Tag Archives: Little Horn

Daniel and Revelation-Part 5-Longest Time Prophecy-Ram and Goat

The next three studies will unlock the most amazing prophecy in the entire Bible.  It covers over two millenniums of time.  History has shown it to be extremely accurate.  But, it doesn’t just cover history;  It reveals the work of Jesus at this very moment as He prepares a people for His soon return.

The study of Daniel chapter 8 and 9 helped transfer me from unbelief to a committed believer in Jesus. These chapters, like many others in the Old Testament, show Jesus as the promised Messiah and the soon coming King.  Like  a friend once told me, “It is all about Jesus.”

Yes, these prophecies are about the foretelling of the Messiah and His arrival His work, death, ministry, and His second coming.  His first advent happened exactly on time according to the longest time prophecy in the Bible.

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Before we start, let’s plant some stakes in the ground of Bible interpretation. There are least three main principles:

1.) Let the prophecy speak for itself and give its own interpretation.

2.)  Keep the prophetic words in context and in line with other Bible passages that talk directly to the same event.

3.) Keep in mind each vision in Daniel repeats and expands.  Each successive vision adds detail to the previous vision.

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As we open to Chapter 8 of Daniel, we notice that the time setting for Daniel’s vision is the  “third year of the reign of King Belshazzar.  This is near the end of the reign of Babylon.  Soon Babylon will fall and King Belshazzar will die when the Medes and Persians come pouring through a dried up river (Euphrates) and through doors left open due to a drunken orgy.

The last straw for King Belshazzar was the use of holy “vessels” (used in the sanctuary services) as common objects for his sin-laden party. He took what was holy and profaned it. These sanctified bowls and utensils had been taken when King Belshazzar’s grandfather (Nebuchadnezzar) took them when Jerusalem fell captive to Babylon.

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The opening passages tell us Daniel was by a river (Ulai) in Shushan when he saw the vision as follows:

Then I lifted my eyes and saw, and there, standing beside the river, was a ram which had two horns, and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher one came up last.

Daniel 8:3

This was not just a normal ram, but one that had two “high” horns, but one horn was higher than the other.  This ram pushed northward, southward, and westward and “became great.” (V. 4)

As Daniel was thinking about the ram, some action begins to take place as a male goat shows up.

And as I was considering, suddenly a male goat came from the west, across the surface of the whole earth, without touching the ground; and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. Then he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing beside the river, and ran at him with furious power.

Daniel 8: 5-6

A ferocious battle takes place

“And I saw him confronting the ram; he was moved with rage against him, attacked the ram, and broke his two horns. There was no power in the ram to withstand him, but he cast him down to the ground and trampled him, and there was no one that could deliver the ram from his hand.”

Daniel 8: 7

Image result for images of ram and goat fight in Daniel

The male goat was victorious and began to grow in strength

Therefore the male goat grew very great; but when he became strong, the large horn was broken, and in place of it four notable ones came up toward the four winds of heaven. 

Daniel 8: 8

At this point, a new element is brought into the series of powers that would arise and have great influence upon God’s people….a little horn….

 And out of one of them came a little horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land.

Daniel 8:9

Please notice the context, this little horn came from one of the horns.  Here is it’s origin.  It can be from no other place. This will be important as we get the interpretation because many have misinterpreted the origin of the little horn.  But the passage is clear.  It comes from one of the four horns that replaced the large horn that was broken.  History will tell us exactly who is the little horn.

Before it is identified, it describes its devastating activity.

And it grew up to the host of heaven, and it cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground and trampled them. He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host, and by him, the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down.  Because of transgression, an army was given over to the horn to oppose the daily sacrifices; and he cast truth down to the ground. He did all this and prospered.

Daniel 8: 10-12

This little horn is the same as found in Daniel 7: 23-27 and the beast of Revelation 13! This we discovered in a previous study:

Daniel and Revelation-Part 2- The Image and the Beasts

In summary, here are the actions of the little horn:

Little Horn

  • Grew up to the host of heaven
  • Cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground and trampled them.
  • Exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host
  • Daily sacrifices were taken away
  • Place of the sanctuary was cast down.
  • Cast truth to the ground
  • Did all this and prospered

What does all this mean?  How should this dream be interpreted? What meaning does it have for us today in the 21st century?  We don’t have to worry, for its clear interpretation is in the chapter and fits in with the previous dreams and visions.

