a re-built Jewish temple. This ruler, he lives a time when the Jewish people have been re-gathered into their land and they have rebuilt their temple, they have a functioning temple that he desecrates. He will persecute believers like never before just like Antiochus Epiphanies did and he will be broken in the end, defeated by God. Of course, in this case, it will be the end of human history (this final world ruler). And in case you haven’t guessed it, this world ruler that Antiochus prefigures (that he is a type of) is none other than the Anti-Christ.
Vision of Daniel 7
We are going to talk about the Anti-Christ tonight in Daniel 7, this is who it really focuses on, this is the real new information that we are getting in this chapter. He is mentioned frequently in scripture; over 100 different passages talk about the Anti-Christ. You will run across him repeatedly if you read your bible. He is also mentioned frequently in pop-culture (movies, books, music). You can get on Wikipedia and see a list of 60 different pop-culture references in movies, books, and literature: everything from Marilyn Manson’s album “Anti-Christ Superstar,” “Santa’s Slay” the movie, where Santa Claus is the anti-Christ. There is the League of Extraordinary Gentleman that has Harry Potter as the Anti-Christ, and of course South Park, one of multiple episodes that involve the Anti-Christ, where the Anti-Christ is born to the woodland creatures in a manger. This is something that is of great interest in pop culture.
Jesus warned that there will be a lot of false information about this guy. He says, “Beware,” in Matthew 24:25 of all the different rumors, all the false information. “I don’t want you guys to be taken in when this comes along.” And when you look at our world today, frankly, it is kind of a scary place. There are very powerful rulers of nations and organizations that have very powerful weapons. Some of them are unpredictable, others just seem plain crazy, and maybe some of us lie awake at night wondering what is going to happen. What is this world coming to? We see the potential for evil men (or women) to rise to power, and we wonder what is going to happen. When we read our bibles we see what God says about this ruler, and how this ruler will come to an end, what God is going to do about it. So there is a great deal of comfort we can take from studying these passages as well.
So let’s read Daniel 7, another vision from Daniel, and he says:
In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon
553 BC, This is just a couple years earlier from the vision we read last week in Daniel 8
Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying in bed. He wrote down the substance of his dream.
So he wrote it down, you ever wake up from a dream and you can’t remember what happened? Daniel didn’t have that problem because he wrote it down. Daniel said,
In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea. 3 Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea.
So he just watches these beasts coming out of the water toward him. Of course, what these beasts represent, Daniel does not leave this to our imagination. I keep saying this. Bible prophecy: if you are confused about what it mean, just keep reading! It usually tells you! And so later, after he relates his dream, he says this:
So I approached one of those standing beside the throne and asked him what it all meant. He explained it to me like this: “These four huge beasts represent four kingdoms that will arise from the earth.
Isn’t that interesting, four kingdom, where have we seen that before? Daniel 2! The four kingdoms: Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece, and Rome, and then an extension of Rome (a revived and reunited Rome in the last days). I wonder if the four kingdoms of Daniel 7 have anything to do with the four areas of this statue in Daniel 2? I bet they do because it’s bible prophecy and it’s correlated.
The first beast was like a lion with eagles’ wings.
A Lion. What’s this one? Well if it correlates with Daniel 2, I would expect this to be Babylon because that is explicitly what Daniel 2 says the first kingdom is. Also, Babylon is repeatedly referred to as a lion by biblical authors like Jeremiah who was writing around the time of the exile. Also the Ishtar gate that I showed you from Babylon a couple of weeks ago (that great gate they excavated has lions all over it. Not to mention correlation with Daniel 2.) He goes on and he says,
Then I saw a second beast, and it looked like a bear. It was rearing up on one side, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth.
