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The main theme of this section of scripture is the coming of the king and his final kingdom being established on this earth. This will be an eternal kingdom, that will never be destroyed, this king and his kingdom will not be like any other earthly kingdom. This will be glorious kingdom and a glorious king. I am going to break this up into two parts. 1) the world kingdoms and 2) the heavenly kingdom.
Verse 7 describes one of the beasts in Daniels visions, one of the details given was this beast had ten horns. Here is verse 8 Daniel is considering the horns, he was seeking God for the meaning of these horns when he noticed an eleventh horn. He noticed another “little” horn emerging from among the other ten.
This little horn had eyes and a mouth. The eyes were like human eyes and the mouth (KJV) was speaking great things. Great meaning: bigger than usual; important or powerful. This little horn was making some powerful, bold and even boastful statements. He appeared to have more influence and power than the other kings.
Are you curious what he might say? We already know what he is going to say, the Bible tells us in verse 25. The ESV states it, “He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the Saints of the Most High, and shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand for a time, times, and a half.”
I want to explain a bit more on who this little horn is. We know the little horn represents a ruler who will be around during the time of judgement. At the time of his rise to power three of the original kings will fall. This king will speak against Most High and oppress his holy people. He will also change times and laws (very important clue here). He will exert his oppressive power over God’s people for 3.5 years. Pay attention to this, did you catch the last part of vs. 25? “The saints shall be given into his hand for 3.5 years.” Vs. 21 in NKJV says, “I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them.” He will wage war against the saints and he will dominate and control them.
This is concerning because, we are the saints. God is going to give us into the hands of this antichrist for 3.5 years. Why? Why would God do that to us? I expect him to do this to those who choose to not accept Jesus as Lord, but I don’t expect this to happen to those of us who put our trust in the Lord. What could be the purpose of this?
This little horn emerges from the former Roman empire. How did the Roman empire treat the children of God? They persecuted the them. They heavily taxed them. They hated them. They tried from the time of Jesus’ birth to kill him. They hunted him down with the intention of murdering him, killing millions of babies in the process, they killed all but one Apostle. The description given is dreadful, terrible and exceedingly strong. Great description of how they treated and will treat Christians.
These 10 kingdoms and this one “little” king will emerge from this same Roman empire, with this same murderous, oppressive mindset. The Roman empire treated the children of God horribly and when it emerges it will continue to treat the children of God horribly. Not very encouraging, I know.
And to answer my question of why will this happen to us. I think this will be a way of separating true Christians from those who are not covered with the blood of Christ. Scripture from Matthew 13:24-30 comes to mind and in those verses we learn about the separation of the wheat (children of God) and the tares (the children of the devil). God wants to see if you are for Him and not against Him. You say you love the Lord, but being faced with intense persecution will prove whether or not you’re telling the truth.
According to verses 9-11 this ruler will continue to speak in a blasphemous, hate filled, arrogant way until the day of judgement arrives. At the time of judgement the entire beast, not just the remaining horns, the entire horrible beast will be slain and its body will be thrown into the blazing fire. And that will also be the end of the “little horn” or the antichrist.
Vs. 11 tells us that the fourth beast was destroyed and thrown into the burning flame. Verse 12 tells us the other three beasts (the Babylonian, Mede-Persian, Greek empires) had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. Each of these empires lost their dominion when the following empire took over. Their dominion was taken away before the Roman empire. Yet, we see bits and pieces of their mentalities still in existence, for example the Medes-Persians with their laws that go against God. They were all replaced with the Roman empire and will be destroyed along with it.
There is one more topic I’d like to discuss. The antichrist will rule during the first half of the tribulation. This will be his main time of persecution of believers. That being said, if you believe in pre-tribulation rapture, don’t think that you will not have any persecution. It might not be during the tribulation, but it will happen before the tribulation.
Daniel watched the little horn emerge. The emerging of this antichrist happens before the tribulation. As he emerges all Christians will experience an increase is persecution. We are seeing this more and more in our world today. We can watch the news and understand what season we are in. There is evidence all around that the enemy is preparing his take over for his appointed time.