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Daniel Chapter 8: Courage, Commitment and Character in A Corrupt Culture

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I first decided that the Lord would have us study the Book of Daniel, I really felt that the reason I wanted to get into the Book of Daniel was in order to discuss the commitment of Daniel’s life. I felt it was a timely thing for us to see the virtue and the godliness and the commitment of this man, so that my real concern for studying the Book of Daniel was bound up pretty much in the first six chapters.
Number one, and really for giving it to the people of his own day, it was to prepare them for coming persecution.
It was to let them know that there was not only going to be an end time disaster, but they might as well realize that their history was going to filled with false messiahs who are gonna make it hard and oppressive on them. The final antichrist, of course, comes in devastating anger against the people of Israel. They shouldn’t be ill-prepared for that, because there will others along the way who did the same thing …
Secondly, I believe Daniel gave it to them, not only to prepare them for persecution, but to warn them not to be confused by the trend of history. Because, you see, the Jew lived in the anticipation of the Messiah coming and setting up His Kingdom. And if a Jew had that in his heart and his mind, and he didn’t understand that the things were gonna worse before they got better, he might get a little confused … There were some people around the turn of the century who believed that the world was gonna get better and better and better. And one day, we’d just automatically take one more step. We’d wake up on one more morning. There would be one more sunrise, and we wouldn’t even know it, but we’d be in the millennium. And Jesus would’ve taken over the city of Jerusalem, and everything would’ve been turned around, and we would’ve all had a change on the globe. Christ would be reigning. They believed we’d just get better and better until that happened, and then World War I hit, and those people headed for the rocks.
Something went wrong. The Jews had known all the way along through their prophets that God was going to send their deliverer. God was going to send the Messiah, and they lived in the hope of that, and Daniel is used by the Spirit of God to help them not to panic when they see things getting worse. They have to get worse before they get better …
Thirdly, Daniel always comes to the Kingdom. And his third reason for giving us this information is to let us know that no matter how bad it gets, and no matter how hefty the muscles of Satan are, no matter how hard the demons work, ultimately, God’s Kingdom will prevail. Now, with that in mind, let’s look at chapter 8. And Daniel’s gonna teach us of the coming horn and the two that are coming before him that show us something of what he’ll be like.
Looking again at chapter 8 of Daniel, we have seen that the key figure in this section of Daniel is the coming final world ruler known as the antichrist. And that’s the common term that’s been used by Christians to speak of this individual for many years. And so we lean on that term, because we understand who we mean …
John said, in his epistle, “You know that antichrist shall come.” It was common knowledge. And I believe they knew it primarily because they knew the Book of Daniel. And Daniel has so much to say about him, in chapter 7, chapter 8, chapter 9, chapter 11. The main thrust seems to focus on this coming world ruler. But it isn’t only the Book of Daniel that speaks of this individual. Even the Apostle Paul speaks about him. In and verse 3 we read this, “Let no man deceive you by any means, for that Day shall not come, except there comes the falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” And then Paul goes on in 2 Thessalonians to describe this individual. He says, “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Remember ye not that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?”
Now, that indicates to us that not only John was teaching of antichrist and referring back to Daniel, but Paul was also teaching about this antichrist when he was with the Thessalonians. Now, he goes on to say, “You know what restraineth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now hinders will continue to hinder until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that wicked one be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming, even him whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish, because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause, God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all might be judged who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
Paul says that first there will come a great falling away, a great apostasy. A great departure from the faith, and we’ve already seen the apostate church in our own day. Following that, there will be revealed this man of sin, this son of perdition, this called the wicked one. And with all deceivableness, he will lead astray those who have chosen to forsake the Gospel of salvation and follow the way of sin. And he will ultimately be destroyed and consumed in the brightness of the coming of Jesus Christ.
