Four Beasts & the Kingdom of God
Daniel's dream is interpreted for him in chapter 7, rather than he interpreting the dreams of others. Here he sees the four successive Gentile world empires that will rule throughout the time that Israel is without a sovereign king. Their kingdom will not be restored until Messiah takes the throne of David for the Millennium.
These Gentile powers are symbolized by four beasts whose attributes represent qualities peculiar to each. Daniel, and eight hundred years after him, the prophet John saw the demon spirits that manifested in those kingdoms, united in Papal Rome at the end-time.
Daniel 7:2-8, "Daniel spoke saying, in my dream I saw four winds of the heavens strive upon the great sea".
As in Zechariah 6:5 and Revelation 7, the four winds represent God's servants of judgment, in war and strife, coming from the cardinal points to chastise Israel. Revelation 7 foretells the destruction of all life after the sixfold purpose of Gabriel's instructions is accomplished, and 144,000 elect Israelites reconciled to God (Daniel 9:24). John foresaw the destruction the Gentile world in the battle of Armageddon, as Ezekiel 9 foresaw the destruction of Jerusalem when Titus besieged and starved her defenders before burning the city and temple.
The "great sea" is the Mediterranean whence the last empire, Rome, arose (Revelation 13:1). The sea speaks of chaos and the symbolism reminds us of the Masonic motto, "out of chaos, order" for here it symbolizes ALL "peoples and nations and multitudes and tongues" over whom Papal Rome will rule under the coming New World Order (Revelation 17:1, 15).
"Four great beasts, diverse one from another, rise in succession from the Gentiles. The first (the Babylonian empire under Nebuchadnezzar) was like a lion (Jeremiah 4:6-7), and had eagle's wings (Ezekiel 17:1-3): as I watched its wings were plucked so that it could no longer fly and it was left standing on the earth, on two feet like a man, and a man's heart was given to it" (Daniel 2:37-38).
"And a second beast (the Medo-Persian Empire), was like a bear; it raised up on one side (or became powerful in one dominion) and it held three ribs between its teeth (Egypt, Lydia and Babylon): and a voice said, 'Become powerful, and devour many people!' After this I saw third (the Grecian empire of Alexander the Great) like a leopard but upon its back were four wings of a fowl and it had four heads (representing Alexander's successors between whom the empire was divided into the kingdoms of Egypt, Babylonia, Syria and Greece); and dominion was given to it" (Daniel 8:20-22).
"After this I saw in my dream a fourth beast (the Roman empire), dreadful to describe and incredibly strong. It had great iron teeth and devoured some of its victims by tearing them apart with its huge iron teeth. Others it crushed beneath its feet (of iron mixed with clay after Imperial Rome had become Papal Rome—Daniel 2:40-45). It was different from all the beasts that were before it; more brutal and vicious. And it had ten horns", (the kingdoms into which the Roman Empire divided. Daniel 2:40-43; Revelation 12:3; 13:1; 17, 3, 12, 17).
In Revelation 13:3, John "saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death: and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast." This wounded head was the pagan Roman Empire, that great political world power which revived as the Roman Catholic spiritual empire. Pagan Rome divided and conquered. Her iron teeth tore and devoured. Whom she tore and devoured could not rise again as when she destroyed Carthage and sowed her to salt. The same iron seed remained in her when she arose as the FALSE church, and her policy has remained the same—divide and conquer. In the Spiritual, Jesus calls this Nicolaitanism. Hereby Rome established a priestly hierarchy between God and men. And Jesus hates it (Daniel 7:19-23; Revelation 2:6).
"I considered the horns (or kingdoms into which the Roman Empire was divided—the Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Franks, Vandals, Seuvi, Alemanni, Anglo-Saxons, Heruli, Lombards and Burgundians), when suddenly another power, a little horn, appeared among them, before whom three of the first horns were uprooted (the Vandals, Heruli and Ostrogoths). This horn had a man's eyes (signifying mental and spiritual faculties) and a mouth speaking presumptuously".
This horn does not receive a crown like the ten political powers (Revelation 13:1) but seeks to intrude into the Divine realm, and will be given power for a period of forty-two months. This little horn is the Vatican religious power whose pope, once incarnate of the Devil, will rule the ten sovereign states of the old Holy Roman empire that have re-confederated under the Treaty of Rome to form the European Union (EU) (Revelation 17:8-14). In league with them, but ruling from Jerusalem, he will blaspheme; harass and martyr the 144,000 saints; establish a new order of religious dispensations and a new morality, and three and a half years after taking power, force the mark of the beast -- his religious dogma—on pain of death (Daniel 7:25; Revelation 12:7-17; 13:1-5).
This culminates in Armageddon and the destruction of all life on earth. But in his dream, Daniel saw beyond Armageddon to the White Throne Judgment and general resurrection after the Millennium.
