Daniel said, “I was looking in my vision by night, and beheld, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea. “And four great beasts were coming up from the sea, different from one another. (Daniel 7:2,3)
This dream consists of four parts, all of which require careful analysis. First we will try to describe the whole picture because these events will be closely related to one another. The problem in prophecy is, knowing the timing of events. Their reliability is not questionable.
The dream begins with four beasts arising out of a boisterous sea. The first three are described briefly, but from the midst of them a fourth beast is given prominence due to his destructive and powerful nature. .After a time his kingdom will be destroyed by the God of Heaven and a new kingdom will arise, composed of thousand upon thousands of the saints of God.
Here we have a similarity to Nebuchadnezzar’s image in chapter two, except that image was intended toward him explaining that all of the kingdoms of the world will have their finality when the kingdom of God replaces them.
Summarizing all of this, the message is one of encouragement for those who choose to follow Christ. Although Satan may have his time, the ultimate kingdom will be God’s and those who are part of His kingdom.
Because prophecy deals with future events and we only have partial information, it is not always easy to agree on everything. Harold Lindsell once said, that “Prophecy usually generates more heat than light.” This is something important to consider when discussing prophecy.