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Understanding the Order of the Powers and Beasts in Daniel Chapters 2 and 7 and Revelation Chapter 13

Posted by adventbiblestudy on April 12, 2014


Understanding the Order of the Powers and Beasts in Daniel Chapters 2 and 7 and Revelation Chapter 13

 

There has been a lot of speculation about the powers and beasts in Daniel and Revelation. There have been far more guesses at their interpretation and what they represent then anyone cares to count. Once we understand the scriptural order of the beasts we clearly see how those thousands of interpretations are part of the deception the beasts deliver. The first thing a serious student of the Bible should notice is the origination of the visions found in the introduction of each chapter.

Daniel 2:1-2 NLTse One night during the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had such disturbing dreams that he couldn’t sleep. (2) He called in his magicians,enchanterssorcerers, and astrologers, and he demanded that they tell him what he had dreamed. As they stood before the king,

Daniel 7:1-3 NLTse Earlier, during the first year of King Belshazzar’s reign in Babylon, Daniel had a dream and saw visions as he lay in his bed. He wrote down thedream, and this is what he saw. (2) In my vision that night, I, Daniel, saw a great storm churning the surface of a great sea, with strong winds blowing from every direction. (3) Then four huge beasts came up out of the water, each different from the others.

Revelation 13:1-2 NLTse (1) Then I saw a beast rising up out of the sea. It had seven heads and ten horns, with ten crowns on its horns. And written on each head were names that blasphemed God. (2) This beast looked like a leopard, but it had the feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion! And the dragon gave the beast his own power and throne and great authority.

The first detail to note is each of these chapters deals with future prophecy. Bible students should be aware of two details. The first is, GOD’s WORD CONTAINS THE INTERPRETATION TO EVERY PROPHECY AND SYMBOL. The Infinite God we serve never needed any man to supply any interpretation. We see that lesson taught in Daniel 2. The second detail is, interpreting prophecies requires specific steps. The steps for each prophecy can be a little different, but the results are all the same – the proper interpretation will be from God’s Word, only God’s Word and will be supplied in God’s timing. The prophecy will share related lessons with the chapter providing the proper interpretation. When the two chapters containing the prophecy and its fulfillment are combined they will teach lessons beyond our imagination and all human capabilities. All the glory must be given to God.

Other important details you should notice in those three chapters is they all originate on earth. If you don’t understand this detail, there is no way you are going to understand any of the other related features those chapters share. Daniel 2 and 7 are night visions. Daniel chapter 2 gives a list of the worldly people the king went to for advice, magiciansenchanterssorcerers, and astrologers which is replaced by the spiritual symbol sea in Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 a chapter that begins with the word, “then.” This will send the serious Bible student back to the previous chapter which explains a portion of what the sea represents. Then the dragon took his stand on the shore beside the sea. (Revelation 12:18 NLTse). We also see in Revelation 13, the dragon gave the beast his own power and throne and great authority.

The first dream or night vision consists of materials used as symbols.

Daniel 2:32-33 NLTse The head of the statue was made of fine gold. Its chest and arms were silver, its belly and thighs were bronze, (33) its legs were iron, and its feet were a combination of iron and baked clay.

The statue is in the image of a man with no breaks or missing parts. The statue represents a time line of the world with no breaks, interruptions, missing parts, and when you pay attention, no added parts. The value of the metals begins at the top and goes down to the ground.

Daniel 2:35 NLTse The whole statue was crushed into small pieces of iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold. Then the wind blew them away without a trace, like chaff on a threshing floor. But the rock that knocked the statue down became a great mountain that covered the whole earth.

In the end the entire statue is crushed by a single rock and covered by a mountain. Not only are the pieces of the statue blown away without a trace, they were covered by a great mountain that covered the whole earth. Every piece of the statue is gone.

