Berean Bible Corner

DANIEL CHAPTER 7

With chapter 7 of Daniel we enter into the specific prophetic part of this Bible book. The previous chapters were historic except for chapter two which has history and a prophetic dream, the dream of Nebuchadnezzar which gave us a prophetic outline of future empires, by way of a metallic image. In this chapter we start with prophetic dreams and vision given to Daniel with animal images like we find them in the last book of the Bible, the Revelation of Jesus Christ. We will also notice that what is shown to Daniel is an enlargement of what was shown to Nebuchadnezzar This principle of enlargement and adding more detailed information will continue throughout the rest of the book and further in the last book of the Bible and in certain parts of the epistles of the apostle Paul. What was shown in Daniel two forms the foundation or is the ABC of Bible prophecy and can only be properly understood and comprehended by using the historicist school of prophetic interpretation, not futurism or preterism. The latter two are misleading and a mixture of truth and error, light and darkness and have been invented to turn people’s mind away from where the real problem is and danger lies.

In Daniel seven we find four animals or beasts to illustrate kingdoms which have been illustrated in Daniel two by metals: gold, silver, bronze and iron, but we find that a heavenly judgment scene is added and more information about the time of the

“Kingdom” consisting of a mixture of iron and clay the ten toes of the metallic image. Four times judgment is mentioned, also in connection with the saints, God’s people.

 

Some Christian believers think and teach that when a person accepts Christ as Saviour and Lord such a person is exempt from the divine judgment. This is incorrect teaching. In the Revelation section of this website is a study under title “Gospel and Judgment”, go to that study for more detailed Bible information regarding this subject.

 

To arrive at a meaningful and comprehensive understanding of chapter seven we will go again verse by verse and look for other confirming scripture passages elsewhere in order to arrive at a proper understanding of the matter and maintaining the harmony of the Bible message. Other translations will be used where needed, and also supportive statements from Bible scholars who studied Daniel and have written about it. In this manner we hope and pray the reader will get a good picture of God’s prophetic message and what it means for us in the 21st century. With this introduction we will now turn to Daniel chapter seven.

 

Daniel 7:1

The event of Daniel seven in Daniel’s life took place at the time when the Babylonian empire was still in full swing. It was in the first year of Belshazzar who was king in Babylon while his father, Nabonidus, lived in Tema as we have discussed when we dealt with chapter five.Dr.Maxwell,Dr.Doukhan and Dr.Pfandl with other scholars establish the date as 553BC We will quote from Pfandl’s book “.The great prophetic panorama it describes came to Daniel about 553BC, the first year of Belshazzar’s co-regency with his father Nabonidus” (Pfandl p.59)  Some other people who studied chronology give a more accurate date of  552/551BC.  Because of the given time the chapter fits between chapters 4 and 5. In chapter five we have the fall of Babylon and death of Belsshazzar. The dreams and visions, of which Daniel writes in this chapter giving us the sum of the matters, cover the same historic time span as the prophetic image of chapter two and also terminating with the everlasting Kingdom of God which equals the stone in Daniel crushing the earthly kingdoms and covering the whole earth, Dan.2:35, 44, and 45.

 

We also notice here in verse one that Daniel not only wrote about it but told it as well.

Did he share this with his three friends and other Jewish captives and telling them that it was confirmed to him what was revealed to Nebuchadnezzar that Babylon would not last for ever. May be that was also the reason why Daniel was so calm in explaining to Belshazzar the writing on the wall, he himself knew from this vision in chapter seven what was coming. The vision of chapter seven was in 553BC and the fall of Babylon in 539BC that gives us 14 years in between. Only a true prophet of God could predict such an event so many years in advance.

 

Daniel 7:2-8

There are two main parts in chapter seven, the vision of the beasts and the second part about the divine heavenly judgment. In between we find explanations and making matters clear to Daniel. We start with the four beasts shown to Daniel.

 

Daniel 7:2, 3

In Daniel 7:2, 3.four winds “strove upon the great sea”. NASB reads “were striving up the great sea.”  Out of the stirred and moving sea waters came up four great beasts but they were different from each other. Of course we are not dealing with reality but something which is for obvious reason an illustration and in need of interpretation. The best to do is to let the Bible explain itself comparing one part of scriptures with another part and notice how one part fits the other. We read in Jeremiah 25:31-33; 49:36, 37; Zechariah 7:14 and Revelation 7:1 that winds are used to stir the nations and some times the expression of a whirlwind is used. Sea is used as a symbol for nations in Isaiah 17:12, 13; 57:20 and in Jeremiah 46:6-8 where Egypt is like a flood and waters. In Revelation 17:1 the great whore is sitting upon many waters which are explained in 17:15 that they are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues.” We find that in Isaiah 48:1 Judah is like waters.

 

In Daniel 7:17 it is explained that beasts are symbols of kings or kingdoms. When we

Let our mind go over the human history of many centuries we notice that wars,

revolutions and strong upheavals like stormy waters on the sea of nations have

formed new empires and always the strongest being the winner.

 

That beasts have been taken as symbols for nations is not strange and not only relating

to Biblical times. We find this in our time as well as it was before Daniel’s time. The

one who will come up against Edom is like a lion and an eagle, Jer.49:19-22. In

Jer.46:20 Egypt is like a very fair heifer”. In Ezekiel 32:2 a lion is used to illustrate

Egypt and in Jer.29:2 like a dragon or crocodile.  In the Revelation of Jesus Christ

beasts are also used to illustrate human powers and nations. The animal symbol to

illustrate Jesus Christ is a Lamb, John 1:29, 36,and also in Isa.53. In the Revelation

of Jesus Christ and we find the Lamb at least 28 times mentioned in relation to Jesus

Christ, for instance Rev.5:6; 7:14; 14:1, 4; 22:1.But in Rev.5:5 Christ is also

illustrated as the Lion of Judah. Modern day nations also carry animal symbols,

Russia with the Bear, USA has an Eagle, Australia a kangaroo and an Emu. My

home country, The Netherlands, carries a Lion as symbol..

