The Meaning Of
The Four Beasts In Daniel's Dream
By Ken Raggio
Daniel 7:1-28 contains the account of a dream that Daniel the prophet had. This dream is extremely relevant to us today, because it refers to current events, namely, current empires that will face Jesus Christ at Armageddon. Because of its AMAZING accuracy and significance, we NEED to understand the meaning of Daniel's dream. Here is what we know.
First, Daniel saw FOUR WINDS striving on the great sea.
Soon after Belshazzar came to power in Babylon, Daniel dreamed a very disturbing dream. He wrote it down and told what he saw. The first thing he saw was FOUR WINDS striving on the great sea. These winds correspond to the FOUR HORSEMEN of Revelation 6 and Zechariah 6:5, "These are the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth." The great sea represents the human masses in the last days. "The waters which thou sawest, ...are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues," Revelation 17:15.
Daniel 7:2 - "I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea."
Daniel saw four great beasts come up from the sea.
While the four great WINDS blew upon the great sea of humanity, Daniel saw four great BEASTS coming up from the sea. Grieved and troubled, Daniel asked for "the truth of all this." "These great beasts, which are four, are FOUR KINGS, which shall arise out of the earth. But the SAINTS of the MOST HIGH shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever."
This is a VERY IMPORTANT FACT!
The event referred to in that verse is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ with all His saints to the Battle of Armageddon, where He will finally conquer all kings and kingdoms and set up HIS KINGDOM for 1000 years on earth - the "Millennial Kingdom of Christ," as some call it.
Therefore, the TIME-FRAME in which Daniel's Four Beasts appear MUST BE the LAST DAYS immediately before the Second Coming of Jesus. Consequently, it is worthless to interpret these verses using ANCIENT KINGDOMS THAT NO LONGER EXIST!
Daniel dreamed of four great kingdoms that necessarily EXIST ON EARTH at the time of the Second Coming of Jesus.
Daniel 7:3 - "Four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another."
We will get into the specific details of the identity of the Four Beasts later. But first, let us consider what the Four Beasts are.
The Four Beasts:
1. A Lion with Eagle's Wings
2. A Bear
3. A Four-headed Leopard with wings of a fowl
4. A Dreadful Beast
The Four Beasts of Daniel 7 - What they CANNOT represent.
The vast majority of all Bible commentaries and teaching material will tell you that the Four Beasts in Daniel's dream are the same four empires that are mentioned in Nebuchadnezzars statue: namely, Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome. Most of these commentaries were written decades ago, if not centuries ago, long before modern events began to fulfill these prophecies. It would have been IMPOSSIBLE to identify these nations as we now can, as recently as one century ago!
What Daniel's Four Beasts CANNOT be...
Most so-called prophecy teachers will tell you that Daniel's beasts represent the same nations depicted in the great STATUE OF NEBUCHADNEZZAR.
They say that the
1. LION is ancient BABYLON
2. BEAR is ancient MEDO-PERSIA
3. LEOPARD is ancient GREECE
4. DREADFUL BEAST is ancient ROME
That interpretation cannot possibly be accurate, and here is why:
In Nebuchadnezzar's dream, each level of the great statue represented an empire. From one empire to the next, they were SUCCESSIVE empires - they followed one another. The Babylonian Empire was conquered by Persia, which was conquered by Alexander the Great and the Grecians, which was conquered by Rome.
In the end of Nebuchadnezzar's imagery, ONLY the IRON AND CLAY FEET were crushed by a Rock, symbolizing JESUS CHRIST at Armageddon. The earlier empires had already passed from the scene.
But ALL FOUR of Daniel's Four Beasts are said to be IN POWER - IN EXISTENCE - when Jesus returns!
These Four Beasts CANNOT be the ancient kingdoms of Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome - as most Bible commentators and teachers assert. Here is why:
At Armageddon, Daniel saw that the OTHER THREE BEASTS "had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. (7:12)"
It is perfectly clear that the Fourth Beast is a modern kingdom in power when Jesus comes, because the "little horn" on that beast, "made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; 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," Daniel 7:21-22.
