“I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.”Daniel 7:8
To summarize the prophecies of Daniel up unto this point, the kingdoms — or beasts — described both in Daniel chapters 2 and 7 represent the three historic pagan empires of Babylon, Persia, and Greece. The fourth kingdom, however, represents a dreadful empire to be revealed in the last days, only to be crushed by King Jesus on the Day of the LORD.
This fourth beast is distinct from all of the other beasts in that it will be a collective composite — an amalgamation — of the three historic kingdoms, occupying the same general Middle Eastern territory and dominating the region with fierce military aggression and terror. For those looking for a possible historical prefigurement of the fourth end-times kingdom, the Islamic Ottoman Empire [circa 1300-1920] most definitely fits the profile.
I have been very adamant about the Islamic identity of this fourth kingdom. Islam is concentrated in the Middle East, universally hostile toward Israel, and just one persuasive leader away from a revived and unified Islamic Caliphate.
We learned in Daniel 2 that the fourth kingdom — the legs of iron and feet mixed with clay — would be as strong as iron but at the same time partly “divided” and “brittle.” The religious factions and inner turmoil within the Muslim world would best explain how this end-times kingdom could both be brutal and brittle.
Here in Daniel 7, as well as Revelation 13, we learn that the fourth beast kingdom will be “exceedingly strong.” The future kingdom of Antichrist will be characterized by the global concentration of evil and the unification of demonic, supernatural power. It seems that few will be able to withstand the strength of the Beast, as it will be be given authority to “devour the whole earth” [Daniel 7:23].
The ten toes in Daniel 2 and ten horns in Daniel 7 represent a coalition of 10 kings who eventually yield all their authority to the Beast [Revelation 17:12-13]. It is from these 10 horns — or kings — from which the Antichrist will emerge. We are first introduced to Satan’s superman in Daniel 7 by the name — little horn.
Although he may be given the title “little horn,” don’t let that fool you. As you will see, he comes boasting of great things and quickly rising to a place of power and dominance among his peers. The Antichrist may gradually emerge on the world stage in an unassuming way, but when the timing is right, this little horn will show his true colors.
The Little Horn Shall Start Small but Grow Strong
The fact that the Antichrist begins as the “little horn” speaks to his unimpressive beginnings. Daniel provides some key details about the military and political career of the little horn. He will start out operating on the periphery of the geopolitical stage. He will not have royal pedigree. He will advance by scheming behind the scenes with intrigue and seduction. He will plot and patiently wait for the opportune time to grab hold of what he wants — total control.
Consider how Daniel describes the little horn.
“In his place shall arise a contemptible person to whom royal majesty has not been given. He shall come in without warning and obtain the kingdom by flatteries. Armies shall be utterly swept away before him and broken, even the prince of the covenant. And from the time that an alliance is made with him he shall act deceitfully, and he shall become strong with a small people.“Daniel 11:21-23
“As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise, and another shall arise after them; he shall be different from the former ones, and shall put down three kings.”Daniel 7:24
The little horn may not be included in the original 10-king alliance, but he will quickly rise to a place of prominence.
The Little Horn Shall Subdue Three Kings
Daniel 7 provides interesting insight into how the little horn will make his critical power play among the 10-king coalition. Apparently he will sabotage three of the original kings and supplant them.
“A fourth beast … it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots.”Daniel 7:7-8
“As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise, and another shall arise after them; he shall be different from the former ones, and shall put down three kings.“Daniel 7:24
One possible scenario is found in Daniel 8 involving the coming conflict between the goat (Javan/Turkey) and ram (Persia/Iran). I will spend more time in Daniel 8 later, but in summary this vision also pertains to the latter days and the appointed time of the end. Once the leader of Javan is broken off, the prophecy says that four kingdoms (kings) will emerge from Turkey — one of which will be the little horn.
“Then the goat became exceedingly great, but when he was strong, the great horn was broken, and instead of it there came up four conspicuous horns toward the four winds of heaven. Out of one of them came a little horn, which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the glorious land.”Daniel 8:8-9
Is it possible that the little horn will overthrow his three counterparts and gain control of the entire Turkish territory?
The Little Horn will Boast of Great Things and Blaspheme God
Not only will the little horn conspire to make big power plays in the Middle East, but he apparently will have a loud mouth and come boasting blasphemies before God. Satan is a slanderer. He is an accuser. He is a blasphemer. He hates the LORD God and His Son Jesus Christ and will speak publicly to that end.
Once again, if there is an ideology and belief system alive today that perpetuates the spirit of antichrist and shows hatred for both Jews and Christians, it is Islam. The Quran teaches that the Jews and Christians are especially wicked for disbelieving in Allah. The people of God are called the “worst of creatures.”
“Verily, those who [despite all evidence] are bent on denying the truth – [be they] from among the followers of earlier revelation or from among those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God [Jews and Christians] – will find themselves in the fire of hell, therein to abide: they are the worst of all creatures.”Quran — Sura 98:6
But the little horn will not only speak evil of God’s people, but also he will come speaking against God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.
“Every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.”1 John 4:3
Consider how Daniel repeatedly describes the loud mouth of the little horn.
“And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.“
“I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire.”
“About the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn that came up and before which three of them fell, the horn that had eyes and a mouth that spoke great things, and that seemed greater than its companions.”
“He shall speak words against the Most High …”
“And the king shall do as he wills. He shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak astonishing things against the God of gods. He shall prosper till the indignation is accomplished; for what is decreed shall be done.”Daniel 7:8, 11, 20, 25 — Daniel 11:36
As we will see next time, the loud-mouthed little horn not only will talk big but also will act in big way.