Is America in the Book of Daniel? (The Ideas of Irvin Baxter)

Category: The End Times 596

One thing that American Christians have interest in is whether or not the United States will have a connection to the Antichrist. Some believe that maybe the Antichrist himself will come from the land of the brave, while others believe that the country will fight against the tyrannical ruler of the future and defend Israel through the Tribulation. In the center of this discussion is the book of Daniel.

A well-noted prophecy teacher, radio host, and writer on end-time issues is Irvin Baxter. He is the founder of End Time Ministries and he has a very interesting take on the four beasts of Daniel 7. Daniel 7 gives us the prophet’s dream of four great beasts that rose up out of the sea. He tells us about the lion with eagle wings, a lop-sided bear, a leopard with four wings and heads, and another beast that is simply described as being terrifying and powerful. Typically the four beasts are thought to be Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and either Rome or Islam (see more below on these interpretations). According to Baxter, however, the beasts in Daniel 7 represent the following:

  1. Lion with the eagle wings – England and America. Three lions are on the English coat of arms. The eagle wings being plucked off represent the United States which broke away from the British Empire in the late 1700s.
  2. Bear – Russia (the bear is the national symbol of Russia).
  3. Leopard with four heads and four wings – Germany (and France). The leopard represents Germany because of the leopard tanks that the country developed. The four heads are four different German kingdoms. Many look at the first three German kingdoms as follows: A) the Holy Roman Empire (which developed out of the empire of Charlemagne, who was crowned emperor in the year 800). The Holy Roman Empire lasted until 1806). B) The German Empire (1871-1918). And C) Nazi Germany, known as the Third Reich (1933-1945). The fourth is now emerging. The four wings are symbolic of France since the rooster is their national animal. Both nations also corroborated on the leopard tanks and are founding members of the European Union.
  4. Terrifying Beast – A one-world government headed by Britain, Germany, and Russia. Since the beast on Revelation 13 looks like a leopard this means that Germany will be the dominant power.[1]

Baxter comes to this conclusion primarily because of Daniel 7:11-12 which say, “Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. (The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.)”

The horn is the Antichrist, the beast that was slain is the fourth beast, and the beasts that were allowed to live are the lion, bear, and leopard. Baxter believes that since these first three beasts were still alive at the fall of the fourth beast, then they are all contemporary. Thus, the first three beasts cannot be Babylon, Medo-Persia, or Greece.[2]

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Problems with the theory

Although I do find Baxter’s interpretation interesting, I do think that it has its difficulties:

1. The four beasts of Daniel 7 have parallels with details from other passages in Scripture. For example, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon is pictured in other parts of Scripture as a lion (Jeremiah 4:7; 49:19; 50:17, 44), and an eagle (Jeremiah 49:22; Lamentations 4:19; Ezekiel 17:3; Habakkuk 1:8). Interestingly, statues of lions with wings have also been discovered in the ruins of Babylon. The heart being given to the lion and the plucking of the wings are a reference to Daniel 4 where God humbled Nebuchadnezzar.[3]

The bear is presented as being lop-sided in Daniel 7. This fits very well with Daniel 8:3-4, 20 where the ram is said to represent the Medo-Persian Empire. The ram has two horns, one which is bigger than the other. Two different sized horns, along with the lop-sidedness of the bear, symbolize that the ruler-ship of the empire was lop-sided in favor of the Persians over the Medes.

The leopard with four heads and four wings is a perfect symbol for the Greek Empire of Alexander the Great. A leopard is fast (Alexander conquered the Persian Empire very quickly), the four heads represent four kingdoms (the empire was split into four parts after Alexander’s demise), and the four wings symbolize, once again, the speed of the conquests. This symbolism fits very well with details that we get from Daniel 8:5-8, 21-22 regarding a goat that over powers a ram. The chapter tells us that the goat was so fast that as it ran towards the ram its feet were not even touching the ground. It also had one prominent horn which broke off and four other horns came up in its place. The passage tells us that the big horn was the king of Greece (Alexander) and that the four horns were four other kingdoms.