The interpretation of the ram, the goat, and the little horn begins in verse 15, but before that, we hear the discussion between two angels. The concern is over the length of time that the little horn would have as he took away the daily sacrifice, the sanctuary, and trampled upon the host of heaven.

 Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said to that certain one who was speaking, “How long will the vision be, concerning the daily sacrifices and the transgression of desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled underfoot?”

Daniel 8: 13

The answer is given straightway,

And he said to me, “For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.”

Daniel 8: 14

2,300 days! if taken literally,  would be a little over 6.4 years. But, the key to unlocking this time period is the day-for-a-year principle.  It is used by the Lord and described throughout the Bible.  But the real proof is that it works with the time prophecies in Daniel and Revelation.

Relevant passages:

When Israel rebelled in the desert, God said that they would bear for a year of each day they spent spying out the promised land and refusing to go in.

 According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for each day you shall bear your guilt one year, namely forty years, and you shall know My rejection.

Number 14:34 

In the portrayal of the siege of Jerusalem by Ezekiel, God commanded Ezekiel to bear the iniquities of Judah for 40 days which signified 40 years.

And when you have completed them, lie again on your right side; then you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days. I have laid on you a day for each year.

Ezekiel 4:6

Applying the day-for-a-year principle, 2,300 days equal 2,300 years.  If we knew the starting time, we would know when the “sanctuary shall be cleansed.”

But, God does not keep us in the dark. We can know the mystery  of the time period from His word.  We don’t have to rely on a fanciful interpretation, it starts in verse 15.

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The Interpretation:

 Then it happened, when I, Daniel, had seen the vision and was seeking the meaning, that suddenly there stood before me one having the appearance of a man.

Daniel 8:15

 Daniel did not understand the vision and was searching for the meaning. Then, immediately, Daniel heard a man’s voice telling Gabriel to help Daniel understand the vision.

And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of the Ulai, who called, and said, “Gabriel, make this man understand the vision.”  So he came near where I stood, and when he came I was afraid and fell on my face; but he said to me, “Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end.

Daniel 8: 16-17

There is so much from this few verses that should not be overlooked.  First, angels can appear as men. If this is true for good angels, it is also true for bad angels for we are told,

For Satan, himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 

2 Corinthians 11: 14

Where is our safety?  It is by knowing God personally and comparing stories and events with the Bible itself.

To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

Isaiah 8:20

This we will apply as we let the angel tell us the interpretation of this vision.

Secondly, the vision refers to the time of the end.  Notice that the end of all things (i.e. earth and sin) is a specific day.  The end of time is when it ends, but the time of the end is a longer space in time when the end approaches and things begin to line up. While we won’t know the exact end of time (Jesus said, no man know the day or the hour), we can know that we are in the time of the end by the prophecies of God.

When Jesus was talking with the Pharisee and Sadducees (all religious leaders and “experts.”), he said to them:

“When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times

Matthew 16: 2-3

Just being good and wise weathermen did not mean they had the spiritual wherewithal to understand the time of the end (the approaching storm of end time events.)  As it is today, there are many smart and wise men who are in love with their own interpretations but fail to understand and accept what God’s word has to say.

knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation

2 Peter 1:20

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Gabriel begins to plainly tell Daniel that the animals and horns he saw were symbolic that occupy time in future history (at least to Daniel)  He gives him specific information as to the symbolic identity so there is no doubt.  We, too, should have no doubt about the identity of the ram, the goat, the horns, and the little horn.

“Look, I am making known to you what shall happen in the latter time of the indignation; for at the appointed time the end shall beThe ram which you saw, having the two horns—they are the kings of Media and Persia.  And the male goat is the kingdomof Greece. 

Daniel 8: 19-21

To Daniel, these events were future, but to us they are history…at least most of it.

Here is what we can be sure about so far.  No fanciful interpretation of man needed.  The Bible tells us in no uncertain terms:

1.) The vision has parts and time in space, but the point of the vision is about“what will happen in the latter time.”

