Daniel Chapter 7 The Image in Beast Form

Jul 29th, 2009 | By | Category: Daniel, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

Daniel Chapter 7 The Image in Beast Form

Dan. 7:1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.

In the first year of Belshazzar, king of Babylon, Daniel had his dream. Since Chapter 5 ended with Belshazzar’s death, the events in Chapter 7 took place before Chapter 5. In other words, like the Book of Revelation, the chapters are not sequential.

Dan. 7:2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.

What are the “four winds of the heaven [that] strove upon the great sea”?

Comment: They would be the unholy angelic powers, which tie in with the “four winds of the earth” in Revelation 7:1–3. The winds are held back until the saints are sealed.

Reply: Yes, and the fourth great beast that came out of the sea (verse 3) also relates to the Book of Revelation (13:1).

Comment: Some thoughts from the 1977 study are interesting, for they show that even though Satan is the god of this world, a struggle goes on among the fallen angels. “The ‘great sea’ refers to peoples or humanity. Hence the ‘sea’ pictures the earth from the standpoint of humanity. The four universal empires arose out of turbulent conditions in the earth. In this moving vision, the four winds of heaven strove on a stormy, windy, turbulent sea. All of a sudden a beast arose, then another, and another, and another. Since the four winds picture the unholy angelic powers, it is apparent that a struggle for supremacy over the possession of the earth has taken place among the fallen angels. This struggle is in the present evil world; it began with the Flood and still continues. Satan has been the god of this world during all four universal empires. Although he has always been the chief of the fallen angels, there has been discord among them. Despite the rise and fall of governments, Papacy is noted for its existence. Papacy characteristically has a foot on each side of an issue so that whatever side wins, the system will appear right. Even though Satan is the prince of the power of the air, verse 2 is a clue that the power of the heavens is vied for in earth’s atmosphere. Paul said we fight against principalities, powers, rulers of darkness, and spiritual wickedness in high places.

Reply: In the Book of Revelation, we discuss the troublesome sea and the fact that Satan capitalizes on it. Prior to Babylon’s coming into power, there were other strong powers or kingdoms such as the Syrians, the Medes, and the Lydians. However, Nebuchadnezzar overcame these powers to accede to the throne. In other words, an evil angel is over each nation, but Satan is the archangel over all of the kingdoms of earth. The confusion of war—of nation against nation—is caused by the rebels under his control. The sea is not  calm. The angel (Satan) who withstood Gabriel was the stronger of the two (Dan. 10:13).

Gabriel was withheld for three weeks before he could give the answer to Daniel’s prayer. When Satan took over Media-Persia, it was a transfer of power from Babylon. Next came Greece, and after Greece came the Roman Empire, which became the Holy Roman Empire. Each time Satan was “top gun.” In this unrestful condition, Satan allows his thugs to have their own rewards as long as he remains in control on the top as the prince of the demons. His “empire” is one of lust, violence, anger, etc., all of which are component parts of his own character. Whenever there is a change of empire, he gets into the cockpit of power.

Dan. 7:3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.

The four great beasts picture four universal empires commencing with Babylon.

Dan. 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.

The Babylonian Empire is likened to a lion with eagle’s wings. A lion is called the king of the beasts because of its royal mien; that is, its big head and mouth almost completely hide the body. Similarly, the eagle is considered the king of the birds. These symbols beautifully harmonize with the golden head of the image in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (Dan. 2:31,32).

Whereas Daniel 2 portrays the universal empires from man’s perspective, Daniel 7 pictures them from God’s perspective. In other words, Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel both dreamed about the same four empires but each from a different standpoint. “I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked.” This clause refers to the time when Nebuchadnezzar was reduced to insanity and humiliated for seven years. During that time he ate grass, his nails were like birds’ claws, and his hair grew like eagles’ feathers. In a negative sense a lion shows a boasting attitude, and an eagle indicates pride, being lifted up in heart. Nebuchadnezzar’s attitude was “Haven’t I myself accomplished all this glory, such as the Hanging Gardens?”

The King James marginal reference is superior: “Wherewith it was lifted up from the earth.” Prior to the plucking of his “wings,” Nebuchadnezzar boasted and his heart was lifted up with pride and feelings of superiority. “Wherewith 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.” By plucking up his wings, by abasing him, God brought Nebuchadnezzar to his senses and made him stand on his feet as a man. Then the king gave glory to God.

