- The vision of Daniel 7. The vision of Daniel 7 expands on Daniel’s vision presented earlier in Daniel 2. Your lesson guide calls this vision “amazing,” so be on the alert for what makes this vision, not just interesting or enlightening, but “highly symbolic” and descriptive of amazing events that will take place “soon” on the horizon of time.
- Four animals. The lion. What city, empire, or country does the lion in this vision represent? Babylon, of course! Since you knew that the lion represents Babylon, what does the bear represent? That’s right. The Medo-Persian Empire. And the leopard? The Greek Empire. And now the surliest, meanest beast of them all. It doesn’t look like any animal. So who is it?
- The little horn. This strange creature, Number 4 in the display, seems to emerge from pagan Rome, and as surely as we are reading about it, what three things does this entity accomplish—or try to do? How long does he (or it) have? And for how long does the little horn continue as a part of Rome? Does the reading of this prophecy and its explanation move you to pray to God for protection and guidance?
- The court was seated. Now there is a judgment scene. The court is in session. Who is being judged? When does this judgment begin? How does the Day of Atonement fit into the drama of this end-time call to justice? What is the purpose of the pre-Advent judgment in heaven? What does the cross of Christ have to do with the final judgment day?
- The coming of the Son of Man. Is it a puzzle to you in any way that the Son of Man is Jesus? The note states that Daniel 7:13 does not refer solely to the second coming as we have imagined it but to the restoration of true worship. How does the false religious leader (the papacy) try to place a human leader as the mediator between God and humanity? Does this attempt succeed?
- The holy ones of the Most High. Do you long to be one of the “holy ones” of the Most High? When does the final persecution of the saints begin and end? Can any effort to persecute and destroy God’s people win the battle? How is the victory achieved? Explain the importance to you and me of our refusal to be separate from the love of God. How can we be sure we have the Saviour on our side?
NOTES from the lesson guide. Suggestion: use this passage as a discussion guide at the end (or beginning) of your class.
Look again at all the characteristics of the little horn power that arises from, and remains part of, the fourth beast, Rome. What power alone arose out of pagan Rome many centuries ago and, besides having persecuted God’s people, remains in existence today? Why should this clear identification help protect us from speculation about its identity, including the idea that the little horn refers to a pagan Greek king who disappeared from history more than a century and a half before the first advent of Jesus? How should these clear identifying marks also protect us from the belief that the little horn is some future power yet to arise?