Thus Says YAHUWAH
After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; ... 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 thing.
Dani'El 7:7-8 RNKJV
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.
(Dani'El 7:25 RNKJV)
And I ... 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. 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. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? 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.
(Revelation 13:1-5 RNKJV)
The Sweep Of The World's Political & Military History
Revealing The Antichrist, The Beast, The Little Horn.
OVERVIEW OF THE BOOK OF Dani'El & THE PURPOSE OF PROPHECY
Dani'El, the Man and Prophet
The Prophet, Dani'El, was a Yahuwdi prince in the palace in Yerushalayim, who lived about 600 years before the birth of Yahuwshuah HaMashiyach. When he was about fifteen years of age, everything in his life changed abruptly. The city, Yerushalayim, was besieged and fell to the enemy. He was taken prisoner by the Babylonians. (606 B.C.) The king of Babylon was Nebuchadnezzar, an absolute monarch so that by his word men lived or died. However, he revealed his administrative wisdom by selecting some of the princes in the palace of Yerushalayim, leaving them alive, and took them back to Babylon. There, he treated them very well, educated them in Babylonian schools, and gained their loyalty. It was then his plan to send them back to their home country to rule over their own countrymen to exact the tributes required. He intended these young princes should have no other loyalty to any other living person than himself. To accomplish this, these young princes, including Dani'El, were castrated so they could have no family, no wife, nor children; but were to serve only their king, Nebuchadnezzar, all of their lives. So young Dani'El became a eunuch in the courts of Babylon.
Dani'El, a Yahuwdi, had been taught from his youth, to worship only the true Elohim, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and to observe all the laws of Elohim that had been given through Mosheh. Although he faithfully served Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king, his first allegiance and worship was to the Elohim of heaven. Many of the stories in the book of Dani'El reveal his fidelity to Elohim. In turn, Elohim delivered and rewarded him, and his faithful friends, time after time. This is the great spiritual lesson for us in the book of Dani'El. Dani'El was but a youth when brought to Babylon, but he lived all through the reign of Nebuchadnezzar and even through the reign of his grandson, Belshazzar, at which time Babylon was conquered by the Medo-Persians. Not only did Dani'El hold a high position in the courts of Babylonian kings, but also stood next to the kings of Medo-Persia because he was known as a prophet, respected for his great wisdom, and held high offices of state by the providence of Elohim.
Dani'El wrote the book of Dani'El to record his remarkable life experiences of deliverance and the excellent rewards for his fidelity to Elohim and to the kings. For two thousand five hundred years these stories have delighted children and all other age groups. Dani'El reveals in his book that he was undeviating in his allegiance to live according to all the laws and statutes of the Elohim of heaven. He ordered his life-style, even in the face of mortal danger, to adhere to all the counsels of Elohim in regard to diet, to the rituals of worship, in prioritizing all aspects of life, always putting Elohim and His requirements first. Dani'El is an example to us and especially the youth today.
The Nature of the Book of Dani'El
What is the "nature" of the book of Dani'El? The book of Dani'El is classified as ''prophecy." There are many who use the word "prophecy" to refer to fortune telling, the work of psychics, channellers, and occult predictions. The word, "prophecy" may be used to describe the practice in some churches of speaking in tongues. None of these is the kind of "Bible prophecy" that is found in the book of Dani'El. The word, "prophecy" needs to be defined as it is used in the book of Dani'El.
Definition of "Bible Prophecy"
"Prophecy" is simply history written before it happens.
"History" is a written record of that which occurred in the past. "Prophecy" not only covers past events, but points to current events, and also covers or describes future events. No man can see into the future, but the Creator-Elohim who inhabits the heavens can see the end from the beginning, and it is He who inspired Dani'El, the prophet, to write the prophecies that are contained in the book of Dani'El.
The "Major line" of Prophecy in the Book of Dani'El
Dani'El begins in Chapter 1 to describe historical events of his own day. (606 B.C.). But each additional chapter moves forward in time, in a methodical manner, outlining events which would occur until, in the last chapter, he describes events which will happen at the very end of this earth's history. Therefore, it is understood that the book of Dani'El is constructed on a "major line" of prophecy which reaches from six hundred years before Yahuwshuah HaMashiach until the very end of time.
The Purposes of the book of Dani'El
The purpose of the four prophetic outlines in the book of Dani'El were intended to give the people of Elohim in every age a knowledge of where they are in the stream of time. None of the outlines tell the day and hour of the coming of Yahuwshuah, but they throw a flood of light on events which transpire so that Elohim's people may trace the past, pinpoint where they are in the present, and be warned in regard to that which will occur in the future.
There are other purposes which are met in the book of Dani'El:
- It reveals an omniscient Elohim who can predict the future.
- It reveals Elohim 's love and care for all who love Him and are obedient to His will.
- It reveals seven great deliverances, some in the past, and others yet to come.
- It focuses on character development of virtues such as fidelity, and trust in Elohim.
- It warns against counterfeit religion.
- It explains the political rise and fall of great empires.
- It describes events occurring in the heavens.
- It entertains and helps children to know that Elohim is love.
- It prepares the Bible student to understand the book of Revelation.
- It brings historical events into focus so that we may see the great controversy between good and evil progressing toward a victorious end.
The Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, reveals the fact that there is a great struggle going on between Elohim and Satan to gain control of this earth. Although Elohim is the Creator and the rightful owner, He gave the "dominion" or rulership of this earth to Adam.
And Elohim said, Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion . . .over all the earth."
When Satan (embodied in a serpent) caused Adam to disobey Elohim, Adam chose Satan as his new master, and gave over to him the dominion of the earth. However, Elohim had given Adam and all his descendants intelligence and the power of choice. Yahuwshuah HaMashiach, by His death on Calvary, purchased back from Satan the right for men to use that power of choice, and to choose which master they will serve.
It has been Satan's plan from the beginning to bring the entire world under his own control so that all mankind will worship him instead of the true Elohim. He has tried many devices to establish a one world government and by choice or by force to bring all mankind under his power and authority. His most effective device has been that of establishing a counterfeit form of worship.
Sun worship, was a counterfeit of the worship of the true Creator - Elohim, and by the time of Dani'El, it had encircled the globe. Its extension into all cultures is evident by the pyramids of Egypt and Central America, by the remnants of Druid worship in England and the many temples all over the earth. All the countries around Yisra'El were sun worshippers and enemies of Yisra'El who worshipped the true Elohim of heaven. Dani'El was carried captive right into the midst of a sun worshipping culture. Elohim placed him and his faithful friends in the midst of Babylon to be representatives of the true Creator Elohim. Through Dani'El and his friends the knowledge of the true Creator Elohim was to be spread to all the then known world, and preserved in the Bible even to our own day.
King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon intended that his empire and forms of sun worship should exist as long as time would last. But Elohim wanted His people to know the truth, as to how the scepter of power and authority or sovereignty or dominion would be transferred from one great empire to another, until at last, the kingdoms of this world would be restored to Elohim's people.
THE FOUR BEASTS
"In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Dani'El had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, [and] told the sum of the matters. Dani'El spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. (Dan i'El 7:3 [KJV]) And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse 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 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.
All Scripture language is to be taken literally, unless there exists some good reason for supposing it to be figurative; and all that is figurative is to be interpreted by that which is literal.
That the language here used is symbolic, is evident from verse 17, which reads,
These great beasts, which are four, are four kings which shall arise out of the earth. Verse 17
And to show that kingdoms are intended, and not merely individual kings, the Angel said:
"The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth."
These beasts are therefore symbols of four great kingdoms; and the circumstances under which they arose, and the means by which their elevation was accomplished, as represented in the prophecy, are symbolic also. The symbols introduced are, the four winds, the sea, four great beasts, ten horns, and another horn which had eyes and a mouth, and rose up in war against Elohim and his people. We have now to inquire what they denote. Winds, in symbolic language, denote strife, political commotion, and war.
Thus saith Yahuwah of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. And the slain of Yahuwah shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth.
Here the prophet speaks of a controversy which Yahuwah is to have with all nations, when the wicked shall be given to the sword, and the slain of Yahuwah shall be from one end of the earth to the other; and the strife and commotion which produces all this destruction is called a great whirlwind. That winds denote strife and war is further evident from a consideration of the vision itself; for as the result of the striving of the winds, kingdoms arise and fall; and these events are accomplished through political strife.
The Bible definition of sea, or waters, when used as a symbol, is peoples, and nations, and tongues. In proof of this, see Rev.17:15, where it is expressly so declared.
The definition of the symbol of the four beasts is given to Dani'El before the close of the vision.
These great beasts, which are four, are four kings which shall arise out of the earth.
As these beasts denote four kings, or kingdoms, we inquire, What four kingdoms? Where shall we commence the counting of the four? These beasts do not rise all at once, but consecutively, as they are spoken of as first, second, etc.; and the last one is in existence when all earthly scenes are brought to an end by the final Judgment. Now, from the time of Dani'El to the end of this world's history, there are to be but four universal kingdoms, as we learn from Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the great image in chapter 2.
Dani'El was still living under the same kingdom which he had declared, in his interpretation of the king's dream, about sixty-five years before, to be the head of gold. The first beast of this vision must therefore denote the same as the head of gold of the great image, namely, the kingdom of Babylon, and the other beasts the succeeding kingdoms shown by that image.
But if this vision covers essentially the same ground as the image of chapter 2, the query may arise as to why it is given; why was not the vision of chapter 2 sufficient? Our answer is, 'The ground is passed over again and again that additional characteristics may be brought out, and additional facts and features may be presented. It is thus that we have "line upon line."'
Here earthly governments are viewed as represented in the light of Heaven. Their true character is shown by the symbol of wild and ravenous beasts. At first the lion had eagle's wings, denoting the rapidity with which Babylon extended its conquests under Nebuchadnezzar. At this point in the vision a change had taken place; it wings had been plucked. It no longer flew like an eagle upon its prey. The boldness and spirit of the lion were gone. A man's heart, weak, timorous, and faint, had taken its place. Such was emphatically the case with the nation during the closing years of its history, when it had become enfeebled and effeminate through wealth and luxury.
As in the great image of chapter 2, so in this series of symbols a marked deterioration will be noticed as we descend from one kingdom to another. The silver of the breast and arms was inferior to the gold of the head. The bear was inferior to the lion. Medo-Persia fell short of Babylon in wealth and magnificence, and the brilliancy of its career. And now we come to additional particulars respecting this power.