So we’ve got this bear. I am going to put that as the Medo-Persian Empire. For one, it says that it was rearing up on one side or that one side was lifted up higher than the other. Remember the ram we saw last week where the one horn came in second but it was longer than the other? Remember how we said that in the Medo-Persian Empire the Medes came first, but then the Persians came up later and more powerful, subsumed it, and took over more territory? So we’ve got this “two theme”, one is bigger, higher, and longer than the other one. Also, Daniel 8:20, if we correlate it with last week’s vision, it explicitly said that the ram is the Medo-Persian Empire. What are the three ribs in it’s mouth? A lot of people think these are the three major conquests that the Persians took to grow their territory. They conquered Lydia (which is Turkey), Babylon (which is the Babylon we are talking about here) and they pushed their way down in toward Egypt as well. That is probably what it is talking about.
After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard. And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule.
So a four headed, four winged, leopard. What could this one be talking about? If we look at Daniel 2, Daniel 8, and history what came after the Medo-Persian Empire? Wasn’t it Greece? Do your remember last week how the one horn or Alexander broke off and what sprung up in it’s place? The four horns, the four divisions of the Greek Empire. What does this guy have? Four heads! Four wings! Leopard speed! Remember how fast that goat was travelling across the land? Alexander the Great conquered from Greece to India down to Egypt with such speed. He never lost a battle. And of course Daniel 8:21 says that third kingdom is Greece. So biblical prophecy for the win once again. No trying to get something, this is clear straightforward reading and correlation of the prophecies. What about the fourth one? I think you can guess where this is going.
After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast—terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left.
Now where have we seen iron before? Do you remember that statue? The legs were made out of Iron. It said like, 6 different times in Daniel 2 how iron breaks, and tramples, and crushes everything and it tramples and crushes and breaks. And so here we’ve got a fourth beast. It doesn’t really correspond to any known beast. It’s very powerful. Trampling. Terrifying iron teeth, and we will get a little more detail here as well. We are going to call this Rome because of the correlation with Daniel 2. For all the reasons we think it was Rome in Daniel 2, we think it is Rome now as well. But Daniel goes on,
It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.
Ten horns. Is this a fifth kingdom? The fourth kingdom in here is Rome…is this a fifth kingdom that he is predicting? Is it a fifth that is kind of like the fourth and kind of comes out of the fourth like we saw in Daniel 2? A reunited Rome? Could be… For one, ancient Rome had one king not ten, This says there are ten kings, and something else comes out of those ten. Also, in Daniel 2, there was a difference between the legs and then the feet and the toes, and in fact, remember at the time I said the toes (there are 10 of them) and here we’ve got ten horns which we are going to read in a little bit that these are ten kings, ten rulers that come out of this revived empire.
This leads right up to the return of Christ and the kingdom of God, just like in Daniel 2 (that big rock hit the foot of the statue). Here we are going to see the coming of Jesus Christ on the clouds and the setting up of his kingdom and the putting an end to evil once and for all. That didn’t happen when the Roman Empire fell. And so for a lot of reasons that I have said in Daniel 2 as well as here, what I think is happening here is a distinction in this fourth beast between the beast itself (which was Rome) and then the outgrowth of that (the reunited Rome) is the ten horns. In other words, Rome and Rome 2 are both represented in this beast. And so really, this is just a restatement of the 5 empires that are in Daniel 2, but what this is going to do is focus in on the last one, and it is going to focus on a ruler that comes out of that final empire. Just like in Daniel 8, we had a ruler come out of the Greek Empire, in Daniel 7 we are going to see a ruler come out of this revived Roman Empire, this end times Roman Empire. And that is what Daniel goes on to narrate:
While I was thinking about the horns
There was something about those horns that was intriguing to Daniel and it was just then that all of a sudden,
there before me was another horn, a little one
Now last week was a small horn, this is a little one. Different, but similar. The one is a type of the other,
which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it.
And so in the process of coming up it has to yank three other ones out. I imagine that’s painful to yank a horn out.
This horn had eyes like the eyes of a human being and a mouth that spoke boastfully.
So this isn’t just a normal horn, this was a horn that had eyes and a mouth.
