The Times of the Gentiles Part III The Present Beast
The Last Beast to Control Jerusalem and the One World Government
The Lord Jesus the Messiah made reference to a group of Gentile world Empires who would control Jerusalem and the entire world starting in 586 B.C.He referred to these times of the gentiles ending at some point in time. The Gentile control of Jerusalem and world government in general is going to end. It’s not going to last forever. It will end when He returns to set up His world wide government in Jerusalem at the Second Coming. Now the Lord said this in the Olivet Discourse:
The Trampling of Jerusalem
And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled (KLV).
THE FINAL BEAST
The images given to the prophet Daniel which are written in the 7th chapter are four beasts coming out of the Great Sea. The first three have animal characteristics of a lion, bear and leopard. The fourth is a beast that has no animal like description and can be called nondescript. This beast is referred to as dreadful and terrible with iron teeth. It is breaking and devouring the residue of the other beasts. It is to this beast that we must now turn our attention.
The Third Vision, the activity in Heaven
9I beheld till thrones were placed, and one that was ancient of days did sit: his raiment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames, and the wheels thereof burning fire. 10A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousands of thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. 11I beheld at that time because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake; I beheld even till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed, and it was given to be burned with fire. 12And as for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. (ASV 1901).
The third vision is found in verses 9-12 and the activity is taking place in Heaven. In verses 9-10 the vision is of the Throne Room of God the Father. This is similar to the glimpse of the throne room revealed in Revelation chapter 5. God the Father is described here as the Ancient of Days. This is the only spot in the Bible where He is referred to as the Ancient of Days. It is very clear who he is; He is a Judge, and the books of judgment are opened. There are myriads of Angels present – thousands upon thousands, 10,000 X 10,000 that are in front of Him and He is carrying out these judgments through the angels. God uses angels to carry out His plan for this earth (cf.Zechariah 1:7-17).
The Lord is judging the Fourth Gentile Empire (vv.11-12). In verse 11, the text emphasizes the fourth beast and particularly the little horn that is judged and destroyed. The previous three beasts are also mentioned. Their dominion was taken away; and their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. This means that they have not been completely eradicated but continue albeit without the dominating power they had over the entire world. The third vision is of God the Father ready begin judgment against the Fourth Gentile Empire. He’s not actually conducting judgments, but He’s ready to move out in judgment.
The Fourth Vision and the Kingdom of God
13I saw in the night-visions, and, behold, there came with the clouds of heaven one like unto a son of man, and he came even to the ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations, and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed (ASV 1901).
These verses describe the destruction of the Fourth Gentile Empire (Terrible Beast) and the establishment of the Messianic Empire or Messianic Kingdom.
Of the four visions described the major emphasis is on the fourth one. Now Daniel asks for an interpretation of the four kingdoms. He wants to know, who’s going to posses the Kingdom. He sees that possession of the Kingdom will only be temporary. Whereas the four beasts rose out of the sea, here they arise out of the earth in this vision. Coming out of the sea emphasizes their Gentile identity. But, coming out of the earth identifies their humanity. None of the first three empires are divine.
So Daniel requests further interpretation. It is not clear who he is requesting this from but it is presumably the Angels that are before the throne of God. In making this request, he describes what he saw regarding the four beasts. It is important to note how the diverseness of this fourth beast continues to be emphasized. Throughout the scriptures it is emphasized as being “diverse” – different from the others. The beasts are not given an animal-like characteristic. But Daniel wants to know what it means so he pushes for a meaning. So in requesting this, he is given further information on the activity of the Little Horn that causes the three horns from the original 10 to be pulled out or eliminated and the Little Horn becomes the eighth horn.
The Prophet Daniel Seeks Some Clarification
15As for me, Daniel, my spirit was grieved in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. 16I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth concerning all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. 17These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, that shall arise out of the earth. 18But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. 19Then I desired to know the truth concerning the fourth beast, which was diverse from all of them, exceeding terrible, whose teeth were of iron, and its nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet; 20and concerning the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, and before which three fell, even that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake great things, whose look was more stout than its fellows. 21I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; 22until the ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High, and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. 23Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all the kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. 24And as for the ten horns, out of this kingdom shall ten kings arise: and another shall arise after them; and he shall be diverse from the former, and he shall put down three kings. 25And he shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High; and he shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and half a time. 26But the judgment shall be set, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. 27And the kingdom and the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High: his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him (ASV 1901).
What Daniel is given here is a summary of the interpretation and information of the Messianic Kingdom. He is told that the beasts represent kingdoms and they will all be replaced by the Kingdom of God on this earth. All the Gentile world empires are only temporary.
The Diverseness of the Fourth Beast
Having received this summary interpretation in verses 19-22, Daniel asks for more information regarding the fourth beast. In making this request Daniel describes what he saw regarding the fourth beast. In verse 19, its diverseness is pointed out. It is important to note how the diverseness of the Fourth Empire is continually emphasized.
For this diverseness Daniel seeks a meaning. He wants to know the meaning of the ten horns and also the little horn. Daniel is given more information about the little horn. It causes three of the ten horns to fall and he he speaks great things. He wars against the saints and prevails over them. But finally he is defeated by the coming of the Ancient of Days. Once the judgment is passed on the little horn by the Ancient of Days, he will be done away with and the kingdom will pass over to the saints. The saints are the Jews, not the Church. The ten horns are ten nations that will encompass this Empire, yet future to us. Some want to refer to this a Rome. But Rome is no longer a world empire trodding down Jerusalem. It is better to view this as imperialism the form of government created by the Romans. Daniel 2 clearly demonstrates that this beast continues as a world power until the Messianic Kingdom is set up.
The Little Horn
The little horn is the Antichrist who will appear someday on the planet. I don’t know where or when, we just know he will do this. He will sign a covenant with the nation Israel. It will be some type of covenant. We don’t know what it is or what it’s about but he signs it with the majority of the Jews. Not all the Jews, but enough to get this thing signed – that begins the Great Tribulation. The Great Tribulation begins when the covenant is signed and it’s a seven-year covenant. The Church will be raptured out of the world before that. That is not the trigger for us to leave. There is no description anywhere in the Bible about when the Rapture takes place – it’s unknown. We know that at some point in time, the Tribulation is going to start. The seven-year war is going to start with this covenant that gets signed. Daniel talks about the Ancient of Days judging him the Antichrist and he gets thrown into the lake of fire at the end of time.
To Be Continued
Next Post: The Stages of Imperialism
Daniel E. Woodhead Ph.D.