So Paul had the message, and John had the message, and even our Lord in the discourse on Olive, the Mount of Olives, had the same message about the coming antichrist. And, basically, if you go to the Old Testament, the source of it all is the prophecy of Daniel, for Daniel names him and describes him in great, great detail.
Now, summing up what we’ve learned about this individual, we will remember that he is a political leader of tremendous ability. He is virtually a sorcerer. He can pull off what appear to be miracles. He can fool people. He can deceive people into believing that he is literally divine. He is engaging. He is appealing. He is to capture the loyalty of what is left of the world after the Rapture and after the holocaust and the … and the destruction of the Tribulation. He becomes kind of a reverse messiah. The world trusts him with its problems, because he has tremendous ability to solve them. And he succeeds in temporarily putting the world out of its misery. He will be a financial genius, a military genius. He will be an oratorical wonder. He will be an egomaniac that makes Hitler and Napoleon and all the Caesars fade into soft-spoken modesty. He steadily will gather power and influence through his public relations man, whom Revelation calls the false prophet. And he finally proclaims himself, not king and not president and not dictator and not world ruler, but God Almighty. And the world buys it.
He does somehow demonstrate seemingly supernatural power. I believe he will be demon-possessed, and he will have all the forces of hell manifesting certain signs and wonders. The best that can be said of him is that he is indwelt by the devil himself … Modesty will not be his long suit. In fact, he will be a fanatic egotist, a man of tremendous energy. And man of great action, a diplomat, a peacemaker, a field marshal, and, above all, the world will think he is the messiah …
Now, Daniel tells us about this coming man. Why? Because Daniel’s prophecy describes the time period known as the times of the Gentiles, or the time period of history in which Gentile nations dominate the land of Israel. Now, that period of time began, and our Lord calls it the times of the Gentiles in the New Testament, but that time period began with the Babylonian captivity, and it extends to the return of Christ when he again gives Israel the fullness of its original inheritance, and rules as king of kings and Lord of Lords. All of the time in between is the times of the nations. We’re living in it right now. And Daniel’s position is to chronicle that time period, and that time period ultimately culminates in the final form of the final phase of Gentile rule under this final, great world ruler called antichrist.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You.
Daniel 8:1 ESV
In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a vision appeared to me, Daniel, after that which appeared to me at the first.
God has perfect timing
Daniel 8:2 ESV
And I saw in the vision; and when I saw, I was in Susa the citadel, which is in the province of Elam. And I saw in the vision, and I was at the Ulai canal.
God uses various methods to get his message out
God gives us Exactness
Susa in the middle of nowhere
Became a very significant place , later in history, Ester sits on throne its in Susa
When Nehemiah was dispatched to go rebuild the walls it was from this place.
A vision from God should cause exhilarating joy
Overwhelming unworthiness
Daniel 8:3 ESV
I raised my eyes and saw, and behold, a ram standing on the bank of the canal. It had two horns, and both horns were high, but one was higher than the other, and the higher one came up last.
Dan
Sign of Persian Empire symbolize the Persian Empire
The Empire is made up of Medes and Persia two empires (two horns)
The Persian Empire even though it started ater than the Medes were later conquered and became stronger.
And, as you know, if you’ve been with us in our study of Daniel,
The Ram with two horns is symbolic of the Medo- Persian Empire
Horns signifies power , authority , dominion. might or strength.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You.
Daniel 8:4 ESV
I saw the ram charging westward and northward and southward. No beast could stand before him, and there was no one who could rescue from his power. He did as he pleased and became great.
West; Syria, Asia Minor Babolina ; North; Armenia
Soiyh ; Egypt and Ethiopian
Became Great: Magnified Himself= Self Willed
Daniel 8:5 ESV
As I was considering, behold, a male goat came from the west across the face of the whole earth, without touching the ground. And the goat had a conspicuous horn between his eyes.
