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In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon   
This dates the prophecy, based on history, at around 540BC.
Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed:  Daniel has a vision from God during his sleep.
then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.  and then records the dream and events surrounding it as what is now known as Daniel chapter 7
Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven   
Wind is symbolic of strife and war. Jeremiah 25:31-33, Jeremiah 49:36-37, Jeremiah 4:11-13, Zechariah 7:14
The 4 winds
is saying that these wars and strife are from all directions of the globe, North,South,East, and West.
strove upon the great sea.  Water is symbolic of people and nations. Revelation 17:15
The Great Sea
is referring to the larger mass of people of the world.
So, Daniel is seeing wars and strife acting on the people of the world to create the world powers.
And four great beasts   
A Beast is a Kingdom or secular power. Daniel 7:17,23
Daniel is seeing 4 powers coming up.
came up from the sea,  They are coming up in a heavily populated area. (The Great Sea)
diverse one from another.  These kingdoms have very different natures.
The first was like a lion,
The kingdom of babylon was likened to a lion.
This symbol is even carved into the walls of the city
and had eagle's wings:  Wings signify speed or deliverance. Deuteronomy 28:49, Matthew 23:37
Babylon came to power in a very short period of time.
It took 21 years to go from being a state of Assyria to ruling the world.
I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked,  The first king, king Nebuchadnezzar was a proud man,
and certainly in his case, pride came before a fall.
God warned Nebuchadnezzar in chapter 4, of his impending peril, but he ignored the warning.
He was removed from the power of his kingdom, but it was preserved for him,
and it took seven years to convert him to the true God.
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.  The man's heart that was given to him was the love of the Son of man.
And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear,
The next kingdom was that of Medo-Persia.
and it raised up itself on one side,  The kingdom of Medo-Persia was a dual kingdom similar to a modern "alliance".
The Persian empire was stronger than the Medes,
and so the bear is shown as being "raised" (stronger) in one half of the alliance.
and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it:  The three ribs represent the remains of the three kingdoms
that this alliance devoured to take world power.
These three were Babylon, Lydia, and Egypt.
and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.  It controlled six times as much land as Babylon had done,
hence "much flesh".
After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard,
The kingdom of Greece followed Medo-Persia.
which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl;  As we saw earlier, Wings represent speed.
This was highly applicable to Alexander the Great.
The speed at which he conquorered the world was stunning.
By the time he reached his 30's, he had conquorered the whole world.
In fact, he was so despondant that there was nothing left to conquor,
that he drank himself to death.
the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.
 The Head of a beast represents the leader.
Note that this beast, the leopard, had 4 heads.
When Alexander died, his kingdom was split into an alliance of 4 kingdoms controlled by his 4 generals.
These 4 were Seleucus, Ptolemy, Lysimachus, and Cassander.
The 4 heads on the leopard represent these generals.
After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly;
Rome was the kingdom that followed Greece and it was a mighty kingdom compared to those that preceded it, and it lasted much longer.
It lasted from 168BC when it conquorered Macedonia (Greece) to 540AD.
and it had great iron teeth:  The iron teeth are a reference back to the statue in Nebuchadnezzar's vision in Daniel chapter 2.
The empire of Rome was represented by iron legs.
The weapons of the Romans were made from iron, which differed to those of the Greeks, who used bronze, hence iron teeth.
it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it:  Rome was a very destructive empire. They destroyed everything in their path, including libraries and centres of learning.
and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it;  Rome was ruled by a different system of government to those that preceded it.
Their system is similar to systems we use today.
They were ruled by a senate and consuls.
and it had ten horns.
 A Horn is a branch of power. It is part of the head, which is the ruling system, but it is a division of that head. Daniel 7:24; Daniel 8:21;
These 10 horns mean the same thing as the ten toes of the statue in Daniel chapter 2.
They are the 10 divisions of Rome that later became the nations of Europe.
These were :-
     The Saxons,originating the English nation.
The Franks,originating the French nation.
The Alamanni,originating the German nation.
The Visigoths,originating the Spanish nation.
The Suevi,originating the Portuguese nation.
The Lombards,originating the Italian nation.
The Burgundians,originating the Swiss nation.
The Heruli,disappeared in 493 A.D.
The Vandals,disappeared in 534 A.D.
The Ostrogoths,disappeared in 538 A.D.

I considered the horns, and, behold,
there came up among them another little horn,
This is another Horn coming up. It is a little horn, so it is a smaller kingdom than the others before it.
Note that it is coming up among them, and these are the 10 kingdoms of Europe, so this kingdom is coming up in Europe.
Also note that it does not come out of one of the horns, it comes AMONG them. It comes from the ruins of the Roman Empire, just like they did.
before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots:  When something is plucked up by the roots, it dies. These three kingdoms were wiped out and destroyed.
The last of these 3 kingdoms, the Vandals, the Heruli, and the Ostrogoths, were wiped out in 538AD at the instigation of the papacy.
The ONLY power that fits this little horn power, is the catholic papacy, and there are many more clues that we have not discussed yet.
and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man,  There is a personal figure at the head of this power, a man who is identified with it.
This man is the pope.
and a mouth speaking great things.  The correct interpretation of the Hebrew is A mouth speeking great blasphemies. Later in the chapter, the angel clarifies this. See verse 25.
The papacy is guilty of many blasphemous statements, but two that can be proved direct from the bible are:-
A man claiming to forgive sins is a blasphemous statement.
Matthew 9:2-3,
A man claiming to be God is a blasphemous statement.