So what does this show and prove?
It proves that Jesus Christ will NOT confront ancient Babylon, ancient Persia, ancient Greece, or ancient Rome at His coming.
He will confront EXISTING MODERN NATIONS at Armageddon.
These PROPHECIES absolutely MUST refer to MODERN NATIONS.
These nations will be stripped of their powers at Armageddon, yet they will continue to exist, "their lives were prolonged for a season and time." That could NOT be true if the LION is ancient Babylon, or if the BEAR is ancient Persia, or if the LEOPARD is ancient Greece, or if the DREADFUL BEAST is ancient Rome.
1. We must identify a MODERN nation symbolized by a LION.
2. We must identify a MODERN nation symbolized by an EAGLE.
3. We must identify a MODERN nation symbolized by a BEAR.
4. We must identify a MODERN nation symbolized by a LEOPARD.
5. We must identify a MODERN GLOBAL government that fits the description of the DREADFUL BEAST.
We MUST identify these Four Beasts in modern times. The prophecies can only be true if these nations can be identified at the time of the coming of Jesus Christ for the Battle of Armageddon.
Daniel's FIRST Beast
A Lion With Eagle's Wings
Daniel 7:4 - "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."
Again, the million-dollar question is this: "Where is a modern empire symbolized by a lion?" Here is the answer: Great Britain. Now there have been many nations that have utilized the lion as a symbol. But in modern times, the lion is most clearly associated with Great Britain - the largest empire in modern times. In recent memory, it could be said that "the sun never sets on the British Empire." The British Lion is universally recognized. It has appeared on the Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom since King James VI of Scotland ascended to the English throne in 1603. It also appears on several national emblems and flags. Another British symbol, lady "Britannia," is depicted riding the back of a lion. The lion symbol is depicted behind Britannia on the British fifty pence coin and a lion is shown crowned on the back of the British ten pence coin. A lion is also used as a symbol on the non-ceremonial flag of the British Army.
What about the eagle's wings that were plucked?
Again, there are few symbols more easily recognizable in the world today than the American Eagle. But how can the American Eagle be associated - connected with - the British Lion? That is an easy answer. The United States of America was originally a colonial territory of Great Britain. But IT WAS PLUCKED UP from the British Empire when the citizens of the thirteen original American colonies wrote and signed The Declaration of Independence in 1776, declaring their independence and BREAKING AWAY FROM the British Crown - King George III.
Herein is a most wonderful fulfillment of ancient Bible prophecies. TWO-THOUSAND FIVE-HUNDRED YEARS AGO, the prophet Daniel envisioned the Declaration of Independence, which any educated person knows is one of the most important documents ever written in the history of mankind. It was the founding document of what is arguably the greatest nation that ever existed! And Daniel saw it!
After the wings of the eagle were plucked from the British Lion, "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," Daniel 7:4. After 1776, and the rise of the United States of America, Britain became the largest empire in history.
Daniel's SECOND Beast
A Bear With Three Ribs In Its Mouth
Daniel 7:5 - "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."
Wikipedia says that “the Russian Bear is a national personification for Russia, used in cartoons and articles at least since the 19th century, and relating alike to Tsarist Russia, the Soviet Union and the present post-Soviet Russia." It is often used by Westerners, especially Britain and the US, often with the connotation that Russia is "big, brutal and clumsy." Now, Russians themselves have taken up with the bear image. A bear named "Misha" was Russia’s mascot at the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. A bear is the symbol of the United Russia Party, which is a major force in Russian politics. Coincidentally, the NAME of the President elected in 2008, Medvedev, is a form of a word meaning "bear."
So there is no doubt whatsoever. The bear, in modern times is universally known as RUSSIA.
But here is ANOTHER MAGNIFICENT CLUE that Russia is indeed the bear.
