Daniel’s prophetic vision of four future empires concludes with a transition from the fourth human empire, Rome (and possibly its reconstitution with modern-day descendants), to the future installation of God’s kingdom on earth. Towards the end of this final human empire, a person known as little horn, or Antichrist, will be permitted to draw upon demonic powers to unify, rule over, and trouble the globe. He will be allowed to blaspheme and defy the very goodness of God, misleading many, but only for a finite season. After three and a half years, a heavenly court will convene to rule against him. Presided over by God the Father, the Ancient of Days, this court will put a permanent end to all the powers of evil on the earth, and a glorious new era of peace led by Jesus Christ will begin.
9 “While I was watching,
thrones were set up,
and the Ancient of Days took his seat.
His garment was as white as snow,
and the hair of His head like pure wool.
His throne was ablaze with flames,
its wheels a burning fire.
10 A river of fire was flowing and coming out from before Him.
Thousands of thousands attended Him
and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him.
The court was seated,
and the books were opened. Daniel 7:9-10 (TLV)
Daniel’s vision continues to tell of the final days when ten world leaders, corresponding to the ten toes in the Daniel 2 vision of the statue, will align to rule the world. A little horn, the Antichrist, will then overthrow three of these to assume global domination. (The “kedoshim of the Most High” are believers who have chosen to follow and worship God.)
23 “Thus he explained: ‘The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on earth that will be different from all the other kingdoms. It will devour the whole earth, and trample it and crush it. 24 As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise. Another will arise after them, but he will be different from the previous ones; he will subdue three kings. 25 He will speak words against the Most High, and will continually harass the kedoshim of the Most High, and will try to change the appointed times and law. The kedoshim will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time. 26 But the court will sit and he will be stripped of his power to be destroyed and abolished for all time. 27 Then the kingdom, power, and greatness of the kingdoms under all heaven will be given to the people of the kedoshim of the Most High. Their kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions will serve and obey him.’ Daniel 7:23-27 (TLV)
Like the pains of childbirth, this final demonic push to destroy the human race will lead to a new birth, the eternal kingdom of God on earth. This is the fifth kingdom in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, the stone cut out by the hands of God:
34 While you were watching, a stone was cut out, but not by hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from summer threshing-floors that the wind blows away. Not a trace of them could be found. Then the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. Daniel 2:34-35 (TLV)
In a parallel passage from the New Testament book of Revelation, God’s people will rejoice and praise Him as His new eternal kingdom is installed.
11 “Worthy are You, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
For You created all things,
and because of Your will
they existed and were created!” Revelation 4:11 (TLV)
The kingdom of God was preached by Jesus Christ when He came the first time, attested to by miraculous healings and freedom from spiritual bondage. He also provided the way for us to join Him eternally – forgiveness of our sins by faith in Him and His sacrificial death on the cross and resurrection from the dead.
When Jesus returns to earth, He will rule and reign over this wonderful new kingdom. Let us join Him and be there!
Jesus loves each one of us, and cares about even the smallest detail in our lives. May He help us to surrender our worries and shortcomings to Him, receive His comfort, and share it in love with those around us.
Lord, we surrender to You today. Forgive us our sins and help us to make amends to others for our failures and poor decisions. We choose to follow You and walk in Your light. Bring us with You as You rule in God’s eternal kingdom. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.