1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying in bed. He wrote down the substance of his dream.
2 Daniel said: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea. Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea.
4 “The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a human being, and the mind of a human was given to it.
5 “And there before me was a second beast, which looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, ‘Get up and eat your fill of flesh!’
6 “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.
7 “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. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.
8 “While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a human being and a mouth that spoke boastfully.
9 “As I looked,
“thrones were set in place,
    and the Ancient of Days took his seat.
His clothing was as white as snow;
    the hair of his head was white like wool.
His throne was flaming with fire,
    and its wheels were all ablaze.
10 A river of fire was flowing,
    coming out from before him.
Thousands upon thousands attended him;
    ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.
The court was seated,
    and the books were opened.
11 “Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. 12 (The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.)
13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
The Interpretation of the Dream
15 “I, Daniel, was troubled in spirit, and the visions that passed through my mind disturbed me. 16 I approached one of those standing there and asked him the meaning of all this.
“So he told me and gave me the interpretation of these things: 17 ‘The four great beasts are four kings that will rise from the earth. 18 But the holy people of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever—yes, for ever and ever.’
19 “Then I wanted to know the meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others and most terrifying, with its iron teeth and bronze claws—the beast that crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. 20 I also wanted to know about the ten horns on its head and about the other horn that came up, before which three of them fell—the horn that looked more imposing than the others and that had eyes and a mouth that spoke boastfully. 21 As I watched, this horn was waging war against the holy people and defeating them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the holy people of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom.
23 “He gave me this 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. 24 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. 25 He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.
26 “‘But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. 27 Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.’
28 “This is the end of the matter. I, Daniel, was deeply troubled by my thoughts, and my face turned pale, but I kept the matter to myself.

Daniel 7   ‘Apocalyptic Vision of four beasts, a strange horn and the victory of God’s people’

          Hello folks! Happy Mother’s day! We send God the glory and honor for all the mothers in the world who have raised their children with their sacrificial love.  Hope you can express any kind of appreciation and love to your mother today.

          As we study Daniel 7, I’d like to ask you to think about this apocalypse of human history with the mother’s heart in God.

          Basically, the king Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a Stature was similar to the Daniel’s dream.  The king’s dream was about 4 strongest empires in the human history.

          In chapter 7, in the first year of the king Belshazzar, God showed a vision of 4 beasts and a strange horn in Daniel’s dream.  Then, the victory of God’s people comes at last.

          There appeared four winds, which represents the heavenly power and authority appointed by God to govern the human world.           Then, as the winds of heaven churning up the great sea, four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea.

          The sea is the symbol of the people and the world. Revelation 17: 15 also say, “15 Then, the angel said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages.”

          Revelation 13: 1 say, “ The dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name.”  

          The scholars think the beast in Revelation 13 is the Anti Christ. Therefore, both four beasts’ and the Anti Christ’s coming out of the sea implies that they both had been and has been under the influence of the Satanic power.

In verse 4, “The first beast was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a human being, and the mind of a human was given to it.” 

          The lion is known as the strongest animal in the world.  If the lion even has wings, its combat power will be doubled.  This first beast meant the Babylonian Empire that had been extremely valiant.

          In fact, some remains of Babylonian Empire were found in their ancient region, which have the inscriptions of lion with wings on the temple pillar.  That tells the vision of each beast was not a subjective one, but objective one, based on the essence of each empire and their leading kings. 

          At one point, the lion’s wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a man, and the heart of a man was given to it.

          After the death of king Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian Empire had lost its splendorous power and strength rapidly and had become one of the average nations, which was conquered by Medes-Persia.

          Second beast, looked like a bear, was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, ‘Get up and eat your fill of flesh!’ A beast looked like a bear represents Medes-Persia.  Bear is not as valiant as the lion, which reminds of the silver portion of the Nebuchadnezzar’s statue.

