DANIEL: THRIVING IN A GODLESS CULTURE

VIII: Daniel's Vision About The Rises Of Antichrist And Christ

(Daniel 7:1-15)

 

I.               Introduction

A.    As believers living in a spiritually decaying, godless culture, we need to live affirmatively in victory over sin.

B.    Daniel as a young man was taken captive by godless Babylonians, and he lived through Persia's conquest of Babylon, righteously and wisely serving the Lord in a godless culture as a great example for us.

C.    We view Daniel 7:1-15 on Danielís visions about the rises of antichrist and Christ for our edification:

II.            Daniel's Vision About The Rises Of Antichrist And Christ, Daniel 7:1-15.

A.    In Daniel 1-6, God's prophet had written in the third person, but in Daniel 7-12 he used the first person, Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1350.Since Daniel 7-12 record prophetic visions (Daniel 7; 8; 9:20-27; 10:1-12:5; Ibid.), and they troubled Daniel (Daniel 7:15, 28; 8:27; 10:1-3; 12:8), he was being used of God in these final chapters to minister to future believers like the angel said in Daniel 12:9 and as 1 Peter 1:10-12 claimed.

B.    The Daniel 7-12 visions describe challenges that God's people would face after Daniel's era under future godless empires until the coming of Christís Kingdom, and since Daniel understood from firsthand experience what this involved, even his experience of being troubled at such visions help us understand how we are to apply these messages, for we ourselves are in the midst of experiencing their fulfillment today.

C.    Accordingly, we view the Daniel 7:1-15 vision about the antichrist and Christ are for US in OUR era:

1.      When ungodly Belshazzar began to rule Babylon, Daniel saw a vision of four great beasts, Daniel 7:1-3.

2.      The beasts came up from the sea v. 2-3, what typifies Gentiles, so the beasts represent Gentile empires.

3.      The first beast like a lion with eagle's wings represents Babylon, that nation being typically represented by a lion or an eagle (Ibid.), and the beast's being made to stand on its hind feet like a man with a man's heart being given to it represents the conversion of Babylon's king Nebuchadnezzar recorded in Daniel 4:1-37.

4.      The second beast, a bear, represents Medo-Persia, and the rising of one side of the bear signifies Persia's later dominance over the Medes, and the three ribs in its mouth refer to Egypt, Assyria and Babylon that preceded the Medo-Persian empire, Daniel 7:5a; Ibid.As the Medo-Persian empire was told to devour much flesh, it dramatically expanded its territory, fulfilling God's will, Daniel 7:5b; Ibid.

5.      The third beast, a leopard, had four wings like a bird and four heads, what represented Greece that defeated Persia with Alexander the Great's swift cavalry.Upon Alexander's sudden, untimely death, the empire split into four parts that were ruled by Alexander the Great's four military generals, Daniel 7:6; Ibid.

6.      The fourth beast, the Roman Empire, was dreadful and terrible, very strong, and had great iron teeth that devoured and trampled underfoot whatever was left, having devoured and assimilated the three previous empires, Daniel 7:7; Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, ftn. to Daniel 7:7-8.

7.      This fourth beast had ten horns, explained in Daniel 7:24 as the Revived Roman Empire of the future Great Tribulation (Ibid., ftns. to Dan. 7:7-8 and Dan. 7:24).As Daniel considered the horns, he saw a little horn rise up before whom three of the first ten horns were plucked up by the roots, and this little horn had eyes of a man and spoke boastfully, being the antichrist, Dan. 7:8; Ibid. Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1351.

8.      Daniel then saw thrones set up (Dan. 7:9a NIV; Ibid.), one being that of the Ancient of Days, God Himself (Dan. 7:9b; Ibid.), and He judged the nations according to their works as recorded in His books, Dan. 7:10.

9.      God then judged the little horn that spoke blasphemous words to be slain, his body being given to the flame (Daniel 7:11) while the cultures of the three previous beasts (empires) were allowed of God to persist through assimilation into the fourth, conquering empire of Rome, Daniel 7:12; Ibid.

10.  Daniel then saw one like the Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven, a reference to Christ's ascension, and being brought before the Ancient of Days, God the Father, He was given eternal dominion and a kingdom not to be destroyed, a reference to His coming Messianic Kingdom, Daniel 7:13-14.

11.  Daniel was upset and deeply troubled at all this (Daniel 7:15), guiding us in what we face today!

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Lesson: God gave Daniel a vision of the coming of the antichrist, his judgment and Christ's victorious institution of His Messianic Kingdom in spite of the antichrist's rise to direct us that in spite of the trials we face in our role in the current era of developing apostasy, we should hope for the final coming of our Lord and His Kingdom.

Application: May we like Daniel who became upset over what God showed him that we and later believers would face nevertheless hope for Christ's coming victory over all evil empires, and accordingly live for Christ today!