There is another interesting item we notice in Daniel 7 compared with Daniel 2 In

Daniel 2 the values of the metals are going down and in Daniel 7 the ferocity and

wildness of animal nature is getting worse, from a lion to an animal Daniel could

not even find a name for. The fourth animal is described as dreadful and terrible. Com

paring that with human history we find that values have gone down but powers

to destroy in war especially in the 20th century have become worse. Think about the

atomic power nations have developed for war fare, the first and second atom bomb on

Japan in1945 killed tens of thousand of people and ended WWII.

 

Daniel 7:4-7

Let’s turn to Daniel 7:4-7 and follow Daniel’s description of the four beasts as seen

in his vision. Past and modern Bible scholars agree that the four beasts represent the same world empires as illustrated by the metallic image of Daniel 2. The KJV commentary writes as follows “The similarities between the general prophetic importance of this chapter and chapter 2 are numerous. Both speak of the same four

successive empires – Babylon ,Persia, Greece and Rome. Both relate events of the end time just before the second coming of Christ and both chapters speak of the kingdom established by the Lord.” (NUBR).

 

The great sea from where these four beasts go on land is a reference to the Mediterranean Sea. They come up from the sea and go on land where they establish their empires. Daniel 7:17 gives the impression that they “shall arise out of the earth”. They cannot both arise out of the sea and the earth, the correct meaning is that they shall arise or stand on earth. New American Standard Bible reads “rise on the earth, and the reading of “God’s Word”, (this is a translation which claims that it says what it means) “Rise to power on the earth”. “Clear Word”, which is a paraphrased reading of the Bible, gives us the following “will rise one after another”.

 

We continue from Daniel 7:4 and learn that the first beast coming up out of the stormy waters of the sea is a lion with eagle wings. Later the wings are plucked off.  The beast stands on its feet as a man and a change of character takes place, from a beast’s or lion’s heart it gets a man’s heart. McCready Price writes “The winged lion or the figure of a lion with wings is one of the most common on ancient monuments of Assyria and Babylon. (Price p.135). We read in Jer.4:7 and 50:17 that Israel is warned that they would be scattered by a lion and even the name of Nebuchadnezzar is mentioned. In Ezekiel 17 we read what God would do to Israel. In 17:3 we read that a great eagle with wings would come and in 17:7 again another eagle is mentioned. It is also explained what these eagles would do, they refer to Babylon the empire which will take the people captive and deport them to Babylon because of their trespasses against the Lord, Ezekiel 17:20. Babylon was used by God as an instrument of judgment against Israel and Judah. But later the instrument self would come under divine judgment and be taken over by another power.Jer.25:12. Remember Daniel 4 and 5. When Babylon lifted itself up in pride and arrogance, first its king Nebuchadnezzar experienced a change of character and later Babylon lost all of its power and glory.

Jeremiah 50 and 51 give us a very clear prophetic picture of Babylon’s downfall before it took place. The illustration of the change into a man’s heart fits according to Jer.16:12 and 17:9 what is said about a man’s heart. The golden lion’s heart of Babylon turned into the wickedness of a man’s heart and lost its power in favour of the next empire.

 

About the next empire we read in Daniel 7:5. As the gold of Babylon in Daniel 2 was changed into the silver of Medo-Persia, so the lion in Daniel 7 is changed into a bear which represents Medo-Persia. But we learn something more here. The bear is lopsided and with three ribs in its mouth. The empire is of a dual nature, Medes and Persians but one side is stronger than the other. The Persians became stronger getting the upper hand in the empire. The three ribs represent the main territories conquered by the Medes and Persians, Babylon, Lydia and Egypt. We quote from Nelson’s Study Bible: “Raised up on one side suggests that the Persians were greater and more powerful than the Medes. The three ribs represent the three kingdoms that Medo-Persia devoured, Babylon, Lydia and Egypt”. (NUBR) The last part of the text reads

“devour much flesh”  We learn from Esther 1:1 that one of their kings was Ahasuerus

(this is Ahasuerus which reigned from India even unto Ethiopia, over one hundred and seven and twenty provinces).”  The natures of lion and bear are also different.

McCready Price writes “The Persians were cruel and rapacious and one becomes ashamed of our common human nature when one reads the blatant boasts of the kings of Persia, as displayed on their monuments, of how they treated the countries which they conquered. This is doubtless alluded to in the command to devour much flesh.” (Price p.137)

To learn more about the following empire we turn to Daniel 7:6. In Daniel 2 it is illustrated by brass or bronze and here its symbol is a leopard with four wings of a fowl and four heads and it is given dominion. Quite an awkward animal and clearly showing it is not real but symbolic. The reason for stating that dominion is given is that rulers of empires may think it is all because of their power and intelligence but this is not true as is indicated in Daniel 2:21 where we read that it is God who sets up and removes kings. This is later in the NT affirmed by the apostle Paul in Rom.13:1 (ordained= ordered). God is in charge of the universe which includes the affairs of planet earth as well. Isaiah declares in chapter 44:6 that God says “.I am the first and I am the last beside Me there is no God.”  When the time came for Medo-Persia to terminate their dominion it was given to the Leopard Empire or Greece as we learned from the metallic image in Daniel 2. The wings of the leopard most likely are eagle wings, as of the lion, (7:4); illustrating speed as the leopard itself also is a very fast moving animal. We read about the eagle in Job 39:29 how it catches its prey. In Deut.28:49 we read about a nation swift as the eagle flies and similar in Job 9:26.

In Ezekiel 1:10; 10:14 and Rev.5: 7 eagles are used to illustrate heavenly beings, even a flying eagle. Daniel 9:20, 21 shows how swift the heavenly beings can come down, while Daniel was still praying the angel Gabriel came down to him.