          This beast had three ribs in its mouths and it was raised up on one of its side.  The Medes-Persia had more than 1,000,000 combat soldiers throughout the time and its fervor to conquer other nations had exceeded any other Empire.

          Therefore, three ribs meant its unquenchable fervor to conquer others.  In the beginning, it was the merger of two nations, Medes and Persia. Eventually, Persia exceeded Medes and it became an unified nation, Persia.  For this reason, it was raised up on one of its side in the vision. God granted their fervor to conquer other through God’s Words, ‘Get up and eat your fill of flesh!’  The Empire started to expedite after they consolidated with Persian king Cyrus the Great.

                6 “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.
          This beast represents the Greek Empire, which had conquered the world so rapidly between BC 336 and BC 323, 13 years. It had 4 wings that also signified its swiftness of conquest.  BTW, it had bird’s wings while the first beast had eagle’s wings. For, the Empire also periled faster than others due to the king Alexander’s early death at the age of 33 and his personality flaws.  
          As it was prophesied, the empire had been divided by 4 nations such as Egypt, Syria, Macedonia, and Bithynia.
          In verse 7,“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. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.
                The 4th beast was not compared with any other real animal, but it was described as terrifying and very powerful.  The Empire’s national power and the power of military conquest were not comparable with any other Empire because it exceeded all.  The beast also had the iron teeth that could crush and devour all nations.  It demonstrated the extreme cruelty to trample underfoot whatever was left.    
          This beast also had 10 horns that meant both its superseding power and the nations that would rise and fall until the appearance of Anti-Christ.  Regarding this ten horns, there are different opinions. One of the dominant opinions is that 10 horns means modern day European Union.  These 10 horns are equivalent to the ten toes of the Nebuchadnezzar’s Statue.
          The last beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. 12 The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time. 
          There are several different interpretations on verse 12, but it is understood that it took time for three Empires to complete destruction with less severity while Roman Empire’s destruction was very sudden and complete due to their brutality and cruelty. 
          In this dream, one addition was the presence of a strange horn came up among them. The horn had both eyes like a man and a mouth that spoke boastfully.
          This last horn is the Anti Christ.  It has the eye, which means surveillance system in the world and has the controlling and brainwashing system to oppose the living God using media or SNS.
          Character-wise, first, the Anti Christ has the personality to think and express that mean it will have a dominant figure to speak and boast. Second character is that it has the government system to wage a war.   Above all, it had been endowed with the power and authority from the Satan to oppose the living God and boasted itself while blaspheming God. 
          Scholars have been studying about the identity of the Anti-Christ for centennials. Many prominent scholars such as Calvin, Martin Luther, Zwingli, have been thinking Roman Catholic as the Anti-Christ. Why?
          Roman Catholic had killed Protestants over 100 millions for 1000 years from 500 to 20,000 for 2 months. For instance, there was a massacre of Huguenots, who were the French Calvinist (modern day Presbyterian church) in 1572. It was a cooperated scheme of the French King’s family and the Roman Catholic that happened on Saint Bartholomew’s Day.  Then, it spread all over France. After the massacre of Huguenot, they celebrated their victory clergy and laity alike.
          Roman Catholic still believes that Pope has the authority, literally, to kill heresy (Capital punishment). Unfortunately, their heresy is protestant.
          Lucius Ferraris was an Italian Franciscan canonist of the 18th century and he wrote, “The authority of the Pope is not the one of a man but the one of God so that he can alter God’s law.” For this reason, wherever the Pope went the believers greeted him and praised him as God.

How could this blasphemy be happened?

          It is written in Barclay, "The Pope and God are the same, so he has all power in Heaven and earth." (Pope Pius V, quoted in Barclay, Chapter XXVII, p. 218, Cities Petrus Bertanous)

          Matthew 23: 9 say, “And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.”  However, Roman Catholic calls their Popes and priests ‘father’ instead of Reverend.
That reference is only for human father and heavenly Father as we know.

