|Daniel 7 gives a
description of the Beast in a vision that Daniel saw in a dream
while lying on his bed. He wrote down the substance of his dream.
Daniel saw four beasts rise out of a sea that was being churned up
and stirred about by the four winds of heaven. The sea is a symbol
of the people of the earth (Rev 17:15), so the vision will be
fulfilled in a time of tumult on the earth. Daniel saw a vision of
four beasts, that represent four kingdoms that will arise on the
earth prior to the saints receiving victory on the earth (Dan
7:17,18). His vision could be a description of the rise of
The four beasts that Daniel saw are:
Terrible Beast (United States)
Most of Daniel’s attention focussed on
the fourth beast.
After that, in my vision at night I
looked, and there before me was a fourth beast-terrifying and
frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it
crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot
whatever was left. It was different from all the former
beasts, and it had ten horns. "While I was thinking about
the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one,
which came up among them; and three of the first horns were
uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a man
and a mouth that spoke boastfully.
He gave me this explanation: 'The
fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It
will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour
the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. The ten
horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After
them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones;
he will subdue three kings. He will speak against the Most
High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times
and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a
time, times and half a time’ (Dan 7:7,8,23-25).
This frightening kingdom devoured the
whole earth, trampling it down and crushing everything that stood
in its way. This is a description of a powerful military empire
that will dominate most of the earth.
Most biblical commentators say that this
prophecy will be fulfilled when the European Union transforms into
a super-state, like a restored Roman empire. There are real
problems with this view. Disagreement between the EU members means
that they will be unlikely to hand over full sovereignty to the
European parliament. Europe is economically weak and its
population is declining. European military forces are very limited
and the anti-war sentiments of the population would make a
military build-up difficult. Therefore, if this prophecy is being
fulfilled in our time we need to look outside Europe.
The most obvious interpretation of the
beast with the ten horns is that a number of independent nation
states hand over their sovereignty to become part of a single
united nation. One third of these nations refused to hand over
their sovereignty and are forced to join under threat of military
America is only once place where this has happened in recent
history. The thirteen states that gained
independence from Britain were each independently governed,
autonomous nation states. They joined together to fight for their
independence, but they remained politically independent. After the
war of independence, these nation states came together and
established the United States. They created a federal system in
which they handed over very limited powers (mostly defence) to the
federal government. All other powers were retained by the states.
We sometimes get confused by the use of
the word state in this context. These states were not provinces of
a greater state, but independent nations that gave some power to a
federal government. Because they joined freely, many states
considered that they could also withdraw from the Union. At the
beginning of the civil war, the southern states attempted to
withdraw from the Union and establish a separate confederacy.
civil war was primarily fought over the right of these states to
secede from the Union. The army of the twenty northern states (two
thirds) destroyed the armies of the 11 southern states (one
third). The victory of the union forces enabled them to maintain
the union, eliminating the power of the states to secede. This
opened the way for a gradual shift of power to from the states to
the federal government. During the following century, the United
States became the most powerful nation in the entire world and the
states are now just provinces of this greater entity.
Commentators are looking for a powerful
confederacy of nations. They forget that there is already a
powerful union called the "united states". Daniel saw a
group of nations (ten horns) joined together to become one nation
(a single horn). At first the federal government had very limited
power (a little horn). The federal government defeated a group of
states that tried to withdraw from the union (three horns) and
then the federal government became very powerful (little horn
becomes large beast).
The numbers ten and three should not be
taken literally. Ten symbolises completeness, indicating that all
the states joined freely. The number three indicates that 3/10 of
the states would be defeated in their attempt to secede. The
number also symbolises God. At the time of the civil war, the
southern states were the more godly, whereas the northern states
were dominated by a heresy called Unitarianism.
Ten minus three is seven. Seven symbolises
divinity. This indicates that the conquering states would take
attempt to take on sovereignty that belongs only to God. The beast
attempts to "try to change the set times and the laws".
This is a reference to a rejection of God’s laws. Since the
civil war, the United States government has become increasingly
secular and humanistic. The Supreme Court has forced through a
separation between church and state, that has shut the influence
of Christianity out of the corridors of power. Whereas the
thirteen original states had laws directly based on the bible,
American law is now dominated by pragmatism and humanism.
The same beast is described in Revelation
The beast, which you saw, once was,
now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his
destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not
been written in the book of life from the creation of the
world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he
once was, now is not, and yet will come. The beast who once
was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the
seven and is going to his destruction. The ten horns you saw
are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for
one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast.