The bear raised itself up on one side. This kingdom was composed of two nationalities, the Medes and Persians. Of these horns it is said that the higher came up last; and of the bear that it raised itself up on one side; and this was fulfilled by the Persian division of the kingdom, which came up last, but attained the higher eminence, becoming the controlling influence in the nation. The three ribs perhaps signify the three provinces of Babylon, Lydia, and Egypt, which were especially ground down and oppressed by this power.
The character of the power is well represented by a bear. The Medes and the Persians were cruel and rapacious, robbers and spoilers of the people. As already noticed in the exposition of chapter 2, this kingdom dated from the overthrow of Babylon by Cyrus, B.C.538, and continued to the battle of Arbela, 331 B.C., a period of 207 years.
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 third kingdom, Grecia, is represented by this symbol. If wings upon the lion signified rapidity of conquest, they would signify the same here. The leopard itself is a swift-footed beast, but this was not sufficient to represent the career of the nation which it symbolized in this respect; it must have wings in addition. Two wings, the number the lion had, were not sufficient, it must have four; this would denote unparalleled celerity of movement, which we find to be historically true of the Grecian kingdom. The conquests of Grecia under Alexander have no parallel in historic annals for suddenness and rapidity.
Rollin, Ancient History, b.15, sec.2, gives the following brief synopsis of Alexander's marches: "From Macedonia to the Ganges, which river Alexander nearly approached, is computed at least eleven hundred leagues (A League originally equalled the distance one walks in one hour. On land, the league was most commonly defined as three miles, though the length of a mile could vary from place to place and depending on the era. At sea, a league was three nautical miles (about 5.6 km). The league was used in Ancient Rome, and defined as 1.5 Roman miles (7,500 Roman feet, 2.2 km, 1.4 mi.)... Add to this the various turnings in Alexander's marches; first, from the extremity of Cilicia, where the battle of Issus was fought, to the temple of Jupiter Ammon in Libya; and his returning from thence to Tyre, a journey of three hundred leagues at least, and as much space at least for the windings of his route in different places; we shall find that Alexander, in less then eight years, marched his army upward of seventeen hundred leagues [or more than fifty-one hundred miles], without including his return to Babylon..
The beast had also four heads.
The Grecian empire maintained its unity only for a short time longer than the lifetime of Alexander. Within a few years after his brilliant career ended in a fever induced by a drunken debauch, the empire was divided among his four leading generals. Cassander had Macedon and Greece in the west; Lysimachus had Thrace and the parts of Asia on the Hellespont and Bosphorus in the north; Ptolemy received Egypt, Lydia, Arabia, Palestine, and Coele Syria in the south; and Seleucus had Syria and all the rest of Alexander's dominions in the east. These divisions were denoted by the four heads of the leopard; 308 B.C. Thus accurately were the words of the prophet fulfilled. As Alexander left no available successor, why did not the huge empire break up into countless petty fragments? Why into just four parts, and no more? Because the prophecy had said that there should be four. The leopard had four heads, the rough goat four horns, the kingdom was to have four divisions; and thus it was.
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, of course, corresponds to the fourth division of the great image shown to Nebuchadnezzar, as the legs of iron. How accurately Rome answered to the iron division of the image! How accurately it answers to the beast before us! In the dread and terror which it inspired, and in its exceeding strength, the world had never seen its equal. It devoured as with iron teeth, and brake in pieces; and it ground the nations into the very dust beneath its brazen feet. It had ten horns, which are explained in verse 24 to be ten kings, or kingdoms, which should arise out of this empire. As already noticed in chapter 2, Rome was divided into ten kingdoms, enumerated as follows: The Huns, the Ostrogoths, the Visigoths, the Franks, the Vandals, the Suevi, the Burgundians, the Heruli, the Anglo-Saxons, and the Lombards. These divisions have ever since been spoken of as the ten kingdoms of the Roman empire.
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.
Dani'El considered the horns. Indications of a strange movement appeared among them. A little horn (at first little, but afterward more stout than its fellows) thrust itself up among them. It was not content quietly to find a place of its own, and fill it; it must thrust aside some of the others, and usurp their places. Three kingdoms were plucked up before it. This little horn, as we shall have occasion to notice more fully hereafter, was the Papacy. The three horns plucked up before it were the Heruli, the Ostrogoths, and the Vandals. And the reason why they were plucked up was because they were opposed to the teaching and claims of the papal hierarchy, and hence to the supremacy in the church of the bishop of Rome.
And, "in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things", the eyes, a fit emblem of the shrewdness, penetration, cunning, and foresight of the papal hierarchy; and the mouth speaking great things, a fit symbol of the arrogant claims of the bishops of Rome.
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.
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."
A sublimer description of a sublimer scene is not to be found in the English language. But not only on account of the grand and lofty imagery introduced should it arrest our attention; the nature of the scene itself is such as to demand most serious consideration. The Judgment is brought to view; and whenever the Judgment is mentioned, it ought to take an irresistible hold upon every mind; for all have an interest in its eternal issues.