As I was Thinking: Contemplating
The Male goat is symbolic of The Empire of Greece
Male Goat: Buck of the Goats a Male Goat
A He goat is stronger and more agile
Greece was directly to the west of the Medo Persia
Kingdom of Greece
Chapter 7 Greece was a lepord and Wings
Daniel 8:20 ESV
As for the ram that you saw with the two horns, these are the kings of Media and Persia.
Daniel 8:21 ESV
And the goat is the king of Greece. And the great horn between his eyes is the first king.
The Great Horn Between his eyes is Alexander The Great
He is the First false Messiah who thought he could conquer the world
Daniel 8:6 ESV
He came to the ram with the two horns, which I had seen standing on the bank of the canal, and he ran at him in his powerful wrath.
Alexander verses the Medo Persian Empire
Combat vs Medes and Persians =
Powerful wrath: Alexander was hot
He marks the Power of Anti Christ
You remember back in chapter 7 when Daniel, in his first vision, sees the Greek Empire. He sees the Greek Empire as a leopard, and what did it have all over its back? Wings. A winged leopard. Speaking of speed and agility. And so the Greek Empire is gonna conquer the Medes and the Persians. That is exactly what happened in history. Exactly.
Now, notice at the end of verse 5, that the hegoat or the Greek Empire had a big horn. Notable horn means a big horn. Now I want you to meet the big horn. Goats have two horns, but not this goat. To fit the imagery in the vision, this goat had one horn, like a unicorn, coming out between his eyes. Now who is that? Over in verse 21 again, “The great horn or the big horn between the eyes of the riugh goat or the hegoat is the first king.” And who was the first king of the Greek Empire? Alexander the Great. It is a prediction of Alexander the Great, the first king.
Alexander the Great was a military genius. Maybe the greatest military genius of all of human history. He was born in 356 BC. Long, long after Daniel … He was the son of a great conqueror, a man by the name of Philip of Macedon, who had already united Greece and Macedonia. Philip was a powerful man, and he had brought together Greece and Macedonia. And he was planning, Philip was, to fight Medo-Persia. Philip was planning to move east, but he was murdered … And after his murder, his son, Alexander, decided to take up his cause. Alexander was 21 years old when he became king in 336 … 21 years old. He was educated, I don’t know if you know this, under Aristotle. He was brilliant …
In 334, two years after he became king, he marshaled an army and started an attack on the Medes and the Persians. You wanna know something? He never came home again. That attack led him to the borders of India. He conquered the world so fast. Prophecy identifies him as the big horn, the notable horn, the great horn of verse 21. And he is, for us, the first false leader that the Spirit of God wants us to see through this vision. The first false messiah, the first one who thought he could conquer the world and capture the world and ride roughshod over the people of God and establish himself … On his sweep east, he slaughtered who knows how many multitudes and multitudes of people. He wiped out the whole population of some cities, such as the city of Tyre. He was so upset at the city of Tyre, they were in an island off the shore, that he went out to the island. He literally threw the stones and the rubble of the ancient city of Tyre into the sea, and he made a causeway, marched out, and slaughtered the whole city because they wouldn’t give him the supplies he asked for. Rather whimsically massacring human life.
Now, there have been other attempts in history to unify the world under European domination. There have been other attempts to bring all the fragmented pieces of the Roman Empire back together. I believe Charlemagne tried to do that in 800 AD. I believe Napoleon tried to do it and failed. I believe Hitler tried to do it and failed, as you well know, miserably. But coming in history will be one man who will not fail, who will be able to bring together a cohesive Europe, a ten-nation confederacy that will stand as a formidable foe to all other powers in the world. And he will head what we might call a United States of Europe, which, in effect, is a revival of that which was at one time the old Roman Empire.
Now, the Bible tells us this individual is the antichrist. He is the false Christ, the one who comes to try to hold the world so that Christ can’t take it back. He is Satan’s man, to capture the world with such power and such force that Christ Himself can’t wrest it from his control.
because the Bible tells us, as we remember in the 7th chapter of Daniel, that out of this multiplicity of ten kings, one will rise up, subduing three others, to take control of the whole thing. And so I think there will be kind of a loose affiliation in the Common Market until the final antichrist finally comes. And he will put down the three strongest leaders and assert himself as the ruler and the only ruler, and pull the whole thing together, and we’ll see the United States of Europe.