As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat.
Glowing with unapproachable light, garments as white as wool. There is a court in session now.
The court was seated, and the books were opened.
The Ancient of Days takes his seat and this little horn is ushered into his presence and it says,
Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking.
He couldn’t believe the bragging of this horn in front of the Ancient of Days. It didn’t last very long though.
I kept looking until the beast was slain
Right, and so we see the end of the little horn and the beast attached to him. Boom.
So what does it mean? We’ve got these beasts coming out of the sea and it centers in on this little horn. Well, we want to take a look at this, this little horn.
Then I wanted to know the true meaning of the fourth beast…and about the ten horns on the fourth beast’s head and the little horn that came up
So he is still talking to this angel and getting this explanation. What is the angel going to say?
Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it. As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise
It’s like you’ve got this beast and then you’ve got these horns arising out of it. It’s like it’s subsequent. It’s like the beast comes out of the water and then the horns come out of the beast. That’s that gap between Rome and the reunited Rome. There you go. Ten horns will arise out of this kingdom and after that,
and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings.
And so yanking out three horns somehow in his rise to power he takes out three of these rulers, three of these kings. Doesn’t say how. Just says that’s what happens.
He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. (we’ll talk about what that means) 26 But the court will sit for judgment, (that’s the Ancient of Days) and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever.
So he is quickly dispatched when the time comes.
And so we want to talk about this figure: The Anti-Christ. This final world ruler. What can we learn about the Anti-Christ from this passage as well as bringing in information from other passages?
1. He is from the reunited Roman Empire.
He is not from Greece like the guy in chapter 8, this end times coalition of nations descended from Rome.
2. He is a person who will rule the world.
The ten horns of the beast are ten kings who have not yet risen to power. They will be appointed to their kingdoms for one brief moment to reign with the beast. They will all agree to give him their power and authority (Revelation 17).
These kings will say, “It would be best if you would just rule everything.” Three of them will go down, says Daniel, when this decision is made, maybe they are the dissenters. This happens all the time in politics. You disagree, you get tossed out, you don’t make it into the next round.
He goes by many names.
- The Anti-Christ (1 John 2:18)
- The Beast (Rev. 17; 19:19-20)
- The Little Horn (Dan. 7)
- The man of lawlessness (2 Thess. 2:3),
- The son of destruction (2 Thess. 2:3),
- The prince who is to come (Dan. 9:26)
One point here is that some people try to make the Anti-Christ some abstract principle of evil. The bible talks about him like he is a person, not just a symbol for abstract evil but an actual ruler who will rule the world. A single ruler over the whole world. Is that crazy or what? Is that even possible? People have been trying to do it since the beginning of governments. Since the beginning of man people have been trying to take over the world. Is it finally going to happen? Yes it is. I think this is not just plausible but very possible given factors in our world today; factors such as globalization.
Let me read a few quotes from the experts. Starting with Alexander Wendt, Poly-Sci professor at The Ohio State University. Here’s what he says,
“My guess is that a world state will emerge within 100 years. It would not even require a world ‘government,’ if by this we mean a unitary actor with one person at the top whose individual decisions are final...The EU is already not far from meeting these requirements on a regional level. Were a ‘completed’ EU-like structure to be globalized it would be a world state.”
Alexander Wendt, “Why a World State is Inevitable.” European Journal of International Relations (December, 2003), p. 491-542.
Here is Jorgen Randers, Norwegian Climate studies professor. He talks about the climate conditions that will push for globalization, a one world government. He says,
“All in all this will mean bigger government in the decades ahead: a larger role for the state, higher taxes, and a larger share of investments in the GDP. The prime example is the climate challenge. It is a truly global problem; the temperature will rise everywhere, irrespective of who was the source of the emissions.”
Just because country A cuts down on their emissions, country B doesn’t do it that could be an opportunity to make some money! It’s not like the climate in country A stays put. We are all connected when it comes to nature.
