The dream that Daniel writes about in Chapter 7 greatly troubled him. In fact, it troubled him so much that he wasn’t able to clearly understand or interpret it, even though an explanation was provided to him during the dream.
Today we dive deeper into Daniel Chapter 7 and take a closer look at Daniel’s dream. Remember that Daniel was a wise man. He was thought to be among the wisest in the kingdom and was gifted with the ability to interpret and understand dreams.
The fact that he was unable to understand this dream is very significant. The dream was literally beyond comprehension, which suggests that the events in the dream were so far in the future they didn’t understand what they referred to.
Hello and welcome to Social Media Ministries, my name is Spencer Coffman. Today we are continuing a sermon series about the end times. This is going to be a 3-month sermon series so if you missed last week’s message you can check it out in the series playlist here. If you are listening somewhere else, navigate to our YouTube channel and you can find that playlist.
As promised today we are going to talk about Daniel’s dream, Daniel’s dream specifically in chapter 7. Daniel chapter 7 we read it last week, hopefully over the week you have read it yourself and have underlined or noted certain spots throughout this that stood out to you because we are going to dissect it and break it down over the next 3 months. It is a 14-part sermon series. This is part 2.
Before we dive into that though like I mentioned we are going to continue on with the timeline of the Book of Daniel. Let’s dive into that. I mentioned that Daniel chapter 7 was written over about a 6-year period. We are going to check this out.
The beginning of the Book of Daniel, the chapters are not in chronological order in the Bible. As you read them, 1, 2, 3, 4, on and on they are not in chronological order. They are really out of order, some of them and others. 1 through 4 is first and then we go to chapter 7 and 8, 5, 9, 6, 10, 12. That is the order, the timeline.
It started at about 605bc which is when Nebuchadnezzar took Jerusalem. Daniel and his friends were taken captive in Babylon at about age 15 and then they were groomed to become men of the king. So we skip ahead to chapter 7 which is where we are and that is King Belshazzar and that would be about 553 BC and then continuing on with Daniel chapter 7 it would go to about 549 BC. Then chapter 8 which is his vision of the ram and the goat that is about 548-547bc.
Daniel’s vision took the time span of about a 6-year timespan, in this instance chapters 7 and 8. Chapter 7 specifically according to the biblical timeline scholars and everybody. Again this could be a little bit off, plus/minus a couple years, but it is from about a 4-year time span. This one chapter is about 4 years, last week I said 6 years but that was his entire encompassing vision, so I want to clarify that.
All right now that we have a little bit about the chronological order of Daniel hopefully you have read the whole book of Daniel. If not, check out the Sparknotes version or start reading it because it is a great story. Daniel is an excellent man that was fully devoted to God, even as a captive in a foreign land, even unto death several times. He was willing to follow God.
Now one thing that many people know about Daniel is the Daniel in the lion’s den story, that he refused to stop praying to God and then he was put into the lion’s den. But what was Daniel? Well, he was a wise man, one of the king’s wise men and he was actually in charge of all of them. The reason he got that is because he was able to interpret dreams.
This is the part that we dive into Daniel chapter 2 which was shortly after they arrived in Babylon. They were kidnapped, taken away. Daniel chapter 2 happened and Nebuchadnezzar had this dream and he wanted to execute all of the wise men because they could not tell him what his dream was and then interpret it. They said, King that is impossible, first, tell us your dream and then we can interpret it. He said, no, if you truly are wise men you will be able to tell me what I dreamt and interpret it. Since you can’t do it you are all liars, I am killing you all.
Daniel says, whoa wait a minute, what is going on that you are going to kill all of us? Then he is told someone needs to interpret the king’s dream and know what he dreamt. So Daniel says to the king, hey listen, give me some time and I am going to pray to my God and He is going to reveal to me your dream. The king says fine, go do it. Daniel comes back and says, here is what you dreamt and this is Daniel chapter 2. Here is what you dreamt and here is what it means. The king says, unbelievable, you are in charge.