The descriptions given in Daniel 7 match very well with the known historical facts, and other passages, in regards to Babylon, Persia, and Greece (for more on Daniel 7 see here).

2. Baxter’s interpretation is dependent on the Antichrist rising out of Europe. There are many problems with this. The evidence throughout Scripture is that the Antichrist will come out of the Middle East, particularly Turkey. (See my series on an Islamic Antichrist for the full details).

3. Baxter tries to connect England, America, Russia, and France to the beasts by using their national animals and symbols. But there are some problems with this. For example, not only is the lion on the coat of arms for England, but it is also on the royal coat of arms for Spain. The eagle is not only the national animal or bird for America, but for Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Armenia, Austria, Egypt, Ghana, Kazakhstan, Mexico, and others. The lion is also the national animal for Belgium, Bulgaria, Ethiopia, Iran (Persia), Kenya, Libya, Macedonia (where Alexander the Great was from), and others. The bear is also a symbol for Finland.

Perhaps the lion with eagle wings is Spain and Mexico? Mexico did, in fact, gain independence from the Spanish Empire. When one tries to identify modern-day national symbols and animals with the beasts of Daniel 7 we can make many different connections. Basically, we see what we want to see. The same can be said for the leopard tanks of Germany and France. Is there anything in Daniel 7 about tanks? I personally do not see anything. Baxter begins with the idea that the Antichrist will arise out of Europe, then he tries to connect the symbolism with anything he can.

4. Baxter’s view is primarily based on his belief that the four beasts are contemporary. This is based on Daniel 7:12 which states that the first three beasts were allowed to live during the reign of the fourth beast, but had been stripped of their power. There is a huge problem with this. Daniel 2 tells us about a huge statue that Nebuchadnezzar saw in a dream. It was divided into five different sections (gold, silver, bronze, iron, and iron mixed with clay). The golden head is specifically identified as Babylon (2:38). The feet and toes mixed with iron and clay are clearly the ten kings of the fourth beast of Daniel 7 (the legs of iron are identifiable with the fourth beast with its teeth of iron – 7:19). The feet and toes are overthrown at the second coming of Christ (2:44) as the ten horns and fourth beast are (7:11).

Yet, and here is the most important part, Christ destroys all the kingdoms of the statue at the same time (2:34-35, 44-45). This is just the same as 7:12. How can Christ destroy different kingdoms that didn’t exist at the exact same time? Remember that Babylon is the first kingdom of Daniel 2 and the legs, feet, and toes exist in the end-times. The answer is simpler than most would think. The kingdoms described in Daniel 2 and 7 are successive to each other and they each absorbed the previous empire. Essentially, they lived on in their successors.[4] Writer Joel Richardson notes that the point of 7:11-12 is that, unlike the first three beasts which continued on in later empires, the final beast will come to a sudden, and utterly complete, destruction.[5]

Conclusion

There are many different theories out there about the Antichrist. The same goes for the United States and end-time prophecy. One of the most popular concerning both of these is simply incorrect. The United States, and Britain, Germany, and Russia for that matter, are not represented in Daniel 7.

 

[1] “An In-Depth Look at the Four Great Beasts of Daniel 7.” February 28, 2014. http://www.endtime.com/blog/depth-look-four-great-beasts-daniel-7/

[2] “United States in the Bible.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVOJ3X137Hk. Around the 8:20 mark.

[3] John Walvoord. Daniel: The Key to Prophetic Revelation (Chicago: Moody Press, 1971). 153. John C. Whitcomb. Daniel. Everyman’s Bible Commentary (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1985). 94. Leon Wood. A Commentary on Daniel (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1973). 181-182.

[4] Whitcomb, 47.

[5] Joel Richardson. Mideast Beast (Washington D.C.: WND Books, 2012). 86-89.

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