“Such truly global, truly long-term problems are hard to solve if one restricts oneself to using the powers of the ‘free’ market only.”
Jorgen Randers, 2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years (White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green, 2012), 167, 248.
It is going to take more intervention on this. I think that is just the solution that people are going to come to as the environment runs out.
Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize winning economist, former Chief Economist and the World Bank, Columbia Professor, look what he has to say,
“We need …international frameworks and international courts… As the countries of the world become more closely integrated, they become more interdependent. Greater interdependence gives rise to a greater need for collective action to solve common problems… such collective action is not only desirable but necessary.”
Think about problems like terrorism, how are we going to solve terrorism if the terrorist just moves to another country where there is no jurisdiction? Climate problems and economic problems have governments just moving offshore. The businesses are already international the governments just haven’t caught up yet. As he goes on to say,
“In effect, economic globalization has outpaced political globalization. We have a chaotic, uncoordinated system of global governance without global government…There is a clear need for strong international institutions to deal with the challenges posed by economic globalization; yet today confidence in existing institutions is weak.”
Joseph E. Stiglitz, Making Globalization Work (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2006), 207; 280; 281; 21.
It won’t take that much longer for those political institutions to become stronger; some crisis perhaps, some sort of emergency, some sort of disaster. Think about the Patriot Act. Today we look back and we are like “Can you believe how they took our freedoms away?” At the time it passed the Senate 98-1. People were so scared after the World Trade Center attack (which is really nothing compared to what would happen if a nuclear weapon gets dropped, for example.)
Globalization. It sort of seems inevitable. I am not saying it should happen, I am just saying, can’t you see how it’s probably going to happen? Everything moving together? The Anti-Christ is going to be at the center of all that.
3. He rules the world for seven years.
We learn this in a couple of different places in scripture. We get a hint at it here in this passage though. When he says,
They will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. (Daniel 7:25)
This three and a half year number and this seven year number is very important in bible prophecy. Time would be one year, times would be two more years, and half a time would be another half year.
In fact in Revelation we see “time, times, and half a time,”, and then it says, “42 months” (which is 3.5 years), and then it says, “1260 days,” which is 3.5 years in the way that they counted years (Rev. 12:6, 14; 13:5).
He will make a firm covenant with the many for one seven year period, but in the middle of the seven he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering. (Daniel 9:27)
He (the Anti-Christ) does something really terrible after three and a half years that causes (apparently) a war to break out over the whole world.
4. He is a powerful speaker.
A mouth uttering great boasts (Dan. 7:8)
He is known for his mouth and for his speaking. He also has a propaganda minister with him who Revelation 13 calls the false prophet. That is going to make it easier to take the really obnoxious stuff that this Anti-Christ talks about.
A mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies (Rev. 13:5)
This guy is going to be able to say stuff that and you’re like “I can’t believe he got away with that” and he is going to get away with that and people are going to love it! Can you imagine?
5. Controls all commerce, the power to control what people buy and sell
According to Revelation 13,
He required everyone—small and great, rich and poor, free and slave—to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead. And no one could buy or sell anything without that mark, which was either the name of the beast or the number representing his name (Revelation 13:16-17).
It’s vague at that point (number representing his name). Historically this has never happened; that a single ruler has had the power to control everyone’s spending in the world. To be able to say, “you can buy and sell, but you can’t.” It would have been impossible. How could that have happened? Some guy in a throne room somewhere can control what someone on the other side of the world does? To keep them from going down to the market with a couple of rabbits and trading them for some wheat? There is no way that could have happened. But in our day this is not just possible, but it’s plausible. In fact there are things that are pushing towards a cashless society. Do you carry cash anymore? I don’t. Cash is annoying, cash can get stolen. Electronic, that’s where things are headed. Technology is here. RFID chips. This is an article from CNET, but other new organizations picked it up. It’s voluntary…for now.
