“After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words.” Daniel 7:7-8.
These verses have been added to maintain context. There have been four beasts examined the first was a lion with eagles wings, second was a bear, third a leopard with four wings, and finally this one, a monster, representing the Roman Empire.
As noted in our previous post the Roman Empire fell apart about 500 A.D. while the date varies, this is approximately it. Since then, many world leaders have attempted to put it together again.
That this will happen in the future is indicated by the ten horns on the beast, because Rome has never had ten kings ruling together.
Scripture confirms this both here, and in Daniel 2:39-43, pictured by the statue with legs of iron and feet with ten toes of iron and clay, as seen in King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.
That the ten kings are still future is shown in the book of Revelation which was written about 90 A.D.
Just as Daniel has an angel explain the beast to him in Daniel 7:15-27, so the Apostle John has an angel explain the ten horns below.
“The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast [Antichrist]. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast.” Revelation 17:12-13.
The beast/Antichrist will have such an evil, blasphemous, bloodthirsty reign that he will be cut off after only three and a half years of power by the judgment of God Himself.
“I watched till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire; a fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him.” Daniel 7:9-10a.
Though I cannot find the exact quote, A.W. Tozer once wrote that, “The words of Scripture groan and creak under the burden of describing the character of God”; this is true as can be seen from the above quote.
The thrones that are being set up are not for other judges and this is not a scene of Judgment Day, rather it takes place toward the end of the seven year tribulation period bringing that time to an end.
This is a special courtroom scene set up to judge the Antichrist, and though he is not mentioned it will include the false prophet spoken of in Revelation 13:11-18 since they are both cast into the lake of fire.
“And the Ancient of Days was seated…” this is God Almighty who is the judge. The name Ancient of Days suggests extreme antiquity stretching back to eternity past.
Again, words fail to express a limitless, vast eternity inhabited by One who has no beginning and no end.
“His garment was white as snow…” some of the description given in this passage is similar to that of the glorified Christ given in Revelation 1:10-16, but in this case the Ancient of Days indicates that it is God the Father not God the Son.
The Ancient of Days wears a garment that is white as snow; giving us a picture of His absolute pure holiness, and His righteousness. This in turn shows us that His judgments are just and not tainted by any prejudices.
“And the hair of His head was like pure wool” in this we see God’s infinite, holy, wisdom. There will be no mistakes, no miscarriage of justice by an omniscient, all knowing God.
“His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire…” the fiery flame gives a picture of the purifying fire of true justice carried out, and the wheels of burning fire, the inevitability of coming judgment.
“But let justice run down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.” Amos 5:24.
“…a fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him” this is the judgment suffered by those who reject Christ as their Savior. Perhaps this stream resembles a lava flow.
There are men and women in hell now awaiting Judgment Day, but they will not see God the Father on the throne, they will see Jesus Christ seated as their judge because they rejected Him as Savior.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this, for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth – those who have done good [in Christ], to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” John 5:24-29.
Up to now, only one person has been plunged into that fiery stream of judgment, God’s own Son Jesus Christ. And He was held under alone, in agony and terror for three hours one afternoon; held under mercilessly until every sin of mankind was paid for in full.
This is a mystery, but one that the unsaved need to accept whether they understand it or not. And the Christian needs to understand the cost and the fate that Christ saved us from.
“Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. And again, ‘The Lord will judge His people.’ It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Hebrews 10:28-31.
“A thousand thousands ministered to Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.” Daniel 7:10b.
As in any court, the evidence is reviewed, not for God’s sake; in His omniscience He already knows both the outward sins and the secret sins of the Antichrist.
All of these courtroom scenes are for the benefit of the heavenly host so they can know the justice and righteousness of God.
I believe this is necessary because when Satan rebelled, he made allegations against God; lies which were untrue, especially in his character assassination of God. All of this will be corrected by the end of time on Judgment Day.
“[speaking to unbelieving Jews] You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.” John 8:44.
“The court was seated and the books were opened” the books here are undoubtedly the same ones which are opened on Judgment Day at time’s end.
“And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.” Revelation 20:12.
The Book of Life is not mentioned in Daniel 7:10b so it is unclear whether it was one of the books which were opened though it seems logical that it would be.
Everyone, man or woman, who ever lived, has or had their name written in the Book of Life from before the creation of mankind on earth. When they have rejected Christ for the last time, their name is erased from the book.
This is why you can say that Jesus died for Adolph Hitler, Josef Stalin, or Vlad the Impaler. All of these men rejected Christ at some time in their lives and their names were erased well before their death.
If they accept Christ as Savior, or as in the case of Abraham they put their faith in God, their name cannot be erased and they have eternal life from that moment on.
In both judgments books are opened and men are judged out of the things written in the books. The Book of Life is opened, but it is only a formality because they would not be under judgment if their names were in it.
This all works a little like this example.
A man is in a restaurant having a hamburger, fries and a soda. Another man comes over to him and says, “I just inherited a lot of money and want to celebrate. I would like to pay for your lunch.” The other man replies, “Thank you, but I would rather pay for my own lunch.”
When he finishes his lunch and goes to the cashier, what will he pay for? Well, he will pay for a hamburger, fries and a soda.
If a person refuses to accept Jesus’ payment for his sins, he will have to pay for them himself. The books are opened to write the bill the man is going to pay for in the lake of fire for eternity.
“I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame.” Daniel 7:11.
“I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking…” of all the things Daniel might have seen of the beast’s activities his words must have been truly arrogant to warrant such consideration.
“And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his [Antichrist, little horn] deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. So they worshiped the dragon [Satan] who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?’ And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months [3 ½ years, time, times and a half time]. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.” Revelation 13:3-7.
“Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done. He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all. But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things.” Daniel 11:36-38.
“…[the man of sin, Antichrist] who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:4.
It is this man’s words and evil activities that necessitate the setting up of this scene of judgment handed out by God. And the end of this despicable man and his government is sealed.
“I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame.” Daniel 7:11b.
The beast and his government taken out of the revived Roman Empire are so intertwined that the beast is the government and the government is the beast.
So to say that the “beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame” means that his government is destroyed catastrophically and he is cast into the lake of fire along with the false prophet.
“And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him [Christ] who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.” Revelation 19:19-21.
“As for the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.” Daniel 7:12.
While the last beast, the Antichrist, is taken away catastrophically and supernaturally by Christ Himself who returns to set up His own government, a final and everlasting government. The other beasts were removed, each by another over time.
The first beast which represented the Babylonian Empire established by Nebuchadnezzar was conquered by the Medes and the Persians. They in turn were conquered by Alexander the Great and the Greeks, who in time were conquered by Rome which fell apart circa 500 A.D. We now look to a future time (very soon!) when the revived Roman Empire comes into existence. This empire is in the building stage now.
“…yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time” we still have vestiges of these kingdoms today, in the form of philosophies, governments, art, and so on. This is all going to change very soon.
“Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming – in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning – lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” Mark 13:35-37.
Time Stands Still taken from godisrevealed.com posted on 4-13-16, updated on 7-15-21.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.