2.)  The “time of the end” is “appointed.” As we will see, we can know this time, just like the wise men knew from the prophecies that the Messiah was to appear…” when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law  Galatians 4.4

3.)  The ram represents the king of Media and Persia.  God had told Daniel back in Chapter 2 that the arms and shoulders of silver also represented Media and Persia.  As mentioned at the start, the prophecies of Daniel repeat and expand. While we see clearly that the ram represents Media and Persian, we also are introduced to a male goat and the horns.

4.) The male goat represents Greece.

But there is more….

The large horn that is between its eyes is the first king. As for the broken horn and the four that stood up in its place, four kingdoms shall arise out of that nation, but not with its power.

Daniel 8:21-22

Who was this broken horn (power or king) of Greece?  History tells us clearly it was Alexander the Great.  He died at age 32 and his kingdom was divided into 4 kingdoms (Egypt, Thrace, Macedonia, and Syria).  These 4 kingdoms were ruled by the four generals of Alexander: Ptolemy, Lysimachus, Cassander, and Seleucus.

History also tells us that out of one of these horns came another power.

The next power to arise was described back in verse 9 as the little horn:

And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.

Daniel 8:9

The angel lets us know that this little horn is a king or power, but it is going to do some dreadful things….not to other countries, but to the kingdom of God.

And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. 

And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.

Daniel 8:24

And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes, but he shall be broken without hand.

Daniel 8:25

Here is what we can be sure about so far.  No fanciful interpretation of man needed, as mentioned.  The Bible tells us in no uncertain terms:

1.) This little horn that is fierce towards God Himself begins his power at the latter time of the 4 kingdoms of Greece.

2.)  He will have a mighty power, but it won’t be his. This power will come from Satan himself!

3.) He will destroy the mighty and holy people. We might be tempted to think the mighty and holy people are the Jews, but in its historical context, we will see it is another group.

4. He will stand up to the Prince of Princes.  This can be none other than Jesus Himself.  This we will understand clearly in Chapter 9.

5.)  The little horn will prosper, but his end is “without hand.”  Just as the rock that was cut “without hand” in Chapter two.  It will be the return of Jesus that is the final demise of this little horn.

In our previous studies, we saw that this power is non-other than Pagan Rome which gave its power to Papal Rome.

Below is a summary of the dreams we have studied so far.  The principal of repeating and expanding is demonstrated  in this picture:

  • Babylon is represented by the head of God and the Lion of Daniel 7
  • Medo Persia is represented by the arms and shoulders of silver in Daniel 2 and the bear with three ribs in Daniel 7. But it also appears as the ram with two horns in Daniel 8.
  • Greece is represented by the belly and thighs of brass in Daniel 2 and the 4-headed leopard of Daniel 7.  But also the he-goat of Daniel 8
  • Rome is the legs of iron in Daniel 2, the fierce beast of Daniel 7
  • Rome is divided into ten kingdoms as represented by the 10 toes of Daniel 2 and the 10 horns of Daniel 7.
  • The little horn comes from one of the four horns  of the he-goat in Daniel 8, but is also described as the little horn of Daniel 7 that uproots 3 of the 10 horns

The little horn that comes out of one the 4 horns of Greece and makes war on God and His people can be none other than the Pagan Rome with its heathen practices.  This power was transferred to Papal Rome. During the dark ages, it put the Bible away and replaced it with tradition.  Out of the Dark Ages sprung the reformation of Jerome, Huss, Luther, and many others.  We will study more on this later.

Daniel 2, 7, 8

All of this is explained to Daniel very clearly, but the chapter ends with these words:

And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward, I rose up, and did the king’s business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.

Daniel 8:27

What was it that Daniel did not understand?  The prophecy is clearly interpreted. This we will find out in our next study of Daniel 9.

Prophecies for Our Time-The connection of Daniel 8 and 9

“O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you skill to understand...consider the matter, and understand the vision:”

Daniel 9:23

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These visions of Daniel and their explanations by the attending angels are powerful and methodically presented in  a timeline, starting with Daniel’s day  up to our time. The prophecies of Daniel, as we have discussed, repeats and expands. It adds more detail with each vision.  I have used the same approach in sharing with you.

The concept of the events of Daniel’s vision staying in a timeline is extremely important in understanding the prophecy of Daniel 9.