Daniel really gets chosen and selected above and beyond because of that ability and then he continues on to do wonderful things throughout the Book of Daniel. What is interesting about that and why I bring it up is because Daniel was known to be a great interpreter of dreams and then later on he has a dream in chapter 7 and he doesn’t know what it means. He is like, it is beyond me, I have no idea what is going on and so the second half of chapter 7 he is like, I just don’t understand.
So he asked to receive the interpretation and the being tells him what the things represent and then at the end he says I am still deeply troubled and I have no idea what is going on. But I kept the matter to myself and so even though he was told what thing they represent, he didn’t know specifically what it represented. What do I mean by that?
Well, it says that he told me the interpretations of these things. Now this is in 7:17. The 4 great beasts are 4 kingdoms. Okay so he knew that they were kingdoms but Daniel wasn’t able to tell what kingdoms they were specifically or when it would happen. They said that they are kingdoms that will rise so it is future. Daniel knew that much but he didn’t know specifically what it all meant.
He had an idea but it was still so much that he was troubled by it and we find that interesting because Daniel was able to interpret all of these dreams and everything, but the meaning of this was not revealed to him. That is something very interesting. What did he see?
Let’s take a look at Daniel chapter 7 verses 1 through 3, He saw 4 winds churning up the sea and he saw 4 great beasts coming out of the sea.’ In those verses alone some great prophecy on what that is, provided that you understand the meaning and the symbolism of what these beasts are and what these 4 great winds are. We are going to go through this.
Remember one side point is that God loves to speak in parables and representations and symbolism, Jesus spoke in parables all the time and He did so that the meaning was hidden and then only revealed to those who could truly understand it and even some of His disciples didn’t understand and they would ask Him, Lord tell us what this means? He would say are you still so dull, are you so dense that you don’t get this? Then He would explain it to them, but He didn’t explain it to all the 12. He only explained it to His inner circle of 3 or 4 of them and He would then interpret what those parables mean.
Daniel wasn’t revealed this, wasn’t revealed to him. He didn’t know what this vision meant. We are gonna try to get into that. Let’s start out with the winds, 4 winds. What do they represent? Well, I believe they represent strife, war, and conflict, and why do I think that?
We are going to turn to Jeremiah 49. Jeremiah chapter 49 verses 36 and 37. ‘I will bring against Elam the 4 winds from the 4 quarters of the heavens. I will scatter them to the 4 winds and there will not be a nation where Elam’s exiles do not go.’
Alright, this is also about Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon and the time of this, if you go earlier in the verses in that chapter, verse 30 is about Nebuchadnezzar and the king of Babylon plotting against you. This is what God is saying about Elam and that it will be scattered by the 4 winds. That is why we think that the vision of Daniel is about strife, war, and conflict because these 4 winds from the 4 corners represent that. Now does it matter? Yes, a little bit, but basically it is setting the precedent for this.
‘In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and he wrote it down’. There were 4 winds of heaven churning up the great sea and so this is going to bring about that before these beasts. What these beasts mean, if they are nations we are going to have a bunch of conflicts, strife, war, all kinds of things happening in this world before we get into what these nations mean. Just know that the end times are going to be war, conflict, strife that is starting that way.
Let’s turn to Revelation 17:15. Revelation 18 is about the fall of Babylon. We are going to go to chapter 17 verse 15, ‘Then the angel said to me, the waters you saw where the prostitute sits are peoples and multitudes and nations and languages.’ Okay, so the waters are people and multitudes. In Daniel, the first part of it says he saw 4 winds of the heavens churning up the great sea. If we correlate this to Revelation, the waters, the great sea could be the multitudes of people.
That is us humans on the earth, we are the great sea. Then the 4 winds of heaven are churning up all of us people, so if people are being churned that is conflict, strife, we are not agreeing with each other, we are being churned and we are going against each other. The sea represents the multitudes of people in the nations if we correlate that with Revelation.
