“Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. (The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.) Daniel 7:11-12 (NIV).
These verses tie directly to Revelation 19, where, at the last judgment, the beast is thrown into the lake of fire: a permanent hell from which there is no escape. Keep in mind, however, at the time Daniel prophesied this, he was living in Babylon, during the reign of Belshazzar. John’s vision on Patmos was still 600 years in the future. The end of time was (and still is), as far as we know, far down the road.
This prophetic account was the story that was written while the Jews were still captive in Babylon. This was the story that became one of the books of the major prophets of the Old Testament. This was the story that Jesus and John and the disciples and all young men of their day would have learned in Torah school, long before John’s eventual exile on the small Aegean island.
The fourth beast that Daniel saw was the only one of the beasts that was slain. That matters because the beast of Daniel 7:11 corresponds to the beast in Revelation 19:20. Both blasphemed against God; both represent the devil but aren’t the devil. Many end times scholars correlate this beast and its loud little horn with the antichrist and his false prophet. The only difference is death. Where the fourth beast in Daniel is killed, the beast of Revelation and his false prophet aren’t. At the end of time, after the antichrist has been slain, in-dwelt by Satan to be ‘resurrected,’ and has spoken through his prophet to lead millions astray, both will be thrown alive into a lake of fire (demonstrating eternal punishment).
The lesson this teaches is that God will righteously prevail over evil. While evil seems unstoppable all throughout history, in contrast, the goodness of God has also always prevailed. You and I wouldn’t be reading this if it weren’t so. Even the horrors of war, true depravity, and brutal holocaust are only allowed to exist so as to help drive us closer to the Lord. Ours is a God who always helps. In our daily lives, God prevails. He provides and we live until midnight, to rest and begin again tomorrow. At the end of time, Jesus will prevail over the beast, the lying prophet, and their godfather, Satan, and will vanquish all of them forever. He defeated Satan once; He will do it again. Daniel said so. John interpreted it. And we get to understand and share it.
For further reading: Revelation 13:5-6, Revelation 19:20, Daniel 7:13
Lord Jesus, victor over all evil, forgive, guide, and teach me today.
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