Daniel Chapters 7 and 8 Message 8
Today we will compare the revelations of God given to King Nebuchadnezzar as recorded in Daniel, chapter two, and that given to the Prophet Daniel recorded in chapters eight and nine. God revealed His plan involving four major world empires through the ages and their relationship with His nation Israel.
I. Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream – Daniel 2:1-45.
A. The dream revealed was of a statue in the image of a man. The image had a head of gold, the breast of silver, the stomach and thighs were brass, and the legs were of iron. Daniel interpreted the dream and explained the meaning to King Nebuchadnezzar –
Daniel 2:38-44 And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold. And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
We should notice that the fourth kingdom is of less value per unit of weight, but stronger and more durable than the others. The fourth kingdom introduced a form of government known as the republican system, a form of democracy where the people have a voice through representatives. The empire ended in 454 A.D. yet continues until today through the divisions and form of government (the toes of iron mixed with clay). It will again become powerful in the last days.
The Final Kingdom. The end of the Times of the Gentiles and the introduction of the Kingdom of God of Heaven. Daniel 2:44
The fourth kingdom will be destroyed and will be replaced with the Kingdom of God. The actual time of this is at the end of the Tribulation and indicates the Battle of Armageddon Revelation 19:llf.
B. The dream revealed God’s plan for the world and His work with Israel. These are known in the Bible as “The Times of the Gentiles”
We turn from the world view given to King Nebuchadnezzar of the empires of the ages to God’s view given to His servant Daniel.
II. Daniel’s Visions of the Gentile Kingdoms.
A. He had described the image seen by Nebuchadnezzar as man’s view of the Gentile power over the world. Recorded in Daniel 2:31
He saw it through the eyes of Nebuchadnezzar as a great image whose brightness was excellent and its form was terrible or awesome.
God revealed the truth of man’s sinful viewpoint, that the world offers all that is great, brilliant, and awesome, and man believes he will control the world and his own destiny. God then revealed the truth of His view of the world – divisiveness, destruction, and death.
B. He, Daniel, described the Gentile’s power.
They were revealed as beasts which come out of the Sea. (The Gentile Powers) and were seen as God sees them – “brutal beasts.”
C. He described the beasts presence.
1. The first was seen as a lion with the wings of an eagle.
Daniel 7:4 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.
Reference here is to Daniel 4 and King Nebuchadnezzar recognizing the God of Heaven.
2. The Second beast is as a bear with three ribs in its teeth.
Daniel 7:5 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.
3. The Third beast – Grecian Empire like a leopard with four wing and four heads.
Daniel 7:6 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.
4. The fourth beasts was beyond description. Daniel knew of nothing to compare it with. “…dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly…”
Daniel 7:7-8 After this 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 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 eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.
We thank the Lord that we are not left to simply wonder and try to identify which empires these were. He gave Daniel this information –
D. He then revealed the beast’s identities. Daniel 8:1-27
1. The Medes and Persians 8:3,4 (8:20)
Daniel 8:3-4 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last. I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great.
2. The Grecians led by Alexander 8:5-8a (8:21)
Daniel 8:5-8 (KJV) And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand. Therefore the he goat waxed very great….
3. The Greek empire divided. 8:8b (8:22)
“…and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.”
Daniel 8:21-22 (KJV) And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.
“…the Macedonian Empire split into four main kingdoms – the one of Seleucus (Asia), Ptolemy (Egypt), Lysimachus (Thrace), and Antipater’s son Cassander (Macedonia, including Greece).”
E. He described the fourth empire. Daniel 7:7 Roman Empire.
The Fourth empire is noted as being – Dreadful and terrible; Strong exceeding. The Romans conquered the Greeks and established an empire which we can follow in history even unto this present day. This empire is revealed in Scripture in two parts: one is historical (even though at the time of Daniel was still prophesied to come) and the second is future to be completed in the last days. This empire will be destroyed by the Lord at His coming.
Revelation 13:1-2 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 as 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.
Satan has used these powers for his own purposes trying to destroy the work of God. God will have victory over them in the last days –
Revelation 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Daniel 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
God will complete His plan in His time. He is working it out now and because of His love, He is giving people time to come to Him for salvation. He could come now, this afternoon, tonight, or in years to come. No one knows His timetable, but we do know that what He has promised His is doing!
If you are not saved, be saved today!