By an unfortunate translation in verse 9, a wrong idea is almost sure to be conveyed. the words 'cast down' are from
a word which in the original signifies just the opposite, namely, to set up. The word .... [r'mah] Gesenius defines
1. To cast, to throw, Dani'El 3:20,21,24; 6:16.
2. To set, to place, e.g., thrones, Dani'El 7:9. Comp. Revelation 4:2, .... and ...."
The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon, by Davidson, also gives to this word the definition "to set, to place" and refers to Dani'El 7:9 as an example of its use in this sense.
The thrones are not the thrones of earthly kingdoms, which are to be thrown down at the last day, but thrones of judgment, which are to be "placed," or set up, in the court of Elohim on high just before the end. The "Ancient of days," Elohim the Father, takes the throne of judgment. Mark the description of his person. Those who believe in the impersonality of Elohim are obliged to admit that he is here described as a personal being;
The thousand thousands who minister unto him, and the ten thousand times ten thousand who stand before him, are not sinners arraigned before the judgment-seat, but heavenly beings who wait before him, attendant on his will. An understanding of these verses involves an understanding of the subject of the sanctuary. The closing up of the ministration of Messiah, our great High Priest, in the heavenly sanctuary, is the work of judgment here introduced. It is an investigative judgment. The books are opened, and the cases of all come up for examination before the great tribunal, that it may be determined beforehand who are to receive eternal life when Yahuwah shall come to confer it upon his people.
Yahuwchanon, as recorded in Revelation 5, had a view of this same place, and saw the same number of heavenly attendants engaged with the Messiah in the work of the investigative judgment. Looking into the sanctuary (as we learn from Rev.4 that he was doing), in chapter 5:11 he says, "And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the beasts, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands."
From the testimony of Dani'El chapter 8:14, this solemn work is even now transpiring in the sanctuary in Heaven above.
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. 12. As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away; yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.
There are persons who believe in a thousand years' triumph of the gospel and reign of righteousness over all the world before Yahuwah comes; and there are others who believe in probation after Yahuwah comes, and a mixed millennium, the immortal righteous still proclaiming the gospel to mortal sinners, and turning them into the way of salvation. But both of these systems of error are completely demolished by the verses before us.
The fourth terrible beast continues without change of character, and the little horn continues to utter its blasphemies, and hold its millions of votaries in the bonds of a blind superstition, till the beast is given to the burning flame; and this is not its conversion, but its destruction. (See 2 Thess.2:8) The life of the fourth beast is not prolonged after its dominion is gone, as were the lives of the preceding beasts. Their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season. The territory and subjects of the Babylonian kingdom still existed, though made subject to the Persians. So of the Persian kingdom in respect to Grecia, and of Grecia in respect to Rome.
But what succeeds the fourth kingdom? No government or state in which mortals have any part. Its career ends in the lake of fire, and it has no existence beyond the lake of fire. The lion was merged into the bear; the bear into the leopard; the leopard into the fourth beast; and the fourth beast into what? Not into another beast; but it is cast into the lake of fire, under which destruction it rests till men shall suffer the second death. So, let no one talk of probation or a mixed millennium after Yahuwah comes.
The adverb 'then', in the sentence, "I beheld 'then' because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake," etc., seems to refer to some particular time. The work of the investigative judgment is introduced in the previous verses; and this verse implied that while this work is going forward, and just before this power is destroyed and given to the burning flame, the little horn utters its great words against the Most High. Have we not heard them, and that, too, within a few years? Look at the decrees of the Vatican Council of 1870. What can be more blasphemous than to attribute infallibility to a mortal man? Yet in that year the world beheld the spectacle of an Ecumenical Council assembled for the purpose of deliberately decreeing that the occupant of the papal throne, the man of sin, possesses this prerogative of Elohim, and can not err. Can anything be more presumptuous and blasphemous? Is not this the voice of the great words which the horn spake? and is not his power ripe for the burning flame, and near its end?
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. 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.
The scene here described is not the second advent of Messiah to this earth, unless the Ancient of days is on this earth; for it is a coming to the Ancient of days. There, in the presence of the Ancient of days, a kingdom, dominion, and glory are given him. The Son of man receives his kingdom before his return to this earth. (See Luke 19:10-12 and onward.) This is a scene, therefore, which transpires in the heavenly temple, and is closely connected with that brought to view in verses 9 and 10. He receives the kingdom at the close of his priestly work in the sanctuary. The people, nations, and languages, that shall serve him, are the nations of the saved (Revelation 21:24), not the wicked nations of the earth; for these are dashed in pieces at the second advent. Some out of all the nations, tribes, and kindreds of the earth will find themselves at last in the kingdom of Elohim, to serve him there with joy and gladness forever and ever.
I Dani'El was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. 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. These great beasts, which are four, are four kings which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, and even forever and ever.
No less anxious should we be than was Dani'El to understand the truth of all this. And whenever we inquire with equal sincerity of heart, we shall find Yahuwah no less ready now than in the days of the prophet to lead to a correct knowledge of these important truths. The beasts, and the kingdoms which they represent, have already been explained. We have followed the prophet down through the course of events, even to the complete destruction of the fourth and last beast, the final subversion of all earthly governments. What next? Verse 18 tells us: "The saints shall take the kingdom." The saints! those of all others held in low esteem in this world, despised, reproached, persecuted, cast out; those who were considered the least likely of all men ever to realize their hopes; these shall take the kingdom, and possess it forever. The usurpation and misrule of the wicked shall come to an end. The forfeited inheritance shall be redeemed. Peace shall be restored to its distracted borders, and righteousness shall reign over all the fair expanse of the renovated earth.