The Grecian empire which followed the Medo-Persian one, established itself with lightening speed under Alexander the Great. Within a very short space of time it was all done and finished. At the age of 33 Alexander cried that there was nothing more to conquer. McCready Price writes: Nothing in ancient times at all equals the speed with which this young Macedonian overran the nations” (Price p.137)

These empires were instruments in God’s hand to exercise judgement over apostate Israel and Judah. Many years before it took place Israel and Judah were forewarned about these beasts and what the Lord would do through them, read Hosea 13:7, 8. But as we have mentioned before the empires also were watched in regard to their behaviour and when their cup of sin was overflowing their dominion was terminated and they were replaced by another power. Alexander the Great at the age of 33 had conquered the world but failed to conquer himself. At a Bachus wine feast he died without any successor. After some time of infighting the Grecian empire was divided in four parts in accordance with the leopard having four heads. We shall let Dr.Pfandl tells the story: From history we know that when Alexander died his generals began to fight among themselves. Out of their struggle emerged in 301BC four separate kingdoms. Seleucus took Asia from Phrygia to India; western Asia Minor and Thrace fell to Lysimachus; Ptolomy became king of Egypt and Cassander established himself on the throne of Greece and Macedonia” (Pfandl p.63)

This situation lasted till the next beast power took its place on the world scene of which we read in Daniel 7:7 Daniel is not able to give this beast a name. It looks very dreadful and destructive, terrible and exceedingly strong. It is in everything completely different from the previous three. As a special “feature” it has ten horns on its head out of which one special little horn comes up. Later in the chapter special attention is paid to this little horn and also more in Daniel 8 and by way of comparison the same power find it also in the Revelation of Jesus Christ, last Bible book

In Daniel 7:23 we are told that this beast represents the fourth kingdom on earth. The kingdoms of Assyria and Egypt are ignored in Bible prophecy of Daniel. In harmony with what we learned in Daniel 2 about iron legs of the metallic kingdom and in harmony with history this is the Roman Empire. The division of the Grecian Empire became attractive to another hungry power to unite it again. The Romans from Italy took advantage of that opportunity. They went to battle and eventually established the Roman Empire. The following is from a Google Search:” The battle of Pydna of 168BC between Rome and the Antigorid dynasty represents the start of the true power of Rome and the end of the Antigorid line “. With this victory Rome as a secular kingdom became the longest lasting empire of the four, from 168BC till AD476.

The ten horns on the head of the unnamed beast are recognised in history as the ten invading barbarian tribes acting in hastening further the inner decline of the Roman Empire after the fall of the Caesars ruling. These ten tribes are named as follows “Anglo-Saxons, Alemani, Franks, Visigoths, Suevi, Burgundians, Bavarians, Heruli, Vandals, and Osthrogoths. Some are known by other names” (Anderson p.91).

Dr.thiele list the same tribes by the following names:Alemani, Franks, Burgundians, Suevi, Vandals, Visigoths, Saxons, Osthrogoths, Lombards and Heruli” (Thiele p.63).

These tribes caused the complete downfall of the secular Roman Empire and which became eventually what we call Europe. In the dream of the metallic image of Daniel 2 we have learned that all kinds of ways and means would be tried to have one kingdom or empire again, but to no avail.Each time when somebody or some system tried to unify, after a time it would fall apart and be divided again. We also have learned in our Daniel 2 study that the mixture of iron and clay is a symbol of the unsuccessful mingling of church craft and statecraft after the fall of the Roman Empire in AD476.

In Daniel 7:8 we are going to learn more about this mingling and how it came about. Daniel’s attention is drawn to the ten horns and what is happening among them. And that three horns are removed from before this little horn to make room for its growth. The horn has eyes like a man and a mouth speaking great things The Jerusalem Bible reads this text as follows: I saw another horn sprouting among them, a little one, three of the original horns were pulled out by the roots to make way for it, and in this horn I saw eyes like human eyes, and a mouth that was full of boasts.”

When we discussed Daniel 7:7, we named the ten horns as barbaric tribes, armies coming from the east and invading the Roman Empire. After the ruling of the Caesars the Roman Empire started to disintegrate by way of corruption, moral decline, feasting and drunkenness as a result it became weak illustrated by the weakness of a mixture of iron and clay. The beast or the empire remains till it is destroyed by fire. (7:11).This destruction by fire will take place in the end of time, after the judgment and is recorded by John in Rev. 19:20. Most Bible scholars and commentators and especially in the reformation time of the 15th and 16th century applied this little horn to what they called the Anti-Christ and linked it with the first beast of Rev.13:1-10. Because of what is said of this little horn here in 7:8 and later in the chapter it is a religious power or institution with a voice and that relates clearly to a church. It has also been linked to the whore in Revelation 17 also called Babylon the apostate church or churches connected with it.

We will give a summary of what current Bible scholars and commentators are saying about this little horn. McArthur writes This describes the rise of the Anti-Christ (verse 20; Rev.13:5, 6)” (NUBR)

Nelson Study Bible:” This describes rise of Anti-Christ (Verse 20)” (NUBR)

Woman’s Study Bible.” It seems clear that this little horn refers to a world ruler, at some future time, who will be so powerful that he will cause great suffering to God’s people and even challenge God Himself, (see Dan.11:36, 37; 2Thess.2:3-12; Rev.13:5, 6)” (NBUR) The Woman’s Bible Study does not say how far in the future, but we will learn it happened soon after the complete demise of the Roman Empire in AD476. We come to that when we go deeper into chapter seven of Daniel.

