“And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse (different) one from another. The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh. After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it. AFTER THIS (referring to a later time – capitals mine) I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse (different) from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were the eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.”
As you may be aware, the Old Testament Book of Daniel is approximately one half historical and one half prophetic. In the first half of his book, Daniel received acclaim for being able to interpret the dream of the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar when he himself could not even remember what his dream was all about. In that dream, he saw a statue with a head of gold, a chest plate of silver, a skirt of brass, legs of iron and feet (and ten toes) of iron mixed with clay (Daniel 2:1-45). What is stunning is that while Daniel saw this during captivity in Babylon, he accurately predicted the world empires that would follow, which were the Mede-Persian, Greek, Roman and finally a ten nation confederation of countries (toes) which would come out of the legs of iron. Interestingly, Daniel lived during both the Babylonian and their successor, the Mede-Persian Empire. History shows us this is exactly what happened with the Roman Empire being the only one of the first four which was never militarily defeated, but rather declined from within. Most Biblical scholars believe this points to a soon coming rebuilt Roman (European) Empire in these Last Days.
When you then move into the last half of the Book of Daniel and read the opening Scripture above, you now see a more clear prophecy about this “beast”, the final one world government. Please remember, Daniel interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream while living during his reign in the 6th century BC. He wrote the second half of his book while living under the reign of Darius (a Persian) who later reigned from 521-486 BC. It is estimated Daniel was 85 when this half of his book was written. In Daniel 7 above he sees “…four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.” This would indicate geographically where these nations came from. The Mediterranean! He also describes them as one being like a lion with eagles wings, another as a bear, another as a leopard and the last one being very different from the first three.
Could it be a coincidence the “lion” is the symbol of Great Britain and that it had “eagle wings” until they were “plucked” away? What nation’s symbol is the eagle? America! What nation left Great Britain to become their own nation? America! More on that later in Revelation. What about the “bear”? Russia. And the “leopard”? Germany. If you want to read more about these symbols, you may want to read one of my previous posts, God’s End Times Zoo – the Lion, Eagle, Bear, Leopard and one UGLY beast! to learn more. Since these countries have already seen their global influence, it is the fourth beast I really want to spend more time on. As Daniel said, “after this”, meaning after the other countries had seen power, a fourth beast will arise with very specific differences from the other three. It will be “dreadful and terrible”; “exceedingly strong”, it will subdue all others; and perhaps most importantly for identification purposes, on it’s head it will have “ten horns” or ten kingdoms. No other country has exerted power over the entire world like this government will. It will be made up of ten countries and out of those ten will come one who will “pluck” up three, probably because they refuse to acknowledge him as their leader. He will have the eyes of a man and will speak great things, a direct reference to how the anti-christ is described. Remember what was said in Revelation 13:5 when the anti-christ was identified? “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months (3 1/2 years during the Great Tribulation, the last half of the 7 year Tribulation period).”
So, in the opening Scripture above Daniel saw four beasts coming out of the Mediterranean. The first three are easily identified by their national symbols. The last one appears to be made up of ten individual kingdoms (horns) that will come together and will be terrible and will be led by the anti-christ. Most Biblical scholars consider the rebirth of the Roman Empire, aka the European Union in some form, as being a fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy. What did John, who wrote the Book of Revelation 600 years later, say in the New Testament about the beasts?
“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.”
I want to be clear. Daniel saw four empires that were coming in the future. John was living in the last of those four empires, with the final one not yet in power as I write this. Interestingly, John lived during the Roman Empire and was imprisoned for his belief in Jesus. John sees from his position on the Isle of Patmos (near Greece) a similar picture of a beast rising up out of the sea (Mediterranean). It also had ten horns, but only seven heads (remember 3 “heads” will rebel and be subdued by the anti-christ). Like Daniel’s vision it also was like a leopard, a bear and a lion. BUT, it was only ONE beast. Satan gave him his power and great authority. Here we are also told the anti-christ will be mortally wounded but will be healed and the entire world will be amazed at his recovery.
BUT, there is one other major difference between the vision of Daniel and the vision of John. Did you see what it is? While Daniel saw a lion WITH eagle’s wings, John only saw the “mouth of a lion”. Whatever happened to the eagle’s wings? Whereas Daniel saw FOUR beasts arise out of the sea, John saw only ONE beast, albeit with attributes similar to the beasts of Daniel. This tells me the ten nation then reborn Roman Empire, comprised of the leopard which has total control over the world and will have feet like a bear and a mouth like a lion. In other words, Europe will be the global leader. What happened to the eagle? While there is much diverse opinion on whether America will be part of the anti-christ’s world government I do believe there are references to the eagle in the Last Days.
“And to the woman (Israel) were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time (3 1/2 years, the last half of the Tribulation), from the face of the serpent (Satan).”
Humbly I say this, America today is still the most protective, best friend of the nation of Israel and the Jews AND the most Christian. Of course when the Rapture occurs, only the non-believers will be left behind and hopefully at that time, they will turn to God when they see what just happened. They may be the protector of the Jews (obviously only with the Will of God) spoken of by John. The Rapture will greatly weaken America and strengthen a “new” world order but through God’s Grace, our nation’s role may still play out in the Last Days.
Another interesting parallel to this study is that during Daniel’s time, there was no known Christian Church since Jesus had not yet lived and died for our sins. There were only Jews and Gentiles. Therefore, the knowledge of the coming Church Age was unknown to him and he did not understand what he was told to write. When he asked God to explain:
“And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he (God) said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed TILL THE TIME OF THE END (capitals mine). Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; BUT THE WISE SHALL UNDERSTAND (capitals mine).”
Now compare that to what the angel told John in Revelation 22:10 after John saw all the things prophesied to occur in the Last Days:
“And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.”
Daniel was told his word would be sealed up until the time of the end but only the wise shall understand at the end of time, at the right time. John was told to NOT seal up the Book of Revelation because “…the time is at hand.” This should not scare us but simply make us more aware than ever of what God has told us beforehand. Yes, there is a horrible world government coming that will have control over the world for 3 1/2 years but we have been warned! We need to get ready and be prepared for Jesus’s coming for us at the Rapture to escape God’s Wrath on this world. That is so comforting to know we have an escape plan if we only accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and ask for forgiveness of our sins. As I also am sure you are aware by now, we have also been instructed to tell all others of God’s Promise to us, and that is to “…therefore comfort one another with these words.”
He is coming for us very soon and I can’t wait! May God Bless you!