Lesson 50

Daniel’s Dream of Great Beasts

"The kingdom and dominion . . . shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High . . . an everlasting kingdom."
Daniel 7:27

God revealed many things to Daniel, for he faithfully served the LORD and openly worshiped him. Nebuchadnezzar had a dream of a great statue which represented the kingdoms of the world. Daniel also had a dream of earthly kingdoms.

The world looks upon the kingdoms of this world as great and powerful and glorious. The LORD, however, sees them as wicked and beastly.

In Daniel’s dream Babylon was represented by a lion-like beast with eagles’ wings—splendid, proud, ruler of all. The second beast was like a bear—big, heavy, stubborn, powerful—and represented Medo-Persia. The third beast was leopard-like—clever, sneaky, unreliable, deceitful—and represented the kingdom of Greece. The Roman Empire was represented by a fourth beast that could not be described—hideous and ferocious and extremely strong. It was so terrible it could not be compared with any other beast!

At first this last beast had ten horns (horns represent power). These horns compare to the ten toes on the statue in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Then a small horn grew and replaced three of the ten horns—the Roman Empire was changing. Instead of being a pagan (heathen) kingdom of armies and false religions, it became Christian. But the Holy Roman Empire was just as wicked and ungodly as the pagan empire had been.

This change from pagan to Christian (in name only) was shown in Daniel’s dream when another horn grew in size until the three little horns (the divisions of the old Roman Empire) were pushed out of the way.

While this fourth beast still exists, its power and influence have gradually lessened and, in due time, this beast will be destroyed. The cause of this fall will be the establishment of the fifth universal empire of the world, the Kingdom of God, under Christ and his church (Daniel 7:18).

The fifth kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all other dominions of the earth will learn its laws and obey them. What joy to look forward to this kingdom for which so many have prayed for so long—"Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10).

| next | index |

( Lessons 51 to 93 to be added )