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This Daniel 9 prophecy has become very popular in the last few decades.  Through Hal Lindsey and others, a distinct scenario related to the second coming of Christ is painted through the time prophecies in Daniel 9 in particular.  The misguided understanding about 7 years of tribulation are forced from this chapter.

The depiction of the events by Hal Lindsey and his followers  have been made into books and movies, but there is a fatal flaw as I will attempt to demonstrate in the next two posts.

But more than an argumentative approach, I hope to demonstrate the sovereignty of God and the accuracy of his word.

  Because many good people are lead astray through the current popular interpretation, a very key component of the prophecy is missed.   Also, the  confidence we can gain in the reliability of Bible prophecy is  pushed aside in favor of a Hollywood-like second coming. Therefore, I will go along very systematically using as many related Bible verses as possible.  My hope is that the truth from God’s word will be presented and we all will have more confidence in our great Creator.

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The words from Daniel 9:23 (see above) come from the angel Gabriel as he is commissioned from the heavenly throne to encourage Daniel and explain what was not understood by Daniel and his friends.

But, what has Gabriel been commissioned to explain?

Many interpreters of Daniel 9 have not connected Daniel 8 with it.  This is one mistake.  Let’s talk about that for a moment.

From the following verses, we see that Gabriel came to complete what was lacking in Chapter 8.   This conclusion is strengthened by the angel’s instructions.

And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, “O Daniel, I have now come forth to  give you skill to understand. At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved; therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision:

Daniel 9: 22-23

 There are no visions in Chapter 9 only Daniel’s prayer and the angel’s explanations.   The unexplained portion is, therefore, of the vision in Chapter 8.  Is that a fair statement?  Let’s see.

When we left Daniel 8, we hear these words from Daniel in the last verse:

And I, Daniel, fainted and was sick for days; afterward I arose and went about the king’s business. I was astonished by the vision, but no one understood it.

Daniel 8:27

Those last words of Daniel confirms the vision in Daniel 8 is the purpose of Gabriel’s visit.  The visit is also for encouragement to Daniel from the throne room of God!

At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved; therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision.

Daniel 9:23

Wouldn’t you love to hear the words from heaven, “You are greatly beloved?”  God used more than words to tell us this.  He sent His Son to tell us and to prove it.  Let us never forget,we are greatly beloved.”  The live, death, and resurrection tells us “we are greatly beloved.”  But there is another reason. : It is the ministry of Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary:

For Christ did not go into a Holy Place made by human hands, which was a copy of the real one. He went into heaven itself, where he now appears on our behalf in the presence of God.

Hebrews 9:24

One day, Jesus will leave this part of his ministry as mediator and return as King of Kings!

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Why did the angel have to explain Daniel 8?  It had already been explained….That is all but one section….

The elements of Daniel’s dream in chapter 8 included a ram with two horns, a goat with a notable horn that broke into 4 horns and the little horn that appears.  This little horn persecutes the things and people of God.

ram and goat

Not only does the attending angel interpret the strange beasts in Chapter 8, leaving no doubt about who they represent, but it is also confirmed by history.

These historical events are explained in Chapter 8 starting with verse 15 as pointed out in the previous post.  We can clearly verify from history the succession of powers and world events as foretold by Daniel.  They are established in Chapter 2 and repeated in Chapter 7.

Chapter 8 begins to add even more detail and focus. It is very important to remember that these powers and events are all in succession…on a timeline.  This is an important point as we enter Chapter 9 

The powers and events occur in this order:

1. Babylon

2. Medes and Persians

3. Greece

4. Rome

5. Ten Divisions of Rome

6. Papacy that comes from Rome

7. Three of the ten divisions annihilated by the Papacy with support of Rome.

8. Persecution of the truth by the Papacy

9. The return of Jesus during the divisions of Rome

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All of this is explained, but what is it that Daniel said“no one understood?”

Looking back in Chapter 8, we see a question that has a strange answer and was not explained.  Here it is:

“Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said to that certain one who was speaking, How long will the vision be, concerning the daily sacrifices and the transgression of desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled underfoot?”

And he said to me, “For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.”