KJV Bible Commentary:” The eleventh horn stands for the Anti-Christ of Revelation 13:1-10 who is at once both a kingdom and its personal leader.”(NUBR)

Believers Bible Commentary: “Little horn the future head of the Revived Roman Empire, the Anti-Christ.” (NUBR) (NUBR stands for the CD rom. of Nelson Ultimate Bible Reference)

All these various Bible commentators are correct in what they are saying, but fail to point to any group, institution or person. They give the little horn the name Anti-Christ because the little horn clearly shows in its actions to be of that nature. How ever they fail also to indicate the nature of the Anti-Christ, is it against Christ or in- place-of-Christ Some give the impression that it is in the future, but not how far into the future. Viewing from the time of the Imperial, secular Roman Empire, yes the little horn was future. The Roman Empire was still in full swing and authority, but when the barbaric tribes had done their work it was time for the little horn to show its nature and authority as a continuation of the Roman Empire, but in a different form.

The reformers of the 15th and 16th century had it right; they used the historicist school for prophetic interpretation, which is the correct one. But modern day Protestantism has succumbed to the preterist and futurist schools of prophetic interpretation. The preterists put everything in the past and the futurists take it all to the future, the time of the end. We will follow the historicist school and how the little horn developed out of the demise of the Imperial Roman Empire and became the Ecclesiastical or Holy Roman Empire and thus continuing the Roman Empire in a different form from secular to ecclesiastical. We will find that the ecclesiastical (church) form of the Roman Empire gave itself an authority to put itself against Bible institutions, like the law of God, and starting to persecute the saints, those people who decide to be faithful to the plain Word of God. Dan.7:18, 21, 22, 27 The saints are the ones who will possess the kingdom but also the ones persecuted by the little horn The following texts tells us who are saints: Rom.1:7; 1Cor.1:2.; 2Cor.1:1; Eph.1:1 They are the ones who are in Christ, true believers in righteousness by faith, not by their own works in any shape or form. They are justified and sanctified by faith in Christ, Acts 26:18; Rom.3:24-28. They have accepted the redemption through the blood of Christ, Eph.1:7; Col.1:14; 1Peter 1:18, 19, these scripture passages reveal the biblical picture of the nature of the true saints of God. A church does not have the authority or ecclesiastical power to declare a deceased church member in later years to be a saint.

Now we turn back to the little horn and will learn more about its nature and to which institution it applies. We deal first with the various items of identification here in Daniel 7, but more will follow in chapter 8 and 11 and then further in the Revelation of Jesus Christ. The latter can be found in the Revelation section of this website, Revelation part V.

The following identification points are given here in Daniel 7:7:

1. The horn rises from among the ten.

2. Three of the ten horns are removed to make place for the little horn

3. It has eyes like of a man, human

4. It has a mouth speaking great things, boastful

5. Then from 7:20 we learn that the look was more stout than his fellows,

NASB reads a mouth uttering great boasts and which was larger in appearance than its associates.

6. This horn makes war with the saints and overpowering them (7:21, NASB). This refers clearly to the fact that it is a persecuting power

7. In 7:24 it is stated clearly that it shall rise after them. That is after the ten have done their work in dismantling the Imperial Roman Empire of its dominating secular power.

8. It will be diverse from the first (horns) or different (NASB) and shall subdue three kings, as mentioned in verse 8. The ten horns are mentioned as being kings in 7:24. because it reads and another and may imply that the little horn also is a king.

9. In Daniel 7:24 it is repeated that the little horn shall subdue three kings

10. From Daniel 7: 25 we gather some extra identification items.

a.. Speaks words against the Most High, or as in 7:8, 20 a mouth speaking great things

b. Wears out the saints or as in NASB wears down the saints. The Jerusalem Bible reads harass the saints, again a reference to persecuting the saints of God.

c. Shall think to change times and law.

d. The length of time this little horn is exercising its power is given as time, times and dividing of time that is commonly understood as 3.5 times or 3.5 years. (Jewish).

When Bible commentators use the term Anti-Christ, as we have noticed here above, it should not be understood in the usual term of being fully against Christ There is an other meaning which applies more correctly and that is in-place-of-Christ or as a substitute, in the sense of vicar of a person, who acts in place of some one else. Do a Google search and you will find this explained correctly. The little horn acts in place of Christ, as His substitute on earth. We will explore history and find the facts

We have already dealt with the demise of Secular or Imperial Rome by way of internal decline and invading barbaric tribal forces, the ten horns. The question to be answered is how this little horn came up from among the ten. Dr.A.M.Brouwer professor of History University of Utrecht (Netherlands) writes that as a result of the eastern migration of people the Western Roman Empire came to an end and at the same time giving room to the bishop of Rome and to increase its power. A bishop rivalry had taken place between the bishops of Jerusalem, Alexandria, Constantinople and Rome. The bishop of Rome took the position as being number one among equals. When the emperor residing in Rome transferred his seat to Constantinople it gave further strength to the power of the bishop of Rome. The bishop of Rome started to adopt the functions of the emperor and some time later the bishop of Rome is declared to be the head of the universal Christian church. This was done by the code or edict of emperor Justinian in 533AD. (This is a summary from the dutch historian  Dr.Brouwer)

Dr.Pfandl writes the following in his book about Daniel:” In .A.D.533 Emperor Justinian, who resided in Constantinople, recognized the bishop of Rome rather than the patriarch of Constantinople who perhaps was too near to him for comfort, as head of all the churches both West and East. (Pfandl page 65)

In the fifth century the bishop of Rome takes the exclusive title of “Papa”, father or Pope. Dr.Brouwer writes that the secular structure of the Roman Empire becomes the ecclesiastical structure of the Church of Rome only the names are changed. The church becomes the state church and as iron and clay was the mixture of the feet of the metallic image of Daniel 2 so is the church mixed with the state, but an unsuccessful mixture as iron and clay do not mix.