Why is a man superior to a beast? Because a man does not crawl or walk on four feet. (Even a gorilla, who walks a few feet, then has to bend and put his hands down.) Man is different; man is unique; man stands upright on two feet. Thus when Nebuchadnezzar came to his  senses, he stood up like a man as he should have done. No longer was he above the earth,as it were, but upon the earth. “A man’s heart was given to it” refers to the reformation, even though it was only momentary.

Dan. 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.

The bear corresponds to Media-Persia. The leading characteristic of a bear is its great strength—it hugs its prey to death. What was notable about the method of warfare with this empire? With great numbers in the empire, the siege tactic was used to conquer.

The Media-Persia bear (government or empire) “raised up itself on one side” and had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth, and “they [the ribs] said thus unto it [the bear], Arise, devour much flesh.”

Comment: Daniel 11:2 reads, “And now will I show thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all.”

Reply: Yes, that verse identifies the “three ribs” as three kings, who say to the fourth king, Xerxes, “Rise up and devour much flesh.” Xerxes is known in history. He made a pontoon bridge of boats so that his army could go over to Greece. Many men did get to Greece, but there they were stranded. At first a humiliating defeat was suffered, but the numbers of men were so great that Xerxes continued, only to ultimately suffer an even bigger defeat.

Comment: Daniel 8:3 describes the ascension of the Persian portion of the empire, described here as the bear raising itself up on one side. “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.”

Reply: Yes, Media-Persia is pictured as two arms and two horns (Dan. 2:32). In the original picture the bear was in repose, but when it arose, it got up on one side (just as a human gets out of bed by pushing himself up on one side). Media-Persia was a universal empire, but it had aspirations of being even larger. Although the empire controlled the East and even Egypt, the arena or frontier not yet dominated at that time was Greece and westward into Rome. Greece was a great maritime power. The Media-Persia Empire felt it could easily conquer Greece through numbers, power, and wealth, but the Lord overruled the defeat. Similarly, Napoleon, a brilliant mathematician, lost the Battle of Waterloo through a dumb (but providential) mistake.

Q: Do Daniel 8:3, which speaks of one horn coming up higher, and the bear, which rises up on one side here in Daniel 7, refer to the Persian part of the empire?

A: The two silver arms of the image picture the kings of Media and Persia. The first king of the empire was Darius the Mede, but Cyrus the Persian soon succeeded him, becoming higher. The “fourth” king was the king of Persia. Thus the Persian aspect is the higher horn, the side of the bear that rose up from the supine position to dominate, to “devour much flesh.” Combining the fragments in Chapters 7, 8, and 11 helps us to understand what happened in secular history. Xerxes lost 5 million people in the final analysis yet remained in power, for Alexander the Great and the Grecian Empire did not come on the scene until much later. Nevertheless, the defeat in trying to conquer Greece was very humiliating for Xerxes, so he learned his lesson. He forgot about the frontier and was satisfied with the current universal empire.

Dan. 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.

The leopard pictures the Grecian Empire, which corresponds to the belly and thighs of brass in the image of Daniel 2. Just as that area of the body is very versatile and flexible, so a leopard is swift and agile in movement. These characteristics describe Alexander the Great, for he conquered the whole world, as it were, in just nine years chiefly through swift movements and surprise attacks. It seemed as if he covered 100 miles in one night. A leopard or cheetah is swift and powerful, and so was Alexander the Great. Whereas Persia was cumbersome and slow of movement, conquering by great numbers and siege, Greece used adroitness, military skill, and the element of surprise. The leopard well demonstrates these characteristics. In contrast, the lion is swift for perhaps a hundred yards but then tires.

It depends on its roar to paralyze prey with fright and then with a short sprint captures the prey and scrunches it with exceptionally powerful jaws.

The spots of the leopard are not emphasized here. Later on, when Papacy is partly described as a leopard, the spots become important to show diplomacy and the practice of playing both sides, being clever and adaptable.

The leopard had four wings of a fowl on its back and four heads, which picture four generals. When Alexander the Great died as a relatively young man, four generals took control of the empire. They divided the large Grecian Empire into four parts (Syria, Egypt, Greece, and Rome), and each took control of one part.

Q: If the four heads portray the four generals, do the four wings picture the four divisions or dominions?