John 10:33, Matthew 26:63-66
I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit,   
This little horn power is going to run in time right up to the time when thrones were cast down.
This is a picture of the judgement and the time when the saints are rewarded with crowns and thrones.
The context of the Ancient of days did sit is one of judgment. John is here seeing the scene of the judgment.
whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.  
The colour White is symbolic for purity, while the fiery flame and the wheels of burning fire is a description of massive number of angels round the throne.
A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him:   
Once again, there are billions of angels present for this event.
the judgment was set, and the books were opened.  This is the judgment taking place. It takes place just before Jesus returns.
When Jesus returns, His reward is with Him. Revelation 22:12
The books were opened
There are two books referred to here. The book of judgment, where all of everyone's deeds, good or bad, are recorded, and the book of life, where the names of the saved are recorded.
If your name is in the book of life, then all your bad deeds in the book of the judgment are blotted out.
I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake:   
The papacy is going to reap what it has sown , and it will pay for it's crimes.
It will be judged for all the blasphemy, all the slaughter of the saints.
I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.  
The papacy, and all those like the jesuits, will burn for their crimes against humanity. Revelation 19:20, Revelation 20:10
As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away:   
The rest of the earthly powers have their claws cut , their power is taken away.
yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.  They are not destroyed immediately. They are left for a while to ponder the folly of aiding the papacy.
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven,   
After the judgment, Jesus returns, with all the heavenly hosts.
and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.  Jesus is going to bring His saved back to heaven, to present them before the Father.
And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom,   
Jesus is going to be given the keys to the new earth, the new kingdom He is setting up.
that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.  This kingdom is going to last forever, not fade away like all the earthly ones have done.
I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.   
Daniel has just seen all the strife that will occur from the time of his vision till the end of time.
He has seen all the martyrs that have died and will die at the hands of this beast, the papacy.
I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this.
So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.
Daniel has an angel to explain the vision he just saw.
These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.   
The four beasts he was shown are the kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome.
But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.   
The righteous will eventually win out, and will possess the new earth, and shall never die.
Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet;   
Daniel is troubled by the dragon beast he has seen, the beast of Rome, and he wants to know more about it.
And of the ten horns that were in his head,   
he is particularly interested in the ten horns, the breakup of the Roman empire, the ten nations of Europe.
and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.  And of the little kingdom that wiped out three nations (Vandals, Heruli, Ostrogoths) that speaks great blasphemies.
I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;   
He saw that the papacy would be against the saints of God, and would war against them, and would win the battle. (Only until Jesus returns)
Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High;   
The papacy will only last till the judgment, when the righteous saints of God will be vindicated, but the papacy will be judged guilty.
and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.  The earth will be taken away from the hands of the greedy, and given to the saints of God.
Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.   
This fourth kingdom of Rome, along with the divisions of it, and the papacy, will control the whole earth and shall totally subdue it and destroy it.
And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise:   
He is telling Daniel about the ten nations that will rise out of the Roman empire.
and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first,  The papacy comes up after the ten divisions of Rome occur.
and he shall subdue three kings.  He is referring to the destruction of the Vandals, Heruli and Ostrogoths by the papal power.
And he shall speak great words against the most High,   
These great words are the blasphemies against God that the papacy will utter.
and shall wear out the saints of the most High,  A reference to the millions of Christians that were tortured and butchered during the dark ages.
and think to change times and laws:  The papacy has changed the laws of God. It has removed the second commandment which says Thou shalt not bow down to graven images Exodus 20:4-5
The papacy has also changed the timing of God's holy day, the sabbath.
They changed the sabbath from the seventh day Saturday to the first day Sunday which is the day of the sun god.
But notice that is says think to change times and laws.
These changes are only in his head. They are not accepted by God.
and they shall be given into his hand  The papacy will rule over true Christians and appear to many to be "Holy"
until a time and times and the dividing of time.  A time is a prophetic year of 360 days. Daniel 4:16, 23, 25, 32;
and times is plural. In the Hebrew, if there was no number qualifying the number of plurality, then the number was 2 Daniel 7:25, Revelation 12:6,14, Revelation 13:5
The dividing of time is a fraction of a time and once again, in the Hebrew, if the ratio of the division was not specified, the the parts were equal.
So, we have:-
time 360 days
times 720 days
Dividing of time 180 days
Total 1260 days
However, in SYMBOLIC prophetic time, a prophetic day is a literal year. Ezekiel 4:6; Numbers 14:34
So, the 1260 days becomes 1260 years.
The papacy was given control in 538AD from the Roman emperor.
We should therefore expect that this control would end in 538AD + 1260 years = 1798.
Was this the case? Yes. Napoleon wanted to rule the world, and he could see that the papacy stood in his way, because of the control they had over the kings of the earth.
He ordered his General Berthier to take the pope captive in 1798 and he was imprisoned, and died in prison.
The papacy has not had world power since that day, but the bible says The deadly wound will be healed. Revelation 13:3
But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.   
As shown earlier, the judgment will be passed against the papacy and it will be destroyed, along with all those who follow it.
It should be mentioned here, that that does not include all the genuine catholics that believe the papacy in good faith.
However, once the truth is known by these "genuine" catholics, and they refuse to follow the truth, then they are no longer "genuine".
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.   
The coming kingdom, that Jesus will run, will be a great and glorious kingdom. It belongs to those who obey Him.
Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.   
Daniel has just seen the events of history from 540BC till the time when Jesus returns.
This would be a very sobering vision.

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