Thursday, October 13, 2011

Making The Exchange

    Here for the last few weeks, my Pastor, Kevin Brown, has been talking about the exchanged life versus the surrendered life.  I found this similar to what I have been studying for the last while myself.  In other words, the surrendered life is what most Christan's are living, but the exchanged life equals the radical.  To be honest, there are very few radical Christians out there, and the world's condition is desperate for these radicals.  Men as fathers need to step it up as Christians, not putting so much interest and devotion on how well your child does in sports and "extracurricular activities" and start focusing on training that child to stand strong in a world with seemingly no direction and quickly fading morals.  Men who are not married and not fathers need to step it up with focusing on pure hearts and taking every thought captive and not worrying so much about the latest video game, guitar, or air soft rifle, or whatever the case may be.  To all Christians, we need to step it up and take so much care out of magazines, romance novels, cells phones and computers and place our main priority on indulging ourselves in His Word.  Our priorities as Christian men and Christians as a whole seem to be way out of proportion just at first glance of the world and society. How to we make a change and do a 180?

    After Christmas, or a birthday or just anytime in general, have you ever taken it back to the store from which it came?  What is the reason for taking it back?  To exchange it...I'm sure we have all exchanged something.  I was listening to Pastor Kevin's messages on the exchanged life and was thinking of a good way of grasping it in my own mind and I thought I would share. 

   When we exchange something, why do we make the exchange?  For example, lets say we have a big glass vase that we just purchased.  We open it and see that it has a tiny crack in the glass, but you know that crack will grow larger and larger.  When we take it back to exchange it, we are getting the same glass vase, but we are getting one without blemish or crack.

  When we exchange our current lives, we are giving up the life that we previously knew for one that God has a sole purpose for.  We are willing to do whatever God tells us without question or even an answer as to why.  When we fully exchange our lives, we do the thing that God tells us to do, even if we do not see the whole picture.  I know I'm not married, but men I want you to think about something for just a moment..when you make a decision for your family that you know is right, don't you want your wife and children to trust you fully?  Even if they can't see the outcome, or even know why that decision is being made?  It is the SAME THING with God.  God longs for us to trust Him because after all, He is fully trustworthy.  God can instruct us to do something in our lives and He just wants our full trust.  We must know for a fact that God will not steer you in the wrong direction, or send you without enough strength.  That is just like a great father isn't it? 

   Something that I personally have to remember often is the fact that God does not need my help, He just needs my obedience.  He doesn't need my help with taking my life and relationship with Him to the next level, He has that taken care of.  All that He needs from me is my obedience, because He cannot bless the disobedient.  Fathers, if you asked your child to take out the garbage and wash the dishes, and you came home to them watching TV with neither of the two done, would you bless them?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!!  Again, the same thing with God.  Fathers if you want to understand the way that God works, just relate it to fatherhood.  When we exchange our lives and make that profession, that is only the start.  It is what you do after that that counts.  When we hear instruction from Him, we must be obedient to do it.  When we are obedient, we will be given what was promised.  "And all these things shall be added to you." Words of Jesus

   Here is something that I want you to think about, just to see how "radical" or "exchanged" you think you may be.  If you were completely obedient and done everything He asked of you and never received a blessing, or experienced many trials, would you still do it?  Because we should never exchange our lives just for what we may gain..we could follow His every command and never see much worldly gain.  I want you to realize that is not promised. Your health, wealth and possessions are not promised...what is promised is His name being glorified above all other things through you if you exchange your life saying "Lord, whatever you want to do with me, here I am.  Take it all if it be Your will.  Because it is Your Name above all other things.  Hallowed be Your name, Your will be done, in Jesus' name"

That is what it is all about.  You are a representative of the King, will you make the exchange?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Digging Deep

    In my last post, I talked about seeking Gods will in our lives.  I mentioned that we can often become selfish in doing that; asking....asking...asking...and asking more.  So seldom do we take time and listen to what God has to say in return.  Lets look at HOW to seek His will diligently.  Before doing so, we must first realize that it is NOT about us....

    I believe that seeking the face of God is something that takes the very utmost of dedication.  This cannot be something like a hobby, which we think about periodically or seldom.  Seeking after His will should be a lifestyle.  Jesus makes it clear in Matthew 6:24 "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other." that we cannot be a part of the world and Him.  We must choose.  Either we are all in, or all out. "Go big or go home", so to speak.