A: Yes. A Scriptural precedent for “wings” picturing a territory or land is Isaiah 18:1, which mentions the “land shadowing with wings.”

Dan. 7:7 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.

This beast cannot be equated to any one specific animal but, instead, had the characteristics of several animals and is described as “dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly.” The fourth beast, Rome, is of particular interest as the nucleus of prophecy of the Gospel Age.

Comment: Revelation 13:2 also describes a beast: “And the beast … was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion.”

Reply: That beast pictures the Holy Roman Empire, which was a later development than Pagan Rome. A composite beast, Papacy had the features of the other beasts. Its sagacity and duplicity are shown by the leopard’s spots, a feature of the Grecian Empire. The system manipulates and speaks with forked tongue. The Roman Catholic Church’s boasting of numbers would be the characteristic of the bear, the Media-Persia Empire. And Papacy had the mouth of a lion from the Babylonian Empire.

Comment: Think how Daniel would have reacted to this moving nightmare with the unprecedented beast doing these dreadful things!

Reply: Apparently, it was not a single dream but a recurring dream. When a bad dream wakes us up, we are thankful it is over, but occasionally the dream continues when we get back to sleep. Therefore, the plural “visions” probably kept repeating, as with King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2:1.

Q: Does the beast here in Daniel 7:7 picture Pagan Rome?

A: Yes. The Grecian Empire was relatively short term, as was Babylon in its universal conquest. Media-Persia lasted somewhat longer, but the Roman Empire endured the longest and, in fact, still exists today in some respects.

Daniel saw that the fourth beast was dreadful in appearance, terrible in its actions, and exceedingly strong. Moreover, it had “great iron teeth.”

Comment: The “iron” teeth of the Roman Empire correspond to the two “iron” legs of the image in Daniel 2.

Iron was selected to describe the Roman Empire because it is a very unusual mineral. Not only is it extremely strong, but it is inflexible. And Rome was noted for its law and “iron rule.” Purchasing Roman citizenship (as the Apostle Paul did) added a great deal to one’s stature and protection. The Roman Empire was based on unity, centralized power, and rigid rule and law.

Comment: Of the four beasts, Daniel was most concerned with the fourth. “Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet” (Dan. 7:19).

“It [the Roman Empire] 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.” The Daniel 7 account does not treat the diversity of the Roman beast.

The bear (Media-Persia) hugged its prey to death through siege. Alexander the Great (Greece) conquered through agility, speed, and the surprise element. Rome succeeded because of its discipline and organization. It rigorously trained its officers in the art of warfare, and to disobey a Roman order brought death. There was no flexibility—one did what he was told or else. The soldiery admired the organization and discipline, for they realized it created a power within them and brought victories—and of course their reward was a share in the spoils. Sometimes the loot was so great that when they reached a certain age, they retired with what they had accumulated and then lived a life of ease away from Rome with spas, springs, etc.

Dan. 7:8 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.

This beast with one head is different from the beast in Revelation 17 that has seven heads. This beast started out with 10 horns and then got “another little horn” for a total of 11. Next the little horn ate or plucked up three horns, so the final count is eight horns (10 + 1 – 3 = 8).

We find out that the seven-headed beast in Revelation ends up with an eighth head. This background helps us to understand prophecy.

By synchronizing the types, we get an added dimension. Now is the due time for such harmonization, for truth does get clearer as we proceed down the stream of time.

Twice in the Volumes the Pastor explained how the little horn plucked up three horns. The second explanation, which is on page 76 of the Third Volume, is superior. The plucking up of the three horns (the Heruli, the Ostrogoths, and the Western Exarchate) resulted in the Holy Roman Empire.

The little horn waxed great, representing the growth of Papacy. It developed eyes like a man (intelligence) and a “mouth speaking great things” (blasphemies). One of the greatest blasphemies is the claim that the pope is the Vicar of Christ. Another blasphemy, proclaimed in 1870, is that ex cathedra utterances are infallible.

This little horn was a Roman papal horn because the beast portrayed the Roman Empire and its horns were divisions of that empire. The civil powers today like to fraternize with Papacy because with Roman Catholic adherents in all nations (both the clergy and the communicants), the system provides the framework of a spy network.

Dan. 7:9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.

The preceding verses give us a description of the night visions that Daniel saw, and he noted the details up to and including the great boasting of the little horn. Now he provided new information not in the previous eight verses: “I beheld till the thrones were cast down.” Probably Daniel had a continuing miniseries of visions because further details were narrated in a choppy fashion with interruptions. He seemed to be summarizing the troubling series of dreams.