Let's read on past the Gentile dispensation into the day of the Lord,
Daniel 7:9-10 parallels John's vision of Revelation 1:10-16 in the Day of the Lord following the Gentile dispensation, "I watched as thrones were placed for all twenty-four elders: (the Old Testament Patriarchs and twelve early apostles of the New Testament —Matthew 19:28). The Eternal One manifest in Jesus Christ sat down to judge (Hebrews 7:1-3; John 5:22-27; I Corinthians 6:1-3), whose garment was white as snow (not dipped in the blood of His enemies as it shall be after the midst of Daniel's Seventieth Week—Revelation 19:11-13), and His hair was like white pure wool (the Eternal One cannot grow old but was wigged as a Judge, signifying maturity and wisdom that accompany the experience of an elder." (See photos of the Cloud of Daniel 7:9, Acts 1:9-11, and Revelation 1:7).
"His throne was like a fiery flame, and its wheels as burning fire" (speaking of judgment in the lake of Fire, which destroys all that is impure). Fire, or Light is the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. It is the Shekinah which took the form of a Dove at Jesus' baptism by John; a Fire when God spoke with Moses from the bush, a flaming Pillar that led Israel through the Wilderness, and horses and a chariot that carried Elijah into the heavens. As the lake of Fire it destroys sin and sinners, renewing this earth. Natural fire alone cannot annihilate spirits.
"A river of fiery judgment flowed before Him (Psalm 50:1-6; 97:1- 5; Isaiah 30:27-33; 66:15-16; II Peter 3:10; Revelation 20:14-15): thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened."
The "thousand thousands" who minister to Christ are the glorified Bride of all Ages who return with our Lord to judge the nations (I Corinthians 6:1-3). Having judged themselves by the Word, they died to the world, are hid with Christ in God, and can not come to condemnation, having passed from death into Life by the new birth (John 5:24; Colossians 3:3).
These are the Lamb's Book of Life, the Spiritual seed or genealogy of the LAST Adam, Jesus Christ, made manifest in His saints. These are the Family of God already with Jesus because they are part of the Logos made manifest, and one with Christ through the invisible union or new birth. This is the eternal security of the believer. This is our hope of glory, and it cannot fail.
The vision of Daniel 7:9-10 is after Armageddon and the millennium because the general resurrection and White Throne Judgment follows the thousand years (Revelation 20:3, 7-15). And the "ten thousand times ten thousand" who stand before the King and His Bride missed the first resurrection, and have risen in the general resurrection to be judged by them (Matthew 25:31-41).
Nonetheless, judgment actually commenced when Revelation 4, 5, and 10:1-7 were fulfilled. After Christ's Mediation in the Office of Son of God and Mediator, He returned in the Office of Son of Man, King and Judge. Since the revelation of the Seven Seals in 1963, the full Word has been in effect (John 5:22, 27; Acts 17:30-31). Judgment must begin at the house of God. Hence Brother Branham's Message, which IS Christ the fullness of the Word, indicts the apostate church.
Revelation 20:11-15, "And I saw a great White Throne, and One who sat upon it, from Whose Presence the earth and sky passed away (Daniel 2:35; II Peter 3:10; Revelation 21:1). And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: (these record the sinners whose names have been REMOVED from the Book of Life, OR are physical Serpent's seed and NEVER ON the Book of Life as it is the genealogy of the FIRST Adam): and ANOTHER Book was opened, which is the Book of Life (containing the names of the "saved" who are sanctified but without the Holy Ghost): and the dead were sentenced according to the things written in the books, each according to his works."
"And the sea gave up the dead who were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and all were tried and their cases determined according to their works. Then death and hell were thrown into the lake of Fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was NOT found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of Fire."
The FIRST death is physical, the death of the body. The SECOND death is spiritual, the death of the soul. Until this last age, every one, even the saints, paid sin's penalty in physical death. Ezekiel 18:4 says "the SOUL that sins shall surely die". This second death is spiritual annihilation in the lake of Fire.
Returning to Daniel's dream, we find verses 11-14 follow verse 8, spanning time from Armageddon to the start of the Millennium. "I noticed the arrogant presumptuous words spoken by the horn (Papal Rome): I watched till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame."
Like John, Daniel is witnessing events that will happen in the Day of the Lord after the end of the Gentile dispensation when Satan is cast out of heavenly places and incarnates the Pope to rule the New World Order. This fourth beast is Papal Rome whose great swelling words demand worship of Lucifer incarnate when the Pope breaks his covenant with the self-styled "Jews", forcing the mark of the beast. This causes the Black Nobility of Revelation 17:12-17 to side with Communism and destroy Rome, leading to Armageddon, and the destruction of all life in an atomic conflagration, cleansing earth and sky for the Millennium.
Revelation 19:20, "And the beast (Papal Rome) was taken, and with him the false prophet (or Pope) who wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them who had received the mark of the beast (Trinitarianism and Catholic reasoning against the revealed Word), and them that worshipped his image (the Protestants). These both were cast alive into a lake of Fire burning with brimstone" (Malachi 4:1-3; Revelation 2:20-23).