 (This picture is a great example of what it looks like to indulge ourselves in seeking His will.  Even Jesus did that in Gethsemene)

    We must completely indulge ourselves in Him.  In fact, what was Jesus doing when He was 12 years old?  He was about His Fathers business.  Do you want to go REALLY deep????  Lets look at John 6:53-57...Jesus says "Truly, truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in You.  Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.  For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.  Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in Him.  As the living Father sent me, he also will live because of me."  That's what I call indulgence.  You see, it must be our highest priority.  Our bread of life.  I find it interesting that the more we do this, the more we realize that we don't really need that much to live.  We have Him.  I believe the less unnecessary things we have, the more we are equipped for our purpose. 

    God does not play hide and seek with His will.  God has a desire that we know His will, in fact.  Although, it goes against His grain to show us His will if we are not seeking, or even partially seeking.  Think about it like this....I know that most of my readers do not have children but just imagine you do for a moment.  If our child wants so badly to go outside and play, we say, "Sure, but you must clean your room first."  Later on, they come back and say, " Okay mommy/daddy, I'm ready to go outside now!!!!!" "Have you cleaned your room yet?"..."No..."    We could not bless that. It is the same way with our Father.  If we are not seeking, He cannot bless..simple as that.  "Lord!! I'm ready for Your will in my life now!!"  "Have you sought me with your WHOLE HEART?" finish the rest.  So..we know that our priorities must be set on Him and looking for His will.

    Here is one of the most important point I will make in this post...when seeking for His will, do not put limits on Him.  For example, if I am praying about which job to take, or which direction to go, what if it is neither?  What if God has something totally different for you?  Just keep that in mind.

    So, in conclusion, seeking His face takes much dedication.  More dedication than playing your instrument, more dedication than your job, more dedication than sports, and yes, more dedication than even your own life and family.  I don't mean to not be dedicated to your family at all, but THAT is how much dedication it is going to take.  We must consume ourselves in His word to know His absolute will.  Remember, God so longs to be sought by us.

More on how to seek His will in my next post. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mountain Climber

    For a long time here lately, I have been thinking alot about my blog.  I haven't posted a blog since April 4th!  It isn't because I haven't had time, nor have I forgotten about it.  I have just simply been blank about the subject of the condition of this world.  I believe it is unquestionable that we are soon to see the last days.  As a matter of fact, I believe that we are in the last days.  This world in is such rough condition, I think, "where do I start?".  While paying close attention to the world events taking place, thinks have bounced from Lybia, Israel, The Middle East, The United States and back around the circle again. 

    Here lately, the big focus has been on the United States and its dwindelling government.  The obvious big issues are spending and borrowing of the US.  The republicans are strong on their oppinions on how to fix this mess and the democrats are the same way.  Now, you may ask me, am I a republican, or democrat?  (Yes, I know this can get personal, depending on the person)  The answer?...neither..I am a Christian.  Why do I not stand for one party or the next? Becuase neither stand on the principals of the Word of the Living God.  Do not get me wrong, dont think that I do not care, because I can assure you that I do.  Although, I am not a politician at all, so we wont get to deep into that today.  Maybe later.

    To sum all that up, my every single blog will NOT be on the depressing news of America, it will NOT be all about the destruction of surrounding countries and nations.  Although Israel is definitely the nation to watch today, my blogs will not even be on the events of Israel (even though I will keep you informed).  Rather than just providing you with facts of our time, I want to supply the means to fix our own lives: seeking God with ALL YOUR HEART. 

    Something that I have thought much about in my own life in the last while is how I pray.  I tend to do alot of asking and trying to figure things out for myself.  I would even venture to say that most of you do too.  We do this without realizing it.  It is almost natural.  But why?  Why are we so focused on ourselves to ask for things for ourselves instead of seek what God wants?  I hear so many peopke ask me and others "how do I know what Gods will for my life is?"  That is a great question.  Not so very long ago, I had that same question myself.  I spent a lot of time searching and what I thought was seeking for that answer.  Something that I had to realize is that Gods will is so much bigger than me.  Do I know God's will for my every step in life?  No. Not even close.  When looking for that answer, one of the most important elements is loosing grip on yourself and realize that He has a plan that is more than your life.  Now, does God have a will for your life?  Absolutely.  Nothing comes to us by chance.  But, when we realize that we are servants for Him, looking at the bigger picture becomes easier; and after a while, we will tend to take the focus off ourself. 