Q: What is the thought of “cast down”? Leeser has “set down,” the Revised Standard and the Amplified have “placed,” and the New International Version has “set in place.” Also, the Scoffield footnote has “placed down.”

A: In English the thought of being “set” or “placed down” can be taken two ways. If a highminded person is humiliated, we say he is “put down,” “put in his place,” etc. The Hebrew word will have to be checked.

Q: Could the clause be a future picture of the Ancient of days (the Father) sitting with His Son and the Church? Revelation 20:4 seems to harmonize with that thought. “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”

A: We will have to analyze the word, its background, and the three Hebrew consonants that form the word.

Comment: The Hebrew word is remah. According to Young’s the usages of that word carry the thought of “cast” or “casting down” and in one instance “impose.” For some usages the context shows a demotion. Daniel was cast into the lions’ den, and the three Hebrew children were cast into the fiery furnace.

Comment: Ezra 7:24 is the text where remah is translated “impose”: “Also we certify you, that touching any of the priests and Levites, singers, porters, Nethinims, or ministers of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose toll, tribute, or custom, upon them.” The thought of “cast down” seems like an odd usage here.

Comment: Strong’s defines remah as “to throw, set, figuratively assess.”

The “Ancient of days” is Jehovah. The Masoretic indicates a court scene here, and the sitting of the “Ancient of days” is a future picture.

His “garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool.” “White as snow” symbolizes purity of judgment, which is associated with true justice and with righteousness. His hair was like “pure [white] wool,” which pictures wisdom. Basically, the thought is of full, luxuriant growth, and hair is a symbol of consecration.

“His throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.” We are reminded of the wheels in the vision of God in Ezekiel 1. In the vision was a throne, and One was seated on that throne. The upper part of the torso was associated with fire or sun so that the facial features could not be seen, and the bottom part was seen as legs. “No man hath seen God [the delineation of His face] at any time” (John 1:18). “And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about” (Ezek. 1:27). Ezekiel also tells of four wheels, whereas Daniel just says “wheels.” Each wheel consisted of an outer wheel and an inner one. The wheels revolved, but they did not deviate sideways from their purpose. The outer and inner wheels indicate that God operates according to the plan of the ages that He designed.

Comment: God has a movable throne. Righteous judgment goes with Him at all times.

Reply: With God’s throne being down here at the time of the vision, the thought is that judgment is set in the court. All are to stand at attention.

Let us turn again to the statement “I beheld till the thrones were cast down.” Depending on context the word “cast” can be used in either a negative or a positive sense. For Daniel 7:9 another translation gives the thought of thrones being established, of their being set down in an affirmative sense. The context here seems to favor that view also. Of course the “Ancient of days” is Jehovah, and the thrones are the thrones of the Church. This seventh chapter of Daniel speaks of the Son of man as an individual, but three times the “Son of man” is shown to be a government composed of individuals with Jesus as the Head and the Church or body members as the rulers. Occupying various positions as rulers, the saints will possess the Kingdom. Verse 9 is saying that they will be placed in their positions when the Kingdom is being set up.

Dan. 7:10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

The “fiery stream [that] issued and came forth from before him [the Ancient of days]” represents judgment. We think of lava from a volcano coming down and consuming what is in its path. In this case the fire will come forth against God’s enemies.

“Thousand thousands ministered unto him” [God]. If we multiply 1,000 x 1,000, the product 1,000,000 applies to the holy angels. “Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.”

This even larger number pictures the world of mankind, for whom the “books” will be opened. Servile attendance is shown by these two classes.

Comment: A clue that the Little Flock, the 144,000, are not shown in this verse is that those in attendance are either “before” the throne or ministering unto God. The Church class will be in the throne.

“The judgment was set, and the books were opened.” There are different kinds of books.

One would be the records of the past lives of all individuals and their responsibilities. The world of mankind will be judged during the Kingdom Age. Revelation 20:12 also mentions “books” (plural) being opened: “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and  the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”

Comment: Regarding the holy angels and the world of mankind, the NIV says, “Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.”

Dan. 7:11 I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.

Again this is new information. The little horn with eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth speaking great blasphemous words (Dan. 7:8) troubled Daniel, as did the beast with great iron teeth that committed violence.