Daniel 8: 13 – 14

The angel that is talking is asked by an angel who is listening.  Daniel did not ask it, but he surely must have thought it.  The great concern expressed in the question by the angel is due to the little horn’s exceeding power and the daily sacrifices including the “transgression of desolation.

As we have seen this beast that exercises these religious powers  is different from the rest. What makes it different is that it did not rise from wars as did the other, but rather assumed a position through the Roman Beast and through its own deception, religious persecution, and control.

“The mighty Catholic Church was little more than the Roman Empire baptised … The very capital of the old Roman Empire became the capital of the Christian empire. The office of Pontifex Maximus was continued in that of the pope.”

Alexander Clarence Flick, The Rise of the Medieval Church, pp. 148, 149.

This is the background for Chapter 9

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 The 9th chapter of Daniel starts off with an earnest prayer by Daniel for the people of God who were in captivity.  Daniel knew from the study of Jeremiah that they would be in captivity for 70 years.  That time was coming to a close.

I was studying the sacred books and thinking about the Seventy years that Jerusalem would be in ruins, according to what the Lord had told the prophet Jeremiah.

Daniel 9:2

It is interesting that Daniel was, in effect, studying the Bible or the sacred books.  He had great confidence in the validity and accuracy of God’s word through the prophet Jeremiah.  Shouldn’t we?

As we have seen in previous studies, Babylon had conquered Jerusalem and demolished the city and the temple.  Many of Jerusalem’s brightest people, including Daniel and his three friends, were taken captive. But, they would not remain in captivity forever.  It would last only for 70 literal years according to Jeremiah.

And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.

And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the Lord, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations.

Jeremiah 25: 11 – 12

It is important to understand perpetual desolations.   It means there is no one there (desolation) and it is ongoing (perpetual). This was the fate of Babylon:  perpetual desolations.

Therefore the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the islands shall dwell there, and the owls shall dwell therein: and it shall be no more inhabited for ever;  neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation.

Jeremiah 50:39

This bit of information will help us to understand Jesus when he said,

When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.

Matthew 24: 15 – 18

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Daniel prayer is a moving prayer for himself and his people.  Please take time to read it (Verses 1-19). He begins by acknowledging the faithfulness of God, who never fails in any of His dealings with His followers. It was not from any lack on God’s part  that the Jews were then in captivity but only on account of their sins.

Although Daniel had suffered long for others’ sins (70 years of captivity), he lived a godly life, and received honors and blessings from the Lord. Despite this, he brings he accuses on no one! In addition, he pleads no sympathy for himself as a victim of others’ wrongs, but classes himself with the  others, saying, “We have sinned, and unto us belongs confusion of face.” He acknowledges that they had not heeded the lessons God designed to teach them by their afflictions.

Herein lies a great lesson in how we are to relate to others and our own sins.

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Daniel’s prayer is interrupted by Gabriel with a message and an explanation as shown above.   Verse 24 becomes critical in understanding the unexplained portion of Daniel 8.  It reads:

“Seventy weeks are determined
For your people and for your holy city,
To finish the transgression,
To make an end of  sins,
To make reconciliation for iniquity,
To bring in everlasting righteousness,
To seal up vision and prophecy,
And to anoint the Most Holy.

Daniel 9: 24

Please notice the word “determined.” It is the Hebrew word “chathak”  It appears one time and it means to “cut” or “divide” The angel Gabriel is telling Daniel that 70 weeks are cut or divided from the longer prophecy (left unexplained in Daniel). So of the 2,300 days described in Daniel 8,  70 weeks are cut off or divided for Daniel’s people, the children of Israel.

With the start of verse 24, the angel is explaining the question and answer in Chapter 8 as repeated here:

“How long will the vision be, concerning the daily sacrifices and the transgression of desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled underfoot?”

And he said to me, “For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.”

Daniel 8: 13-14

So as I mentioned at the start, we have an answer to the question, but it is unclear.  What does it mean?  If Daniel and the angels desired to know, shouldn’t we?  Of course!

But, staying true to the principal of repeating and expanding.  The 2,300 days is part of the detail the angel adds in this chapter.

It is obvious the angel is explaining the 2,300-day prophecy because in the next verse of Daniel 9, the angel says the words,

“Know therefore and understand,….”