In 1930 Dr.F.W.A.Korff, professor of Church History University of Leiden (Netherlands) made a trip to Italy and visited Rome. In the “Protestants Nederland” of January 2001 a report of that visit is published. Dr.Korff writes “What I have seen in Rome confirms my opinion about the origin of the Roman Catholic Church. She is the legitimate continuation of the Roman Empire in Christian form. The names have changed. Instead of Jupiter we have Christ and instead of the emperor we have the pope. But in essence much has remained the same.” Christian, Papal Rome, is noticeable influenced by Pagan Rome. This change-over started to take place in AD476 the official recognised termination of the Imperial Roman Empire. It is interesting to note that the fourth beast according to Daniel 7:19 has iron teeth and brass nails. Iron was the substance of the fourth empire of the metallic image of Daniel 2 and brass the metal representing Greece. After the demise of the Roman Empire in AD476, history talks about the Greco-Roman culture. In what followed after AD476, the Holy Roman Empire or Ecclesiastical Rome we find Greek and Roman philosophy mixed. The Empire of Rome had maintained certain aspects of the Grecian Empire and that continued in Ecclesiastical Rome. The bishop of Rome reaches full state and church power when in 538 the Arian tribe, Osthrogoths were defeated, and from that point in time nothing is standing in the way of the Holy or Ecclesiastical Roman Empire or Papal Rome.

Mr.A.T.Jones in his book THE CONSECRATED WAY, in the “Adventist Classic Series”, printed by Pacific Press Publishing Assoc. Boise, Idaho, USA 1988 writes about Pope Leo the Great” that this Pope in a sermon declared that the former Rome was but the promise of the latter Rome; the  glories of Imperial Rome were reproduced in Catholic Rome. When the Roman Empire perished the Papacy survived the ruins and firmly held place and power in Rome” (Jones page 67)

Based on this idea of Pope Leo I a later Pope, Gregorius VII declared “The Pope is independent of any other worldly power. The Pope is unlimited Lord of the church. The Pope is Lord of the world and extend worldly power; the powers of the state receive light from papal power as the moon receives light from the sun” (Dr.Berkhof in History of the Church, Dutch ed. Page 105)

What is written here above answers point 1 of the identification points of the little horn, how it arose among the ten.

However in this process of reaching universal ecclesiastical power and worldly supremacy as well, three main tribal forces stood in the way. The prophecy says that three horns would be removed by the Little Horn Dan.7:8, 24. In due course the ten barbaric tribal forces invading the Roman Empire accepted Christianity, but three of them followed a different branch of Christendom, so-called Arianism. A presbyter of the school of Alexandria taught that Christ was a created son of the Father and not equal with the Father. The divinity of Christ was placed in doubt. The three tribes following this teaching placed themselves in opposition to the bishop of Rome, blocking the way to full power and causing war with Rome. Eventually the bishop of Rome established himself firmly, defeating completely or uprooting these tribes and taking them out of the way.

We turn to George McCready Price to give us the facts: “Answering precisely to these specifications, we find the papal power arising in the West , among the divisions into which the empire was broken by the barbarian invaders; and we find that exactly three of these barbarian powers, the Heruli in AD 493, the Vandals in 534, and the Ostrogoths in 538, were ‘plucked up by the roots’ to make way for the rising ecclesiastical power of the bishops of Rome, because these three powers were Arians, or heretics, in the estimation of the papacy ,and their existence was blocking the path to world dominion which the proud pontiffs were determined to obtain.” (Price p.139)

When the last tribe was defeated the code or edict of emperor Justinian could be fully implemented. Dr. Maxwell writes: Justinian himself sided so strongly with the Catholics that in 533 he officially stated that the pope of Rome was ‘the head of all the holy churches’; and in harmony with this declaration he spent his long reign attempting to convert or eliminate everyone who did not regard the pope as head.”.(Maxwell GC I p.146)

Dr.Froom author of “Prophetic Faith of our Fathers” quotes in vol. 1 page 931 the full text of the letter which Justinian wrote to John II, Patriarch and most holy Archbishop of the fair city of Rome, in which Justinian declared the archbishop to be the head of all Holy Churches.

On page 932 of the same volume Dr.Froom writes that Justinian also wrote to Epiphanus, bishop of Constantinople (March 26, 533) confirming the primacy of the Roman bishop

We have dwelt long enough on this point and will turn to number 3 that the Little Horn has eyes of man which points to intelligence. There is no doubt about the well established intelligence of the Papacy or modern day Vatican. It is clearly shown in the working together of former USA president Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II to bring about the collapse of the Soviet Empire and its power in Eastern Europe. Almost overnight the Berlin Wall was no more and the Eastern European states since WWII under communist rule became free democratic nations.

Identification point 4 is about a mouth speaking big things or very great things, being boastful, (Dan.7:8, 20). We have already mentioned what Pope Leo I said about the Church of Rome being the continuation of Roman Secular Empire. As a result of this continuation the emperor’s titles became titles for the bishop of Rome or Pope as the bishop was named later, Pontifex Maximus is one of them, this was a standard title for the rulers of the Roman Empire and became and still is a standard title for the head of the Roman Catholic Church. The Pope also became a King, sovereign, as he still is today, King or sovereign of the mini state Vatican. Father, is another boastful title and the Pope even today is called Holy Father. Then we have the title Vicar of Christ which is an abbreviation of the title Vicarius Filii Dei. This title used to be on the Tiara of the Pope, but Tiara and title have been abolished, disappeared and is denied today by the Vatican. However historical research has unearthed evidence that the title has been used by the papacy for a very long time. (The data of this research is available from ADVENTISTS AFFIRM, Email: info@adventistsAffirm.org).

When Christ returned to heaven no human was appointed to take Christ’s place on earth. So to take the name Vicar of Christ is boastful with no biblical background at all. Jesus Christ promised the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, to take His place on earth. John 16:7-14.

Point 5 of our identification list informs us that the little horn would be more stout or larger in appearance. (Dan.7:20). History confirms that the medieval Church of Rome was larger and more stout in its appearance, wielding secular and ecclesiastical power over the nations of Europe. Even modern papacy shows its world power and influence. Because the Vatican is recognized as a state it has ambassadors in virtually all countries of the globe and the same nations have ambassadorial representation at the Vatican. Islamic states and Israel, non Christian nations all have diplomatic relationship with the Vatican. The USA has held back for many years but eventually placed an ambassador at the Vatican. The Church of Rome acts as a religious institution and as such calls itself the Mother Church, head of world Christianity and also acts as a state holding universal diplomatic relationship with the nations of the world.

