The dream that Daniel wrote about in Daniel Chapter 7 describes a lion with the wings of an eagle having its wings removed. After that, the lion is humbled and turned into a man. Daniel learns that the dream is a prophecy about kingdoms.
The interpretation of this dream has fascinated scholars for centuries, with many different explanations being proposed. Some believe that it was simply a warning to the nation of Israel about the impending threat of invasion by these two great empires. Others believe that it had a more spiritual meaning, foretelling the rise and fall of various world powers throughout history.
Whatever its original intent may have been, there is no doubt that the dream has taken on new significance in modern times. In an age where we are constantly bombarded with news reports of global conflict and political unrest, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and hopeless about the future of our world.
Throughout the previous messages in this series, you’ve learned that this beast must represent a modern-day 21st-century nation. The question is, which nation? Well, there are a few possibilities, so join us as we narrow them down to the best possible option of what nation the lion represents!
If you haven’t, please read:
Hello and welcome to Social Media Ministries, my name is Spencer Coffman. Thank you so much for tuning in today. If this is your first time, take advantage of those subscribe buttons below whether you are listening on the podcast or watching on YouTube. If you are returning with us, excellent.
We are in the middle of an awesome series about the end times. We are on part 5 and have about a 3-month long sermon series. If it is your first time and you haven’t seen the previous sermons related to this series check them out in a card up here or navigate to YouTube and find the playlist about the end times and you can get caught up that way.
Today we are talking about the first beast represented or described in Daniel’s vision in Daniel Chapter 7. Now a little bit of a recap. Daniel Chapter 7 happened in about the middle of Daniel’s life, he was roughly around 60 to 70 years old. This would have been about 50 years after Daniel chapter 2 which was Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and a lot of people mistakenly correlate the two. We have shown the past couple weeks that that is an error, that it simply is not the same interpretation, it is not the same dream, they are different.
Then this also is about 2 or 3 years different from Daniel chapter 8. I believe last time I said the whole thing could have spanned a 6-year period from Daniel chapter 7. Really the vision of Daniel chapter 7 was in the first year of King Belshazzar and then the vision in Daniel chapter 8 was in about the third year of King Belshazzar.
However, the dreams and everything of the writing could have spanned about 6 years and it could have been even later. But the point is that from one vision to the other vision was only about 2 to 3 years, not the whole 6-year span. I just wanted to clarify that so there wasn’t any confusion.
When you go and when you have read the Bible and you said, wait a minute, he said 6 years. Well, 6 years could be the span, but the vision to vision would be 3 years because it says in the first year of King Belshazzar in 7 and then chapter 8 in the third year of King Belshazzar’s reign, so it is very clear biblically when these things happened.
But at the start of chapter 7, who knows if he had that vision for a full 2 years or if he just had it in one night? We don’t know that. Based on scholars and the biblical timeline they always estimate in excess. For example this scholar here, I just found this on Google by the way, this scholar says a possible timeline for Daniel’s vision of 4 beasts 553-549 BC. Well, that would be 4 years.
We already know that it is not 4 years based on the Bible because from the vision of the beasts chapter 7 to chapter 8 would be from the first year to the third year, so it is only 3 years. These scholars always add a year plus or minus because they don’t want to be wrong. We know that it was about a 2- or 3-year period, whether it was 2 or 3 years during 553bc to 551bc, or 551bc to 549bc, that is what they are allowing for in that margin.
When I said 6 years last week, it is really in a 6-year span but the vision to vision was 3 years, so it gives you a little room for margin. Now that we got that cleared up, you probably didn’t even care or maybe you didn’t even notice, but I just want to make sure that everything we are presenting here is directly from the Bible, that there is no room for error because it comes from the Bible.
When we go about the visions and I show you that chapter 7 is different than chapter 2, and chapter 8 could be more closely related to chapter 2, and then we jump all the way to Revelation 13 and we see some beasts there that relate to chapter 7, it is true because I have shown you how they correlate. If you haven’t seen that I really encourage you not only to read those chapters, Daniel chapters 2, 7, and 8, and also Revelations chapters 12 to 14 because that is what we have been talking about in this whole series.