Daniel 9:25

So, we have two time periods:  2,300 days for the Sanctuary to be cleansed and 70 weeks “cut off” (determined) from this period. The purpose of the 70 weeks was for the children of Israel to accomplish 6 things:

To finish the transgression,
To make an end of sins,
To make reconciliation for iniquity,
To bring in everlasting righteousness,
To seal up vision and prophecy,
And to anoint the Most Holy. 

Daniel 9:24

For this prophecy to have any meaning, we must know when it starts.  We find our answer in the next verse:

“Know therefore and understand,
That from the going forth of the command
To restore and build Jerusalem
Until Messiah the Prince,…”

Daniel 9: 25

When the command goes forth to restore and build Jerusalem it becomes our starting point.  From this command, it takes us to Messiah the Prince.  How long does it take us to get to the Messiah (Jesus)?

There shall be seven (7) weeks and sixty-two weeks (62);
The street shall be built again, and the wall,
Even in troublesome times.

Daniel 9: 25

For us to understand the events and timelines, we must use the day- for-a -year principal in interpreting Bible prophecy.  If, however, we try to take this time period as literal, the verse above would indicate that from the time the command goes forth to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the advent of Jesus would only be 70 weeks or about 490 days.  As we will see the command to restore Jerusalem occurred in the fall of 457 BC.  Jesus appeared on the scene in 27 AD

So, when we see a day in Bible prophecy, we can translate that to a year.  This will be explained in detail in the next study.  Here is a chart showing the longer line of time (2,300 days or years) and the 70 weeks (490 years):

We will stop here and I will give you a few days to digest.  I urge questions.  In a few days, I will re-post a detailed explanation of the 70-week prophecy and the 7 years of tribulation error.  If you want to to read an early study, see: Part 3-Second Coming Predictions (7 Years of Tribulation?)

Until then, blessings my friends….

Prophecies for Our Time-Daniel 8

” And I, Daniel, fainted and was sick for days; afterward I arose and went about the king’s business. I was astonished by the vision, but “no one understood it.”

Daniel 8:27

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Introduction

Daniel ends chapter 8 with a startling statement:

“….no one understood it.”

No doubt, Daniel told others about the vision he received because he said, no one could understand the vision, or at least the part unexplained.  Ironically, this becomes a big point in understanding Daniel 9.  Because in Daniel 9 the angel comes back to uncover the part of Daniel 8 that was not explained.

Quite likely, Daniel discussed the vision with his three friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego who stood the test of the fiery furnace.

What is odd about Daniel’s statement is that almost all the prophecy is interpreted by the attending angel.  This is what we will study today.  But, there is part that was left open and revealed in chapter 9.

So when the chapter ends, Daniel and those that discussed it with him are confused, this confusion is the reason for the events of Daniel 9

“O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you skill to understand. At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved; therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision”

Daniel 9: 22, 23

The angel starts by encouraging Daniel who was made sick by the visions.  The angel reminds him that he is “greatly beloved.”  My friends, what an encouragement to us is to know that we are “greatly beloved!”.  Let us never forget this!

Then the angel begins to lead Daniel through the time part of the prophecy.

With this in mind, let’s do a quick review and consider Daniel 8.

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Quick Review

As one studies the book of Daniel and the visions, it becomes clear there is a time line of world events throughout. The starting point is when Daniel and his friends are taken captive by Babylon and Daniel reveals to Nebuchadnezzar a succession of nations and kings that would arise.  At a designated point the end would come and Jesus would reign without end.  The dream of Daniel 2 sets up the structure on which the remaining prophecies are built:

1.) Babylon

2.) Medes and Persians

3.) Greece

4.) Rome

5.) 10 Divisions of Rome (Never to be reunited)

6.) Return of Jesus (Rock that breaks the image and fills the whole earth.)  We live in this part of the image!  The next big even is the return of Jesus!

These 6 major events is the framework for the succeeding related chapters. The prophecies repeat and expand.  With each chapter we learn a little more detail and the detail focuses on the period at the end of the statue i.e., the 10 divisions of Rome.

Some might wonder why other great countries like China are not mentioned.  The reason is simple.  The focus of the visions are on the apple of his eye-His people! It is these countries and these events that have a world-wide effect because of the great controversy between Christ, Satan and their followers.