 

          What does anti-Christ do? In verse 25, “He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.”
           
            ‘A time’ was known as ‘a year’ so that it means 3 and half years.  Therefore, it will reign for 3 and ½ years. In God’s counting of a day is equivalent to a year so that it makes a formula as below:
*3 & ½ year = 42 months   *42 months x 30 days = 1260 days
A day means a year in apocalypse. So, a small horn would persecute the saints for 1260 years.  When is the beginning point and ending point?
            In 538 AD, Roman Catholic Church was able to unify all churches under Pope’s reign when the king Justinian defeated all three surrounding nations. Then 538 plus 1260 years will be 1798 AD.
          Was there anything significant in that year? There was a French Revolution and the Pope Pius VI was arrested and died in the prison. 

          Therefore, the power of the anti-Christ had been, significantly, faded away so that Revelation 13:14 say, “ Because of the signs it was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived the inhabitants of the earth. It ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived.” 

          Many apocalypse of Revelation and Daniel are overlapping in it images and symbols. The small horn, anti-Christ, Roman Catholic appeared deadened, but will come alive fully to function as the anti-Christ.
          Roman Catholic was depicted in the book of Lacivilta Cattolica (Gain, 54), “Rome is a lamb in adversity, a fox in equality, and a wolf in prosperity.”
          Finally, in verse 13, 13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
          The Ancient Days means ‘God Almighty.’  Last vision is the apocalypse about how God grants authority, glory, and sovereign power to Christ to be worshiped by all nations and peoples of every tongue.
          Then, it say in verse 26, “‘But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. 27 Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.’
          There will be the court that would sentence the judgment to both the beast, horn and the Saints from Christ. It say in verse 22, “until the Ancient of Days (God) came and pronounced judgment in favor of the holy people of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom.”
          John 5: 22-23, 27 say,22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.”
24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. 25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.
          In this judgment, Christ judges in favor of the Saints to hand over God’s eternal Kingdom.  What is the basis of Christ judgment?
          Revelation 20: 12 say, “12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”

          Saints will be judged by the book of life to be declared as the heirs of God’s eternal Kingdom to possess it.  Rest of those will be judged by other books, the Book of Sin in the Ecclesiastes 12: 14, “For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” Matthew 12: 36-37 say, “36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

          Another book is the Book of Remembrance, that appears in Malachi 3: 16, “16 Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name.” Nehemiah 13: 4 say, “14 Remember me for this, my God, and do not blot out what I have so faithfully done for the house of my God and its services.”

          Psalm 71: 1-4 say,

“In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
    let me never be put to shame.
                2 In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me;
                    turn your ear to me and save me.
                                                3 Be my rock of refuge,
                                        to which I can always go;
                             give the command to save me,
                    for you are my rock and my fortress.
               
4 Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,
    from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel.”

          No matter how strong and mighty empire, once, existed, it would be perished upon God’s sovereign will because of their deviation, brutality against other human beings, their corruptive governing system, and the leader’s spiritual arrogance.   For all the nations and the kings were from the sea, which means the world and people.
          One thing that we should remember always is the fact that God has permitted all that happened in the human history.  For this reason, there wouldn’t be any God’s children’s suffering or death that turned in vain because God knows them all. So, be patient and persevere the hard pressing times.
          Now, if you think of the human history with God’s motherly heart, the rise and fall of those empires and the suffering of the Saints who had lived under the reign of those beasts, oppressive empires, you would understand how much our savior must have wanted to give public judgment on God’s children to free them from the oppression of the beasts and hand over God’s eternal Kingdom to them as the heir.
          At last, God’s dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
          God’s Kingdom is one that never yields us to any virus or illness that rampant in the world, but completely, virus-free, cancer-free Kingdom. 

          Your mother’s love and sacrifice for you would be found in Christ’s love for us. Have a blessed and grateful Mother’s day!