Verse 1: In the first year of Baltasar king of Babylon, Daniel saw a dream: and the vision of his head was upon his bed: and writing the dream, he comprehended it in a few words: and relating the sum of it in short, he said:
In A.M. 3449 or 551 BC, the first year of Babylon king Baltasar, the prophet Daniel began receiving the prophetic revelations through some forms of dream or vision in which he even saw himself lying asleep in bed.
Verse 2: I saw in my vision by night, and behold the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.
The term "four wind of heaven" signified that the prophecies would affect the whole world or all four corners of the earth.
Verse 3: And the four beasts, different one from another, came up out of the sea.
The prophet saw four distinct beasts or spiritual principalities begot by Satan emerging from "the sea" or from an immersely vast dark surface or the abyss.
Verse 4: The first was like the lioness, and had the wings of an eagle: I beheld till her wings were plucked off, and she was lifted up from the earth, and stood upon her feet as a man, and the heart of a man was given to her.
The first beast was a lioness, a female lion, a powerful beast with wings which signified its sublimity and vast power. It enticed mankind with rebellious notions of feminism, false liberation for women, pornography, and lust. The results are contraception, abortion, fornication, homosexuality, unwed pregnancy, premarital sex, sexual openness and so on. When "its two wings were plucked off, and it was lifted up from the earth" or when its activities were curtailed by God or when its allotted time was running out, the role of women in modern societies would become less distinguishable from the one of men ("the beast stood upon her feet like a man"). Men shall become human beasts themselves. At last, the beast would capture the soul through the heart of mankind by all passions of the flesh.
Verse 5: And behold another beast like a bear stood up on one side: and there were three rows in the mouth threof, and in the teeth thereof, and thus they said to it: Arise, devour much flesh.
The prophet saw the second beast which had the form of a bear which signified communism and atheism, tyrant military leaders who persecuted Christians, Jews, tortured and murdered other human beings.
Verse 6: After this I beheld, and lo, another like a leopard, and it had upon it four wings as of a fowl, and the beast had four heads, and power was given to it.
The third beast was a leopard, a clever and deceitful animal which had
"four heads" or which enticed men to sinfulness through rationalism,
materialism, humanism, and scientific knowledges.
Rationalism does not accept anything or idea which cannot be comprehended with senses, experience, or logics. It questions and rationalizes everything including spiritual belief and religious dogma. It rationalizes all abnormal or immoral behaviours, supernatural events, and miracles. It leads to atheism, heretical reforms, and finally an apostasy within the Church.
Materialism leads to greed, avarice, envy, pride, arm conflict, divorce, lack of parenting, child abuse or neglect, and most of all, to the lack of love for God and for others. That lack of love will eventually turn into the total loss of capacity to love and irreconcilable separation from God, the death of a soul, and man becomes a walking dead.
Humanism is the philosophical notions which places man and his well-being (physical, emotional, and intellectual) at the center of all human activities. God or religions shall be treated as a human concept among many invented by man to serve his curiosity and needs for the unknown. Everything evolves around man. Intellectual and cultural activities shall be highly valued and encouraged. Humanism tolerates such immoral behaviors as homosexuality, euthanasia, adultery, abortion, freedom of (indecent) expression, and even blasphemy against God. Humanism is the underlying philosophical base for the so-called moderate viewpoints and socialism of the majority rule. Humanism allows the tolerance of any kind of human behavior as long as it gratifies man's physical, emotional, and intellectual pleasures. It considers all cults and religions as equally vital and true. It particularly debases Christian Faith to the mere human standards. It bases its understanding of God and the matter of faith on the limits of human mind and heart alone. It tolerates a moral decay and accept radical social changes. To humanists, there is no absolute Truth as things evolve around men, therefore, change constantly with time.
Last, science is merely man's folly which brings out pride and defiance against God. It promotes the false sense of self-dependence and supremacy of man. With all the modern technologies, the greatest scientists on earth cannot even creat a single blade of grass in a laboratory. A single, seemingly useless ant crawling on the ground is still a scientific marvel that foolish men can never duplicate! Thus,how senseless and futile are man's scientific endeavors!
Verse 7: After this I beheld the vision of the night, and lo, a fourth beast, terrible and wonderful, and exceedingly strong, it had great iron teeth, eating and breaking pieces, and treating down the rest with its feet: and it was unlike to the other beasts which I had seen before it, and had ten horns.
The fourth beast is the active bodies or worldly organizations which govern the worldly powers including banks, industries, media, politics, governments, churches, societies, and military forces.
Verse 8: I considered the horns, and behold another little horn sprung up out of the mist of them: and three of the first horns were plucked up at the presence thereof: and behold eyes like the eyes of a man were in this horn, and the mouth speaking great things.
The little horn is the antichrist who is actually the beast or devil incarnated into man. He shall destroy the powers of the first three horns or three power blocks of the temporal world: Western, Muslim, and China. He shall "speak great things" or shall blaspheme against God and enthrone himself as a god.
Verse 9: I beheld till thrones were placed, and the ancient of days sat: his garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like clean wool: his throne like flame of fire: the wheels of it like a burning fire.
The prophet gave us a faint glimpse of Heaven in the vision of God and his Throne. His garment signified purity, His hair eternal wisdom, flaming Throne His mighty power, and burning Wheels His active constancy or unchanged swiftness.
Verse 10: A swift stream of fire issued forth from before him: thousands of thousands ministered to him, and ten thousands times a hundred thousands stood before him: the judgment sat, and the books were opened.
