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He 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 7:25–26, NKJV)


We 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.

From 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.

The 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.

The 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.


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. (Daniel 7:14).


The “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.


But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever. (Daniel 7:18).


 In this verse we encounter the Entity called the Most High, who is differentiated from the Ancient of Days in verse 22. Who is this third Person? The people identified as the saints are associated with this Person. The Most High appears first in Scripture in Genesis 14:18–20 where Abraham meets Melchizedek, who is called the priest of God Most High. In verse 22 Abraham goes on to say that he had raised his hand to the LORD God Most High that he would not take anything from the hand of the king of Sodom. The word LORD associated with God Most High is the word the English language pronounces Jehovah, the unspeakable name of God, the self-existent one. The reader will recall that Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” (John 8:58) From this we gather that the Most High is another prophetic representation of Christ, not as Messiah or the Second Person of the Godhead, but as the consummate Representative of the Godhead.

The 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.

The 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.


I 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 7:21–22).


Here 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.

So, 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.