Their judgment is "set" or predetermined by the unforgivable sin—rejecting the Holy Spirit which is the PRESENT Truth or Word for the hour. Jesus calls Rome "the great whore" and "mother of harlots" (her Protestant daughter churches) "and abominations of the earth" (her pagan dogma—Revelation 17:1, 5; 19:2).
Jesus said, "All who miss the first resurrection and Marriage Supper of the Lamb in the sky (other than the 144,000 elect Hebrews) will come under the power of Papal Rome during the tribulation, and take the mark of the beast" (Revelation 13:5-8). So will the physical Serpent's seed who were never in Adam's race (Revelation 17:8). Paul reminds us, "He who is joined to a harlot is one body. For two, said God, shall be one flesh" (I Corinthians 6:16).
Daniel 7:11, ". . . The beast (Papal Rome) was slain, and his body (Protestants and others joined to the harlot church through FALSE worship, which is spiritual adultery, are) destroyed and cast into the lake of Fire." These are all OFF the Book of Life and LOST. Case closed. No appeal (Daniel 9:27e; Revelation 20:10; 22:10-20).
"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God (Roman Catholic and Protestant churches claim to be His house, and declaring they are the wife of Christ, are bound to obey His every Word): and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" (I Peter 4:17-18).
". . . if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged" (I Corinthians 11:31).
God sent US a prophet in these last days named William Branham, to RESTORE the apostolic faith (Malachi 4:5-6; Matthew 17:11; Acts 3:21), FINISH the mystery of God (Acts 3:21; I Corinthians 13:10; Revelation 10:7), and call both the wise AND foolish virgin OUT from Rome and her (once) Protestant daughters (Matthew 25:6; Revelation 18:4) into the UNITY of the faith (Ephesians 4:13). Those remaining in the harlot church have not judged themselves by God's unchanging Word and are indicted. They will be found judged by that Word, and cast into the lake of Fire BEFORE the millennium.
Daniel 7:12, "As concerning the other three beasts, they had their dominion taken away: (because Christ's eternal rule commences with the millennium and they will lie in the grave until the general resurrection) yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time".
Unlike the fourth beast who is cast into the lake of Fire before the millennium, these will rise in the general resurrection after the millennium for judgment, as explained in Revelation 20:7-9: "When the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and Fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them."
Daniel 7:13-14, 27, "Next in my dream I saw one like the Son of man come with clouds of heaven, presented to the Ancient of days. And dominion, and glory, and a kingdom were given to Messiah that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him whose dominion is everlasting. It shall not pass away, and His kingdom shall not be destroyed."
". . . 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."
This is the blessed fulfillment of Daniel 2:44 and I Corinthians 15:23-28, ". . . every man will be resurrected in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward those who are His at His "parousia" (the end-time Bride and the 144,000). Then comes the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; after He has put down all rule and all authority and power. For Christ must reign, until He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death (Revelation 20:14). . . And when all things are subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all."
This is the time when the new heavens and new earth will manifest.
Throughout chapter 7, Daniel was conscious that he was experiencing a spiritual dream. Being confused and disturbed by all he had seen, he approached one of those standing beside the throne and asked the meaning of these things. Those beside the throne are the theophanies or angels of the Church and the end-time Bride. He who interpreted the dream to Daniel was Brother Branham, the "angel" or messenger of Revelation 1:1.
Daniel and John shared the same vision at different stages of its fulfillment. Both were told to "Seal up the vision and prophecy until the time of the end" (Daniel 12:4, 9; Revelation 10:4). The "time of the end" or "end-times" commenced when Christ fulfilled Revelation 4, 5, and 10:1-7.
No one but Christ was worthy to loose the seals and open the book, or even look upon It, but the One Who redeemed It. Revelation 1:1 reveals that even He did not know these mysteries until God gave them to Him after His earthly sojourn. Jesus then revealed them to His angel, William Branham, the messenger to the Seventh Church Age, in whose watch the mystery of God spoken by the mouth of all His prophets since the world began, was finished (Revelation 10:7; Acts 3:21).
John was up in the Spirit of revelation into the Lord's day, which is the time of "Jacob's Trouble" after the Gentile dispensation. And in a series of visions during his imprisonment on the Isle of Patmos (AD95-96), he saw Brother Branham preach these mysteries in the revelation of the Seven Seals in 1963, as Jesus revealed them to him, and John recorded them under Old Testament symbols.
As Brother Branham was the one man to whom Jesus revealed the mystery it was Brother Branham from whom both John and Daniel received these revelations in visions and dreams, thousands of years before he was born. And it was Jesus Christ Whom Daniel saw enthroned almost 600 years before He was born, and 2,500 years before He was enthroned. bb000521.htm