Enough with all of that. Let’s dive into the purpose of today, which is talking about the first beast. I am going to recap the first beast, really what I am going to do is read the verses here 7:4. Daniel chapter 7 verse 4, you have probably read it about 5 times since we have started this. ‘The first was like a lion and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so it stood on 2 feet like a man and the heart of a man was given to it.’ That is it, one verse we are talking about, one verse today and it is the man.
Now we could jump up to the interpretation and say, okay let’s talk about the interpretation of that. However, Daniel the mighty interpreter of dreams was unable to get the interpretation or to provide us anyway with the interpretation, whether or not he figured it out. Maybe God said, hey don’t tell anyone about this. We don’t know.
But all that we know in the interpretation is the 4 great beasts are 4 kingdoms that will rise from the earth. We know it is in the future. We have covered this in the weeks past. We know that they are future of the time of Daniel. That means that they could not have been in the past, which means it could not have related to Daniel chapter 2 and Nebuchadnezzar’s dream because that was in the past, remember 50 years earlier than this vision.
Now, in addition, future, it has to be when the AntiChrist is here. These nations, we have gone over some of what they could represent, but today let’s talk about the lion transformed into a man. It must represent a nation. Which one? Well, one that begins after the birth of Christ and still exists when Christ returns to destroy the AntiChrist. How do we know that?
Well, remember Daniel Chapter 7 verses 11 through 12. It says, ‘The other beasts had been stripped of their authority.’ The nations were stripped of their authority but were allowed to live for a period of time after. After what? Okay jump up another verse, ‘I continued to watch because of the boastful words of the horn’, which is what the AntiChrist was speaking or not specifically the AntiChrist but the nation that the AntiChrist brings in. ‘Until the horn was speaking, I kept looking until the beast was slain.’
That beast represents the AntiChrist and its body was destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. The AntiChrist is going to be destroyed, thrown into the blazing fire, and these other nations that were here the 4 other or the 3 other nations, maybe even the 4th, that one nation that comes in and takes over everything they will be allowed to be around for a period of time.
We know that it has to be after the birth of Christ and that they still need to be here when Christ returns. What nations could they be? Must be a modern nation and that is it now. Some people say, well the lion was Babylon and we know it can’t be Babylon. Why? Because Babylon was in existence before Christ and it no longer exists today. So 2 things, that is why the lion must be a modern nation.
Okay moving on, it must be a nation that fell and you say, wait a minute I thought you said it has to still be in existence. Yes, still in existence but remember we have a lion with wings. Then the wings were torn off and the lion is no longer a lion, it is now a man, and the heart of a man is given to it. So to go from a lion to a man is a pretty big downgrade and I don’t mean that as intellectually but in terms of the power of a beast.
If a man goes up against a lion who is going to win? Unless it is Samson, probably the lion. The lion was humbled and turned into a man and given the heart of a man, men, mankind, humankind is really what it should be. They were given the heart of a human to be politically correct nowadays. The point is it was humbled, so this is a nation that was powerful that was humble, and then something came off of it and broke off and started something else.
Let’s check out what it could be. There are several modern nations today that use the lion as their symbol, about 18 of them, could be more, could be less. This was just the main nations of course. There are over 200 different countries and there are many states or provinces that could also use the lion as their symbol, their state flag or their province flag could have the lion on it, and who knows maybe they could rise into a nation and you didn’t take the lion and come up.
I mean we never know what could happen in the future, if the US splits in 2 and half of it goes with one symbol and half goes with another or north/south. We don’t know what the future will hold, however, we know that this has to be a nation that is already split so the chances of this being a nation that exists today and existed are very very good. It is doubtful that it is a nation that we don’t know of.
So let’s check this out. We have 7 nations in Africa that use the lion and again could be more but Ethiopia, Gambia, Kenya, Libya, Morocco, Sierra Leone, Togo. Could it be any of those nations? Those nations are strife with war in Africa, the whole continent really is, and Africa, no offense to anyone from Africa or living in Africa but they have not really been a world superpower throughout history.
