FOUR BEASTS, PART 9
shall speak pompous words
against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall
intend to change times and law. Then the
saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time.
But the court shall be seated, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume
and destroy it forever. (Daniel
learned in the previous chapter that the little horn of Daniel chapter seven is
Herod the Great. The reign of Herod the Great coincided with the coming of
Messiah into the world and their lives overlapped by just a few months. But this
short overlap was sufficient to pinpoint the time in then future history when
the long promised Messiah would appear.
the study of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and this prophecy of the four beasts we
find that the coming of Messiah and the kingdom of God defeat the powers of
political kingdoms. We see that the Babylonian, Persian, and Greek kingdoms were
defeated in military combat. We know from history that the Roman Empire was
defeated in military combat by the barbarian kingdoms, but that did not happen
until 476 a.d., long after the time sequence of Daniel’s prophecies. The
prophesied defeat of the Roman Empire was accomplished in the heart of people
long before its political demise. The gospel of salvation from sin through the
atonement in Christ set people free from the domination of political powers.
They may have been subjects of the Roman Empire or some other political power
but they were free in the spirit to serve God and to do the work of the kingdom
of God. However, the initial battle in the advance of Messiah’s kingdom of God
was waged against Herod the Great before it advanced on the Roman Empire.
presentation of Daniel’s prophecy in chapter seven is somewhat confusing as it
is given three different times with different points emphasized each time. The
first iteration is verses 7–14, which ends with the Son of Man receiving
dominion and a kingdom from the Ancient of Days. The second iteration is verses
15–22, which ends with the Ancient of Days passing judgment on the little horn
and the saints of the Most High possessing the kingdom. The third and final
iteration is verses 23-27, which also ends with the judgment of the little horn
and the saints of the Most High receiving the kingdom. This iteration gives more
details concerning the judgment of the little horn.
kingdom is a constant part of this prophecy, so I ask, “Whose kingdom is this
anyway?” In Nebuchadnezzar’s dream it is said that “the God of heaven will
set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed.” (Daniel 2:44) It is rather
obvious from this statement that the kingdom has to be the kingdom of God. The
three iterations of the prophecy of the four beats each contain statements that
clarify the ownership of this kingdom.
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. (Daniel 7:14).
“Him” mentioned here is the Son of Man mentioned in the preceding verse.
This kingdom was given to Him by the Ancient of Days. You will recall that the
Ancient of Days and the Son of Man both are Christ. The Ancient of Days is
Christ in His position as the Second Person of the Godhead and the Son of Man is
Christ in His role as Messiah and Savior. In our study of Nebuchadnezzar’s
dream we learned that Christ is the king of the kingdom of God. The right of
kingship is His by virtue of His divinity and the incarnation through which He
made atonement for the sins of the world.
the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom
forever, even forever and ever. (Daniel 7:18).
expression “saints of the Most High” appears only in Daniel chapter seven.
Some prophecy teachers look ahead to the New Testament where the word
“saints” refers to saved people in the church and they conclude that this
prophecy must reach out to some time in the coming church age. Following the
first principle of Daniel’s prophecy, we must recognize the saints of the Most
High as Israel, and particularly the Jews, to whom the kingdom of God was to
come. The saints here are not the New Testament Church.
word “saints” is the Hebrew word kad-deesh,
meaning holy ones. In the Old Testament, the descendants of Abraham, Israel, are
the holy ones, the saints. The prophet Hosea directs a prophecy to Israel in
which he names most of the twelve tribes of Israel saying, “My people are bent
on backsliding from Me. Though they call to the Most High, none at all exalt
Him.” (Hosea 11:7) In verse seven, God calls Israel “My people”, even
though they are backslidden, and He acknowledges that they call on Him, the Most
High. While they do not sound very holy here God says in verse nine, “I am
God, and not man, the Holy One in your midst.” It was not their personal
holiness that made them saints; it was the presence of God.
was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and
prevailing against them, until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made
in favor of the saints of the
Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom. (Daniel
is the next mention of the kingdom in the prophecy of the four beasts. Notice
that the little horn, Herod the Great, was making war against the saints. This
war will be discussed in the next chapter. Divine intervention pronounces
judgment on Herod, which ushers in the time for the saints of the Most High to
possess the kingdom. Finally, in verses 26 and 27 we read again that judgment
came on Herod and the kingdom was given to the saints of the Most High.
whose kingdom is it? Christ is represented under three different names in this
prophecy. We previously learned that Christ is the king of the kingdom of God.
It is His kingdom. Christ came into the world through the lineage of Israel as
Messiah; He took passion of the kingdom at His birth; and He first offered it to
the Jews as is plainly seen in the four gospels of the New Testament. The New
Testament records the fact that the kingdom was eventually offered to the
Gentiles and that all people are offered entrance to the kingdom of God through
the blood of Jesus Christ.