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; 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.
Of the first three beasts of this series, Dani'El had so clear an understanding that he had no trouble in reference to them. But he was astonished at this fourth beast, so unnatural and dreadful; for the further we come down the stream of time, the further it is necessary to depart from nature in forming symbols to represent accurately the degenerating governments of this earth. The lion is a production of nature; but it must have the unnatural addition of two wings to represent the kingdom of Babylon. The bear we also find in nature; but as a symbol of Medo-Persia an unnatural ferocity must be denoted by the insertion of three ribs into its mouth. So the leopard is a beast of nature; but fitly to represent Grecia there is a departure from nature in respect to wings, and the number of heads. But nature furnishes no symbol which can fitly illustrate the fourth kingdom. A beast the likeness of which never was seen, is taken; a beast dreadful and terrible, with nails of brass, and teeth of iron, so cruel, rapacious, and fierce that from mere love of oppression it devoured, and brake in pieces, and trampled its victims beneath its feet.
Wonderful was all this to the prophet; but something still more wonderful appeared. A little horn came up, and, true to the nature of the beast from which it sprang, thrust aside three of its fellows; and lo! the horn had eyes, not the uncultivated eyes of a brute, but the keen, shrewd, intelligent eyes of a man; and, stranger yet, it had a mouth, and with that mouth it uttered proud sayings, and put forth preposterous and arrogant claims. No wonder the prophet made special inquiry respecting this monster, so unearthly in its instincts, and so fiendish in its works and ways. In the following verses some specifications are given respecting the little horn, which enable the student of prophecy to make an application of this symbol without danger of mistake.
I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; 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.
The wonderful wrath of this little horn against the saints particularly attracted the attention of Dani'El. The rise of the ten horns, or the division of Rome into ten kingdoms, between the years 351 A.D. and 476 A.D., has already been mentioned earlier. As these horns denote kingdoms, the little horn must denote a kingdom also, but not of the same nature, because it was different than the others. They were political kingdoms. And now we have but to inquire if any kingdom has arisen among the ten kingdoms of the Roman empire since 476 A.D., and yet different from them all; and if so, what one? The answer is, Yes; the spiritual kingdom of the Papacy. This answers to the symbol in every particular, as is easily proved; and nothing else will do it. See the specifications more particularly mentioned in verse 23.
Dani'El beheld this horn making war upon the saints. Has such a war been waged by the Papacy? Fifty million martyrs, with a voice like the sound of many waters answer, Yes. Witness the cruel persecutions of the Waldenses, the Albigenses, and Protestants in general, by the papal power. It is stated on good authority that the persecutions, massacres, and religious wars excited by the church and bishop of Rome, have occasioned the shedding of far more blood of the saints of the Most High than all the enmity, hostility and persecutions of professed heathen peoples from the foundation of the world.
In verse 22 three consecutive events are brought to view. Dani'El, looking onward from the time when the little horn was in the height of its power to the full end of the long contest between the saints and Satan with all his agents, notes three prominent events that stand as mile-posts along the way:
- The coming of the Ancient of days; that is, the position which Yahuwah takes in the opening of the judgment scene described in verses 9,10.
- The judgment that is given to the saints; that is, the time when the saints sit with Messiah in judgment a thousand years, following the first resurrection (Rev.20:14), apportioning to the wicked the punishment due for their sins. Then the martyrs will sit in judgment upon the great antiNatsarim (Christian), persecuting power, which, in the days of their trial, hunted them like the beasts of the desert, and poured out their blood like water.
- The time that the saints possess the kingdom; that is, the time of their entrance upon the possession of the new earth. Then the last vestige of the curse of sin, and of sinners, root and branch, will have been wiped away, and the territory so long misruled by the wicked powers of earth, the enemies of Elohim's people, will be taken by the righteous, to be held by them forever and ever. 1Cor.6:2,3; MattithYahuw 25:34.
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. 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. 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. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.
We have here further particulars respecting the fourth beast and the little horn. Perhaps enough has already been said respecting the fourth beast (Rome) and the ten horns, or ten kingdoms, which arose therefrom. The little horn now more particularly demands attention. As stated on verse 8, we find the fulfilment of the prophecy concerning this horn in the rise and work of the Papacy. It is a matter of both interest and importance, therefore, to inquire into the causes which resulted in the development of this antiNatsarim (antichristian) power.
The first pastors or bishops of Rome enjoyed a respect proportionate to the rank of the city in which they resided; and for the first few centuries of the Natsarim (Christian) era, Rome was the largest, richest, and most powerful city in the world. It was the seat of empire, the capital of the nations.
All the inhabitants of the earth belong to her," said Julian; and Claudian declared her to be "the fountain of laws." "If Rome is the queen of cities, why should not her pastor be the king of bishops?" was the reasoning these Roman pastors adopted. "Why should not the Roman Church be the mother of christendom? Why should not all nations be her children, and her authority their sovereign law? It was easy," says D'Aubigne, from whom we quote these words ("History of the Reformation," Vol.I, chap.1), "for the ambitious heart of man to reason thus. Ambitious Rome did so.
