The Last Days

Daniel 8 speaks of Antiochus Epiphanes who would come 200 years after Daniel, but it also looks forward to the antichrist who will usher in tribulation prior to the appearing of Christ. I love the Word because instead of explaining a future person the Lord uses a historical figure to give a description of that person to come in the final days.
          Prophecy is meant to encourage and embolden the believer by demonstrating that God is sovereign and in control. A lot of what was future to Daniel is now history to us.

          The Vision
          In Daniel’s vision he saw a ram from the east followed by a goat that attacked the ram. From the goat’s horns a smaller horn emerged against Israel.
          The Lord said the disciplining would only last for 2300 days. In 165 BC the Maccabees defeated Greece. 2300 days before this you get to 171 BC… the exact date the persecution of Antiochus began!
          God says suffering, discipline, and pain will only last as long as he says.
          Antiochus had gone around making people bow to him when he came to a town with a priest named Mathias. Antiochus said bow or die but Mathias said never leading a guard to come take him down. Mathias killed the guard and started a war between the Jews and Greeks that Israel won.
          The Lord used this vision to tell Daniel that He is in control and judgement is coming. The judgment would be terrible, but the Lord was with Daniel.
          Verse 15 explains that this points to the antichrist. This is known as the law of double fulfillment. The vision described a person who lived and died after Daniel yet foreshadowed another individual who would come much later.
          The ram was Media and Persia while the goat was the kingdom of Greece. The four horns symbolized the broken empire of Alexander the Great. The little horn that arose from the four referred to Antiochus Epiphanes but also speaks to the coming opposition led by the antichrist.

          From Daniel’s prophecy about Antiochus, we learn several facts about the antichrist:
  • He will gain great power by subduing others
  • He will rise to power by promising false security
  • He will be intelligent and persuasive
  • He will oppose Israel
  • He will oppose Jesus
  • His rule will be terminated by divine judgment
After Daniel saw this vision he was astounded; our response may be somewhat different than his.

3 Possible Reactions to the Vision for Us Today
  • Initially, we gain confidence in God’s written Word
All this prophecy has been fulfilled down to its most minute detail. This gives us reassurance that the Bible is true and reliable.
  • Eventually, we could become fearful
Anticipating the possibility of experiencing the dictatorial reign of a person like Antiochus could cause us to become extremely anxious. But if you’re trusting in Jesus as Savior, you need not be afraid.
You don’t need to fear the antichrist.
  • Hopefully, we will share with others the promise of salvation.
It’s one thing to find personal peace in our salvation. It’s quite another to reach out and offer His salvation to those that are living without hope.
Out of compassion, we who are Christians must testify to others that God’s wrath will only be escaped by those who place their faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Pastor Chris Williams
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