As we open to Daniel 7, we continue to listen to God describe the worst human who will ever live.
- We first met him as the Beast and the false peacemaking Rider on the White Horse in Revelation 6& 13.
- Then we saw him as the One Standing in the Holy Place that Jesus says in Matthew 24 will bring the abomination that causes desolation.
- Then we saw Paul’s long description of him as the Man of Sin and the Lawless One in 2 Thessalonians 2.
- We went on to 1 John’s description of him as the Antichrist.
But now, in the book of the prophet Daniel, we see the longest and most varied description of all, starting in chapter 7. Turn there as we prepare to read, hear and see the real context that believers need to have because:
The Antichrist Will Be the Worst Human Ever
Daniel 7:7-14 (NKJV) “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.
“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.
A thousand thousands ministered to Him;
Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him.
The court was seated,
And the books were opened.
“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. As for the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.
“I was watching in the night visions,
And behold, One like the Son of Man,
Coming with the clouds of heaven!
He came to the Ancient of Days,
And they brought Him near before Him.
Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,
That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
Which shall not pass away,
And His kingdom the one
Which shall not be destroyed.”
We are about to see one of the facets of ministry that excites me so about God and His Word. I like to call it the:
Big Picture or Panoramic View of the Bible
We started many weeks ago looking at Revelation 6. By the second verse of the chapter, God was introducing us to the first of four horsemen. The white horse represents the “antichrist” influence Satan has always sought to pour out upon humanity. But now God shows us that the influence is taking the form of the most malignant person ever to live.
Satan’s person introduced in Revelation is a figure that God's Word has described in so many ways and places. I’d like to explain to you why it takes so long to go through the verses of Revelation and the answer is simple if you understand the nature of prophetic Scripture.
The Bible is completely unified, interconnected and woven together by God, just like all of the various organs and systems of our bodies. One element within God's Word is Biblical prophecies, which are also interconnected and run through every corner of the Bible, much like nerve cells are woven through our human bodies.
So, when preaching the Bible there are two valid methods that can be used:
- One method is to focus solely upon just one verse or passage out of the over 31,000 verses of the Bible and to work only through the words and ideas of that verse alone, and then go on to the next. That is called textual preaching, or sticking to only the verse or text of the message.
- The other method of preaching is expository preaching, which sticks to the text, but it also adds the weight of what God has said about that verse from any of the other 31,000 verses of the Bible. What we are doing in Revelation is this type of expository preaching of the Word.
All of the 404 verses in the Book of Revelation are incredibly tied to what God began in Genesis and is in the process of finishing. God has given pieces of information, tucked away in the words of the Prophets, about the events in the Last days. Each of these are powerful lessons about His character and His plan, and teach us more about how to worship and serve God through every season of our lives.
Now, using the expository method of study, let me show you the immense weight of all that God has preciously told us in the rest of the Bible about the coming false messiah called the antichrist. We began to meet this worst human who will ever live as we stepped into Revelation 6. But as we did, we found a person about whom there are:
27 Chapters of the Bible & Counting
We need to pause and think about how many different chapters of the Bible are used by God to describe this evil servant of Satan. Here’s the tally so far:
- Jesus talks about him in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 (that is 3 chapters)
- Paul describes him in 2 Thessalonians 1-2 (that is 2 chapters)
- John describes him in 1 John 2 & 4 and 2 John 1 (that is 3 chapters)
- Revelation devotes chapters 6-20 to describe his impact on humanity and his fate (that is 15 chapters)
- We see him in Daniel 7,8,9 and 11 (that is 4 more chapters)
So this worst of all humans who ever lives is already the subject of 27 chapters of the Bible. That is quite an extensive coverage and there are more we haven’t even touched.
Think about this man with so many different names in the Bible: the man of sin, the son of perdition, the beast, the lawless one and the Antichrist.
Satan Empowers the Worst Human Ever
Of all who have ever hated good, hated God and hated Christians, the Antichrist will be the pinnacle. If we were to take all of the worst persecutors, deceivers and malignant terrorists and stew them until they boiled down to the essence of evil, this is what would pour out: the man of sin, the son of perdition and the false Christ.
When this man appears, he will pulsate with the power of demons and flow with the great powers of Satan, so much so that even people’s money, buying, selling and even lives will be only at his nod.
Remember that it is Jesus who describes the arrival of the antichrist by a citation from the prophet Daniel, because:
Jesus Trusted Daniel’s Authenticity
We already studied last time how Jesus affirms, authenticates and declare Daniel reliable. Jesus makes a strong endorsement. Daniel is the only Old Testament prophet Jesus names when He explains the future in His long and detailed Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24-25, Mark 13 and Luke 21. That in itself is amazing.
Jesus authenticates that Daniel is just who the Bible explains him to be. Jesus assures us that Daniel was just who we read that he is: a Jew alive in the sixth century BC Empire of Babylon who serves at the highest levels of the closing days of Babylon and the opening days of the Medo-Persian Empire.
Through Daniel’s prophetic visions and interpretations, God gives a map of the future that is flawlessly accurate and a guide for us to understand history past, present and future.
When God Almighty, who rules from Heaven over all the affairs of mankind, gave Daniel the snapshot of all the ages left for mankind, God says here is history from now to the end.
So, as we focus on Daniel 7, we need to get the context. Always stop and check the context of any passage. The context deeply impacts the interpretation of any verse. Carefully pause and look at the context in any portion of God's Word that you ever study to learn from. In context, what does this reference in Daniel 7:7 to the “fourth beast” mean?