    When I was wanting to know His will for my individual life, to be honest, I wasn't so concerned with the homeless man begging for just a bite of food.  I wasn't worried about the people who weren't hearing the word of God.  I was so concerned with trying to find what was right for my life, that I didn't even notice the bigger picture.  The truth is, most Christians are looking for God's will in their own life, but, my theory is that if we all take focus off ourselves, and put it on each other, our needs will be met.  But, more importantly, we can show Christ in our lives to reach those is desperate need.  In fact, that is God's will for us as a people and Christian nation. 

Matthew 28: 19-20
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Next, we will look at HOW to seek His will and living a radical Christian life.

Monday, April 4, 2011

John: Becoming A Real Disciple

   I know...the title doesn't sound like one of my usual posts.  That's because it isn't.  Our Passion Play has just concluded and let me tell you; it changed my life!  I had the wonderful privilege of playing Disciple John and it was so humbling.  Not only was it humbling, but the Passion Play taught me so much about the Bible and the life of Jesus.  My role brought me so much closer to Christ because I was able to feel what I believe the real John felt while following Jesus.  Let me give you some examples.  The first scene of the play where the disciples follow Jesus into the crowd, I feel that we still didn't know too much about Jesus Himself.  So, as we see Him make the lame to walk, heal the blind, cast out demons and make the dead to live again, we are absolutely amazed. The only part that I didn't like about my role was the fact that I had to try to turn away children from seeing Jesus just after His sermon on the mount.  I believe that John is secretly wondering about Jesus, and starting to really believe what He is saying...especially when He calms the storm and walks on the water.  I believe that John was trying to comprehend and understand the love that Jesus had for others.  Many times in His life, Jesus was silent.  (I try to remember this as I live my life from day to day) for example, when the adulterous woman is about to be stoned, Jesus just neals down and writes in the sand.  For a while, He doesn't say anything at all.  Many people wonder what He writes because the Bible never specifies.  Jesus says "alright stone her, but let he who is without sin cast the first stone." I hear many people say that He is writing the accusers sins, but I believe that Jesus is writing their names in the sand.  You can form your own opinion as to why He may be writing their names, being that they were going to stone an adulteress woman...but anyway...back to my point.  Again, when Jesus is being judged He is completely silent.  He doesn't argue or try to fight, but He is silent before His accusers because He knows the truth.  WOW!! talk about being meek!  That is a great example of having power under control.  In the play, I also get to experience the pleasure of sitting with Jesus at the last supper and partaking of His body, as well as the disappointment of falling asleep on Him in the Garden of Gethsemane.  There are so many different emotions to this part; and I can only imagine what John was feeling.  I get to experience the rage of seeing the one I follow being captured and falsely accused because Judas betrayed Him.  I get to fight for my Jesus while He is being tried and sentenced to scourging and crucifition.  I get to try to plead with the soldiers to stop beating Him and to let Him go because He is innocent.  I feel so helpless when all others besides myself have turned their backs on Him, but yet I know the truth.  John was a man who wasn't scared to stand up for what he believed in.  He was right there with Jesus through every single thing that He death with, no matter how much the Roman soldiers placed threats on his life.  I also understand to know how it feels when Jesus cries out, "My God! My God! Why have You forsaken Me?!"  It feels that everything for John is absolutely falling apart and that Jesus really is gone.  I feel the anguish of watching Him being lowered of the cross and placed in a tomb.  Here comes my favorite part..I know how it feels to find out that Jesus has risen from from the dead and to see it first hand..I get to explain to my fellow Disciples that everything that Jesus taught was the truth!  What an amazing experience. 

    My future father in law talks alot about the Mexico mission trip and how much it changed his life.  It is awesome to hear him talk about it because you can really tell that he was affected by it.  I'm am the same way with the Passion play.  It has so dramatically changed me that I will never be the same.  I have made a promise to Jesus to fully and whole-heatedly seek Him with everything that I have until I am broken down.  I want to train myself to think like Jesus did, to react to situations the way He did, and to teach and lead the way He did and is still doing.  In beginning this transformation, I consider myself a REAL living Disciple and follower of Jesus Christ.  This task will be very difficult, and will go on for the rest of my days, but the Love of Jesus compels me to do this.