It is not until chapter 7 that the dream of Daniel 2 has detailed added.  In this chapter , we see the same countries and the same outcome, but there more detailed is revealed.

In Daniel 7, the four great monarchs of our history are now shown as animals rather than metals.  Animals are used to demonstrate their character, speed of conquest, and details of their territory.

Also introduced is more detail about the 10 divisions now called horns.  Horns represented power.  These horns are nations that would arise.  We can now see that 3 of the nations would be destroyed by the new character added to the basic vision.  It is a little horn power that spoke and did “great” things!  This little horn would rage war “against the saints and prevail against them” all the way until the next event, the judgement scene just before the return of Christ.

“I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom.”

Daniel 7:21 – 22

Daniel wants to know about the 4 great beasts, but particularly the 4th beast and the little horn.  He recognized how different it was and the impact they would have on the earth before the return of the Son of Man.

Daniel 7 is interpreted for us as we saw

“Then I wished to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its nails of bronze, which devoured, broke in pieces, and trampled the residue with its feet; and the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, before which three fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words, whose appearance was greater than his fellows.”

Daniel 7: 19 – 20

The time part of the prophecy has to do with the length of time the 4th beast (Rome and the papacy) would rule.  It is expressed in prophetic language as a time, times, and a half of time.  This was explained previously. See Prophecies for Our Time-The Beast and Little Horn of Daniel 7

At the end of Chapter 7, Daniel understands everything, but he is troubled and he keeps the dream to himself and does not talk to anyone about it.

“This is the end of the account. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts greatly troubled me, and my countenance changed; but I kept the matter in my heart.”

Daniel 7:28

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The same principle of repeating and expanding on the basic prophecy of Daniel 2 continues in Daniel 8 as it did with Daniel 7.

In Daniel 8, the dream starts with the Medes-Persians and Greece.  They are represented by the ram with two horns and the male goat with on large horn that broke into 4 “notable horns”

The ram which you saw, having the two horns—they are the kings of Media and Persia. And the male goat is the kingdom of Greece. The large horn that is between its eyes is the first king. As for the broken horn and the four that stood up in its place, four kingdoms shall arise out of that nation, but not with its power.

Daniel 8: 21 – 22

We know from history Greece conquered the Medes and Persians (Doubled-horn Ram).  Greece is depicted as a goat with a notable horn.  The prophecy tells us this “notable horn” was the first king.  History tells us that the first king of Greece was Alexander the Great!

We also know that after the death of Alexander, his brother and sons became the heir apparent, but were murdered, thereby eliminating the Alexander heritage.  Instead, the kingdom was divided among Alexander’s 4 generals as the prophecy foretold by the symbolic language of 4 horns.  Those generals were:

1. Cassander, who had Greece and the neighboring countries;

2. Lysimachus, who had Asia Minor;

3. Selecus, who had Syria and Babylon, and from whom came the line of kings known as the “Seleucidae,” so famous in history; and

4. Ptolemy, son of Lagus, who had Egypt, and from whom sprang the “Lagidae.”

These held dominion toward the four winds of heaven as predicted. Cassander had the western parts, Lysimachus the northern regions, Seleucus the eastern countries, and Ptolemy the southern portion of the empire.

But, here is where it gets interesting.

And out of one of them came a little horn which grew exceedingly great..

Daniel 8:9

History again reveals the beginnings of the powerful little horn that came from one of these generals.

Many who subscribe to the popular Rapture scenarios point to Antiochus Epiphanes as this little horn power.  But he does not fit the description.  Antiochus was one of 26 kings and was a weak king who had very little influence during his reign.  Remember, this little horn was to have influence all the way until the Lord returns.  (For those desiring more information on the error of identifying Antiochus Epiphanes as the little horn, please contact me)

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The little horn can represent none other than the powerful nation of Rome.  It is in the same line as that of Daniel 2.  After Greece was to come Rome.  Chapter 8 tells us the beginnings of Rome.

As we look at the actions of the little horn and we will see that if fits Rome perfectly:

And out of one of them came a little horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land.

Daniel 8:9

This power would grow “exceedingly great” toward the south, east and the “Glorious Land”

South:  This was true of Rome. Egypt was made a province of the Roman Empire in 30 B.C., and continued such for some centuries.