The bishops in the different parts of the Roman empire felt a pleasure in yielding to the bishop of Rome some portion of that honor which Rome, as the queen city, received from the nations of the earth. There was originally no dependence implied in the honor thus paid.
But," continues D'Aubigne, "usurped power increased like an avalanche. Admonitions, at first simply fraternal, soon became absolute commands in the mouth of the pontiff. The Western bishops favored this encroachment of the Roman pastors, either from jealousy of the Eastern bishops, or because they preferred submitting to the supremacy of a Pope rather than to the dominion of a temporal power.
Such were the influences clustering around the bishop of Rome, and thus was everything tending toward his speedy elevation to the supreme spiritual throne of Christendom. But the fourth century was destined to witness an obstacle thrown across the path of this ambitious dream. Arius, parish priest of the ancient and influential church of Alexandria, sprung his doctrine upon the world, occasioning so fierce a controversy in the Natsarim (Christian) church that a general council was called at Nicaea, by the emperor Constantine, A.D.325, to consider and adjust it.
Arius maintained "that the Son was totally and essentially distinct from the Father; that he was the first and noblest of those beings whom the Father had created out of nothing, the instrument by whose subordinate operation the Almighty Father formed the universe, and therefore inferior to the Father both in nature and dignity.
This opinion was condemned by the council, which decreed that Messiah was of one and the same substance with the Father. Hereupon Arius was banished to Illyria, and his followers were compelled to give their assent to the creed composed on that occasion.
The controversy itself, however, was not to be disposed of in this summary manner, but continued for ages to agitate the Natsarim (Christian) world, the Arians everywhere becoming the bitter enemies of the Pope and of the Roman Catholic Church. From these facts it is evident that the spread of Arianism would check the influence of the Catholics; and the possession of Rome and Italy by a people of the Arian persuasion, would be fatal to the supremacy of a Catholic bishop. But the prophecy had declared that this horn would rise to supreme power, and that in reaching this position it would subdue three kings.
The testimony of D'Aubigne (Reformation, book 1, chap.1) also throws light upon the undercurrents which gave shape to outward movements in these eventful times. He says: "Princes whom, in these stormy times often shook upon their thrones, offered their protection if Rome would in its turn support them. They conceded to her the spiritual authority, provided she would make a return in secular power. They were lavish of the souls of men, in the hope that she would aid them against their enemies. The power of the hierarchy, which was ascending, and the imperial power, which was declining, leaned thus one upon the other, and by this alliance accelerated their twofold destiny. Rome could not lose by it. An edict of Theodosius II and of Valerian III proclaimed the Roman bishop 'rector of the whole church.' Justinian published a similar decree.
But no decree of this nature could be carried into effect until the Arian horns which stood in its way were overthrown. The Vandals fell before the victorious arms of Belisarius in 534; and the Goths received a crushing blow in connection with their unsuccessful siege of Rome in 538. (Gibbon, chap.41.) Procopius relates that the African war was undertaken by Justinian for the relief of the Natsarim (Christian)s (Catholics) in that quarter; ....
From the historical testimony above cited, we think it clearly established that the three horns plucked up were the powers named; viz., the Heruli in A.D.493, the Vandals in 534, and the Ostrogoths in A.D.553. The effective opposition of the Ostrogoths to the decree of Justinian, however, it is to be noted, ceased when they were driven from Rome by Belisarius in A.D. 538.
He shall speak great words against the Most High.
Has the Papacy done this? Look at such self-approved titles of the Pope as "Vicegerent of the Son of Elohim," and "Lord god, the Pope."
Said Pope Nicholas to Emperor Michael, "The Pope can never be bound or loosed by the secular power, since it is plain that he was called Elohim by the pious prince Constantine; . . . and it is manifest that Elohim can not be judged by man."
Is there need of bolder blasphemy than this? Note also the adulation the Popes have received from their followers without rebuke. Lord Anthony Pucci, in the fifth Lateran, said to the Pope, "The sight of thy divine majesty does not a little terrify me; for I am not ignorant that all power both in heaven and in earth is given unto you; that the prophetic saying is fulfilled in you, 'All the kings of the earth shall worship him, and nations shall serve him.'
Again, Dr. Clarke, on verse 25, says: "'He shall speak as if he were Elohim.' So Jerome quotes from Symmachus. To none can this apply so well or so fully as to the Popes of Rome. They have assumed infallibility, which belongs only to Elohim. They profess to forgive sins, which belongs only to Elohim. They profess to open and shut heaven, which belongs only to Elohim. They profess to be higher than all the kings of the earth, which belongs only to Elohim. And they go beyond Elohim in pretending to loose whole nations from their oath of allegiance to their kings, when such kings do not please them. And they go against Elohim when they give indulgences for sin. This is the worst of all blasphemies.
And shall wear out the saints of the Most High.
Has the Papacy done this? For the mere information of any student of church history, no answer need here be given. All know that for long years the papal church has pursued its relentless work against the true followers of Elohim. Chapter after chapter might be given, would our limited space permit. Wars, crusades, massacres, inquisitions, and persecutions of all kinds, these were their weapons of extinction.