May we seek Christ in the midst of this world.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Dramatic Events Unfold

    Here lately, I have been spending a lot of time in the Bible reading prophecy material and relating them to current events.  I find myself in the book of Daniel very often.  Daniel was a man who was shown visions about times such as these and he was very close to God.  These studies have very much affected my prayer life, as I pray to be shown things as well.  I must admit that I was praying with little faith, because I was thinking that God wouldn't show me things so vividly and so dramatic, but boy was I wrong.  Just last night I was driving down 421 on my way to town and it was around 8:30 or 9:00.  I gave my signal to switch lanes and when I checked my rear view mirror I saw what I believe that God had me to see that night just above my car.  The sky looked just like an angel holding what looked like a lightning bolt directed towards the earth.  Now I know that sounds so so crazy, but I'm telling the truth.  The bolt of lightning and its wings were so vivid and clear, and I could see the shape of its upper body.  The image was there for about 2 or 3 minutes then disappeared; just long enough for me to get the image in my head.  Before really even praying about it, God spoke and told me that this was a sign that these events on the earth now are going to continue and begin to escalate.  By "these events" I mean the events in Libya, Japan, Egypt, Israel, America and many others.  After seeing this, I wasn't like Daniel, trembling and afraid.  I was just at peace about it.  It was very interesting.  I just thought I would share what I got to experience. 

    I have much to talk about in this post, so here we go.  First of all, a "No Fly Zone" has been issued over Libya.  Everything has been going okay with it so far, but last night, I saw on the news that there has been bombings in Tripoli, which is on the coast of Libya.

 In another live video, it was about 2:30 in the morning there, and the sky looked like a multitude of aircraft and missiles in the air.  That seems so huge to me.  There is still so much to learn on that story.  The nation to watch is Israel.  The nation of Israel is God's chosen people.  The reason for the 1000 year reign of Christ is so that He will keep His promise to Abraham when He told him He would protect the nation.  Some Americans, for some reason, think that Americans are Gods chosen people.  I have news...we are NOT.  God is all about keeping His promises and another promise that He made was that during the tribulation time, 144,000 Jews will come to Christ.  Its amazing to me how God chooses such a small nation to be His chosen.  All of Israel is about the size of New Jersey.  Yet this nation is the nation to watch.  It will be the focal point of the End Times.  America has almost always been allies with Israel, which is a very good thing, being that Israel has such a strong army, but we are beginning to pull away from them for some reason, which is bad. 

   This is called the Dome of the Rock, which is in Jerusalem.  This will be the site of the New Jerusalem, but first, during the tribulation period, the Antichrist will go inside the temple and set up an image of himself.

    "He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God. "
                                                                      2 Thessalonians 2:4

 By the way, another indication of the last days is that the temple will be rebuilt and as we speak, the material is being prepared.  The tends to put things into perspective doesn't it? 

    I know this a lot, but I have one more thing.  Lets look at something the physician Luke wrote.

                        "There will be sings in the sun, moon and stars.  On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea."
                                                                  Luke 21:25

    On March 19th, the moon was closest to the earth that it has been in 18 years and possibly closer....lets take a look. 

   Check this out!  How many times do we see a FULL MOON that close?!  That is amazing.  That definitely speaks to me.  With God, nothing is just by chance.  The moon was only an estimated 221,365 miles from the earth.  Personally, I love astronomy.  It is beautiful to see the planets and the moon and stars, so this interests me; much less the fact that it is in Gods word!  At the moons normal distance from the earth, it has such a huge gravitational pull that it actually controls the tides of the oceans and seismic activity such as tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanoes.  So at this close distance, imagine what kind of imbalance that can cause..its amazing. 

    Lets look at the second part of that verse.  "on the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring of the sea."  Does anything come to mind? How about the tsunami and earthquakes in Japan, which are the largest ever recorded in history. 

