of Heaven was instituted on earth when He was crucified. He was
crowned by Pilate on earth, and, as this document will show, He
received His Kingdom from God the Father when He ascended to heaven.
His Kingdom will not be one united Kingdom until Jesus
returns. See Daniel Chapter Two for the
prophecy of His Kingdom and its character.
Up to now we have
not been good husbandmen (See Luke 20:9-16). That needs to change!
For Him to return we must actively seek His return and reflect
His character of compassion towards sinners, the poor, and the
oppressed of His world.
unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts." (Malachi
four beasts of Daniel Seven are interpreted as political
entities. However, God normally communicates to His people in spiritual
terms - unless He indicates otherwise. The Bible is the spiritual
history of man's search for God. It shouldn't be seen as a political
history of man's own achievements.
Seven of Daniel opens with the Holy Spirit (symbolized by wind)
moving upon the sea of humanity, a spiritual interpretation
is indicated for Daniel's vision.
dream of the great image of Chapter Two was the
dream of a civil authority - a king of an earthly kingdom.
Consequently, many political interpretions of Chapter Seven
have have also been put forward, though no political theme is indicated.
interpretations usually relate Daniel's Lion representing Babylon,
the Bear as Medo-Persia, the Leopard as Greece, and the terrible
Beast with 10 horns as the Roman Empire.
beasts of Daniel in this way is unsatisfactory in practice, however,
since the attributes of each beast do not neatly fit with the
provided interpretation of each attribute. For example:
Babylon, the Lion:
In Daniel's interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar's dream of Daniel
Chapter Four, the king is described by Daniel as having been given a
beast's heart, implying that he was mad for a time. This story is
then applied to the Lion of Chapter Seven, because that Beast is
given a man's heart in the vision. But Daniel did not write in
Chapter Four that Nebuchadnezzar was afterwards given a man's heart -
nor did he write that the king was given a Lion's heart in the first place.
the Bear: Interpretations claiming the Bear to be Medo-Persia
usually point out that bears, as part of the animal world, are more
ruthless than lions, meaning that Medo-Persia was more ruthless than
Babylon. Yet God actually thought of Medo-Persia's King Cyrus
the Great as a righteous man (See Isaiah 44:28, for example), and
Cyrus' support of religious liberty throughout his dominion is well
known. Bears are also usually shy, unless provoked or protecting
Greece, the Leopard:
The Leopard's four heads are said to represent the four generals
among whom Alexander the Great's empire was divided after his death.
History tells us, however, that Alexander's empire was actually
divided among six generals, only two of which were strong enough to
maintain power for any length of time.
Rome, The Beast
with Ten Horns: This Beast of Daniel's that has been interpreted
as representing Rome only resembles the First Beast of
Revelation in that both have ten horns, otherwise the two are
completely different. Thus the common view of these Beasts both
representing Rome makes no sense, unless one is to question the
accuracy of prophetic visions.
In light of these
contradictions and discrepancies, it seems much more sensible to
search the Bible itself for assistance in the interpretation of
Daniel Chapter Seven, rather than the history books. Also, because
this was Daniel's vision and not Nebuchadnezzar's, it seems prudent
to consider that all of the visions given Daniel were spiritual
in nature rather than political.
visions were sealed until the end time, one of the first logical
things to do is to re-adjust our perception of God, perhaps from a
regional God of the Middle East to a modern Global God. Isaiah 40,
verses 22-23, provide a good framework from which to begin. For
example, who is God?
is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants
thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a
curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: That bringeth
the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity."
As a Global God,
He tells us:
saith the LORD of hosts; If it be marvellous in the eyes of the
remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvellous in
mine eyes? saith the LORD of hosts. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold,
I will save my people from the east country, and from the west
country; And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem:
and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and
in righteousness." (Zechariah
When we look for
knowledge in God's Word to assist in our spiritual interpretation of
Daniel Chapter Seven, we find in Hosea Chapter Thirteen that all four
beasts that Daniel observed also appear in a verse where God relates
His strategy for reclaiming lost sheep:
I will be unto them as a lion:
as a leopard
by the way will I observe them: I will meet them as a bear
that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rend the caul of their
heart, and there will I devour them like a lion: the wild
beast shall tear them." (Hosea
Reading this verse
context, we can speculate that God has set spiritual snares
for His scattered people, thus insuring that the compassion and good
works necessary for our own well-being would become a world-wide
phenomenon by time of the end.
Studying Daniel in
prayer, with the spiritual nature of God's love for us in mind,
allows for a truly global view of the Plan of Salvation as it unfolds
in our own time.
