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We cannot understand the Book of Revelation until we understand the Book of Daniel. Daniel 2 & 7, along with Revelation 13 are talking about 4 Kingdoms that have ruled the world (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome) and a future Roman or European empire that will have 10 kings.

Daniel looks into the future and lists the kingdoms as they would arise--Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. The Apostle John, in the Revelation 13, reverses the order (Rome, Greece, Medo-Persia, Babylon) because he is looking from the future back on the kingdoms.

Daniel 2 Daniel 7 Revelation 13:1-2
605 B.C.-538 B.C. Gold - Nebuchadnezzer's BABYLON 1st Beast - LION with wings of an eagle BABYLON LION
538 B.C.-331 B.C. Silver - Dual Empire of the MEDES and PERSIANS 2nd Beast - BEAR raised up on one side MEDES and PERSIANS BEAR
331 B.C.-146 B.C. Bronze Empire of Greece 3rd Beast - LEOPARD with 4 wings & 4 heads Empire of GREECE LEOPARD
146 B.C.-500 A. D. Iron Empire of ROME 4th Beast - BEAST with iron teeth Empire of ROME BEAST
GAP IN TIME OF MANY CENTURIES GAP IN TIME OF MANY CENTURIES  
Iron and Clay 10 toes (2:42) Future Revived Roman Empire "Stone cut without hands" is Jesus. Strikes feet at His 2nd coming 10 horns (7:7) Future Revived Roman Empire "Little horn" is the AntiChrist (7:8) "Son of Man" is Jesus (7:13) 10 horns

 

When the apostle John mentions the lion, leopard, bear, beast, and 10 horns (written in 96 A.D.), he is telling the reader to refer back to Daniel’s prophecies (written in 537 B.C.). John is telling us, "What I am talking about in the book of Revelation is the same thing Daniel talked about in his book. Daniel told you about future kingdoms that would rule the world, and now I’m going to explain some more about that last kingdom—the one with the 10 horns."

John uses some of the same phrases as Daniel. John uses "time, times, and half a time" (Rev. 12:14), just like Daniel (Dan. 7:25, 12:7). This term refers to 3½ years (compare Rev. 12:14 with Rev. 12:6 and 11:2-3).When the Antichrist confirms a 7-year covenant with Israel, he will stop the Jewish sacrifices "in the middle of the week (Dan. 9:27)." The Jews had a week of days (7 days) and a week of years (7 years). See Gen. 29:27-30. The "middle of the week" splits the last seven years on earth into two 3½ year segments. The references to "time, times, and half a time" "42 months" and "1260 days" refers to the last 3½ years on earth before Jesus returns (except for Rev. 11:3, which refers to the first 3½ years of the 7-year covenant).

John also speaks of "10 horns" (Rev. 12:3, 13:1, 17:3,12), the same as Daniel (Dan. 7:7,20,24). The 10 horns are 10 kings which will arise in the future. John tells us they "have not yet received a kingdom" (as of 96 A.D.), meaning they would arise at some time in the future. They STILL haven’t received a kingdom because they are still future kings as of this writing. Daniel tells us "And in the days of those kings (represented by the 10 toes on the statue) the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed…"

These 10 kings will rule in nations from the old Roman Empire (modern day Europe) just prior to the 2nd coming of Christ, and Jesus will destroy their kingdoms and set up His own at His return.