These pictures are so devastating.  I believe all that is going on is truly Gods "wake up call" if you will, to this world.  Christians, lets us not forget our purpose:

    "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
                                                            Matthew 28:19-20

Every nation today is in need.  Although they are in need of different things whether it be disaster relief, or types of freedom, they are all in need of the same thing, which is Jesus Christ.  In the end, He is all that matters.  "I am the way, the truth and the life" "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life"  -Jesus

May we seek Christ in the midst of this world.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Time For A New Revelation

          I want us to look at something real quick.  Something I was thinking about last night.  When Jesus was carrying His cross, a man helped Him and said "I am an innocent man forced to carry a condemned mans cross".  Isn't this the other way around??  Jesus had to carry our cross because we couldnt have done it oursleves.  Just let that sit..

          On another note....Im sure we have all heard about the disaster in Japan that has killed at least 10,000 people.  This, to me is almost like a scene from a movie!  Who would have thought this sort of thing could have happened so unpredicted??  But will not the same be for the return of the Son of Man?  The thing that caught my attention was the fact that the quake moved the coast line in Japan 8 feet.  It also moved the ENITRE EARTHS AXIS 18cm, and we lost 2 millionths of a second on each day.  An earthquake that can change time...thats huge.  Check this out.  I want us to think about some things through out this post..

    "I watched as he opened the sixth seal, There was an earthquake.  The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by strong wind.  The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place."
                                                                        Revelation 6:12-14

No earthquake in history has ever moved the physical being of the earth...much less 8 feet! And changed time!!  Thats major. 

   So is the Japanese earthquake the one that marks the beginning of the end?  Maybe.  Personally...I believe so.  Here are my reasons for thinking so.  I hear alot of people say that things have always been happening and people have always been expecting the end.  But let us look around.  Yes, things like this used to happen, but not nearly this often.  There is still protesting all over the world now...even in America, and now a massive earthquake hit Japan which triggered one of the largest tsunamis ever recorded.  Not to even mention all the nuclear meldowns and blasts.  Also, people have always expected Christs return..but not anymore.  The population of Christians is rapidly declining and people are so wrapped up in their own little world that it takes something such as this to even get their attention.  So no...people arent at all expecting it anymore.  The Bible says that He will come like a theif in the night. 

    "For as lightining that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man."
             Matthew 24:27

      "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.  But understand this: if the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him"

             Matthew 24:42-44

   See?  Jesus Himself tells us to be watchful.  For me, that says enough. 

          Matthew 24 is a great passage of scirpture.  Jesus was leaving the temple when His disciples got His attention and came to Him privately, asking what the signs of the end of age are.  He mentions to them that there will be those who claim to be Christ, wars and rumors of wars.  Nations will turn against nations and kingdoms against kingdoms.  There will be earthquakes in various places.  Jesus says that all these things must happen before He returns. 

      So here is my theory.  I believe the events in Japan, Lybia, Egypt and other events in America are a wake up call from God.  We aren't by any means in the tribulation period now...because Christians are still here.  In the tribulation period, things will be so much worse than they are now.  For example, the Bible says that it will take an entire days wages just to buy a loaf of bread!  The people will then pretty much get fed up with the Antichrist and rebel against him.  This will be what we know as the battle of armageddon. The events during the tribulation time will be far worse than what we are seeing now.  Much more catastrophic.  Think of it...tornadoes, asteroids, hurricanes, floods, lightning, fires, etc on a regular basis.  Theres more...$65 for a loaf of bread and $100 for a gallon of gasoline.  These times will be impossible for the non-believer and very difficult for those who come to Christ during that time, if not, harder. 

    But like I said, what we are seeing now is just a wake up call for what is to come.  Soon, when the last person accepts Christ, He will come back for us.  Imagine the confusion.  Wow.  So as far as watching the days and events of this current age, I think the real place to watch in Israel.  Israel is where everything will take place and take a shape.  I believe that we can look for the Antichrist to be of the Muslim faith, because he will have access to the temple, where he will set up the image of himself to worship, much like king Nebuchadnezzar in the book of Daniel.  I believe that these things will unfold day by day.  But, we must remember our most important duty as Christians

    "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

                           Matthew 28:19-20

In the past weeks, my Pastor has been doing a sermon series on Heaven, and I must say, I look forward to Heaven way more than I ever have.  We must take every thought captive, and our hearts must be on things above.