The ten horns did not exist in John’s
time. They are the states that were established by the settlers in
America (ten symbolised completeness). They were originally
independent autonomous political entities, but after the war of
independence, they handed their authority over to the federal
government of the United States.
After the civil war, the federal
power gained even more power from the states. The United States of
America has now become a might military and political power in the
world, supported by the American entertainment industry.
The beast also has seven heads.
This calls for a mind with wisdom. The
seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. They are
also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not
yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little
while. The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth
king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction
There are several suggestions about what
this means. The best is that the seven kings represent seven world
empires. The fact that John says that this calls for a mind with
wisdom suggests that the kings are not to be understood literally.
They could each represent a world empire. The five that have
fallen would be Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia and Greece. Rome
would be the sixth, which was in existence when John was writing.
The seventh would be the Holy Roman Empire.
The United States is an eighth
world empire. John says that it belongs to the seven. This is
another way of saying that it will have all the characteristics of
the previous world empires. The beast when it comes will be an
obvious successor to all these empires. John wars that it will be
mortal like its predecessors and go to destruction.
Daniel says that the fourth beast was
terrifying and frightening and very powerful (Dan 7:7). The United
States has become so powerful it is feared by all the nations of
the world. The Newsweek magazine for 24/3/2003 carried a banner,
"Why America scares the World". The reason is that the
United States power has become so dominant, no other nation or
coalition of nations can challenge it.
The second half of the twentieth century
was dominated by the cold war. Although America emerged as victor
from World War II, it was threatened by the power of the Soviet
Union and China. The collapse of the Soviet empire brought a
dramatic change in the world situation. We moved from a world
dominated by a number of super-powers to one dominated by just
one. The military and economic power of the United States is now
unmatched in the world.
The economic power of the United States is
also amazing. With the collapse of the Japanese economy, the
United States became the dominant global economic power. It has
been the largest economy in the world since 1900 and now accounts
for nearly half of the world’s economic production. The United
States economy is now as large as the next three, Japan, Germany
and Britain, put together. California’s economy alone has become
the fifth largest in the world, ahead of France and just behind
the UK. Most international trade is denominated in the US dollar
and most nations use it as their reserve currency. The dominance
of the United States is set to continue into the future, as it
undertakes 50 percent of the research and development done in the
world, more than the R&D expenditure of the next seven richest
counties combined. The United States is the most popular
destination for the world’s best scientists and trained foreign
The population of the United States is
younger and growing fast, whereas the population of Europe is
ageing and declining. In 1950, Western Europe had twice the
population of the United States. Projections indicate that by
2040, the United States will overtake Europe. By 2050, Europe’s
population could be 360 million and falling, while the United
States’ would be would be over 550 million and rising. This
large home market will further strengthen the United States
The military power of the United States is
even greater than its economic power. It currently spends more on
defence than the next 15 to 20 biggest spenders combined. The
Congress has currently agreed to increase military spending by
$US50 billion. This is more than the entire defence budget of
Germany or the UK. The United States defence budget could grow to
be greater than that of the all other countries in the world
The United States has overwhelming nuclear
superiority, the world’s dominant air force, the only true,
blue-water navy and military bases all over the world. It leads
the world in exploiting the military applications of advanced
communications and information technology. Listening devices allow
military planners to monitor enemy communications. Satellite
technology allows them to observe a battlefield in detail.
Commanders are linked by an intranet that gives precise
information about battle formations and unmanned planes and guided
missiles are becoming increasingly sophisticated. These
developments give unrivalled ability to co-ordinate and process
information about the battlefield and destroy targets from afar
with extraordinary precision. This military superiority gives the
Untied states a unique capability to project power around the
world, and it achieved with less than 4 percent of GDP.
The United States is also making it hard
for any other country to catch up. It currently spends three times
more on military research and development than the next six
military powers combined. US spending on military research and
development is greater than the total spending on defence by
Germany or the UK. In the next decade, advanced technology will
cause an enormous leap forward in military capability, so the
military power of the United States will continue to increase
In the past, the United States tended to
have an isolationist approach to the world affairs. It has only
became involved when drawn in by events. The election of George W
Bush brought a significant change in this respect. Previous
governments recognised the unprecedented power of the United
States, but did not know how to use it. George W Bush has brought
to power men who believe that America should use its unique power
to shape the world order and control its direction for the next
We cannot avoid the responsibilities
of global leadership or the costs that are associated with its
exercise. America has a vital role in maintaining peach and
security in Europe Asia and the Middle East. The history of
the 20th century should have taught us that it is important to
shape circumstances before crises emerge and to meet treats
before they become dire…. We need to accept responsibility
for America’s unique role in preserving an extending an
international order friendly to our security, our prosperity
and our principles (New American Century Project).