The bear raised itself up on one side and had three ribs in its mouth. THIS EVENT WAS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT EVENTS IN MODERN HISTORY. It was the meeting of the world’s three most powerful nations in YALTA – on the SOUTHERN-MOST SIDE of RUSSIA. Joseph Stalin, Czar of Russia, met with Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Britain, and Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States.
The Yalta Conference - 1945 - at the close of WWII
Here is what the prophecy said...
"…it raised up itself on one side, …and THEY SAID thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh," Daniel 7:5.
In order to bring World War 2 to a close, these three superpowers failed to liberate the nations that the Soviets had recently annexed in war.
As a result, most of the Eastern Block countries became part of the Soviet Socialist Republics - eastern Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Albania and East Germany. The photo below shows the Russian Bear on April 30, 1945, as the Soviets stormed the German Reichstag Parliament building, hoisting the Hammer & Sickle over Berlin, Germany. (This is when Germany was divided – the deadly wound that would not heal.)
If taking control of SIX NATIONS at one time isn't "devouring much flesh," I cannot imagine what would be.
But it was actually worse than that.
The RUSSIAN BEAR devoured FAR MORE THAN EASTERN EUROPE, because Russia birthed a SOCIALIST WORLD GOVERNMENT that day.
FDR had been unbelievably naive about Stalin's evil intentions, and did not believe Stalin would be so aggressive. Roosevelt's assistant, Alger Hiss, drafted the CHARTER for the UNITED NATIONS. The impetus for the UNITED NATIONS WAS BORN THAT DAY. The official logo of the UN was patterned after the RUSSIAN LOGO (see graphic).
But in the following months, Alger Hiss was accused and convicted of being a COMMUNIST RUSSIAN SPY. The plan and Charter for the United Nations was created by an agent for Joseph Stalin! In stark reality, the United Nations is a Socialist Global Government!
The Communists not only devoured Eastern Europe after Yalta. They effectively devoured the world, when they created the United Nations! Time will soon tell just what a Socialist tyranny is rising to power at the UN!
If you look at it close enough, you will conclude for yourself that the UNITED NATIONS is a Socialist entity. It was created by Communists, and today is predominantly Socialist from top to bottom. Socialism DEVOURED THE WORLD with the birth of the UNITED NATIONS.
Daniel's THIRD Beast
A Four-headed Leopard With Wings of a Fowl
The Four-headed Leopard with the Wings of a Fowl
With the birth of the Holy Roman Empire, another prophetic picture began to take shape: the four-headed leopard with wings of a fowl (Daniel 7:6). No other country in history has been more prominently identified with a leopard than Germany. In the past century, the German LEOPARD tanks played major roles in World War II. In all my thousands of hours of Bible research, I have never seen ANY other nation that is more accurately associated with the LEOPARD.
Amazingly, the symbol of France is a fowl—the ROOSTER. From postage stamps to gold coins, the French Rooster is universally recognized. The Holy Roman Empire can be recognized as a leopard with wings of a fowl – Germany and France, both being powerfully manipulated from Rome.
The graphic below depicts the four successive REICHS - the FOUR HEADS - of Europe (The German/French Motherland).
1. Holy Roman Empire; 2. German Empire; 3. Hitler's Third Reich; 4. European Union
At the beginning (in 800 AD), Charlemagne was a strong Germanic leader. From there, he conducted empire over Europe. One of his leading accomplishments was the unification of France. Historians say that the Holy Roman Empire was the incubator for both modern Germany and modern France. The Franco-German Alliance is at the heart of the European Union to this day.
From Germany, Charlemagne birthed the empire. The prophecy said that the leopard had great dominion. Eventually, (from the 16th Century forward), the empire was called the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.
Newsweek magazine, April 9, 1984 said, “Since the time of Charlemagne, the area that is now Germany has been the pivot of European history. In the past 120 years, the Germans have dominated Europe; intellectually and militarily.”