Other nations have always been trying to conquer Africa. They have always been coming in. They have always been taking it over. They have been taking the people as slaves. Africa has been really a poverty-stricken nation for many many years, decades, centuries, etc. So we are pretty confident that this lion with eagle’s wings humbled into a man is not one of those nations.
Let’s continue. We have the United Kingdom represented by England, specifically Great Britain, Luxembourg, Netherlands, North Macedonia, pretty big empire, Norway, Singapore, and Sri Lanka however you would like to pronounce it, there is some debate, but we are not going to get into that all. Right, of those nations we have a few contenders. The UK, Great Britain, England, they have been around for many centuries, they were a world superpower, they have gone up and down and rise and fall so it could be that.
We have got the Netherlands, Norway with the Vikings who were ruling the world at one point in time and now they are pretty much non-existent, so they could have definitely been humbled. But further we have a couple of other nations that have taken on a lion.
Iran is the Persian lion and once again Iran has not really been a world superpower. If you would have said Israel as a part of it then maybe, but have they been humbled and have they torn off into other nations? Well, we have all of their little sects or cults that have split up and divided as people groups, so I mean I wouldn’t say that one was large enough to be a contender.
Then we have the griffin which is a winged lion or a lion with wings. Sometimes the griffin is portrayed to have the head and neck of an eagle and then a lion’s body and then the wings of an eagle, so depending on the type of griffin drawn or portrayed it may not be the beast. In Daniel, it was specifically a lion with eagle’s wings, not a lion body with an eagle head and wings. The beast in Revelation chapter 13 was a mixture of beasts so we are pretty confident that this lion into a man is not related to Revelation 13.
Of the nations that have that griffin, what could they be? Well, Babylon uses the winged lion, more like a lion rather than the eagle’s head. Babylon was definitely a contender, but as we said they do not exist so we are pretty pretty sure we can strike Babylon out.
But the nation of Venice which is really not a nation because Venice is a part of the country of Italy. But Venice has historically been around, they are part of the Roman empire, they have had a winged lion for a long time. Venice could possibly be a contender because maybe it was a bigger part of the Roman empire and then it got humbled and Italy kind of took over Venice, depending on how you want to look at that. It is not a very strong case, but it is a case.
Wales, they have got a winged lion and then Alexander the Great, he used a winged lion as his symbol, but we know that this can’t be Alexander the Great. Why? Well because many many people are confused that Alexander the Great should have been the leopard with it being divided into his 4 generals, the 4 kingdoms, but we know that this can’t happen. Because we look at Daniel chapter 8 and that is where the proof comes in, the 2-horned ram represents kings of Media and Persia and the shaggy goat is the king of Greece.
The large horn between its eyes is the first king, Alexander the Great. The 4 horns that replaced it, the one that was broken off, because Alexander died or was killed and was broken off, represent 4 kingdoms that emerged from this nation but will not have the same power, so that would have been his 4 generals that divided up the empire.
So we already know that Alexander the Great is not in Daniel chapter 7, it is in Daniel chapter 8, a more accurate representation. So Alexander the Great even though he used the winged lion as a symbol of his power, he is not there.
People that have a lot of different interpretations, they say Alexander the Great could be that lion, could be the bear with the 3 ribs and he devoured these empires, or it could be the leopard. No, he is not even in there. They are just trying to give him something. He is in chapter 8, put it to bed, be done with it.
England also uses a winged lion on its currency by the way, so let’s take a look at the contenders. We have got the Vikings and England, really that is it. If you want to get into a big discussion about why that is, do some research, we can comment below. Remember, discussion not debate. We want to be polite and respectful with anyone who participates. So continue on with that mentality.
I am going to skip to the chase here, cut to the chase, and say that over the Vikings and how their empire went and how they pretty much don’t exist, they are not out pillaging and plundering now. We are just Norwegian or Scandinavian, I mean it is my heritage so you know we just exist, we are not still a superpower. Yes if we were humbled we didn’t become another nation, unless you would say it divided but not really.