For the sake of
clarity, the following verses from the prophecies of Daniel Chapter
Seven are taken from the Young's Literal Translation of the Bible:
Daniel Chapter Seven:
the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel hath seen a
dream, and the visions of his head on his bed, then the dream he hath
written, the chief of the things he hath said. Answered hath Daniel
and said, I was seeing in my vision by night, and lo, the four
winds of the heavens are coming forth to the great sea; and
four great beasts are coming up from the sea, diverse one from another."
(Dan 7:1-2 YLT)
four winds of the heavens are coming forth to the great sea:
The metaphorical action of the Holy Spirit (wind)
on humanity (the sea).
As a result of this action of the Holy Spirit, four different spiritual
beasts arise from the continuous prayers of oppressed humanity that
come before God's throne:
I will be unto them as a lion...
first is like a lion, and it hath an eagle's wings. I
was seeing till that its wings have been plucked, and it hath been
lifted up from the earth, and on feet as a man it hath been caused to
stand, and a heart of man is given to it." (Dan
hath an eagle's wings: The Lion-like beast represents Judeo-Christianity.
When Daniel first
sees this beast, he sees the religion of Judaism as a Lion with
Eagle's wings, the wings representing Jehovah:
have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on
eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself." (Exodus
Next in Daniel's
vision, the wings representing the Spirit of the Lion are plucked,
and the Lion is given the heart of a Man, indicating the first
coming of Jesus in the form of a Man, the Lion of the tribe of Judah,
giving up His Spiritual Form to save His people.
of Judaism to the Jesus Christ of Christianity is also related in
Daniel's vision of Chapter Ten. First Daniel sees God as Jehovah:
I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed
in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: His body
also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning,
and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in
colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice
of a multitude..." (Daniel
Then Daniel sees
God as the Messiah, the Strength of mankind today:
there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man,
and he strengthened me, And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace
be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto
me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast
strengthened me." (Daniel
will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps..."
lo, another beast, a second, like to a bear, and to the
same authority it hath been raised, and three ribs are in its mouth,
between its teeth, and thus they are saying to it, Rise, consume
much flesh." (Dan
to a bear: This Bear-like beast represents the religion
which grew from God's
covenant with Ishmael, the
first born son of Abraham: Islam.
the same authority it hath been raised:
Islam was 'raised to the same authority',
or to the same side, as the Lion or Judaism: the first five books of
Moses in the Bible. The Holy scripture of Islam, the
Qur'an, is based on the Bible, and wouldn't make
sense without the Bible and the Gospels. The
Qur'an repeatedly confirms both the Torah and the Gospels as the
Word of God.
ribs are in its mouth: The three ribs between the Bear's
teeth indicate that Ishmael's seed would eventually be given the
power to overcome all of the other three beasts that Daniel is
seeing in this vision.
consume much flesh: The bear is
commanded, in fact, to "rise, consume much flesh". Bears
are normally passive animals and shy of men, unless they have
cubs which are being threatened. To protect its cubs, the bear can
transform itself into the most ferocious and powerful of beasts.
In the 6th century
AD most of Christianity was ruled by Rome. Its commission to spread
the Gospel was being ignored. Devoted Christians were stored away in
monasteries and convents, and the spread of Catholicism had largely
become a function of the state.
outside of the Roman Church had degenerated into debating societies,
arguing complex doctrinal points rather than continuing Christ's
ministry on earth. To be a Christian, one had to believe in the
doctrines of the men who ran Christianity in a given region.
To address the
terrible situation of idolatry that had arisen in Arabia and much of
the Middle East, God chose a righteous man to found a new religion.
Islam was the result, a religion where the righteousness God expects
of mankind is unequivocally stated: Care
for the poor.
Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) and the Qur'an,
God obligated Muslims to fight in self-defense of their
beliefs and people, thus insuring the survival of Islam's
structure for religious education, as well as its structure of
alms giving that cares for the poor, indigent, and strangers.
for addressing the needs of God's people is similar to the structure
that God provided for Judeo-Christianity. However in these
Judeo-Christian religions the tradition of giving alms has largely
been ignored due to the idolatry of materialism and the inroads of capitalism. Not
to mention the oppressions of democratic governments implementing
the 'separation of church and state', which have resulted in the
of these religions.
From the Qur'an
God's priorities for righteous judgment and charity towards the poor
are made clear:
We made a covenant with the Israelites We said: 'Serve none but God.