In Daniel 2, Daniel explains the materials represent four kingdoms. In Daniel 7, Daniel asks an angel what the four beasts represent. “These four huge beasts represent four kingdoms that will arise from the earth. (Daniel 7:17 NLTse). The materials and beasts represent the same kingdoms and time frames.

Daniel 7:4 NLTse The first beast was like a lion with eagles’ wings. As I watched, its wings were pulled off, and it was left standing with its two hind feet on the ground, like a human being. And it was given a human mind.

Daniel 7:5 NLTse Then I saw a second beast, and it looked like a bear. It was rearing up on one side, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And I heard a voice saying to it, “Get up! Devour the flesh of many people!”

Since the metals in the statue are connected, we have to look for the connections between the beasts. The lion stood and two feet and so did the bear. The bear also has three ribs sticking out of its mouth. The three ribs in the bear’s mouth are remnants of the lion the kingdom devoured. Babylon was made up of the major kingdoms it conquered. The major kingdoms mentioned in the Bible are Judah and Egypt. Those three countries became part of the bear.

Daniel 7:6 NLTse Then the third of these strange beasts appeared, and it looked like a leopard. It had four bird’s wings on its back, and it had four heads. Great authority was given to this beast.

The lion lost its wings which appear on the leopard. There are properties each of those countries derived from the kingdom they conquered. The leopard adds another worldly feature. A leopard is made to hide in plain sight. A leopard uses a form of deception to catch its prey.

Daniel 7:7 NLTse Then in my vision that night, I saw a fourth beast–terrifying, dreadful, and very strong. It devoured and crushed its victims with huge iron teeth and trampled their remains beneath its feet. It was different from any of the other beasts, and it had ten horns.

When the forth beast is introduced, Daniel points out its teeth, which is a symbol shared by the second beast, the bear. Feet are a symbol shared by the first beast, the lion. But what does the forth beast share with the third beast, the leopard? We have to go all the way to verse 19 to find the answer.

Daniel 7:19 NLTse Then I wanted to know the true meaning of the fourth beast, the one so different from the others and so terrifying. It had devoured and crushed its victims with iron teeth and bronze claws, trampling their remains beneath its feet.

Daniel clearly identified symbols of teeth and feet and added a clue to the missing aspects the forth beast has from the third it consumed by adding the related word claws. This teaches how important it is to learn the process of Bible Study. Unless a person is guided by God, the interpretation can never be accurate. Daniel made this point when he gave all the glory to God in chapter 2 and repeated the lesson in chapter 7. One of the most important steps in Bible Study is to look back to compare details.

Looking back from Daniel 7 to chapter 2, we notice an important detail about the bronze claws. That is the same material as the third kingdom. Looking back we also see how the description of the statue is in a continuous order from one material to the next with no break in between. This pattern is continued with the first, second, and third beasts. Each is described in a sequence of unbroken verses. The forth beast is different. By divine intervention Daniel separated the description of the forth beast. One of the main features of the forth beast is how it reversed the order of the metals. Iron teeth are above bronze claws on the ground.

Three of the beasts are clearly identified in Daniel. In chapter 2, Daniel identified Babylon as the head of gold, the first kingdom. In chapter 8, the angel sent to Daniel identified the second and third kingdoms. The forth kingdom is also identified in Daniel, but I’m not going to tell you where it is. That would defeat the purpose of this study as well as fall into the deception of the forth beast. The forth beast is identified by comparing scripture in Daniel to its fulfillment in the New testament.

The forth beast uses the powers of deception found in the third beast. To recognize those deceptions, you have to learn proper Bible Study techniques. Like Daniel, you need to learn to go the source of infinite wisdom to find the answers. We’ve seen how each of those chapters begins on earth which shows how most of the interpretations will come form the world. Where did Daniel’s answers come from? Remember the dragon made his stand on the shores of the sea, on the earth where the most useless metal iron and clay rests. To understand this you have to know who the dragon represents.

Revelation 12:7-9 NLTse (7) Then there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels. (8) And the dragon lost the battle, and he and his angels were forced out of heaven. (9) This great dragon–the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world–was thrown down to the earth with all his angels.