Number 6 relates to Daniel 7:21 and has created a black and very sad page in the history of the little horn, the Church of Rome. True believers, the saints, have been severely persecuted and thousand upon thousands have lost their lives. In this respect also the Church of Rome showed itself to be a true continuation of the Roman Empire which also persecuted and killed true believers, Christians. Think about the time of Nero. Waldenses and Albigenses have suffered very much from the Church of Rome. People who did not submit to the teachings and ruling of the Church of Rome were labelled to be heretics and handed to the sate to be executed. There was truly war between the saints and the Church of Rome.

Number 7 relates to Daniel 7:24 and states that the little horn will arise out of the ten horns, be another one (horn), but different and shall subdue three kings (horns). We have dealt with the subduing of three horns (barbaric tribes). From what we have discussed here above it is clear that this little horn became a different one. Not barbaric in the sense as the ten tribes (horns), a king, but a different king, head of a church and head of a state, wielding ecclesiastical and secular power. History clearly confirms this fact.

Point 8 mentions its difference from the other horns, which we have dealt with under the points here above. Even today it amazes people how this church survives its scandals publicly revealed via TV and newspapers. Who is behind this institution? Is it God or the powers of darkness? In Revelation 13:3, 4 we read under the image of the sea beast, same as the little horn of Daniel 7 and 8, that  all the world wondered after the beast”  and in verse 4 “who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?

Number 9 is from Daniel 7:24 last sentence that the little horn shall subdue three kings, which is a repeat from 7:8 and 7:20 (before whom three fell) The three kings were as we have discussed the Heruli, Vandals and Osthrogoths. As far as we know they do not exist anymore, completely uprooted. Dr.Pfandl quotes from Taylor Bunch as follows “Thus the three Arian nations who refused to renounce their heretical faith were uprooted or subdued and the other Arian peoples turned orthodox leaving the bishop of Rome the undisputed ruler of nations and the corrector of heretics” (Pfandl p.64)

Now we come to the last point number 10 which has several important items to deal with. Read Daniel 7:25. We list these items under a, b, c and d

10a mentions again the great words it is speaking, being boastful. But here is added it will be words against the Most High and that can only mean against God Himself. In the medieval days of the little horn – Church of Rome – the Book of God, the Bible was declared to be a forbidden book only to be possessed by the clergy and not the laity. People were executed for having a Bible or promoting the Bible. Also in those days the Pope was declared to be God on earth. A Google search on your computer will reveal names of the papacy past and present. I have a little booklet written by William Doyle S.J. (Jesuit) under the title “Shall I be A Priest” It speaks about the power of the Roman Catholic Priesthood. Doyle says that priests are priests of the Most High with power over the Almighty. This is very boastful talking. What Paul writes in 2Thess.2:3, 4 is very much applicable to the little horn – Church of Rome- especially in its medieval times of its history.

10b.We have again a repeat of 7:21 war against the saints, persecuting them for so-called heresy, as declared by the church, not on biblical grounds.

10c is an important point from 7:25 the little horn “shall think to change times and laws”. In the scriptures we find the unchangeable law of God, the Ten Commandments, God’s moral law or transcript of His character. Psalm 119 is full of praise and gratitude about God’s law, his commandments and institutes. God’s law is the truth, Ps.119:142, Jesus is the truth, John 14:6. God’s law is also holy, just and good, Rom.7:12. Who dares to touch the Holy law of God? God is Holy; He resides on the holy mountain, Ps.48:1 where we have His holy temple and in that temple is the holy ark of God which contains the holy law of God and in the centre of God’s Holy Law we find the fourth commandment, the Holy Sabbath because we are commanded to remember to keep the Sabbath Holy. Only what is Holy can be kept holy. To touch with purpose of changing is a very serious offence against God. Now compare the Biblical Ten Commandments and the Ten Commandments as written in the catechism books of the Church of Rome and you will find serious differences. The second commandment is dropped or left out. The fourth commandment is changed from the seventh day to the first day of the week, Sunday. And the tenth commandment is split in two in order to arrive at Ten Commandments because number two is completely left out. I have an Australian Catechism book here besides me and regarding the Sabbath it states as follows “Sunday to the Christian is the Lord’s Day more fully than Saturday ever could be to the faithful Israelite” (From Catholic Catechism, book two, Issued and Prescribed for use in the Catholic Schools of Australia pages 263 and 290). We are sure other countries have similar Roman Catholic instruction books. They call Sunday “the lord’s Day”, while Jesus calls the Sabbath, Seventh day of the week (Saturday on the calendar) His day of which He is Lord, read Mark 2:28 and Exod.20:8-11. The change from Sabbath to Sunday observance is not on Biblical grounds but instituted by the apostate church after the death of the apostles and mainly initiated by the Church of Rome. The Christians of the Church in Rome did not want to be looked at as being Jewish, because the Roman Empire had pogroms against the Jews and for that reason gradually a change took place from Sabbath observance to Sunday observance. In the Roman Empire the first day of the week was dedicated to the Sun and called Sunday. Christians reasoned we can observe Sunday as a Memorial Day to the resurrection of Christ our Sun of Righteousness, Mal.4:2. But God looks upon it as something against Himself, the Most High. God’s law is unchangeable as He Himself is unchangeable, James 1:17 and Jesus Christ is always the same, Hebr.13:8.

The Church of Rome is not timid in declaring this change. Dr.Shea quotes from a Roman Catholic Catechism which asks the following question: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday? Because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday” (Shea page 125).