“Employees of Three Square Market, a vending machine technology company in River Falls, Wisconsin, won't have to worry about forgetting their employee ID cards at home anymore. Starting next month, a voluntary program will offer company employees the chance to get an RFID chip implanted in their hands. The tiny chips will use NFC (near-field communication) technology to allow employees to unlock doors, make vending machine purchases, log in to computers and access office tools like photocopiers, all with a wave of the hand.”
They have been putting these in pets forever, and now they are putting them in humans on a voluntary basis. My dog has had one and it’s got all this information on it!
How about this article from a few years back in the Wall Street Journal, the title is, India launches project to ID 1.2 Billion People.
“India's vaunted tech savvy is being put to the test this week as the country embarks on a daunting mission: assigning a unique 12-digit number to each of its 1.2 billion people. The project, which seeks to collect fingerprint and iris scans from all residents and store them in a massive central database of unique IDs, is considered by many specialists the most technologically and logistically complex national identification effort ever attempted.
Officials say early data already show how unique IDs could reduce corruption at the state's 43,000 ration shops, which distribute subsidized food to the poor. At one shop, records showed rations were being delivered to 330 families, but after the IDs were rolled out, only 203 families claimed benefits by placing their finger on a scanner at the shop.
State officials suspect the shop owner had been making up fake accounts to divert some of the food into the black market.”
This would be great for stopping identity theft; someone steals your credit card and racks up all these charges. Right now, the banks pay that back, you’re not stuck with that. But in the future, can you envision a scenario where they say, “we’re only going to pay that back if you get this chip implanted, if you agree to our highest security levels. Other than that you are on your own if your stuff gets stolen.
“Jejjayila Venkatesh, a 35-year-old Nagaram resident who earns $50 a month in a local government job, said he isn't concerned about privacy. He just hopes the ID will help him open a bank account and get a driver's license, which he has had difficulty obtaining thus far, and maintain his benefits when he goes out of state for work: “This will help me prove my identity wherever I roam.”
India Launches Project to ID 1.2 Billion People Wall Street Journal Online, Sept 29, 2010.
Can you imagine a society where this is where our money resides, where if your chip is denied you can’t buy things? You can’t get what you need to survive? Scripture says that the Anti-Christ will have this power. How crazy that thousands of years before the technology was dreamed up, the bible predicted that something like this was going to happen.
6. Persecutes believers in God
As I watched, this horn was waging war against the holy people and defeating them (Daniel 7:21, cf. Rev 13:7)
This is repeated in multiple places,
He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law (Daniel 7:25).
This sort of carries the sense that this is not a sudden thing, but a gradual grinding change, maybe propaganda, brain washing, fake news, the sort of things that slowly shift the way that people view things. A little change here, a little change in a religious calendar here, a law here, wearing down the people of God. This is something that communist/atheist countries have been doing for a long time.
“The former [USSR] was also explicitly atheistic. In the late 1920s, the communist regime of the USSR created the League of Militant Atheists, which had the explicit, decades-long, and governmentally supported mandate of destroying religion. [They were] disseminating atheistic propaganda and education, and replacing religious rituals and holidays with secular versions. Simultaneously, the Soviets attempted to eradicate religion by arresting, torturing, and killing religious leaders.”
Stephen Bullivant and Michael Ruse (general editors), The Oxford Handbook of Atheism (Oxford University Press, 2013), 506.
It was a decades long wearing down.
7. Claims to be God
These boastful words, especially in the presence of God Almighty, sort of imply this right here. It says this more explicitly in other places.
“boastful words” (Daniel 7: 8, 11, 20)
This claiming to be God is probably what is involved in the desecration in the temple in Daniel 9, we also see this from Jesus in Matthew 24.
At the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation (Daniel 9:27, also see Matt 24:15)
He takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God (2 Thess. 2:4, also see Rev. 13:8)
This is from the apostle Paul, not apocalyptic literature anymore in 2 Thessalonians 2. This is just a straight statement of fact. And this is something that dictators commonly do, rulers will commonly do. For example, this is the deification of Kim Jong-Il, through control of information.