Scott's Church History says: "No computation can reach the numbers who have been put to death, in different ways, on account of their maintaining the profession of the gospel, and opposing the corruptions of the Church of Rome. A million of poor Waldenses perished in France; nine hundred thousand orthodox Natsarim (Christian)s were slain in less than thirty years after the institution of the order of the Jesuits. The Duke of Alva boasted of having put to death in the Netherlands thirty-six thousand by the hand of the common executioner during the space of a few years. The Inquisition destroyed, by various tortures, one hundred and fifty thousand within thirty years. These are a few specimens, and but a few, of those which history has recorded. But the total amount will never be known till the earth shall disclose her blood, and no more cover her slain.
Commenting on the prophecy that the little horn should "wear out the saints of the Most High," Barnes, in his Notes on Dani'El 7:25, says: "Can any one doubt that this is true of the Papacy? The Inquisition, the persecutions of the Waldenses, the ravages of the Duke of Alva, the fires of Smithfield, the tortures of Goa, indeed, the whole history of the Papacy, may be appealed to in proof that this is applicable to that power. If anything could have worn out the saints of the Most High, could have cut them off from the earth so that evangelical religion would have become extinct, it would have been the persecutions of the papal power.
In year 1208 a crusade was proclaimed by Pope Innocent III against the Waldenses and Albigenses, in which a million men perished. From the beginning of the order of Jesuits in the year 1540 to 1580, nine hundred thousand were destroyed. One hundred and fifty thousand perished by the Inquisition in thirty years. In the Low Countries fifty thousand persons were hanged, beheaded, burned, or buried alive, for the crime of heresy, within the space of thirty-eight years from the edict of Charles V against the Protestants to the peace of Chateau Cambresis in 1559. Eighteen thousand suffered by the hand of the executioner in the space of five years and a half, during the administration of the Duke of Alva. Indeed, the slightest acquaintance with the history of the Papacy will convince any one that what is here said of 'making war with the saints' (verse 21), and 'wearing out the saints of the Most High' (verse 25), is strictly applicable to that power, and will accurately describe its history." (See Buck's Theological Dictionary, art., Persecutions: Oswald's Kingdom, etc., pp.107-133; Dowling's History of Romanism; Foxe's Book of Martyrs: Charlotte Elizabeth's Martyrology; The Wars of the Huguenots; The Great Red Dragon, by Anthony Gavin, formerly one of the Roman Catholic priests of Saragossa, Spain; Histories of the Reformation, etc.
To parry the force of this damaging testimony from all history, papists deny that the church has ever persecuted any one; it has been the secular power; the church has only passed decision upon the question of heresy, and then turned the offenders over to the civil power, to be dealt with according to the pleasure of the secular court. The impious hypocrisy of this claim is transparent enough to make it an absolute insult to common sense. In those days of persecution, what was the secular power? Simply a tool in the hand of the church, and under its control, to do its bloody bidding. And when the church delivered its prisoners to the executioners to be destroyed, with fiendish mockery it made use of the following formula
And we do leave thee to the secular arm, and to the power of the secular court; but at the same time do most earnestly beseech that court so to moderate its sentence as not to touch thy blood, nor to put thy life in any sort of danger." And then, as intended, the unfortunate victims of popish hate were immediately executed.
But the false claims of papists in this respect have been flatly denied and disproved by one of their own standard writers, Cardinal Bellarmine, who was born in Tuscany in 1542, and who, after his death in 1621, came very near being placed in the calendar of saints on account of his great services in behalf of Popery. This man, on one occasion, under the spur of controversy, betrayed himself into an admission of the real facts in the case. Luther having said that the church (meaning the true church) never burned heretics, Bellarmine, understanding it of the Romish Church, made answer:
This argument proves not the sentiment, but the ignorance or impudence of Luther; for as almost an infinite number were either burned or otherwise put to death, Luther either did not know it, and was therefore ignorant; or if he knew it, he was convicted of impudence and falsehood; for that heretics were often burned by the church, may be proved by adducing a few from many examples.
To show the relation of the secular power to the church, as held by Romanists, we quote the answer of the same writer to the argument that the only weapon committed to the church is "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of Elohim."
To this he replied:
As the church has ecclesiastical and secular princes, who are her two arms, so she has two swords, the spiritual and material; and therefore when her right hand is unable to convert a heretic with the sword of the Spirit, she invokes the aid of the left hand, and coerces heretics with the material sword.
In answer to the argument that the apostles never invoked the secular arm against heretics, he says,
The apostles did it not, because there was no Natsarim (Christian) prince whom they could call on for aid. But afterward, in Constantine's time, . . . the church called in the aid of the secular arm.
In corroboration of these facts, fifty million martyrs, being the lowest computation made by any historian, will rise up in the judgment as witnesses against that church's bloody work.
Pagan Rome persecuted relentlessly the Natsarim (Christian) church, and it is estimated that three million Natsarim (Christian)s perished in the first three centuries, yet it is said that the primitive Natsarim (Christian)s prayed for the continuance of imperial Rome; for they knew that when this form of government should cease, another far worse persecuting power would arise, which would literally, as this prophecy declares, "wear out the saints of the Most High." Pagan Rome could slay the infants, but spare the mothers; but papal Rome slew both mothers and infants together. No age, no sex, no condition in life, was exempt from her relentless rage. "When Herod died," says a forcible writer, "he went down to the grave with infamy; and earth had one murderer, one persecutor, less, and hell one victim more. O Rome! what will not be thy hell, and that of thy votaries, when thy judgment shall have come!"