Today, the United States enjoys a
position of unparalleled military strength and great economic
and political influence. In keeping with our heritage and
principles, we do not use our strength to press for unilateral
advantage. We seek instead to create a balance of power that
favors human freedom: conditions in which all nations and all
societies can choose for themselves the rewards and challenges
of political and economic liberty. In a world that is safe,
people will be able to make their own lives better. We will
defend the peace by fighting terrorists and tyrants. We will
preserve the peace by building good relations among the great
powers. We will extend the peace by encouraging free and open
societies on every continent.
Finally, the United States will use
this moment of opportunity to extend the benefits of freedom
across the globe. We will actively work to bring the hope of
democracy, development, free markets, and free trade to every
corner of the world (George W. Bush – National Security
No global challenge to the United
States is likely to emerge for the foreseeable future. The
United States has no rival in any critical dimension of power.
There has never been a system of sovereign states that
contained one state with this degree of dominance (Stephen
Brooks and William Wohlforth, Foreign Affairs).
The American empire was created by the
nearly simultaneous fall of the Soviet Union and the Japanese
economy. With the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States
became the only power capable of projecting military force
globally. With the crash of Japan’s economy and the
extraordinary expansion of the American economy in the 1990s,
the United States also became the dominant global economic
power, the primary source of capital and innovation. These two
forces combined to gee the United States overwhelming
political power and with that came the ability to shape the
international as it wished (Strafor).
Meanwhile, the very fact of the Soviet
empire's collapse vastly increased America's strength relative
to the rest of the world. The sizeable American military
arsenal, once barely sufficient to balance Soviet power, was
now deployed in a world without a single formidable adversary.
This "unipolar moment" had an entirely natural and
predictable consequence: It made the United States more
willing to use force abroad. With the check of Soviet power
removed, the United States was free to intervene practically
wherever and whenever it chose. While American politicians
talked of pulling back from the world, the reality was an
America intervening abroad more frequently than it had
throughout most of the Cold War. Thanks to new technologies,
the United States was also freer to use force around the world
in more limited ways through air and missile strikes, which it
did with increasing frequency.
The United States is a behemoth with a
conscience. It is not Louis XIV's France or George III's
England. Americans do not argue, even to themselves, that
their actions may be justified by raison d'état. Americans
have never embraced the Machiavellian perspective. The United
States is a liberal, progressive society through and through,
and to the extent that Americans believe in power, they
believe it must be a means of advancing the principles of a
liberal civilization and a liberal world order (Robert Kagan -
Power and Weakness).
In a fashion and to an extent that is
unique in the history of Great Powers, the United States
defines its strength – indeed, its very greatness – not in
terms of its ability to achieve or maintain dominance over
others, but in terms of its ability to work with others in the
interests of the international community as a whole. American foreign
policy is consciously intended to advance universal values
(Strobe Talbott - Deputy Secretary of State).
We can expect to see the United States
taking an even more assertive role in the world, than it has done
in the past. The wars on Afghanistan and Iraq are the first steps
in this new role. L’Express newspaper called this messianic
imperialism. The United States has become an imperialistic
nation, but it does so to save the world from evil.
A disturbing aspect of this American
imperialism is the encouragement that is been given by Christians
in the United States. Here are few examples.
God bless America, because God is with
you. This nation did not become a strong nation, getting on
its knees to despots and tyrants, we have defeated them from
George Washington to George Bush and as a nation we are going
to stand on our feet and defeat the tyrants of the world, and
now is the time to do it. God bless George Bush (Pastor John
"The Bush Doctrine" of
taking pre-emptive action to deprive rogue states and
terrorists of WMD will very likely end up saving millions of
lives and spare us far more chaos and destruction in the world
(Rick Joyner – The War for Peace).
What I have been shown was shocking to
me, and that is the United States is going to become an
increasingly oppressively nation. We are going to become more
unrelenting in imposing our will internationally, and there is
going to be an increasing loss of our liberty at home. What
surprised me about this is I what was shown that is right…..
The lawlessness that is growing throughout the world would
result in such chaos and destruction that things would be much
worse if the United States does not become more assertive in
its leadership. Now there are also major threats to us that in
the United States that must be found and dealt with (Rick
Joyner –World War III, War in Iraq).
The battle is about bringing down the
strongman of Islam and breaking open the Middle East. The
spirit of Allah is working to form an Arab coalition to resist
in the battle. God will humiliate the spirit over Islam (Ps
83:16) (Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders).
It is a Biblical principle that God
uses one nation to execute His judgments upon another nation.