Q: Does verse 11 correspond with Revelation 19:20? “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.”

A: Yes, the “burning flame” ties in with the “lake of fire burning with brimstone.” The destruction of the beast is being described. In the Book of Revelation, the beast is shown to die twice; in Daniel 7 the beast dies only once. However, the one time in Daniel 7 corresponds with the second time the beast dies in Revelation. First, Napoleon humiliated the pope. Then in 1870 the papal states were taken away from Papacy, so that only the Vatican and a summer resort remained. In other words, Papacy was shorn of its temporal  power and dominion. At that very time, at the low point of Papacy, the doctrine of Papal Infallibility was promulgated. This doctrine is a more recent example of the horn speaking “great things.”

Daniel saw the end of Papacy (the beast slain), the books opened, and the judgment set. The slain beast is the fourth beast, and its body being destroyed pictures the loss of temporal  dominion. Papacy, a civil government with clerical attire, will be “given to the burning flame.” From this second death, there will be no resurrection.

Revelation 13:3 tells of the first death of the beast and of its resurrection: “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.” Revelation 17:8 tells of its permanent extinction. “The beast … shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition.” The second time the beast dies, it will go into the “lake of fire burning with brimstone,” from which there is no resurrection.

Q: Are verses 11 and 12 fulfilled before verse 9?

A: Yes. As said earlier, these visions are recorded in a choppy fashion. They were not all narrated sequentially.

Comment: The First Volume, page 260, states: “In verse 12 the prophet notes a difference between the end of this fourth beast and its predecessors. They three successively (Babylon, Persia, and Greece) had their dominion taken from them; they ceased to hold the ruling power of earth; but their lives as nations did not cease immediately. Greece and Persia still have some life, though it is long centuries since universal dominion passed from their grasp. Not so, however, with the Roman Empire, the fourth and last of these beasts. It will lose dominion and life at once, and go into utter destruction; and with it the others will pass away also.”

Reply: The subject is discussed in three Volumes with about 15 different quotations. The fact that the Pastor did not see two deaths in the Book of Revelation caused a little trouble. He admitted he had two views, and he did not know which perspective was the proper one.

Clayton Woodworth, who compiled The Finished Mystery, was familiar with the two views. He assumed the view he used was correct, but in fact, it was the wrong one. In one place in the Volumes, the Pastor said that the body of the beast, its temporal dominion, was destroyed forever in 1870 but that it still existed as a sacerdotal or religious power and would get great power in the hour of power. However, the Book of Revelation shows that Papacy will have temporal dominion at the time of its final destruction, and today it is a papal state. As just read, the First Volume, page 260, said that “dominion and life” would be destroyed “at once.” But the Second and Third Volumes reflect the problem of there being two deaths of Papacy and the Pastor’s seeing only the one. His uncertainty can be seen in certain statements he made. Incidentally, in 1929 Papacy got back its temporal power through Mussolini’s Concordat.

Dan. 7:12 As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.

The lives of the three other beasts were prolonged in regard to the smiting of the image, for not until the stone smote the image on its feet did the entire image fall. At the time of the smiting, the head of gold, the arms and breast of silver, etc., still had life (but not dominion).

Thus Daniel 2 shows all being consumed at the same time. The account here in Daniel 7 concentrates on the fourth beast, but all four beasts will be destroyed together. The point is that the words “season” and “time” are used in different ways in Scripture. (Similarly, for example, the term “water” has different meanings depending on context.)

“Yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.” Sometimes we give a specific chronological application to the terms “season” and “time.” The Book of Daniel uses not only the 360-day cycle but also the thousand-year cycle. Here an even longer cycle is intended. In other words, there is precedent in the Book of Daniel for various time periods.

An example of the 360-day cycle is the 2,520 years, and the 1,000-year cycle is used in regard to the seven years of Nebuchadnezzar’s debasement (Dan. 4:16; 12:7).

Dan. 7:13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

Notice “visions” plural, showing a series of visions not all in the same night. Leeser’s reads: “I looked in the nightly visions.” In other words, in the night visions that Daniel had, he saw various things.

“Behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven.” According to the usual view, the “Son of man” represents Jesus only, for didn’t he say, “All the tribes of the earth … shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory”?