May we seek Christ in the midst of this world.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Daniel's Visions and Today's World

(The preparation for this post has took a lot of time and studying, but I think you will enjoy it.)

   Since my last post, I have been studying about the end of age, tribulation time, the Antichrist and so much more.  A question of mine that came to mind was "Who in the Bible knew about these subjects very well?"   The first person that came to mind was not John (the author of Revelation) but Daniel, who wrote his book to the Jewish exiles in Babylonia anywhere from 605-530 B.C. 

  What I am about to say has really nothing to do with what is going on in our world today....or does it?  Seemingly, it doesn't have much to do with anything the world is experiencing, but if you pay close attention, it has almost everything to do with our world today.  Just remember that as you read.

   I began my study in Daniel chapter 7.  Daniels first personal experience of visions takes place in Chapter 7; just after adventure in the lions den in Chapter 6.  As I go into the text, I am going to try to supply you with all of the historical, sociological and geological information that goes along with it.

  Daniel 7:1 - In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying on his bed.  He wrote down the substance of his dream. 

        The first year of king Belshazzar, or his first year as king, was around 553 B.C. 

Daniel 7:2 - Daniel said: "In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea.

        The great sea in Daniels vision refers to the world of nations and peoples.  What is the four winds of heaven?  Ill get to that in just a second.

Daniel 7:3 - Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea.

Daniel 7:4 - The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a man, and the heart of a man was given to it.

Daniel 7:5 - And there before me was a second beast, which looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, 'Get up and eat your fill of flesh!'

Daniel 7:6 - After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard. And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule.

Daniel 7:7 - After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast—terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.

Daniel 7:8 - While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke boastfully.

Here is a picture to give you an idea.  If you re like me, seeing things helps put the concept into perspective.

Verse 4:  The lion with eagles wings symbolizes the Neo-Babylonian empire.  I believe the rest of verse 4 (wings torn of, given the heart of a man) refers to the humbling of King Nebuchadnezzar in chapter 4. 

Verse 5:  The bear raised up on one of its sides refers to the superior status of the Persians in the Medo-Persian alliance.  The three ribs could represent its three principal conquests: Lydia (546 B.C.) Babylon (539) and Egypt (525). 

Verse 6:  The leopard with four wings symbolizes the fast conquest of Alexander the Great. (334-330).  The four heads correspond to the four main divisions into which his empire fell after he died in 323.  Which is Macedon and Greece, Thrace and Asia Minor, Syria, the Holy Land and Egypt. 

Verse 7:  The fourth beast, with its irresistible power represents, you guessed it...the Roman Empire.  The ten horns simply represent its authority. 

Verse 8:  The other small horn that the beast has is the Antichrist or a world power sharing the characteristics of the Antichrist.  That also points to the "mouth that spoke boastfully"  as the Antichrist will do very well.

     This passage of scripture represents historical events that were dead on the money with Daniels vision, (that an angel, whom I believe was Gabriel, interpreted), 

The four great beasts are indeed four great kingdoms that will rise in the world.  The interpretation says that the small horn (the Antichrist)  on the fourth beast will wage war with the saints and defeat them until the Ancient of Days (God) steps in and pronounces the judgement in favor of the saints. 

   For me, the most interesting thing about this whole chapter is that the angel tells Daniel that it will be a very long time before these things come to pass.  That was in Daniels time, roughly 530 B.C.  Its been a long time don't you think?  At that time, Daniel would have been around the age of 80 years old just after his experience in the lions den, so he was no young man. 

  So, the fourth beast is a fourth Kingdom that will rise form the earth that will be much different from any other kingdom, and will devour all other nations.  Do any nations come to mind?  How about Rome?  its a pretty big empire wouldn't you say?  Or even China, whom America is in great dept to and they have the upper hand.  Im not certain of this nation, or the king that will rise from this nation...but im just trying to get you to imagine and do a little bit of homework because this stuff really is amazing to watch play out.  The ten horns are ten kings that will rise from this kingdom.  After them, another king will appear, different from all the rest. The Bible says that this king will speak against the Most High and oppress His saints and try to change times and laws.  But ultimately, the court will sit, and every knee bow and every tongue confess how great is our God!  :) 

May we seek Christ in the midst of this world