The North Korean Ministry of Information claimed that he had eleven holes-in-one in his first game of golf.
Jim Halley, “With Holes in One, No Matter How You Slice Them, Luck is Vital,” USA Today, July 17, 2006.
He bowled a perfect 300 game the first time he tried the game of bowling.
Cindy Boren, “Kim Jong-Il: A sporting life (with golf, bowling, soccer and basketball interests),” The Washington Post, December 19, 2011.
Invented the hamburger in 2004. The state-run newspaper called the invention “gogigyeopbbang,” which is Korean for “double bread with meat.”
“Report: Kim Jong Il introduces hamburgers to North Korea,” The Augusta Chronicle, July 8, 2004.
Does not defecate or urinate. North Korean defector: “I was convinced, as we all were, that [he never] urinated or defecated. Who could imagine such things of gods?”
Chol-hwan Kang and Pierre Rigoulot (translated by Yair Reiner), The Aquariums of Pyongyang: Ten Years in the North Korean Gulag (Basic Books, 2005), 3.
Kim Jong-Il made his father’s Juche ideology a state religion—deifying Kim Il-Sung.
Defectors are traitors and punished by the State.
Setting himself up as God, punishing anyone who refuses to worship him. Now I am not saying that he is the Anti-Christ, he can’t be, he’s dead. But you can see how this is very possible. And our technology is only going to make this more possible now than back when these predictions were made.
8. Lives in a day when Israel is re-gathered
We just don’t have time for this tonight; we will cover that two weeks from now, probably.
9. Launches the final world war
A war so ferocious that, unless God himself brought it to an end, it would wipe out all life as we know it. A thought that would have been preposterous back then, but today that is a very real possibility with nuclear weapons. We don’t have time to talk about this tonight either. We will get into that in two weeks.
10. God ends human history during his reign
This is what Daniel tells us in this part of the vision that I skipped. I love this vision.
I watched as thrones were put in place and the Ancient One sat down to judge.
Finally, divine justice by the most powerful one of all.
His clothing was as white as snow, his hair like purest wool. He sat on a fiery throne with wheels of blazing fire, and a river of fire was pouring out, flowing from his presence. Millions of angels ministered to him; many millions stood to attend him.
Then the court began its session, and the books were opened.
He calls the courts to order, and out comes the little horn, the Anti-Christ.
I continued to watch because I could hear the little horn’s boastful speech.
He is still uttering boasts and shaking his fist right into the very presence of God.
I kept watching until the fourth beast was killed and its body was destroyed by fire.
Brought to an end by God, and who is going to replace the little horn as world ruler? A different guy.
As my vision continued that night, I saw someone like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven.
Jesus’s favorite title for himself, he quotes this passage about himself.
He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence. He was given authority, honor, and sovereignty over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him.
He is going to gather people from every tongue, tribe and nation (Revelation says) truly a multi-cultural community of people who have relationship with him already.
His rule is eternal—it will never end.
We will never have to worry about who comes next, no term limits.
His kingdom will never be destroyed.
This is the perfect ruler, the perfect justice, the perfect government that we are always longing for and are so disappointed by what IS. God says that there is a reason that we long for that, because he has put eternity on our hearts. He has given you a longing for the place where this is all headed. The question is, will you be a part of it or not?
What do you do? Realize that bible prophecy is for real. This is real stuff. Not fortunetellers and fortune card readers and vague horoscopes. This is clear, this is correlated, and this is amazing. You need to be ready for the kingdom of God. Will you be on the right side when the Christ shows up? Will you have a relationship with him? Will he have paid for your sins by then? Because he says, ‘whoever comes to me I will never turn away, I will protect them, and I will bring them into my Father’s house.’
Have you brought your heart under the leadership of the King? That is something you can do right now.