Revelation 14:14 shows the Son of man seated on a cloud with a sickle in his hand. And the Fifth Volume applies the term “the Son of [the] man” to Jesus alone. However, in the Book of Daniel, the term is more comprehensive. Here “the Son of man” corresponds to the stone that smote the image. The four parts of the image in Daniel 2 harmonize with the four beasts of Daniel 7. The stone that smote the image and the “Son of man” both picture the fifth universal empire, which includes the “saints of the most High” God (see verses 18, 21, 22, and 27). The saints will be involved with the smiting of the image. Therefore, not until the Church is complete will the image be struck. With the term “Son of man” including the saints, it refers to The Christ. The “Son of man” is a multitudinous seed. “Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise” (Gal. 4:28). Just as “Isaac” represents The Christ and so does the stone of Daniel 2:45 that is quarried from earth, so the term “Son of man” in Daniel 7:13 pictures The Christ, Head and body members.

“Not until the Church shall have been completed, not until the last member shall have been changed from earthly to heavenly conditions; not until the glorified Christ shall have taken unto himself His great power to reign; and not until the end of Gentile times, will this heavenly power be hurled against the image.” In a nutshell, the Pastor is saying that the reign of Christ and the smiting of the image are future—that these events cannot take place until every last member of the body of Christ is complete. On page 83, the reasoning continues: “Then the dominion [of course the author had in mind the year 1914] will pass from these beasts, and their bodies or organizations as Governments will be given to the burning flame—turned over to destruction.” Now, pertaining to Daniel 7: “Then the beast was slain—the great and terrible beast, and his body was given to the burning flames. This is still future and therefore prophetic [earlier he put this in the past], and we may not too positively declare how it will be fulfilled. Apparently it signifies the overturn of the civil and religious systems of our day, especially of Europe [emphasis added, pointing out the ten horns of the beast]. It seems to symbolize the destruction of all earthly government and authority. This [that is, the fire] would mean anarchy, the most terrible curse upon society imaginable.”

“One like the Son of man … came to the Ancient of days, and they [the holy angels] brought him [the Son of man] near before him [the Ancient of days].” When Jesus finished his course, a brief hiatus of ten days occurred during which there was jubilation in heaven. Between his ascension and the application of his merit to the Church at Pentecost ten days later, the accolade went forth “Worthy is the Lamb!” The Church will have a similar experience. After the feet members are caught up in clouds to meet Jesus and the rest of the raised saints in earth’s atmosphere, and after they hear from Jesus, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” they will be taken into the heavenly court amid great rejoicing to culminate in their being The Christ class (Matt. 25:23).

Dan. 7:14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, 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.

All power in heaven and earth has already been given to Jesus, but he has not exercised that power yet in the sense of the reign aspect. Jesus has already been exalted, but at the time of the marriage, the body members will also be glorified. The holy angels will bring the Son of man to the Ancient of days, and there will be given to the Son of man, to The Christ, “dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him,” and his dominion will be “an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”

The statement that this dominion will never cease is very comprehensive. The reign of Christ is only for the thousand years, the Millennium, but in another sense Jesus and the Church will reign forever in the universe under God. That kingship authority will extend forever, beyond the thousand years, indefinitely. In the future, each of the 144,000 will have his own universe, his own kingdom.

Dan. 7:15 I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.

Daniel was deeply grieved when he saw the vision because he sensed that it signified a long period of trouble.

Comment: The triple emphasis shows how extremely disturbed Daniel was. He was grieved in his emotions, his body, and his mind.

Reply: On one trip to Israel when there was a commotion between Arabs and Jews, an Arab remarked, “My head—watermelon!” He was trying to express his distress in English.

Dan. 7:16 I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.

In the setting of the dream, Daniel asked one who was like an angel to explain the meaning of the dream.

Dan. 7:17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.

The explanation began with the point that the four beasts represent four kingdoms or universal empires. Thus, depending on context, the word “king” in Scripture can signify a power or a government, rather than an individual. Similarly, “Pharaoh” can represent either an individual or an office that is filled by successive individuals. The same is true in this country. The President may die, but the Presidential office is perpetuated.

Dan. 7:18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.

Then, quickly, the explanation contained some good news: “the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom.” However, this answer was too cryptic to truly satisfy Daniel, as shown in verse 19.

Dan. 7:19 Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet;

Having seen the whole vision, Daniel desired a fuller explanation.

Dan. 7:20 And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.