The beasts represent kingdoms. We know this through the interpretation from Daniel chapter 7 verses 17 and 23. Let’s read 17. ‘The 4 great beasts are 4 kingdoms then that will rise from the earth.’ That is an important point, that will rise from the earth.
Then we go to 23, let’s check that out. It says, ‘He gave me this explanation of the fourth beast. It is a fourth kingdom that will appear on the earth. It will be different from the other kingdoms that will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it.’ The reason I believe this hasn’t happened yet is because we are still living on the earth. The whole earth has not been devoured, trampled down, and crushed.
One other point that I want to mention is that we can correlate this to Revelation. I didn’t just pull this out of nowhere, because verse 16 in Revelation right after what we just read, ‘The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin, leave her naked. They will eat her flesh and burn her with fire.’
It is a different vision that John had, years, years later while he was in exile and it was a similar vision though because it had 10 horns. There was a beast with ten horns. Daniel’s beast with ten horns. In Daniel, there was the main adversary, the one horn. In Revelation, it is this prostitute that gets devoured and trampled, and torn down. In Daniel, it was the one beast. They are different visions but they can be correlated to mean the same thing.
They are both visions of the future and that is another reason why I believe that this Daniel chapter 7 has not happened yet, because it is a vision of the future. Now at the time of Daniel, let me be clear, because in today’s time 2022 some of this stuff in Daniel chapter 7 has happened by now. But at the time Daniel received this dream it wasn’t he was dreaming something that already happened, it already passed, it was a vision of the future and that is where a lot of people go wrong.
We will talk about that next week. A lot of people say, well Daniel’s dream is simply a reflection of another dream that had already happened that he interpreted for King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel chapter 2 so it already happened, it represented nations that have already come and gone and it is done and over with.
No, we will get into that next week, it hasn’t happened at this point in time of Daniel and the reason we know that is because it correlates with this Revelation scripture which hadn’t happened yet at the time of John which was way after Daniel. If both of these are meaning a similar interpretation or at least the fourth beast which in John had the ten horns. That would mean that that part of Daniel’s dream, according to chapter 7:24 that is a beast with the ten horns, that hasn’t happened yet. But the rest of Daniel’s dream, the beginning of it, the other beasts, that part has, as of 2022.
Right now we will dive into that. The beasts represent kingdoms. What kingdoms do they represent? Well, that is going to be continuing on. What are the beasts? He tells readers that he saw 4 beasts. What are they?
A lion with the wings of an eagle. That is a nation, a lion with the wings of an eagle. Then we have a bear with the 3 ribs in his mouth. It is another nation and the 3 ribs can represent even more nations. We will get into each one of these every consecutive week so stay tuned. Hopefully, we are setting this up and you are excited about it. Then we have a leopard with 4 wings and 4 heads. That is a nation with 4 other nations around it and the 4 heads.
Then we have the last beast, a terrifying beast with iron teeth and ten horns. This is one that has not occurred yet. Why? Well because in Revelation we have a beast with ten horns and in Daniel the beast with ten horns, now if they are the same vision at different times, but we don’t know, maybe Daniel and John both saw that same beast with ten horns. We don’t know but it sounds like they could be similar. So that part hasn’t happened yet.
On this beast, the other horn sprouted up and uprooted 3 of the horns. The final horn had eyes and a mouth. Each of these beasts represents a kingdom or a country and there will be war and conflict between them all and between the multitudes of people. Remember Jesus liked to speak in symbolism, parables, visions, and everything like that. This is no different. Daniel has received a vision of the future. Why is it of the future? Well, again we kind of tied it into Revelation there. But next week we are going to get into a little bit more on what it means. How the beasts represent modern nations and why. Continuing on we will just kind of give you a synopsis.
Last week again we spoke about the overview of the end times. Today Daniel’s dream and then we are going to continue on through this series on how the beasts are representing modern nations. What do I mean about modern nations? That would mean nations that were in yours and my lifetime or at least in our immediate history. Not from the Old Testament as other people have believed. We will dive into the erroneous representation of the beast which is what they have believed about the Old Testament and that they were nations that have already gone. That is not the case. They are nations that have happened now.