For while the antichrist will definitely be a political savior, he will be a spiritual devil. While he may salvage Europe economically, he will damn the souls of all those who listen to his message
But at the same time, it will be in the process of losing all moral and all spiritual values … For seven terrible years, the Bible tells us, this man will dominate the world, and he will seem well nigh invincible. His power broken only by the power of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
Daniel 8:7 ESV
I saw him come close to the ram, and he was enraged against him and struck the ram and broke his two horns. And the ram had no power to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground and trampled on him. And there was no one who could rescue the ram from his power.
Now history records what happened. Here’s Daniel a couple of centuries before this, and he lays it all out, and history comes to pass. Alexander had 35,000 troops. And Alexander crossed the Hellespont. And as soon as he crossed the Hellespont, he left Greece, and he entered the Medo-Persian Empire. Not far away was a place called the Granicus River. And he crossed the Granicus River, and when he got to the other side, he found a massive Persian army waiting him, far outnumbering his own troops. But historians believed that the hatred of Greek culture for the primitive eastern attitudes of the Medes and the Persians had been so fomented by this incredible leader, Alexander, that his troops were practically fighting on an unnatural level. And as they confronted the Persians, they literally devastated them. They had expressed an abnormal strength, and the ram was utterly defeated and crushed and never again rose from that crushing.
Didn’t matter that the Persians had more than Alexander. Alexander’s men were white hot with the heat of anger against the Medes and the Persians. And immediately, Alexander then freed all of the Greek city-states of Asia Minor and other places that had been held bondage by the Medes and the Persians. He moved in and took Isis in the Torus Mountains, defeating Darius III. Then he swept down to Tyre. Then he swept down and took Egypt. Then he went east to the old site of Nineveh, where he defeated a great host of Persians. And then the whole empire fell at his lap.
Daniel 8:6 ESV
He came to the ram with the two horns, which I had seen standing on the bank of the canal, and he ran at him in his powerful wrath.
Dan 8:
Daniel 8:7 ESV
I saw him come close to the ram, and he was enraged against him and struck the ram and broke his two horns. And the ram had no power to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground and trampled on him. And there was no one who could rescue the ram from his power.
Daniel 8:8 ESV
Then the goat became exceedingly great, but when he was strong, the great horn was broken, and instead of it there came up four conspicuous horns toward the four winds of heaven.
The height of His strength it was broken
It was broken by its own sinfulness
The Generals of Alexander
Medo-Persia would rise. Greece would conquer it with Alexander the Great, who would move speedily to conquer the world. At the height of his power, his horn would be broken, and out of that four would take over, and that is exactly what happened. Exactly.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You.
Daniel 8:22 ESV
As for the horn that was broken, in place of which four others arose, four kingdoms shall arise from his nation, but not with his power.
Not as powerful as Alexander
Daniel 8:9 ESV
Out of one of them came a little horn, which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the glorious land.
The Little Horn in Chapter 7 comes from Rome
Grows out of the Greek Empire Similar but Different
During the 400 years of silence
Antitrust: 150 Years from the time of Daniel
Alexander was pictured as the Power of the Anti-Christ
Seleucus
This Horn is symbolic of Antiochus Epiphanes
This Horn is symbolic of Antiochus Epiphanes
This horn is the Character of the Anti- Christ
Daniel 8:10 ESV
It grew great, even to the host of heaven. And some of the host and some of the stars it threw down to the ground and trampled on them.
Daniel 8:11 ESV
It became great, even as great as the Prince of the host. And the regular burnt offering was taken away from him, and the place of his sanctuary was overthrown.