The swift stream of fire was His Holy Spirit issued from God. the judgment or the Heavenly jury including the Accuser or satan himself acting as the prosecutor who were sitting by the open books which recorded all human works, both good and bad.
Verse 11: I beheld because of the voice of the great words which that horn spoke: and I saw the beast was slain, and the body thereof was destroyed, and given to the fire to be burnt:
Because his blasphemies against God, the antichrist shall be destroyed by lightning and burnt in the hell-fire.
Verse 12: And that the power of the other beasts was taken away: and that times of life were appointed them for a time, and a time.
After the antichrist is killed, the seducing powers of the beasts shall be taken away by God. They shall be allowed to tempt mankind once more ("a time and a time"). These critical periods of trials or tribulations can mean eternal life or death to many souls. The term "times of life" signified the utmost significance as everyone of us has an absolute freedom to choose between life or death by being obedient to God or rebellious against Him.
Verse 13: I beheld therefore in the vision of the night, and lo, one like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and he came to the Ancient of days: and they presented him before him.
The son of man or our Lord Jesus was presented to God the Father, the eternal God.
Verse 14: And he give him power, and glory, and a kingdom: and peoples, tribes, and tongues shall serve him: his power is an everlasting power that shall not be taken away: and his kingdom that shall not be destroyed.
Heavenly Father gave the Lord Jesus all the power, glory, upon the Heavenly Kingdom which is populated with all the faithful departed.
Verse 15: My spirit trembled, I Daniel was affrighted at these things, and the visions of my head troubled me.
The prophet was terrified and perplexed by the vision. It is now easy for us Christians to comprehend the Blessed Trinity than for the seer, a prophet of the Old Testament. Furthermore, God's Power and Glory would definitely paralyze our mental capacity.
Verse 16: I went near to one of them that stood by, and asked the truth of him concerning all these things, and he told me the interpretation of the words, and instructed me.
The prophet asked the angel of the Lord for the interpretation of the vision.
Verse 17: These four great beasts are the four kingdoms, which shall arise out of the earth.
Four great beasts represent four"kingdoms" of darkness on earth. The word "kingdom" implies a vast dominion consisted of numerous souls. Thus "kingdom" here implies a spiritual, not physical domain.
Verse 18: But the saints of the most high God shall take the kingdom: and they shall possess the kingdom for ever and ever.
At the end, the kingdom or Heavenly Kingdom, which shall last forever, shall belong to the faithful; or the saints.
Verse 19: After this I would diligently learn concerning the fourth beast, which was very different from all, and exceedingly terrible: his teeth and claws were of iron: he devoured and broke into pieces, and the rest he stamped upon with his feet:
"The fourth beast" or the present world power devoured and destroyed numerous souls and earthly creations in the most manifested destruction.
Verse 20: And concerning the ten horns that he had on his head: and concerning the other that came up, before which three horns fell: and of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth speaking great things, and was greater than the rest.
The prophet was most curious about the blasphemous beast or the antichrist. "Horn" stands for the most pronounced power.
Verse 21: I beheld, and lo, that horn made war against the saints, and prevail over them,
The antichrist shall persecute the faithful at will.
Veres 22: Till the Ancient of days came and gave judgment to the saints of the most high, and the time came, and the saints obtained the kingdom.
Heavenly Father shall reward (judgment) the faithful or martyrs with the heavenly kingdom. God's Judgment can mean either reward or chastisement.
Verse 23: And thus he said: the fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be greater than all the kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
The fourth beast or the present world powers shall be the greatest and the most destructive on earth ever. It shall devour the whole earth with its military superiority, scientific environmental destruction, and spiritual corruption.
Verse 24: And the ten horns of the same kingdom, shall be ten kings: and another shall rise up after them, and shall be mightier than the former, and he shall bring down three kings.
The last king or the antichrist shall replace the present three power blocks: Western, Muslims, and Communist, to overtake the full control over the world. The "world" here might include only Europe, North Africa, Northern Asia, and Middle East.
Verse 25: And he shall speak words against the High One, and shall crush the saints of the most High: and he shall think himself able to change times and laws, and they shall be delivered into his hands, until a time, and times, and half a time.
The antichrist shall blaspheme against God and persecute Christ's followers. The most High is our Lord Jesus. The antichrist shall think that he is almighty and immortal. He shall turn all moral codes and religious belief upside down. He shall think his reign lasting forever but he shall be destroyed after three and a half years.
Verse 26: And judgment shall sit, that his power may be taken away, and be broken in pieces, and perish even to the end.
God shall impose His Judgment on the antichrist by taking away his power, destroy his mortal body, and confine him into the eternal hell forever as his role is finished.
Verse 27: And the kingdom, and power, and the greatness of the kingdom, under the whole earth, may be given to the people of the saints of the most High: whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all kings shall serve him, and shall obey him.
The kingdom "under the whole heaven" or the earthly kingdom with all its power and its glory shall be given to the faithful followers of the most High, our Lord Jesus Christ whose Heavenly Kingdom is everlasting. All kings on earth afterwards shall serve and obey the Lord, the King of kings.
Verse 28: Hitherto is the end of the word. I Daniel was much troubled with my thoughts, and my countenance was changed in me: but I kept the word in my heart.
The vision was temporarily stopped here. The prophet Daniel was much
troubled with his understanding and with what he had been allowed to witness.
His facial complexion was much affected for he was shaken up due to this
event but he rememberd every detail of the vision by heart.
(If we were given the terrible vision of the future world 2500 years before it actually happened, we would undoubtedly be frightened as well.)
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