February 17, 2012

Apocalypse Prophecy XX: The Ram, The Goat & Another Little Horn-Part I

Diademed & Deified
[Alexander the Great]
Daniel 8:1-4~ "In the third year of King Belshazzar’s reign, I, Daniel, had a vision, after the one that had already appeared to me. In my vision I saw myself in the citadel of Susa in the province of Elam; in the vision I was beside the Ulai Canal. I looked up, and there before me was a ram with two horns, standing beside the canal, and the horns were long. One of the horns was longer than the other but grew up later. I watched the ram as it charged toward the west and the north and the south. No animal could stand against it, and none could rescue from its power. It did as it pleased and became great."

Daniel chapters 8 through 12 contain three revelations which Daniel received that concerned the kingdom of God. This came hot on the heels of chapters 1-7 which dealt with the world-powers and how they related to the people and Kingdom of God from time of Nebuchadnezzar to the time of its final destruction by the perfected kingdom of God.

Now delivered in a second part it reveals to Daniel how God through the Kingdom of God will wage a war against the power and enmity of the rulers of the world. This vision is peppered with severe oppressions but God’s plan is carried forward to ultimate victory.

The first visionin Daniel 8, represents what will happen to the people of God during the developments of the second and third world-kingdoms. In the second revelation of Daniel 9 the prophet, in answer prayer for restoration of Jerusalem and the abandoned Temple, is given a prophetic nearly full disclosure regarding God’s future plans concerning the Kingdom of God.

The last vision in Daniel 10-12 Daniel receives a vision regarding the severe persecutions which await the people of God for their purification, in the immediate future under Antiochus Epiphanes, and in the distant time under the persecution of the Antichrist.

Daniel sees the vision and within it, a ram with two horns, a he-goat coming from the west, running over the earth, having a great horn on his brow, struck and devastated (vv. 3–7). After that the goat had grown very mighty, his great horn was broken and in its place four notable horns grew up toward the four winds of heaven. Then came the a little horn out of one of them which started small but grew in power to the south and to the east and toward the Beautiful Land (which appears to be the Holy Land or the area near Jerusalem). It grew until it reached the host of the heavens, and it threw some of the starry host down to the earth and trampled on them. It set itself up to be as great as the commander of the army of the LORD; it took away the daily sacrifice from the LORD, and his sanctuary was thrown down. Because of rebellion, the LORD’s people and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground.

In other words, whoever this was he challenged the host of heaven, and dared to exalt himself/itself to the Prince of the heavenly host. In so doing, it took away the daily sacrifice owed to God, and desolated the place of the sanctuary (The rebellion or abomination that causes desolation). Daniel is then told it will be 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be reconsecrated. This is how long this sacrilege will continue.

This new revelation articulates a phase in the development of the world-power and its enmity against the people of God of which nothing is prophesied in Dan. 7. The erroneous assumption that chapter 8 is only a postscript to chapter 7 is foolhardy and poor reading comprehension (TBD take note), there is much more going on here. In the chapter 7 it is clear God had given a preview of history with importance on the end times, mostly the undertakings of that scumbag the Antichrist.

Chapter 8 deals with something much more immediate and just as devastating the faithful’s way of life that would eventually pave the way for the coming Messiah. God’s people needed to be warned of another crisis that was coming in less than four hundred years after Daniel’s vision—the typology of the Antichrist…a monster and Jew hater named Ἀντίοχος Eπιφανής…Antiochus IV Epiphanes of Seleucid Empire. The very religion of Judaism was threatened by this loon. He would even go on to be nicknamed Epimanes or “the mad one” which was wordplay on his real name because of some of his insane exploits. He would bring a tribulation to God’s people.

Belshazzar became coregent with his father Nabonidus in 553 B.C., the third year of his rule would have been approximately 550 B.C. About this time Cyrus established the Medo-Persian Empire, destined to bring an end to the period of Babylonian supremacy within a mere twelve years. Nabonidus, observing this union, became apprehensive about Cyrus’s intentions and attempted to forge an alliance with Lydia and Egypt to protect himself against a possible Medo-Persian threat. The ancient world was anxiously watching to see what Cyrus would do...

This all happens around the time Daniel has his vision that is mentioned in 8:1-4.

Your probably asking why all this matters. So what!

As we have already learned from the previous seven chapters, God may have given the vision at this time to assure Daniel and the Jews that they would survive. This is because of the Hell that was about to be unleased on them. The 20th century's systematic slaughter of the Jews in the Holocuast is not the first of its kind. There had been many incarnations of slaughter of which, the one under Antiochus IV Epiphanes would be one of the worst.

His twisted and demonically inspired oppression and persecution of the Jews would eventually trigger and give way to the Maccabean Revolt.

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