Then Shea quotes from catholic Historian V.J.Kelly: The Church chose Sunday the first day of the week and in course of time added other days as holy days.” (Shea p.125/6) The Church of Rome took that authority upon itself without any word or letter from the Holy Scriptures. (In a later study we plan to put more about the change from Sabbath to Sunday on this website).

But not only has the law as such been changed but “times” as well. There are two words “times” in Dan.7:25. The first relates to fixed time, repeated, as far as law is concerned. The later word “time” is related to length of time in regard to the time span of the little horn. In the fourth commandment it is stated “the Seventh day”, that relates to time on a recurring basis week after week. We also know from scripture when the day starts and finishes, at sunset. Gen.1:5, 8, 13. 19, 23, 31 and read also Lev.23:32 Sabbath to be kept from sunset to sunset. After Jesus had died the women went home because the Sabbath was nearing. Luke 23:54-56. Jesus died at the 9th hour (3pm our time). In the middle ages this has changed to twelve o’clock midnight to start and finish the day, also Sunday. But even today Christian Seventh-day Sabbath observers still do so from Friday sunset till Saturday (Sabbath) sunset. So it should be.

The last point on the little horn’s identification list is 10d which informs us about the length of time it would be unchallenged in power. It relates to the second word “times” used in Daniel 7:25 “time and times and the dividing of time”. Dr.Jaques Doukhan a Jewish Hebrew scholar and converted to Christianity, he teaches at Andrews University in the USA discusses this item at length in his book “Secrets of Daniel” he concludes as follows:” We thus conclude that the expression ‘a time, times and half a time’ signifies 1260 prophetic days , that is 1260 years.” (Doukhan page 109) He uses the prophetic year-day principle which is widely accepted as biblical for prophetic time interpretation. The usual biblical support is Numb.14:34 and Eze.4:6.But other biblical support is available as well. Dr.Shea in his book on “Selected Studies on Prophetic Interpretation” concludes after a detailed study of this matter: “In this study twenty-three biblical reasons validating the application of the year-day principle to the time periods in the apocalyptic prophecies of Daniel and revelation have been reviewed.”  Shea writes further on: “In the book of Daniel there is a spectrum of usage for the word ‘days’ that leads logically to their symbolic use when they are quantified in its prophecies. Especially short time periods in apocalyptic, such as the seventieth week, three and one-half, and ten days, are best interpreted symbolically since they provide little interpretive sense on a literal basis”(Shea page 86)

It is logic to take AD538 as the historic commencement year for the unchallenged length of time the little horn or Ecclesiastical Rome as successor of Imperial Rome was in power. Adding the 1260 years to 538 we reach 1798 and that takes to the French revolution. History books tell us that the leaders of the French revolution renounced all religion. The age of reason or atheism was introduced. The Bible and everything which had anything to do with the Bible was totally abandoned. Napoleon Bonaparte created some order out of the chaos, and aimed for a politically united Europe with no place for the papal power or for the papacy or the Vatican. In February 1798 Napoleon sent his general Berthier to Rome to dismantle the papacy and its power and to arrest the pope and take him as prisoner. The ruling pope at that time was Pius VI he was stripped of all his ecclesiastical and secular powers taken to prison where he died July 1799.

In due course all papal territory in Italy also was taken away and placed under the government of Italy and declared to be Italian territory. The world rejoiced and believed without a doubt that papal power had come to an end never to return not realising that the papacy only had received a deadly wound from which it would rise again. As we will notice later when we deal with Daniel 11 and in particular the last part of that chapter, papal influence would return and according to Revelation 13:3 the wound would heal and the world would wonder after again. (Read that scripture passage)

The second major part of Daniel 7 is THE JUDGMENT. This covers several passages in chapter 7:9-10; 13-14; 22 and 26-27, four scenes altogether, one building on or completing the other.

The first judgment scene, 7:9 and10, is given after the description of the four beasts and the first information about the little horn. We know from 7:25 that the activities of the little horn will have a time span of 1260 years which has been established as the time in history from 538-1798..We also know from 7:22 that the war of the little horn against the saints or the time of persecuting the saints will last until the time of judgment, which will be given to or be in favour of the saints.. Then for the third time we are told in 7:26 that the judgment shall sit after what is described in 7:25. Therefore it is clear no divine judgment of the magnitude described here in Daniel 7 would take place before 1798 or before the power of the little horn, the papacy , was taken away, or a deadly wound was inflicted (Rev.13:3). The judgment described here in Daniel is a divine event to take place after 1798 and from Daniel 8/9 we will learn the more exact date of this event. Here above we have already discussed what took place in 1798 but we will add what Dr.Shea wrote about this in his book on Daniel: “After that the judgment comes. So even before we turn to Daniel 8 for more precise dating, we have an implied date for this judgment here in Daniel 7. It must begin some time after 1798” (Shea page 213).

We also like to notice two things will happen but not both at the same time. The little horn’s dominion will be taken away and will be consumed and destroyed. We give the New English Bible version:” he shall be deprived of his sovereignty, so that in the end it may be destroyed and abolished” (NEB 7:26)

We know that in 1798 all kingly powers, sovereignty, were taken away from the papacy and later also its territory in Italy. Nothing was left which could be called legal territory belonging to the papacy over which it could swing sovereign power. But it was not yet destroyed to point of no return, that would take place in the end and as we will learn from Revelation in the end of time.