America and its allies could become God’s instruments to
execute specific judgments that God has decreed will take
place at some time (Bill Hamon - Prophecy for the Year 2003).
For in these days says the Lord my
prophets will wear the attire of a soldier. They will call
themselves Marines, Army, Air Force and Navy. I will send them
abroad and they shall tread down the adder and the serpent
that set itself against them. They will bring my retribution
and revival.... Wherever the soles of their feet tread they
will possess the land. They will reestablish my borders and
boundaries in the land. No longer will the dragon of tyranny
reign upon the head of that generation… America, I have sent
you as evangelists and prophets to the nations. You have
donned the uniform of the soldier and are setting a new
precedence of the warrior heart (Chad Taylor – My Prophets
I find these statements very disturbing.
Christians seems to be encouraging the United States to take up
the role of the beast of Daniel.
Greatest Empire Ever
Compared with earlier empires, like Rome
and Babylon, the power of the United States is absolutely immense.
They only controlled a small part of the world and their economic
power and military forces were feeble by comparison. Daniel lived
in one of the most powerful empires that has ever existed, but he
described an empire that was vastly more powerful and terrible. I
believe that he saw the military and economic power of the United
States. We may have seen Daniel’s vision being fulfilled in our
own time, without realising what was happening. Many Christians
are surprised that the United States is not mentioned in
Revelation and Daniel, but they have missed the fact that the
United States is the dominant character in these prophecies.
Some people may object that the Christian
influence in the United States is too strong to allow this to
happen. I believe that we need to reserve judgement on this. The
United States is a great enigma; a strange mixture of good and
The United States was established on a
foundation of faith and has received tremendous blessing from the
Lord. There are more Christians and churches in the United States
than any other country. It sends out more missionaries than any
other nation in the world. Christians seem to have a strong
influence on the government of the nation, with most recent
Presidents professing Christian faith. However, despite this
strong Christian influence, there are several trends that disturb
an objective observer.
- The Christian faith of many Americans
is very shallow. George Barna has warned of a theological
crisis in the American church.
The Christian body in America is
immersed in a crisis of biblical illiteracy. How else can you
describe matters when most churchgoing adults reject the
accuracy of the Bible, reject the existence of Satan, claim that
Jesus sinned, see no need to evangelize, believe that good works
are one of the keys to persuading God to forgive their sins, and
describe their commitment to Christianity as moderate or even
less firm?" (http://www.theologicalstudies.org/crisis.html)
- While paying lip service to the Lord,
the American people seem to have become extremely
materialistic. Consumerism is rampant throughout the nation.
The American economy is currently being sustained by massive
consumer spending funded by increasing debt.
- God seems to be losing the battle for
the heart of the nation. The United States is the centre from
which humanism has been exported into the entire world. The
American movie, television and music industries shape the
universal culture that is sweeping the world. Together with
the universities, these industries have spread the secularism
that is rampant in the western world.
- Despite their public profession of
faith by presidents and congressmen, the government of the
United States has bowed to the idol of humanism. The
philosophy of humanism now dominates the political, legal and
social decision-making processes throughout the United States.
Many public institutions are now very hostile to Christianity
- Advancing the power and prosperity of
American business often seems to be more important than
spreading the gospel. In the third world, American companies
have often put profits ahead of the welfare of people.
- The United States declares that it
trusts in God, but it has developed an enormous arsenal of
weapons (including nuclear weapons), and it now trusts in them
for its security. It has made a god of war, by using its war
machine to further its interests throughout the world. America
has become the world's policeman, but often in its own
- To prevent terrorism, enormous powers
have been given to the Authority for Homeland Security. These
powers reduce individual freedom severely. Although created
with good intention, they can also be used for evil. (This is
why the terrible beast follows on from the leopard of
- Since 9/11, the "End-times
Industry" has encouraged American governments to become
increasingly dominant in the world. They are the false prophet
supporting the American beast.
The United States was built on Christian
foundations, but has recently become increasingly secular. The
Christian influence is gradually and surreptitiously being
squeezed out by numerous decisions of the Supreme Court and the
Congress. Christians are fighting back, but I am not certain that
they will win. Revival might come, but the United States could
just as easily become a secular, oppressive, political power, with
only a small Christian voice. The United States could be the
fourth beast in Daniel’s vision.
The terrible beast is often called
"the Antichrist", but this is also incorrect. The only
biblical references to an antichrist are in 1 John, which says
that there are many antichrists and that they were already in
existence in John’s time. Therefore, calling this beast the
antichrist is incorrect and misleading. A future ruler called the
antichrist does not exist in the scriptures.