Monday, September 08, 2008

What Happens Next (5) - Four Beasts

Daniel saw for beasts rising out of the sea.

Daniel said: "In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea. Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea (Dan 7:2-3).
The sea is a symbol of the multitudes of people living in the world (Rev 1715). These events happen at a time when the people of the world are all stirred up. The beasts represent strong human political powers. They are not imposed from above, but are raised up by the people themselves.

The first beast represents the struggle between the United States and Islam in the Middle East. This struggle began in 1978 with the Iranian revolution and is still going. Unfortnately the outcome is not good. Whether it wins or not, America will be changed. It began with a heart towards God, but when its power is challenged, it turns its heart towards human political power and military power. It will stand on its feet, but it will stand in human strength, rather than trusting in the power of God.

The first beast paves the way for the second. For a long time Russia’s power was in decline. Its strength has emerged toward the west and will grow in the future, because America is bogged down in the Middle East. The western powers will engage in endless pontificating and posturing but they are powerless to assist Georgia and any other ribs, because they need Russian support in Afghanistan and against Iran.

The events of the first and second beast will open the way for the third beast. Each beast is different from the others, but they are all based on human power. Their appeal as an option for peace will have to be smashed before people will seek the kingdom of God.
The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time (Dan 7:12).
Each of the beasts will have their power and authority stripped away.

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