The Seventh Day Adventists hold that the four beasts represent the four remaining great empires: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.
I have heard an interpretation that the first beast represents England, since the lion is the symbol for England. The eagle's wings represent the thirteen colonies which later broke away from England to form the United States. It is of course interpreted this way because the eagle is the symbol for America.
The second beast is Russia because the bear is the symbol for Russia. The three ribs and the devouring of much flesh represent all the people that were killed under Communism.
With regards to this interpretation, what does the leopard represent?
The fourth beast represents the new world order.
My view is that the fourth beast represents the new world order, which has it's routes in the Roman Empire. It is traced back to Rome in this manner because the Pope will be the beast.
The time, times and half a time symbolize three and a half calendar years. I realize that in the Bible a day can represent a year, but the 1260 days must be actual calendar days because of the remaining three and a half years of Daniel's seventieth week which have yet to be fulfilled.
It seems plausible to me that the first three beasts represent Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece, but I am open to other interpretations. An alternative view of the leopard is what I am most curious about.
The ten horns of the fourth beast represent ten world regions: The North American Union, The Central-South American Union, the Caribbean Union, a future incarnation of the European Union in some form or another, a Russian Union including eastern European countries presently in the European Union, the Middle Eastern Union, the Asian Union, the African Union, Australia and New Zealand rolled into one, and the Union Of Island Nations.
The beast will pull up three of these unions; possibly the European, Caribbean and Central-South American Unions and merge them with the North American Union.
Daniel 7 12: "as concerning the rest of the beasts they had their dominion taken away yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time"
Does this point to the fact that the three great empires still existed but did not rule, or does it mean that England-the United States, Russia and the other one will continue to exist for a bit but not rule. The continuing of their existence would have to take place in the millennial reign since the destruction of the fourth beast is the end of the Tribulation period.
Daniel 7 23: "thus he said the fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon the earth which shall be diverse from all kingdoms and shall devour the whole earth and shall tread it down and break it in pieces"
The Roman Catholic church has not yet taken over the whole earth, even though it feels like it sometimes. Thus, this verse is clearly not talking merely about the Roman Empire which existed in the past, but a future global regime.
Though the Catholic church already altered the day of the sabbath and shoved aside God's feast days, it still has yet to reach its full heights of tyranny. When the principal teachings of Catholicism are legally enforced on the whole of this planet, that is when this prophetic verse will come to its full fruition.
After that, the beast government will be destroyed and the believers will rule the earth under Jesus Christ.