In Daniel 7, God showed Daniel a vision of 4 beasts, representing the 4 empires or governing powers that will govern and rule over the world in the flow of history. This already happened. However, the prophecy goes further to speak about the end times.
The ram with 2 horns represents Mede and Persia. One is greater and one is small, the great Mede is broken and Persia takes control and rules. Later Greece under Alexander the Great were known as the goat people, and Greece destroys Persia. And Greece is represented by the goat. Though in history this prophecy was about Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome. But it is also referring to the nations that will rule over this world in the end times. The last horn that comes out represents Antichrist (Daniel 8:17, 19, 23-24).
What do they (beasts) do?
1. It moves about swiftly (Daniel 8:5)
Satan will roam about swiftly to accuse the people, to lure, and deceive and lead people to sin, then he will accuse him. He will move so fast that before we know it, we are already committing that sin (Job 1:7). So, we need to keep our hearts just like how God told Adam to keep and tend the Garden of Eden.
2. Wrathfulness is Satan’s trick
We need to get rid of wrath in our hearts and let the gentleness of Jesus Christ come in. In Daniel 8:6 The goat is destroying the ram and rushed at him. Greece destroyed Persia. Now in the end times, the beast will try to destroy the church.
That is why be angry yet do not sin (Ephesians 4:26-27). Let us not let the devil come in through our weakness in anger management, wrath, or our complaining hearts. The anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God (James 1:20).
3. Struck the ram and shattered his 2 horns. Satan will be enraged, roaring like a lion, seeking to destroy (Daniel 8:7)
Satan will destroy secular or religious, whatever gets in his way. His eventual purpose is to magnify himself, but God’s people will in the end glorify and magnify the Lord. The beast will try to take the place where the throne of God needs to be.
The throne of God needs to be:
(i) In your heart. The devil’s purpose wants to sit in your heart.
(ii) In the church. The beast wants to be the centre of that church.
So we need to be on the alert (1 Peter 5:8).
4. He hurled the ram to the ground and trampled on him (Daniel 8:7)
The beast will be given authority in the last 3.5 years to trample on the church, on the people of God. People favour the beast and boast about him. Later, the horn comes out with the mouth, it has got logic and theories. Therefore, we need to have the right understanding of the Word of God so as not to be deceived.
5. The large horn was broken and out came 4 horns
Daniel 8:8 shows Satan will divide and tear up the world, the church, and families.
This beast is now growing. The horns grow in number. Initially, Satan walks and roams around, then sits on the throne in the Holy Place, then starts breaking things up and tearing things down. God separates us to make us holy. But Satan tears us up and destroys our families and churches. So, we need to learn to be forgiving and harmonious.
6. Out of the 4 horns came a very small horn
Daniel 8:9 foreshadows the antichrist. We need to evangelize and transmit our faith down generations both vertically and horizontally. But Satan is also good at evangelizing and passing down his teaching. The work of the antichrist is to make everyone antichrist. Eventually, he will take the Holy Place and destroy and make us fall.
7. It grew exceedingly great towards the south, east and the beautiful land
The beast will invade even the spiritual and holy Jerusalem in the end times. Literally, the beautiful land is referring to Jerusalem. Spiritually, it is the church. So we need to pray for God’s protection.
8. The horn grew up to the host of heaven and caused some of the hosts to fall to the earth
After Satan enters the Holy Place and the beautiful land, he causes 1/3 of the stars to fall down to ‘the earth’. Stars represent people of faith (Daniel 8:10). Those who are on this earth will receive the mark of the beast. ‘The Earth’ here is talking about spiritual levels of faith. (Revelation 8:7; 12:4 )
9. It removed regular sacrifice from him for 2300 evenings and mornings (Daniel 8:11)
Satan will cause worship to come to an end and put a stop to regular sacrifice. We can think about that in 2 ways:
(i) In the end, there will be persecution, to the point churches will not be able to have worship services regularly.
(ii) Individual level: You are unable to worship even when you are in church because the forces of Satan is working so powerfully in your life. that you cannot concentrate, and sometimes you cannot even come to church.
10. It will exalt himself to stand against God and perish in the end (Revelation 19:20-21; 20:1-3)
The beast will perform signs. Those who do not have the discerning spirit to distinguish what is the Word of righteousness will be deceived. The beast stands against God in its arrogance, but it will perish in the end.
In order for us to overcome the beast, we need to become true saints, true Christians of the end times but it will not be easy (Revelation 3:18-22).
Jesus gave instructions to the 7 churches of the end times to be refined as pure gold, and the refining process is difficult because it consists of a lot of training and trials. Those whom God loves He disciplines them into repentance and makes them zealous. We must also put on white garments which is the righteous acts of the saints. We need to buy eye salve to spiritually discern and see.
Jesus says don’t open your door to Satan but open to Jesus, so He can come in to dine with us. If Jesus is dining with us, Satan cannot come in. Jesus invites us to sit with Him on His throne. Satan wants to sit on God’s throne.
We spoke of a beast with horns. But the Lamb also has the 7 horns, this speaks of the 7 spirits of God. We need the leading and guiding of the 7 spirits of God to be protected from the horns of the beasts (Revelation 5:6).