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DANIEL 7

With Brief Explanatory Notes

ANTI-CHRIST - WHO IS HE?

The prophecy of Daniel 7 Places the identity of the Anti-Christ in the setting of History!

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Daniel 7

In the first year of Bĕl-shăz'-zar king of Băb'-ў-loň Dăn'-iĕl had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.

2 Dăn'-iĕl spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.

3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another

NOTE: - A beast in prophecy symbolizes a king or kingdom. Daniel 7:17: - "These great beasts ... are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth." Daniel 7:23:- "The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom." The words, "king" and "kingdom" are used interchangeably. Each of the powers and events pictured in this prophecy follow in succession. Observe the language: "The first" (7:4); "And behold another' (ver. 5); "And after this" (ver. 6); "After this" (ver. 7); "I beheld till" (ver. 9); and "I beheld then" (ver. 11).

4 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.

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NOTE: - A lion with eagles wings was a familiar sight to Daniel. As an official of the king of Babylon, he saw this symbol constantly. Carved in stone on the buildings of the city, pictured in mosaics on the pavement on which he walked, a lion with eagle’s wings was the national emblem of the kingdom. Jeremiah uses these words to describe Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon's famous king - "Behold, he shall come up like a lion... Behold he shall come up and fly as an eagle... Concerning the kingdoms which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon shall smite." (Jeremiah 49:19, 22, 28)

5 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.

NOTE: - The kingdom which followed Babylon was Medo-Persia. This began as a dual monarchy. The Medes ruled first followed by the Persians. The prophecy indicates this aspect by noting that the "bear" raised itself up on one side. The "three ribs" represent the powers overthrown in its rise to world dominion; namely, Lydia, Babylon and Egypt.

6 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.

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NOTE: - The Grecian kingdom under Alexander the Great overthrew the Persian Empire. The swiftness of his conquest of the Persian realm is indicated by the "four wings." When he died his kingdom was divided into four parts as symbolized by the "four heads."

7 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.

NOTE: - The fourth universal power to rule the world from Daniel's day was Rome. It was so different from any beast that Daniel knew, he was unable to name it. It is non-descript. The ten horns are noted in Daniel 7:24 as "ten kings that shall arise." It is a fact that the

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Roman Empire was split into ten smaller kingdoms between the years 351 and 476 A.D. The following are their ancient and modern names:

1. Alemanni - Germany; 2. Franks - France; 3. Anglo-Saxons - England; 4. Burgundians ‑ Switzerland; 5. Visigoths - Spain; 6. Suevi - Portugal; 7. Lombards - Italy; 8. Heruli; 9. Vandals; 10. Ostrogoths.

8. 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.

NOTE:- In this verse there are two identifying marks to locate "the little horn" in history. It came up "among" the ten horns, and "three" of the original ten were overthrown in its rise to power. In Daniel 7:24 another identifying mark is given. The "little horn" would come up "after" the ten horns. There is only ONE power in history that answers to this description. At Rome itself, at the very center of the fractured Empire, there arose after 476 A.D., the Papacy - the one man government of the Catholic Church. In its rise to power, three of the Gothic tribes - the Heruli, the Vandals and the Ostrogoths - were uprooted and disappeared from history. The reigning power of these kings passed to the pope, and thus figuratively, the crowns, the symbols of power, were placed on the head of the Pope. This gives the significance of the triple crown worn by the pontiffs. See II Samuel 12:30. The power of the

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Papacy was established by the decree of Justinian in 533 A.D. and was carried out by force of arms in 538 A.D. in the overthrow of the Ostrogoths by Justinian's general, Belesarius. He came up "after" them.

9 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.

10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

NOTE: - The expression - "were cast down" - can be translated, as in the ARV - "were placed." Verse 9 would then read - "I beheld till thrones were placed." This is the scene of judgment, one purpose of which is to take away the "dominion" of "the little horn." See Daniel 7:26.

11 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.

NOTE: - In the time continuity of the prophecy, the events of this verse - "great words" - spoken by "the little horn" would follow the convening of the judgment. In the explanation given to Daniel in verse 25, the "little horn" was to have power for a specified period of time. (See "Note" on verse 25) This would bring the sequence of this prophecy to 1798 A.D. In another vision given to Daniel the "judgment" or "cleansing of the sanctuary" would begin following 2300 prophetic days, or in 1844. (See Daniel 8:14) We can, therefore, look for the "great words" following that date. What words were spoken following that date?

1) In 1854, the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception was proclaimed in which it was declared that Mary was preserved free from every taint of original sin. This separated Jesus from the rest of humanity, thus denying that He came in the likeness of sinful flesh. (See Romans 1:1-3; 8:3-4; I John 4:3)

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2) In 1870, the Dogma of Papal Infallibility was proclaimed. This means the Pope, a man, when speaking ex cathedra in faith or morals can not error.

3) In 1950, the Dogma of the Bodily Assumption of Mary into Heaven was proclaimed. This proclamation of Mary as co-mediatrix with Christ, has given validity to the apparitions of what has been assumed to be appearances of Mary as at Fatima and other places. It also gives credence to the teachings of the sainted doctor of the Roman Church, Alphonsus Maria de Ligouri, who wrote - "All graces are dispensed by Mary, and that all who are saved are saved only by the means of this Divine Mother. It is a necessary consequence that the salvation of all depends preaching Mary, and exciting all to confidence in her intercession." (The Glories of Mary, p. 8)

13 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.

14 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.