God Shows Us ONLY Four World Empires
In Daniel 2 God already gave an overview of Human History from a human perspective, with all of the outward beauty and accomplishments:
- Gold = Babylonian Empire (627-539 BC)
- Silver = Medo-Persian Empire (539-330 BC)
- Bronze = Greek Empire (330-63 BC)
- Iron = Roman Empire (63 BC – 476 AD – 1453 AD – present)
God shows us that He knows all of human history, but shows His plan only in light of the people He chose to be His chosen nation.
God Built His Plan of History Around the Jews
God sends us a history lesson to show us that all of human history is seen and directed by God around the people He chose called the Jews.
- God says that the Jews are the ones that He used to bring His Word the Scriptures.
- God says that the Jews are the ones through whom He used to bring His Son, our Savior the Lord Jesus.
- God says that His 12 Jewish Apostles are the ones that He used to bring the good news of His Church.
- God says that the Jews are the ones that He will use to ignite the final war that ends human history.
The Final Holocaust is Coming
Today, God’s chosen people are still the focus of most of the world’s hatred. Jews have at one time or another been hounded, chased, Pogromed, Holocausted and driven out of every country they have ever lived in.
Today the greatest tension our world feels surrounds the simmering Arab-Israeli Conflict. Jerusalem’s status is a powder keg and it seems that the fuse was lit in 1948 (a nation of Jews for the first time since Nebuchadnezzar started the “times of the Gentiles” 2,600 years ago) and is burning closer ever day to the Apocalyptic events described in the Scriptures.
But everything God says about Jerusalem, Israel and the Jewish people end up being tied to one man, who God calls a Beast. He is Satan’s promised one. He is the superman that Satan sends to deceive the world into thinking someone, other than Jesus Christ, can save them from God’s judgment against their sins. Now, look at Daniel 7 with me to see:
The Pedigree of the Worst Human Who Ever Lives
In the Book of Daniel we have many descriptive titles for the person known in the New Testament as the Antichrist. Here is a summary:
- In Daniel 7:8a he is the “little horn” The Greatest Power Broker-Politician. One man does what all others kings have tried to do and failed. He unites the world. Nimrod failed at Babel, Alexander fell at Babylon, the Caesars failed to conquer the pagan, Ghengis failed to take Europe, Hitler miscalculated Britain & America, but the Beast subdues the whole world (Revelation 13:7).
- In Daniel 7:8b he is the “eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words” The Most Brilliant Communicator. The world is vexed by the Palestinian issue, Jerusalem, the Arab/Israeli Conflict, radical Islam and on and on. But this one man talks the whole world into going his way.
- In Daniel 7:21 he is the ultimate hater of God’s people making “war on the saints and prevailing” The Greatest Persecutor. Others have tried and failed to extinguish God’s people, but God allows this evilest of men to prevail, to martyr, to hound the saints and God’s chosen people of promise, the Jews, almost to extermination. The martyred saints of these few years number a countless multitude who are slain by him during the Tribulation (Revelation 6:9-11; 7:14).
- In Daniel 7:23 he is the one who conquers “devours” the whole earth The Greatest & Most Fearsome Warrior. No one else was able to conquer it all, but he does. His conquests “devour” the whole earth. The last, biggest, greatest Empire & Emperor is the one yet to come. With his technology, with God’s granting him the authority, and Satan energizing him to a ravenous beast of a man who will conquer humans on the earth as he “tramples it and break it in pieces.”
- In Daniel 7:25 he twists history, morality and religion The Greatest Atheist of All. This man goes against every law of God, every hint of righteousness and every reflection of the Creator. There is even a hint of homosexuality in the fuller description of his evils in Daniel 11:37.
Now for the great application of this prophetic chapter that God gives to us. First we see that:
The Ancient of Days Always Sits Enthroned in Glory
Towering over all the beats, the empires, the kings, the armies, the death, the destruction and all the sin and evil is the scenes of Heaven. The Most High Rules (Daniel 4:17, 25, 32) and in Daniel 7:9-10 we see the scene around His Throne. Each day every servant who loves, hears, follows and obeys the Lord is to focus upward upon the Almighty, Most High God who sits upon that Throne. Just like Jesus reminds us inMatthew 6:9 “Our Father who art in Heaven” we hallow Your Name and ask You to control, lead, supply, cleanse, protect and empty us!
Second, as we look at Daniel 7:13-14 we see:
The Son of Man, Jesus Christ: Will Return in Glorious Power
Live for Him
Jesus is the Creator and Judge. The Father has given all rule, dominion, power and glory to Him. He shall come in the clouds, every eye shall see Him and all who hated and denied Him will look for holes to hide in the ground from the fierceness of His flaming wrath and Blinding Glory.
Finally, look in Daniel 7:11-12 & 26-28 where we see:
Sin, Rebellion & All Rebels Continue to the End
Watch & Pray Lest You Enter into Temptation
The Great White Throne of Revelation 20 is in sight here. God the Son, the Judge, will judge every human who has ever lived and never repented. Each will be found personally guilty of their own sins and be condemned to everlasting destruction.
When Daniel finishes seeing this first of four visions that God gives to him, he gets sick of heart. God’s glory prevails, God’s Kingdom comes, but sin, death, destruction and evil rebellion continue right up to the last.
Sin is horrible. Mankind is mortally infected with rebellion. Satan can deceive, destroy, kill and disrupt but only to a point. God rules. Christ returns. The evil is judged, the evildoers consumed. The saints will serve and obey their King forever.
Christ, on the other hand offers you an abundant life.
If you have never trusted Christ as your Savior, I would urge you to receive him today.
When you call upon Christ to save you from your sins, God delivers you from the power of darkness and brings you into the wonderful kingdom of His Son.