Dan. 7:21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;

The drama continued in another vision. More details confirmed not only that the vision portended bad news but that it was even worse than he had at first thought. An added detail is that the “little horn” power that came out of the fourth terrible beast “made war with the saints” of the most High and defeated them for a while. What a shocking experience for Daniel! The defeat and suffering troubled him. He did not fully understand the vision. He was told the kingdom would be given to the saints of the most High, and yet those saints were being persecuted.

However, Daniel’s emotions and thoughts, coming forth from his inner being as a reaction to this very traumatic vision, were edifying in the final analysis, for they developed his character even further.

How did Daniel know that he was seeing “saints”? Obviously some details of the vision are  not recorded in Scripture. We are getting only a thumbnail description. Perhaps they were pictured with a halo or white garments. At any rate, an unholy power got victory over the holy power—until the “Ancient of days [God] came” (verse 22).

Q: When Daniel saw this vision, did he recognize that the fulfillment was a long time off?

A: Yes, he sensed that fact and it was troubling him, even though he does not mention it in fullness until the end of the book. He was exhausted by the multitude of visions and explanations and disheartened by the time factor, but he was eventually given consolation. “Go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days” (Dan. 12:13).

Dan. 7:22 Until 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.

This verse is future.

Dan. 7:23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.

Dan. 7:24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.

Dan. 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

The “ten horns … are ten kings [powers, kingdoms] that shall arise: and another [the little horn] shall rise after them.” The ten horns, plus the one little horn that subdued three horns, left eight horns. The eight horns tie in with Revelation 17, where the beast appears on the scene again but with more detail. The fourth beast of Daniel has only one head but eight horns. The beast in Revelation 17 has ten horns and seven heads plus an eighth head

when one of the seven reappears. The Book of Daniel provides background information for an updated understanding in the Book of Revelation. Daniel 7:25 explains the time period, which was future from Daniel’s day: time, times (double time), and half a time. The 3 ½ times, when converted to lunar years of 360 days each, with a day for a year, total 1,260 years. The time period thus indicated is 539 to 1799.

Q: Are the eight horns in Daniel 7 comparable to the eight heads of Revelation 17?

A: Yes. However, Revelation 17 furnishes more information, for the ten horns are a contemporary condition and the heads are successive. Today we are in the period of the eighth head.

For the little horn to “wear out the saints” suggests time. Those who were hunted and tortured during the 1,260 years experienced not only suffering but fatigue and weariness. In Revelation 6:10 the saints are portrayed as asking, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?”

The little horn shall “think to change times and laws.” For example, Papacy had the Kingdom starting with the papal millennium, which began under Charlemagne in 799 and then extended to 1799, the end of the French Revolution. The birth of Jesus was changed to Christmas. The pope is considered to be the Vicar of Christ, but where is Christ? The Roman Catholic Church teaches that one must go through the church and its arrangements rather than go through the true Head, Christ. Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). Sinners are to confess their sins to Jesus, not to the priest.

Comment: The importance of counting ten horns, adding one horn, and subtracting three, for a total of eight, is shown by the fact this is mentioned three times in the chapter as a triple witness.

Dan. 7:26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.

Notice that the troublesome condition again ends up with victory. The little horn prevails against the saints, but the saints come out all right in the final analysis, for they will take away the dominion of the little horn.

Daniel was saying, “I am not so concerned about the first three beasts, but I would like more information about the fourth beast—and particularly the ominous little horn.” He was favored with such an explanation.

Dan. 7:27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

Dan. 7:28 Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.

Although Daniel was favored with an explanation and assured that God would set up an everlasting Kingdom, he was still troubled about the events and conditions that would occur before the establishment of the Kingdom. He “kept the matter in his heart.” In other words, he thought a lot about the visions but did not reveal them to others—probably not even to the three Hebrew children. Since Daniel was taken to Babylon before the 70 years began to count and now we are near the end of his life, he may have outlived the three Hebrew children, for Daniel died a centenarian. Therefore, Daniel, as an honored servant in the king’s court, had to put on a front to cover up and suppress his concerns about the disturbed condition, for one could not go around the royal court with a sad countenance.

Nehemiah is another example. He was so troubled that he could not fully hide his thoughts. In his case,  however, it was providential that the king noticed and asked what was troubling him. “My cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in [within] me.” In other words, he suppressed his thoughts  outwardly.

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