NOTE: - This coming of the Son of man to the Ancient of Days is to receive a kingdom. After the Judgment it completed, then He will return to earth to carry out the decisions of the Supreme Court of the Universe, and "to give to every man according as his work shall be.” (Revelation 22:12)

15 I Dăn'-iĕl was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.

16 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.

17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.

18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even for ever and ever.

NOTE: - At verse 15, the explanation of this vision begins. First a brief summary is given. This does not satisfy Daniel.

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19 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;

20 And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom all three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake of great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.

21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;

22 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.

NOTE: - Daniel's chief concern and interest centers in the fourth beast and "the little horn."

23 Thus he said. The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon the earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.

24 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.

25 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.

NOTE: - In verse 25, a detailed account of what the Anti-Christ will do, and the period of time in which he will do it is given. We will begin with the time frame first, and consider carefully each clause of this verse.

"They shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of times." A time is a Jewish year of 360 days, thus the total amount of time equals 1260 prophetic days. (360 + 720 + 180) This is the same period of time given in Revelation 12:6, 14. Using the Bible dictum that one day in prophecy equals a literal year of time (Eze. 4:6), we have 1260 years. In 538 A.D. by the decree of Justinian, the Pope was established in the seat of the Caesars in Rome and soon became the supreme authority in the Western Roman Empire. Exactly 1260 years later on orders of Napoleon, the armies of France overthrew

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the Papacy, and declared its government to be ended. The Pope was taken prisoner and died in exile in France.

"He shall speak words against the most High." The Aramaic text does not contain the word, "great," the word being reserved for the "voice of ... the horn" following the convening of the judgment. However, during this period of 1260 prophetic days, the Papacy did speak "against the most High." The book of Revelation, speaks of the same period of time as in Daniel ("forty and two months" - 42 x 30 = 1260). The words to be spoken were declared "blasphemies, (13:5) In the Bible, one form of "blasphemy" is for man to assume the power to forgive sins. (Luke 5:21)

In the Confessional, the Roman Church assumed this right for her priests. Dr. Alphonsus de Liguori wrote:

"The priest holds the place of the Saviour himself when by saying the words 'Ego te absolve he absolves from sin. This great power, which Jesus Christ has received from his eternal Father communicated to his priests.... To pardon a single requires all the omnipotence of God.... but what only God can do by his omnipotence, the priest can by saying, ' Ego te absolvo a peccatis tuis.”’ Dignities and Duties of the Priest, pp. 34-35)

Another blasphemous position is exhibited in the sacrifice of the mass. On this point the same sainted doctor, de Liguori, after quoting St. Bernadine of Sienna as saying - "Holy Virgin, excuse me, for I speak not against thee: the Lord hath raised the priesthood above thee" - comments:

"The saint assigns the reason for the superiority of the priesthood over Mary: she conceived Jesus Christ only once; but by consecrating the Eucharist, the priest, a it were, conceives him as often as he wishes, so that if the person of the Redeemer had not yet been in the world, the priest, by pronouncing the words of consecration, would produce this great person of the Man-God....

"Thus the priest may, in a certain manner, be called the creator of his Creator, since by saying the words of consecration, he creates, as it were, Jesus in the sacrament, by giving him a sacramental existence and produces him as a victim to be offered to the eternal Father.... And St. Augustine has written, 'O

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venerable sanctity of the hands! 0 happy function of the priest! He that created me (if I may so) gave me the power to create him; and he that created me without me is himself created by me!."' (Ibid., pp. 32-33)

He ... shall wear out the saints of the most High."

"The church has persecuted. Only a tyro in church history will deny that.... Protestants were persecuted in France and Spain with the full approval of the church authorities. We have always defended the persecution of the Huguenots, and the Spanish Inquisition." (Western Watchman, official organ of Father Phelan, St Louis, MO., Dec. 24, 1908)

"That the Church of Rome has shed more innocent blood than any other institution that has existed among mankind, will be questioned by no Protestant who has a competent knowledge of history. The memorials, indeed, of many of her persecutions are now so scanty, that it is impossible to form a complete conception of the multitude of her victims, and it is quite certain that no power of the imagination can adequately realize their sufferings." (History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of Rationalism, Vol. II, p. 32)**

"He shall ... think to change times and laws." The ARV translates this clause - "he shall think to change the times and the law." One has only to consult a Catholic Catechism to note how the Ten Commandments have been altered, The second commandment has been deleted, and the tenth has been divided into two to make up the Ten. The one commandment which deals with time has been boastfully changed. Observe carefully:

"0. Have you any way of proving that the Church has power to institute festivals of precept?

"A. Has she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her; she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday the first day of the week, for the observance of the Saturday the seventh day, a day for which there is no Scriptural authority (A Doctrinal Catechism by Rev. Stephen Keenan, p. 174)

Thus in every detail found in the prophecy of Daniel, "the little horn" stands identified as the Papacy of the Roman Church. The pope is the "man of sin," "the mystery of iniquity" which has set himself up as God in

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"the temple of God." (II Thessalonians 2:3-9)

26 But the judgement shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.

27 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.

28 Hitherto is the end of the matter. Dan'-iel, my cognitions much trouble me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.

NOTE: - The decision of the judgment will be rendered in behalf of the saints of the most High, and finally to them will be given by the Son of Man, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, the dominion and the greatness of the Kingdom of God. May we be numbered among the citizens of that Kingdom!

For further study and documentation of the history and facts connected with Daniel 7, inquire about the book, Facts of Faith; and if interested in an in-depth study of the Bible in fourteen major areas, ask about the Bible Study Guide, by calling 641-749-2684, sending an e-mail to alfia@myomnitel.com, or writing to:

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P.O. Box 665

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