Summary: The Bible's political cartoons fit current players on the world scene. The book of Daniel deserves another look as we consider where we are in the stream of time.
“If referendum was today ... Britons WOULD vote to QUIT Europe, reveals expert new survey.” The full story of this headline is linked at the end, but our headline suggests what the prophet Isaiah said, that God declares the end from the beginning, Isaiah 46:10.
When asked about the end of the world, the Great Teacher who divided BC from AD said to understand the book of Daniel, Matthew 24:3,15.
The word “Daniel” means God is my judge and he faithfully faced potential life or death situations in Daniel 1-6, suggesting a lesson for us. If we don't have something we are willing to die for (like Daniel) do we really have something worth living for? Or are we going with the flow so nothing matters? And in that case, do we matter? Do we want our lives to count for something?
In Daniel 7, Daniel had a dream and God revealed the nature of earthly governments as fierce beasts of prey. A lion, bear, leopard and dragon represented Bablon, Medo-Persian, Grecia and Rome. But the book of Daniel was also “sealed” until the time of the end (Daniel 12:4) which implies an end-time meaning that wouldn't be seen until we see how it fits again!
So while the lion with eagle's wings represented the kingdom of Babylon (and Babylon had many lion sculptures), the interpretation also fits now when the four beasts are said to be “four kings [kingdoms] which shall arise out of the earth.” This was written when Babylon was declining under the last king, Belshazzar, Daniel 7:17.
With this in mind, perhaps we should ask, What do the other beasts represent? There's a bear and if God knows the end from the beginning, He probably knew we would be using a bear to represent Russia. The bear had three ribs in its mouth. Could they represent the Ukraine, Georgia and Belarus?
The 3rd beast was a leopard with four heads. As we look to major players in this vision that includes our time, we shouldn't miss China that could be aligned with Japan, Korea and Thailand.
And finally the dragon-like beast with 10 horns that in the original interpretation represented the 10 tribes that roamed Europe after the Roman Empire fell. All the Protestant Reformers were united in their view that the “little horn” described in Daniel 7:21,25 represented the papacy.
The relationship of these beasts to the end-time in the book of Revelation is seen in chapter 13 where a beast comes out of the sea, but waters represent nations and peoples, Revelation 17:15. It's an amalgamation of Daniel's beasts with a mouth like a lion, feet like a bear, looks like a leopard, but it has the total of 7 heads and 10 horns from Daniel 7. This is the papacy as it survived those kingdoms.
This political cartoon had a “deadly wound” from a sword. This could be the end of the Holy Roman Empire as Napoleon's General Berthier took the pope prisoner and he died in exile.
But that “deadly wound” was healed as Mussolini gave the Vatican area and the deadly wound healed, and the world “wonders after the beast,” [representing the geopolitical system as our cartoons do with an eagle, bear, donkey, elephant, etc]
With that in mind, it's not hard to see the papacy again having a central role for the European Union, even as the pope speaks great words, Daniel 7:8.
The point of concern regarding Daniel 7 is that Christ receives His kingdom in verse 14 and it appears to be separate and distinct from these four fierce beasts. This is matched with a message from Revelation 18:2-4 that calls us out of Babylon.
There are major clues in the previous chapter (17), but suffice it to say that the term “Babylon” represents all false systems of government, medicine, education, welfare, correction and religion. Everywhere we turn, someone is hyping something for financial or some other gain when, in most cases, there “None of the above” is the best answer for us.
But before this is all over, we can expect the forces behind One World Government to make a major push for compliance, even as everyone was expected to bow to the image or face the fire in Daniel 3.
So far from a book of myths that atheists, evolutionists and so-called “educators” might wish to paint it, the Bible is the guidebook showing the God knows the end from the beginning and we need to study it well to be sure we are on His side. The stakes are high and the results are for ever.
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Author's Bio: 

Dr. Richard Ruhling is an author/speaker whose latest book, Success & Satisfaction After Burnout is available at as an ebook free Friday, December 12.
For those who appreciate the Bible and are interested, his other recent title is “Our High Destiny Discovered in the Bible's 7 Wedding Messages” also available at and free Friday, December 12.