My question concerns Daniel 7:20,24. The 11th horn, the little one, is smaller and less powerful but grows and overthrows 3 other rulers. Does this mean that if we are in the end times, and if the antichrist is already existing albeit unannounced, that there is a small and obscure leader already ruling somewhere? Someone who will gain momentum and strength and come against 3 other more obvious rulers? Also, are the 3 horns that are overthrown referring to countries or religious systems?
Daniel 7 concerns a vision that parallels Daniel 2 but from a different perspective. What had been seen as parts of a large and beautiful statue in Daniel 2 now appear as a series of powerful and aggressive beasts, but they represent the same things. The first one is a lion which points to Babylon. The second is a bear and stands for Persia. The third is a winged leopard that describes Greece under Alexander’s four generals, and the fourth is Rome. These are the four kingdoms of Gentile dominion, a time spanning from Nebuchadnezzar to the 2nd Coming. That means it includes the time in which we live.
The 4th beast had 10 horns. In Daniel 7:23-25 the angel gave Daniel the explanation of this part of the vision. He said the 10 horns represent 10 kings who will come out of the 4th beast. Then an 11th king will arise, different from the 10. The word translated different means to be changed or altered. I think this is a reference to the anti-Christ who will be a man like the others but will be indwelt by Satan. Among prophecy students, the Little Horn of Daniel 7 is a popular reference to the anti-Christ.
The three he will subdue are kings, not religious entities. The reference to “a time, times and half a time” in verse 25 concerns a period of time that’s one year plus two years plus half a year. In other words, it’s 3 1/2 years, the duration of the Great Tribulation. At the end of that time, his power will be taken away forever, and all the power of all the kingdoms will be given to the people of God. Then all the rulers of the world will worship and obey God.
I think it’s reasonable to assume that this leader (the Little Horn) is alive today and perhaps is even now the leader of a small or unimportant country.