Daniel 8:12 ESV
And a host will be given over to it together with the regular burnt offering because of transgression, and it will throw truth to the ground, and it will act and prosper.
Daniel 8:13 ESV
Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to the one who spoke, “For how long is the vision concerning the regular burnt offering, the transgression that makes desolate, and the giving over of the sanctuary and host to be trampled underfoot?”
Daniel 8:14 ESV
And he said to me, “For 2,300 evenings and mornings. Then the sanctuary shall be restored to its rightful state.”
These are 2,300 evenings/mornings, with no “and” in between, which refers to 2,300 total units or days. does use “and,” i.e., “Evening and morning, one day.” The period runs to about 6 1/3 years of sacrificing a lamb twice a day, morning and evening (, ). The prophecy was precise in identifying the time as that of Antiochus’ persecution, ca. Sept. 6, 171 B.C. to Dec. 25, 165/4 B.C. After his death, Jews celebrated the cleansing of their holy place in the Feast of Lights, or Hanukkah, in celebration of the restoration led by Judas Maccabeus.
Daniel 8:15 ESV
When I, Daniel, had seen the vision, I sought to understand it. And behold, there stood before me one having the appearance of a man.
Daniel 8:16 ESV
And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of the Ulai, and it called, “Gabriel, make this man understand the vision.”
Dan 8:
Daniel 8:17 ESV
So he came near where I stood. And when he came, I was frightened and fell on my face. But he said to me, “Understand, O son of man, that the vision is for the time of the end.”
Daniel 8:18 ESV
And when he had spoken to me, I fell into a deep sleep with my face to the ground. But he touched me and made me stand up.
He Fainted
Daniel 8:19 ESV
He said, “Behold, I will make known to you what shall be at the latter end of the indignation, for it refers to the appointed time of the end.
Daniel 8:20 ESV
As for the ram that you saw with the two horns, these are the kings of Media and Persia.
Daniel 8:21 ESV
And the goat is the king of Greece. And the great horn between his eyes is the first king.
Dan
Daniel 8:22 ESV
As for the horn that was broken, in place of which four others arose, four kingdoms shall arise from his nation, but not with his power.
Daniel 8:23 ESV
And at the latter end of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their limit, a king of bold face, one who understands riddles, shall arise.

These are 2,300 evenings/mornings, with no “and” in between, which refers to 2,300 total units or days. Genesis 1:15 does use “and,” i.e., “Evening and morning, one day.” The period runs to about 6 1/3 years of sacrificing a lamb twice a day, morning and evening (Ex. 29:38, 39). The prophecy was precise in identifying the time as that of Antiochus’ persecution, ca. Sept. 6, 171 B.C. to Dec. 25, 165/4 B.C. After his death, Jews celebrated the cleansing of their holy place in the Feast of Lights, or Hanukkah, in celebration of the restoration led by Judas Maccabeus.

ANTICHRIST Describes a particular individual or a group of people who oppose God and His purpose.
Blevins, J. L. (2003). Antichrist. In C. Brand, C. Draper, A. England, S. Bond, E. R. Clendenen, & T. C. Butler (Eds.), Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (p. 74). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
Daniel 8:24 ESV
His power shall be great—but not by his own power; and he shall cause fearful destruction and shall succeed in what he does, and destroy mighty men and the people who are the saints.
Daniel 8:25 ESV
By his cunning he shall make deceit prosper under his hand, and in his own mind he shall become great. Without warning he shall destroy many. And he shall even rise up against the Prince of princes, and he shall be broken—but by no human hand.
Daniel 8:26 ESV
The vision of the evenings and the mornings that has been told is true, but seal up the vision, for it refers to many days from now.”
Dan
Daniel 8:27 ESV
And I, Daniel, was overcome and lay sick for some days. Then I rose and went about the king’s business, but I was appalled by the vision and did not understand it.
Dan 8:
To Prepare for the whats coming
To Know that it will get worse before it gets better
To Know that God is Absolutely in Control
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