“Reich” is the German word for kingdom. In all the history of the Holy Roman Empire, its parliament was known as the Reichstag. “Reich” meaning “empire” and “–stag” meaning “assembly”. The modern nation of Germany is evolved from Charlemagne’s Reichstag. As far back as 919 AD, the Reichstag elected the first King of the Germans, and in 1871 became the parliament of the German Empire.
FOUR REICHS (4 heads)
Germany became the embodiment of the four-headed leopard. Germany has indeed had four heads – four Reichs, or kingdoms.
1. The First Reich. 800 to 1806 - This was the time of the Holy Roman Empire beginning with Charlemagne (picture). Most of its emperors were actually crowned by a pope.
2. The Second Reich. 1870 to 1919 - Began under the diplomatic statesmanship of Otto Von Bismarck, “The IRON Chancellor.” From the unification of Germany following the Franco-Prussian War to the German defeat in the First World War. Bismarck attempted to stop Catholic political control of Germany, but failed.
The Reichstag (Parliament) was established.
3. The Third Reich. 1933-1945 - Adolph Hitler’s Germany followed a brief interim called the Weimar Republic. Nazi Germany was defeated in WWII and divided into East and West Germany. Journalists of that era called it a “deadly wound.” The DEADLY WOUND referred to the DIVIDED GERMANY. The nation was literally divided into two countries: East Germany and West Germany, to prevent it from again rising to such dreaded power.
But the DEADLY WOUND WAS "HEALED". President Ronald Reagan stood in the Brandenburg Gate in 1989 and in front of a watching world challenged Mikhail Gorbachev to "TEAR THIS WALL DOWN!"
The DEADLY WOUND WAS "HEALED", and the two countries were REUNITED INTO ONE GERMANY, when Mikhail Gorbachev ordered the Berlin Wall torn down in 1989. THAT is the "deadly wound that was "healed" in the prophecy of Revelation 13:3.
With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany, President George HW Bush declared in March, 1991, "Now, we can see a NEW WORLD coming into view. A world in which there is the very real prospect of a NEW WORLD ORDER."
That declaration fulfilled the prophecy that said, "...the whole world wondered after the Beast." Germany's reunification (correspondent with the fall of the Soviet Union) inspired all globalists to take a giant leap toward WORLD GOVERNMENT. (While it APPEARED that hard-core COMMUNISM had fallen in both instances, SOCIALISM actually was rapidly rising throughout the entire global mindset.) From that time, the role of the United Nations in international affairs took a GIANT LEAP FORWARD.
4. The Fourth Reich. 1951 to present – Germany (leopard) and France (fowl) sponsored the European Coal and Steel Community, which evolved into the present day European Union. The Euro is now the common currency, and Germany is still the dominating nation in the EU.
The European Union - Is it Babel Resurrected?!
The ancient prophecy is fulfilled. GREAT DOMINION was given to the LEOPARD.
"I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, ...the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it." Daniel 7:6.
"And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, ...and the dragon (Satan) gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority," Revelation 13:2.
The world will soon be dominated by the Fourth Reich: the European Union. Its population is larger than the United States’. Its currency is outperforming the American dollar on a regular basis. The oil producers of the world are talking about switching from dollars to euros. American politicians are beginning to realize what is happening. Rockwell Schnabel, former U.S. Ambassador to the E.U. wrote a book entitled, “The Next Superpower.” In it, he stated that an “…EU bent on establishing itself as an alternative geopolitical “pole” to the U.S. could undermine stability around the globe.”
Not coincidentally, on June 3rd, 2000, U.S. President Bill Clinton received the 50th Annual International Charlemagne Prize, which is given to the person who does the most to further the cause of European unity. World leaders know that the future of the globe lies in European politics.
The European Union is likely to fulfill many other Bible prophecies before the Second Coming, including the introduction of the Antichrist and the Mark of the Beast, with the complete participation of the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. The Bible prophesies that the center of world power will swing back to Europe.