Then we are going to start diving into each of the beasts. The lion into the man, the wings of the eagle. The bear with 3 ribs. The leopard with 4 wings and 4 heads. The leopard head, how it got wounded, and then we are gonna get into what it all could mean with the new world order, the fourth beast. The east against the west. The beginning of the end and finally the end times, the end of it all.
If you haven’t read Daniel chapter 7 read it. If you are not familiar with the story of Daniel, get familiar. Why do you need to get familiar? It will help you understand who Daniel was and the context. The fact that this dream troubled Daniel so much and he didn’t understand it is very very significant.
Why is it significant? Because Daniel knew what was happening. He interpreted other dreams. He was a wise man. He was given the eyes to see and the ears to hear. A gift from God. The spirit was strong in him. He knew and so if he didn’t understand this, even though the interpretation was given to him, he didn’t know exactly what it represented.
That could mean 1 of 2 things. Either Daniel really didn’t know what was going on or that what was going on was not something that would happen in his lifetime. Not something that he could relate to the current world in which he lived. Whereas with King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream that he not only received what the dream was but then also received the interpretation of it that applied to their world in that time. Daniel could do that.
One of the reasons maybe he doesn’t understand this one is because it cannot be applied to his time. It was something that is way down in the future, words, nations that he didn’t even know. That possibly hadn’t even been discovered yet, and so he was deeply troubled by what in the world could all of this mean. Because he literally did not have the geographical reference and the frame of mind to comprehend what it could mean, because it was not given to him yet. He hadn’t lived it. It wasn’t even there, it wasn’t even discovered. That it is something that was so far advanced that he didn’t know.
We know that it couldn’t be because Daniel didn’t understand or didn’t know what was going on or was a fraud because if you know who Daniel was and you know the Book of Daniel and his story, he should have understood this. The fact that he didn’t understand this is another great point that it is something that hadn’t happened or is something that wouldn’t happen for a very long time. The fact that it is similar to Revelation and the visions there further emphasizes the point that it is something in the future.
How far in the future? Well, I believe that in terms of our world today, you and me, it is in our past, some of it is in our future, but most of it is in our past. From Daniel, all of it was way beyond in the future and even from John most of that is in the future.
Revelation, we can get into that another time, it is another great story. Most of what is in Revelation had already happened as well by the time John was there and they thought Jesus was coming back any day. Then when they realized that he isn’t back yet we got to start writing this down. That is when they started documenting the books of the New Testament that we have to read today.
I hope that you are a little bit inspired and intrigued with this, you are probably thinking like, let’s get on with it. Let’s go, let’s dive into this, you are stalling. Like I said we got 3 months to cover this, we got 3 months to get in. There is a lot of content so stick with it. Stick with me and read, learn this, understand the Bible, and let’s do this together. Remember, be polite in your discussion, be respectful but definitely do discuss this with others.
Let’s pray. Lord Jesus thank you so much for this overview of Daniel’s dream, this message today. I ask you to keep people interested in this. That they would dive into it a little bit more about the timeline and about how things happen and when they happened and really understand what was going on during the world at that time that Daniel lived, that it wasn’t all daffodils and roses and easy.
It was a hard time and so for him to get these visions of war and conflict and strife and nations and weird beasts and all of this, it definitely was overwhelming, and the fact that it was so new and something that he didn’t comprehend, that it could be so far in the future.
Lord help us to really grasp and comprehend and understand this and then to share it with others and engage in that discussion. Lord allow that discussion to spark interest by other people and that they would then begin and that seed would grow in them and that they would be able to come to you so that they can invite you into their life and that we can reap those seeds that we have sown in their lives. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
If this is your first time with us check out last week’s message as well and stay tuned to the rest of the messages in this series. In addition, feel free to check out other messages on our channel or our podcast. Follow us on social media. If you have any prayer requests, comment below or reach out to us on social media as well. God bless.