When we study Revelation 13, as can be found in the Revelation section of this website, we find in 13:3 that the sea beast, the equivalent of the little horn in Daniel, receives a deadly wound which will be healed. Daniel 7 does not give us that detail therefore we need to study Daniel and Revelation together. Daniel 7 gives us a judgment vision and what ultimately will happen to the little horn, papal power after it has made war with the saints and made an attack on the times and the law of God, 7:25

Daniel 7:9, 10

We will continue with the first judgment scene as recorded for us in Daniel 7:9, 10.We are introduced to the setting up of a judgment or a courtroom. The Ancient of Days enters and did sit. The throne is like wheels of burning fire, which will remind us of Ezekiel 1 and 10 the throne scene by the prophet Ezekiel. We also notice that multitudes, thousands are joining the Ancient of Days. Who is this Ancient of Days? We will quote the full statement from Dr.Doukhan in his book on Daniel “’The Ancient of Days’ is a strange expression found nowhere else in the Bible, similar expressions appear in Ugaritic (Canaanite) literature calling the great god El the ‘king, father of years’ and judge. The idea conveyed here is that of the king-judge’s eternity, a concept reinforced by the imagery of white hair. Surrounded by multitudes of servants who attend Him, the Ancient of Days represents God Himself (cf.Ps.68:18; Hebr.12:22). Moreover, He is the one who ascends the great throne to reign and to judge. In the biblical mind-set His old age best qualifies Him as judge. Age is a sign of wisdom. With a smile, the Talmud alludes to this passage in Daniel when it mentions God’s hair as being black when He goes to war like a young man and white when seated in court like an old man. The Ancient of Days was present at the beginning of time, as His name indicates. He knows every action when it is still unborn (Ps.139:1-4). Only He knows the whole story and is in the best position to judge. His ‘clothing…..as white as snow’, (Dan.7:9) represents His character. He is a judge who cannot be bribed and His verdict will be totally objective. Having had no part in the sin He is about to condemn.” (Doukhan page 114/5)

The books were opened” refers to the fact that all actions on planet earth of everybody are recorded in heaven. In Mal.3:16-18 we read about the book of remembrance and later in the Revelation we also read about books being opened,20:12, 13 and all being judged according to their works as recorded in the books. Unrepented sinners and saints all will be judged, Hebr.10:30, Deut.32:36, Rom.14:10; 2Cor.5:10, but for the saints there is no condemnation, Rom.8:1 they are covered in Christ Jesus.

Daniel 7:13, 14.

The second judgment scene is in Dan.7:13, 14 someone else enters the heavenly courtroom, One like the Son of Man with the clouds of heaven. This is not the second coming of Christ to planet earth; we are still in the heavenly courtroom where the Ancient of Days is seated on the throne. Who is the Son of Man?   In the New Testament we see Jesus Christ revealed as the Son of Man, read Matth.16:13; 27, 28; 17:9, 22; 20:28; John 1:51. Jesus Christ has a definite part in the judgment; He has been given authority to execute judgment. John 5:27.

Daniel 7:22

The third judgment scene reveals the first verdict after the Ancient of days came, 7:9 it reads judgment was given to the saints. (7:22) The NKJV reads judgment was made in favor of the saints or in the NASB judgment was passed in favor of the saints.  What we have in these three judgment scenes is, first the Ancient of Days comes in and sits down with his servants (7:9,10) then the Son of Man joins in the courtroom (7:13,14) and next the first item of judgement are the saints. This is in harmony with what we find in 1Peter 4:17 the judgment must begin with the house of God.

What about the two different translations? It is claimed by the scholars that the second one is the correct one, but both can be explained biblically. Judgment given to the saints may refer to what we read in 1Cor.6:2, 3 The saints will judge the world even the angels as is in vision played out in Revelation 20::4 (cf.3:21) In order to occupy that position to judge, the saints themselves must have been judged favourably otherwise they would not be fit to judge the world and angels. The other translation, judgment passed in favor of the saints, which is claimed to be the correct one shows that when the books are opened and another book, the book of life (Rev.20:12) their names have been found in the book of life and the verdict is in their favor and passed. Jesus told His disciples to rejoice over the fact that their names were written in heaven, Luke 10:20, read also Phil.4:3. They have been investigated by the One who searches, investigates hearts (Rev.2:23) and have been found covered in His robe of righteousness. Read the parable of Jesus in Matth.22:1-14, the one who was not dressed properly was thrown out. The king came to investigate before the feast started. Hence the expression “investigative judgment” of God’s people before the Kingdom is established. Christ is the investigator, Rev.2:23,searcheth” means, He investigates.

Daniel 7:26, 27

Now we will deal with the fourth and final scene of judgment in Daniel 7:26, 27. In 7:25 we have recorded the wicked acts of the little horn, attacking the times and law of God. This cannot be tolerated without judgment. The little horn’s, (papal), power and dominion will be taken away, not with the option of a deadly wound being healed, but consumed and destroyed or as the NASB reads taken away, annihilated and destroyed for ever. Daniel had seen this already in vision as described in 7:11 given to the burning flame, (cf.Dan.11:45; Rev.17:16). Attack on God’s law cannot be left without punishment. The prophet Isaiah in 24:5 had already a preview of such a judgment against those who touch the law of God. The lawless one will be done away with, read 1Thess 2:8 (NKJV) will be destroyed.

The saints will inherit the Kingdom, who are heirs with Christ.Gal.3:29; 4:7; Titus 3:7; James 2:5. Four times we are assured in Daniel 7 that the saints will with Christ obtain the Kingdom, 7:14; 18; 22 and 27.Christ is the King of the Kingdom and will receive it in time, 7:14; Rev.11:15  and He is looking forward to have His saints, His people with Him, therefore seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, (Matth.6:33) Kneel at the cross accept Christ as your Saviour and call Him the Lord of your righteousness, Jer.23:6, read also Joel 2:32 and Isa.64:6 with Acts 4:12.. The Kingdom of Christ will be an everlasting Kingdom, Dan.7:14, 27 and so will be your life in that Kingdom, everlasting, John 3:16

Daniel 7:28.

Daniel 7:28 here we read that Daniel’s mind after this vision was much troubled, even his countenance changed or grew pale (NASB) and he kept it all in his heart as Mary, the mother of Jesus did,, Luke 2:19, 51 In the next chapter, Daniel 8 we will learn more about the little horn and the judgment..

 

Pastor Jan T.Knopper

May 2010/October 2010

Revisited August 2013

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One thought on “DANIEL CHAPTER 7

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