East: This also was true of Rome. She conquered Syria in 65 B.C., and made it a province.

The pleasant land:  Judea is called “the pleasant land” in many scriptures. The Romans made it a province of their empire in 63 B.C., and eventually destroyed the city and the temple, and scattered the Jews throughout the earth.

 And it grew up to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground, and trampled them.

Daniel 8: 10

In this expressions two figures are introduced, “the host” and “the stars.” When used in a symbolic sense concerning events taking place on earth, these figures refer almost always to the people of God and their leaders. In verse 13 of this chapter, we read that both the sanctuary and the host will be trodden under foot. Here, undoubtedly, reference is made to God’s people and the place of their worship. The stars would naturally represent the leaders of the work of God.

In Matthew 24, the Lord warned the people of the coming destruction of Jerusalem by Rome and its comparison with the end of the world. Jerusalem was destroyed as well as the temple.  It has never been rebuilt and it never will be despite the predictions of of Hal Lindsey’s  and  his followers regarding the rapture theories.

He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host; and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down.

Daniel 8: 11

The little horn “exalted himself even to the Prince of the host.” Rome alone did this. In the interpretation (verse 25) the little horn is said to “stand up against the Prince of princes.” This is clearly an allusion to the crucifixion of our Lord under the jurisdiction of the Romans.

Because of transgression, an army was given over to the horn to oppose the daily sacrifices; and he cast truth down to the ground. He did all this and prospered.

Daniel 8: 12

Out of Rome came the papacy.  The papacy suppressed the truth from God’s word by taking it from the people in order to perform her craft. It was not until Martin Luther found a Latin bible chained to a monastery wall that the truth was uncovered and the craft of the “prospering” and powerful Roman Catholic revealed.  Thus began the reformation which produced the protestant churches as we know today.  Even today, the error of the papacy can be uncovered by simply comparing its teachings with the Bible.

The “daily sacrifices” taken away refers to the institution of confessionals to a priest rather than directly to Jesus who is our mediator.  Later, we will see that this is the work of the Anti-Christ or Beast of Revelation 13.  It sets up itself as a block between the sinner and Christ.  It becomes a power that sets itself up as a person “in the place of” of Jesus.

Only Jesus can forgive sins.  Sins are forgiven freely through him without the need to perform penance!

But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

Matthew 23: 8 – 9

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4:16

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Acts 4:12

It is clear from God’s word that there is only one Father (in the context of religion) and that is our Lord.  He alone can forgive our sins and provide us help.  Powerless is the confessional booth, the priest, and a set of beads!  Forgiveness is given freely without any works to earn it.  It was earned by the sacrifice of Jesus.

“Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price.”

Isaiah 55:1

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Next Daniel hears the angels asking a question:

“How long will the vision be, concerning the daily sacrifices and the transgression of desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled underfoot?”

And he said to me, “For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.”

Daniel 8: 13 -14

Immediately following these verses, Gabriel comes and explains the vision as has been pointed out above in verses 20-26.  Daniel does not see the literal fulfillment of the vision, but he understands “in part” the vision.  He knows there are rising and falling of powers but, he doesn’t understand the time part of this prophecy.

The question asked by the angel and the another angel’s response is left uninterpreted, at least at this point.  The chapter ends by the angel telling Daniel that the vision of the “evenings and mornings” is true.  This is a reference to the 2300 days (i.e., evenings and mornings).  The understanding is  to be sealed up until the time of the end.  No one would understand it until the time of the end.

“And the vision of the evenings and mornings
Which was told is true;
Therefore seal up the vision,
For it refers to many days in the future.”

And I, Daniel, fainted and was sick for days; afterward I arose and went about the king’s business. I was astonished by the vision, but no one understood it.

Daniel 8: 26 – 27

My friends, it IS the time of the end and the unexplained time prophecy of Daniel 8 has an explanation.  We find the answers in Daniel 9.  Next time, we will let the Bible interpret itself and we will review history to see how it all fits together.  Most importantly, we shall pull back the curtain to reveal the workings of our enemy and the powerful work of our Savior that is “greater than he that is in the world.”

Until then, be blessed and seek God’s wisdom, power, and mercy.

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