Show kindness to your parents, to your kinsfolk, to orphans, and to
the destitute. Exhort men to righteousness. Attend to your prayers
and render the alms levy.' But you all broke your covenant except a
few, and paid no heed." (Surah
2:83 N.J. Dawood Trans.)
Moses We gave the Scriptures and after him sent other apostles. We
gave Jesus son of Mary veritable signs and strenghthened him with the
Holy Spirit. Will you then scorn each apostle whose message does not
suit your fancies, charging some with imposture, and slaying others?" (Surah
...And Islam can back
up God's will. Through the Prophet, God made sure His structure
for providing for the needs of His people will be protected
from other apostate religions. In the Qur'an
for the sake of God those that fight against you, but do not attack
them first. God does not love aggressors." (Surah
is obligatory for you, much has you dislike it. But you may hate a
thing although it is good for you, and love a thing although it is
bad for you. God knows, but you know not." (Surah
Prior to September
11, 2001, the threat against Islam's support structure was difficult
for other religions to see. That's because that threat has already
rendered these religions captive of ungodly systems of government,
systems that religions have learned to live with because the
governments 'provide' their people with security. Christianity,
through our secular government, supports many of these systems - most
dictatorships - in order to 'stabilize' the Middle East for businesses.
But that security
is an illusion. The cost is too high when security requires the
corruption of an entire belief system - Islam. It should not be
forgotten that God answers the prayers of the poor because the poor
are the people praying to God most often - the poor are the people
who do not forget Him.
will accept Jesus when He returns.
a leopard by the way will I observe them..."
this I was seeing, and lo, another like a leopard, and it
hath four wings of a fowl on its back, and four heads hath
the beast, and dominion is given to it." (Dan
a leopard: The Leopard-like beast, a camouflaged animal
of stealth, represents the four Ancient Religions of the East.
This beast represents God's "Trojan Horse", as it were.
heads hath the beast: The four heads of the
Leopard symbolize the ancient Eastern religions that were established
before Christ. They are Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism,
wings of a fowl on its back: The four wings represent the
Spiritualization of the Eastern religions that took place shortly
after Jesus' sacrifice.
This spiritual liberation
of Eastern religion began in the first century AD (after Jesus had
implemented the Covenant of Promise
with His crucifixion) with the advent of Mahayana Buddhism.
The prophecies and doctrines of the chief Mahayana scripture, "The
Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law", made salvation available
to the common man, opening an attainable afterlife to all who read
even one verse of that scripture
expanded the role of the 'bodisattvas', people of any class who can
now become dedicated evangelists preaching salvation to 'the four
kinds of believers', represented by the four wings. These four
kinds of believers - under Mahayana Buddhism - now include 'laymen'
and 'laywomen'. This means that salvation, or the attainment
of Buddhahood, is available to everyone who was left
out of these religions previously.
"Greater Vehicle" to spiritual salvation, the Lotus
Sutra is a scripture of prophecy and liberation from the
"Lesser Vehicle" of Buddhism that required one to reach
perfection through detachment from materialism and 'the five worldly desires'.
Sutra is also a manual for implementing an evangelistic
brotherhood of discipleship, nearly identical to teachings of
Jesus regarding discipleship in the Kingdom of Heaven. One scholar notes:
practices, teaching methods and ways to [spiritual] liberation [in
the Lotus Sutra] seem to feature a complete absence of what might be
called philosophical content. It seems at times that all it teaches
is how to teach, not what to teach. Its focus is how to teach." (Buddhism
Past and Present)
nature of Mahayana Buddhism has resulted in the Lotus
Sutra influencing all of the religions of the East in one way or
another, allowing spiritual hope and compassion into what largely
could be said to be philosophical religions formerly restricted to
the wealthy or those capable of full time devotions. From Chapter 10:
a person expounds this sutra,
should enter the Thus Come One's room,
on the Thus Come One's robe,
in the Thus Come One's seat,
the assembly without fear
broadly expand it for them, making distinctions.
pity and compassion are the room.
and patience are the robe.
emptiness of all phenomena is the seat,
from that the position one should
the Law for them.
Sutra is an inspired scripture meant also for Christians, Jews,
and Muslims - inspired by the Good Shepherd, it is part of
His 'fountain of living waters' that all who search for Him have
available for use today. His voice is there, in the compassionate
teachings and many parables used to teach, and it is recognizable to
The majority of
people in Eastern religions are prepared for the brotherhood of the
Kingdom of Heaven, and will
accept Jesus when He returns.
Continue to the Fourth Beast...