‘In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying on his bed. He wrote down the substance of his dream. Daniel said: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea. Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea.’ (Daniel 7:1-3)
In his dream Daniel saw four great beasts which represented four major empires that would one day rule the world. These empires include: the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, and the Romans.
“After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast—terrifying and frightening and very powerful…
…It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns. While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a human being and a mouth that spoke boastfully.” (Daniel 7:7-8)
Daniel’s fourth beast was the Roman Empire which existed from 44 BC to 476 AD. What is most amazing about Daniel’s vision is that the Roman Empire still has a part to play in the plan of God. Notice that Daniel saw this beast develop ten horns. Verse 24 says, “The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom.” As we continue to study Daniel’s vision, we learn even more about the future. From these ten horns will come one horn that will become very powerful and speak arrogantly against God. What is this final horn, or perhaps we should say, ‘who’ is this final horn? Many believe that it is an individual often referred to as the ‘Antichrist.’
Perhaps you are thinking, “How will knowing this help me live today?’ Consider this – in the first six chapters of Daniel we see how the people of God can be brought safely through terrible times. Daniel and his three friends were committed to serving God and would not compromise in their principles. Though kings and kingdoms rise and fall, these men of God remained.
Now apply these principles to the prophetic side of Daniel. God has not promised us that we will never see terrible times, but He has promised us that He will be there to help see us through our terrible times. Notice how the seventh chapter of Daniel ends –
“Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey Him.” (Daniel 7:27)
Whether it’s globally, nationally, locally, or even privately, God is always in control. Scripture says that He has already declared the end from the beginning; therefore, nothing will take Him by surprise. (see Isaiah 46:10) Therefore, do not let fiery furnaces, lions’ dens, or even evil kings cause you to fear. Stay focused on the plan of God and you will be a part of His everlasting kingdom.