The kingdom of God began in the days of the Roman Empire. It overcame Rome and will overcome all the kingdoms of this world. It will last forever.
In this idea, chapter seven has essentially the same interpretation as chapter two. The difference is that in chapter seven, it is Daniel who sees the vision and more specific details are revealed. If we follow the same method of interpretation as in chapter two, then the fourth kingdom is the Roman Empire at the time of Christ.
I have already tried to show how the description of the “little horn” fits Caesar Nero perfectly — especially the fulfillment of verse 35 in which Nero’s persecution of the church lasted “forty-two months” (Revelation 13:5) — “a time, times and half a time” (Daniel 7:25) — or exactly three-and-a-half years.
The context of Daniel is that it is a prophecy given to the Jews in captivity in Babylon. It explains that their kingdom and their Temple sacrifices will be restored during the days of Darius and Cyrus — only to be interrupted by Antiochus. The wise among the Jews would receive a kingdom that would last forever (v.27) in the days of the fourth kingdom.
To wrench this passage out of context and make it apply to the Roman Empire after the first century, the papacy, or a future Antichrist world dictatorship is ignoring the intent and context of the entire prophecy of Daniel.
7:27— “And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.”
Verse 27 has an application to eternity — it is an everlasting kingdom. Dominion was given to the people of God in AD 30 and this mandate continues today and to eternity. But the whole context of Chapters 2 and 7 is to point to the “days of these kings,” i.e., the Roman Caesars of the first century.
The context of the whole of Daniel is that most of the prophecy must have a first century fulfillment around the time of the coming of the Messiah.