Of course the dragon represents Satan. To understand Satan’s role in history we need to look at Revelation 13 which will also explain the mysterious parts of the third beast integrated into the forth beast once you learn how to look.

Revelation 13:4 NLTse They worshiped the dragon for giving the beast such power, and they also worshiped the beast. “Who is as great as the beast?” they exclaimed. “Who is able to fight against him?”

Here the first beast mentioned in Revelation 13 received its power directly from the dragon that represents Satan. We begin to see an order, Satan then the beast which is made up of a leopard, bear, and lion. Notice how the order is once again reversed. To understand this you’ll have to have a basic understanding of God’s time line. We look at time in this world in two dimensions using a straight line to represent history. In a sense, Satan is trying to reverse time. He has good reason to because he is running out of time. But that’s not the answer which goes much deeper than a linear figure. God uses the time line we understand but goes a lot further when He uses it to explain prophecies. Each prophecy can represent more than a single point on a time time. The lessons taught transpire from one point in past history to many points in the future. Each prophetic point on the time line is crossed with a series of time lines like an X marking the spot. In Biblical terms, those intersecting lines are chapters explaining the fulfillment of the prophecy. Each fulfillment uses previous events leading up to the fulfillment of the prophecy as well as events following the fulfillment intended to teach lessons. Each of those lessons will be spiritually connected to the prophecy. We find those lessons by studying key words in the prophecy. Key words can be the same words that are repeated as well as similar and related words. Some times God also teaches with contrasting words and events. We are not going to attempt to study a time line here. That would require a collection of key words which would lead to chapters explaining what each symbol represents and how each prophecy has been fulfilled. In stead we are only looking at the simple Bible Study rules to equip you with skills to determine if an interpretation is from Heaven or earth. Revelation describes another important rule as well as defines the attribute the forth beast received from the third.

Revelation 13:11 NLTse Then I saw another beast come up out of the earth. He had two horns like those of a lamb, but he spoke with the voice of a dragon.

Revelation 13:14-15 NLTse (14) And with all the miracles he was allowed to perform on behalf of the first beast, he deceived all the people who belong to this world. He ordered the people to make a great statue of the first beast, who was fatally wounded and then came back to life. (15) He was then permitted to give life to this statue so that it could speak. Then the statue of the beast commanded that anyone refusing to worship it must die.

Remember the key points we’ve learned so far. Revelation 13 begins on earth. The first beast is made up of the first three beasts in Daniel 7. This amalgamated beast is under Satan’s control The order of the beasts is reversed in Revelation 13.

As we follow through Revelation 13, we see the main attribute of the leopard begin to take shape in the forth beast in Daniel 7. Daniel 2 and 7 showed us order. The order in Revelation 13 is Satan or the dragon, the beast made up of parts of a leopard, bear, and lion to a beast with horns like a lamb. Finally a statue is introduced. Satan is now four layers down using the physical qualities of a leopard to conceal himself. Satan has people exactly where he wants them, running around trying to figure out all the details of the symbols in those chapters using worldly means and understanding. Satan wants them to miss one of the main points, Daniel received his information from Heaven.

In its simplicity this Bible Study illustrates one major point, the answer to every detail must come from Heaven. This study also teaches you how to tell if an interpretation comes from Heaven or earth. Don’t forget Satan made his stand on earth. He is more than willing to provide his own interpretation for every detail. It’s Satan’s plan to hide under deceptions and conceal himself so no suspects where the information is coming from. The only safe course is to understand the fact, every proper interpretation will be provided by a parallel or connecting chapter teaching the same spiritual lesson which adds details to the prophecy as well as understanding. Anything — everything short of this is a lie generated by the master of lies. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8 NLTse). The male lion expects the lioness to do all the hunting, protect the kill, raise the young, and all the other tasks to make the community thrive. This is why Satan is compared to a lion who works behind the scenes.

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