So the best contender would be really England or Great Britain specifically, and why is that? Well, let’s take a look at it. The nation of Great Britain officially came into being around the 1700s, by about 1707 and this is long after the birth of Christ, so that checks that box.
They were a major world superpower with the superior navy, the British Navy or the Royal Navy, they were like the only place in the world other than maybe Singapore or some of those nations over near that area, Southern Asia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka all that, they had fleets of ships but they were nothing compared to the Royal navy.
This place had over one-fifth of the world’s population at the time which is a major major number for just one area. The UK at their height, they were the largest empire in the world so that is another reason why some people try to throw Alexander the Great in there because he had conquered over like half the known world by the time he was 23. He had one of the largest empires. So did Napoleon. So did, I mean, a lot of people like the Huns.
Great Britain had the law. I mean they were huge, the largest empire in the world. They held their power for over a hundred years and this is really the kind of the kicker, these guys were major players. They held the best navy, the most people, the most land for over a hundred years. They were big. They were proud. They became arrogant.
They were conquering the entire world. They set out to go to a new world in a new land and they tried to conquer that. Separate colonies, they were expanding like crazy. They were becoming proud and arrogant and they were ruling their people very harshly. What happened? They were humbled. They went from being a roaring lion flying all over the world, conquering the world and they were humbled, their wings were torn off, and became a separate nation of its own.
This lion was transformed into a man and they were humbled, they were taken down a notch. The wings became a new nation and rose up and they were no longer even a lion roaring over here. They became a humble man which means they lost a lot of their empire.
How did they lose it? Well, the England, UK, Great Britain area was huge. It started becoming separate countries, separate nations being divided, royal families, all kinds of stuff and they got smaller and smaller and smaller and now it is in the continent of Europe of course. The United Kingdom is made up of several separate places. They were definitely humbled. They had their wings torn off and that became a nation of its own. What nation?
We really now have another beast. Daniel his dream had 4 beasts, but we have the lion and its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground, it is done. Two feet like a man and the heart of a man was given to it. Those wings, they don’t just disappear, they become something else. We are going to talk about that next week. What do these wings represent? What nation did they become? Is that nation still in existence today? Will it be in existence later? We are going to talk about all of that next week.
I am sure you have some speculations, but you are welcome to comment below with them. For sure tune in next week because we are going to continue this. We have got the lion. We know what that was. It turned into a man and now we have got a new nation that has eagle’s wings. What is it?
Come back next week and we will talk about it. We have still got a lot of the series left so keep with us. Subscribe to the channel, hit the like buttons on the video, share these with other people, engage in discussion about this fascinating topic of the end times.
Let’s pray. Lord Jesus thank you so much for bringing us all here today. Thank you for these great messages, for the interpretation of this, and the wisdom and insight that you are giving each and every one of us to dive into this topic and to really sift through everything.
There are so many popular beliefs out there that really are flat-out wrong and again whether or not we agree or disagree, this isn’t a salvation issue. We know that we can disagree on this and as long as we believe that you are our Lord and Savior, you died for our sins, you forgave us, you paid the price, you paid our costs and when we die we know that your blood is all that gets us into heaven. That is the salvation message that we believe.
Even if we disagree on what these beasts mean if we agree on that, we are all going to heaven and that is the bottom line. So, Lord, I ask that if there are people out there that are being introduced to this through these great beasts and these interpretations that they would continue to be curious and that their seed would grow and flourish and it would bear fruit.
That they would become followers of you and then even disciples of you and sharing this with many many other people. He who wins souls is wise and Lord I ask that each and every person out there would start winning souls for you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Thanks again so much for being here. This was part 5 of a big sermon series, about 3 months, we have got about 14, so keep with us. I hope you are interested. I hope you keep it going with it. It is fascinating to me and I hope it is fascinating to you. If there are any questions please comment below and I will try to clarify anything as we continue on. So stay tuned and God bless.