Most Protestants did not see the little horn in Daniel 7 and 8 as the power of Satan. They saw this little horn as the pope himself.
Not all Protestants, however, believed that the little horn in Daniel 7 was the pope. Some said that it was the pope while others, such as Martin Luther, said that it was the little horn in Daniel 8 that was the pope.
Daniel 8 describes the little horn as the power of Satan. Daniel compared the power of Satan to the power of Cyrus the Great and Alexander the Great, whom he also referred to as horns. Daniel said the little horn exalted itself as high as the Captain of the Armies, as high as Christ.
All Protestants understood that the king of the north in Daniel 11:36–39 was the pope. The apostle Paul himself quoted this passage to warn the saints of the coming Antichrist, saying, [That Day (the Day of Christ)] “will not come unless the man of sin is revealed … who … sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself as God.”12Th 2:3-4
The Angel said the pope would “magnify himself above every god” and “have no desire for women,”2Dan 11:37 which described his celibacy. “He will act against the strongest of fortresses with the help of a foreign god that he shall acknowledge … a god that his fathers did not know.”3Dan 11:38-39 This described the pope’s crusades against the fortresses of Islam. Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, said that the god of the Trinity was a god that the pope’s fathers did not know. It was a departure from the teachings of the Bible. In verse 39, the Angel said, “He will divide the land for gain.”4Dan 11:39 The Catholic Church is still the largest non-governmental landowner in the world, owning 177 million acres of land.