And shall "think to change times and laws.
What laws and whose? Not the laws of other earthly governments; for it was nothing marvelous or strange for one power to change the laws of another, whenever it could bring such power under its dominion. Not human laws of any kind; for the little horn had power to change these so far as its jurisdiction extended; but the times and laws in question were such as this power should only think to change, but not be able to change. They are the laws of the same Being to whom the saints belong who are worn out by this power; namely, the laws of the Most High.
And has the Papacy attempted this? Yes, even this. It has, in its catechisms, expunged the second commandment of the decalogue to make way for its adoration of images. It has divided the tenth commandment to make up the number ten. And, more audacious than all! it has taken hold of the fourth commandment, torn from its place the sabbath of Jehovah, the only memorial of the great Elohim ever given to man, and erected in its place a rival institution to serve another purpose.
We need to be clear hear that, what the Papacy accomplished was the most audacious, and the most consequential change the Devil could conceive in his fiendish efforts to overthrow Yahuwah and control the entire world, receiving the worship of nearly every living being in the world , regardless of their religion! The essence of this papal action, legalized at the Council of Nicaea, was the abolishing of the Biblical Calendar and replacing it with the Julian/Gregorian Calendar controlling the entire world till today. For details of this stupendous action, see on Calendar Change, and the True Sabbath Day.
And they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
The pronoun 'they' embraces the saints, the times, and the laws just mentioned. How long a time were they to be given into the hands of this power? 'A time', as we can see from the Dani'El chapter 4:23, is 'one year'; 'two times', the least that could be denoted by the plural, 'two years', and the dividing of time, or half a time, is 'half a year'. Dan.7:25,"We thus have three years and a half for the continuance of this power. We must now consider that we are in the midst of symbolic prophecy; hence in this measurement the time is not literal, but symbolic also.
The inquiry then arises, How long a period is denoted by the three years and a half of prophetic time? The rule given us in the Bible is, that when a day is used as a symbol, it stands for a year. Eze.4:6; Num.14:34. The ordinary Jewish year, which must be used as the basis of reckoning, contained three hundred and sixty days. Three years and a half contained twelve hundred and sixty days. See Genesis 7:24, As each day stands for a year, we have twelve hundred and sixty years for the continuation of the supremacy of this horn. Did the Papacy possess dominion that length of time? The answer again is, Yes.
The edict of the emperor Justinian, dated A.D.533, made the bishop of Rome the head of all the churches. But this edict could not go into effect until the Arian Ostrogoths, the last of the three horns that were plucked up to make room for the Papacy, were driven from Rome; and this was not accomplished, as already shown, till A.D.538. The edict would have been of no effect had this latter event not been accomplished; hence from this latter year we are to reckon, as this was the earliest point where the saints were in reality in the hand of this power. From this point did the Papacy hold supremacy for twelve hundred and sixty years? Exactly.
For 538 + 1260 = 1798; and in the year A.D.1798, Berthier, with a French army, entered Rome, proclaimed a republic, took the Pope prisoner, and for a time abolished the Papacy. It has never since enjoyed the privileges and immunities which it possessed before. Thus again this power fulfils to the very letter the specifications of the prophecy, which proves beyond question that the application is correct.
After describing the terrible career of the little horn, and stating that the saints should be given into his hand for 1260 years, bringing us down to 1798, verse 26 declares:
"But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end."
In verse 10 of the same chapter we have substantially the same expression relative to the judgment: "The judgment was set." It would seem consistent to suppose that the same judgment is referred to in both instances. But the sublime scene described in verse 10 is the opening of the investigative Judgment in the sanctuary in heaven. The opening of this judgment scene is located by the prophecy at the close of the great prophetic period of 2300 years, which terminated in 1844. (See chapter 8:14; 9:25-27.)
Four years after this, in 1848, the great revolution which shook so many thrones in Europe, drove the Pope also from his dominions. His restoration shortly after was through the force of foreign bayonets, by which alone he was upheld till his final loss of temporal power in 1870. The overthrow of the Papacy in 1798 marked the conclusion of the prophetic period of 1260 years, and constituted the "deadly wound" prophesied in Rev.13:3, to come upon this power; but this deadly wound was to be "healed."
In 1800 another Pope was elected; his palace and temporal dominion were restored, and every prerogative except, as Mr. Croly says, that of a systematic persecutor, was again under his control; and thus the wound was healed. But since 1870, he has enjoyed no prestige as a temporal prince, among the nations of the earth.
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. Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Dani'El, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.
After beholding the dark and desolate picture of papal oppression upon the church, the prophet is permitted once more to turn his eyes upon the glorious period of the saints' rest, when they shall have the kingdom, free from all oppressive powers, in everlasting possession. How could the children of Elohim keep heart in this present evil world, amid the misrule and oppression of the governments of earth, and the abominations that are done in the land, if they could not look forward to the kingdom of Elohim and the return of their Master, with full assurance that the promises concerning them both shall certainly be fulfilled, and that speedily?