As we come to
chapter 8 of the Book of Daniel there is a change in
language. Up to now, the language used has been Aramaic but now
Daniel changes to Hebrew. Why two languages are used has puzzled
many Bible scholars. Perhaps it was because the Chaldeans were
very interested in the part of the Book that concerned them.
chapter 7 the prophecies mainly concern the Church and
God's people. So Daniel uses Hebrew.
Verse 1 says, "In the third year of
the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto
me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first.”
You will notice that this
vision came in the third year of Belshazzar, 551 B.C. It was two
years after the vision of
chapter 7. The Babylonian Empire still had a dozen years
In this first verse Daniel
points out that this vision is an enlargement of the prophecy of
chapter 7. If we really want to understand these
prophecies we need to compare and study them closely.
chapter 7 we studied the rise and fall of Babylon, Medo-Persia,
Greece, Pagan Rome and the Little Horn or Papal Rome.
Daniel was in Vision
Verse 2 says, "And I saw in a
vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in
the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a
vision, and I was by the river of Ulai.”
Daniel indicates that he
was not actually present in the body but rather that this was a
and He Goat
Verses 3-5 say, "3. Then I lifted up
mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a
ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was
higher than the other, and the higher came up last.
4. I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward;
so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any
that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his
will, and became great.
5. And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west
on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and
the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.”
A ram and a he goat. I
suppose we could make a guess at what they might represent and we
would be wrong.
chapter 7 we noticed that the BIBLE uses animal figures to
describe nations such as a lion, a bear, and a leopard. Another
clue is that the ram and the he goat were engaged in battle. They
fought each other.
Fortunately the Bible
explains these strange symbols. Turn to
verses 20,21, "20. The ram which thou
sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.
21. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn
that is between his eyes is the first king.”
So what does the ram
represent according to the Bible? Medo-Persia.
In describing the two horns
of the ram it says the higher one came up last. The Media-Persian
Empire reigned co-jointly, the Persians becoming the stronger.
chapter 7 this same power is symbolized by a bear which
lifted itself up on one side.
The Rough Goat
The rough goat is Greece and
the great horn between his eyes is the first king, Alexander the
Verses 6,7,8 say, "6. And he came to
the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the
river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power.
7. And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with
choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and
there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him
down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that
could deliver the ram out of his hand.
8. Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong,
the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones
toward the four winds of heaven.”
chapter 7 Greece was represented as a leopard with four
heads, in this prophecy as a rough goat with four horns.
Now you may be wondering why
that Babylon is not represented. The answer is simple. As you
noticed in the first verse, this vision came in the third year of Belshazzar’s reign and
Babylon was on the way out.
I assure you that it is no
accident that the prophecies of Daniel
chapter 2 and
fit together so neatly.
Verses 9,10 say, "9. 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.
10. And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down
some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon
It is interesting to notice
that the Ram or Medo-Persia became great. The He Goat or Alexander’s
empire waxed very great, while this Little Horn waxed exceedingly
The Little Horn symbol takes
in Rome first as an Empire, then later as a Church power which ruled
the world from the same city.
In the prophecy of Daniel
chapter 2 Rome is represented as the legs of iron. Only a
political aspect of the Empire was presented in that prophecy.
chapter 7 the Little Horn is shown as an apostate religious
power which arose from the ruins of the old Roman Empire.
There was (a Man) at the
head with (Eyes) fixed on power, and a (Mouth) speaking (Great
Things or Great Words) against God. The Book of Revelation tells us
that those (Great Things or Great Words) are blasphemy.
We are also told that this
power has perverted the truth of God and led people away from the
Horn Waxed Great
Now let us take a look at
10 once again, "And it waxed great,
even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of
the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them.”
You will notice that it says
"it waxed great even to the host of heaven.” It is quite obvious
that this power is in opposition to heaven. On a first reading one
would suppose that the host of heaven suggests angels, but seeing
that it is an earthly power there just isn’t any chance of it coming
in conflict with angels. So the host of heaven must be symbolic.
24 clarifies the matter by telling us that this power would
destroy God’s people.
Horn Shall Destroy
24 says, "And his power shall be
mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully,
and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and
the holy people.”
He shall destroy
wonderfully; a better rendering is cause ‘frightful destruction’.
The terrible destructive nature of this power has not been equaled
“and shall prosper, and practice”
It is almost incredible the
way that Papal Rome has prospered despite the barbarous cruelty she
has shown to those who disagreed with her.
shall destroy the mighty and the holy people”.
By both persecution and by
false doctrine Rome has destroyed God’s people and will continue to
do so until the end.
Magnified Himself to the Prince of the Host
11 says, ”Yea, he magnified himself
even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was
taken away, and the place of the sanctuary was cast down.”
25 the Prince of the Host is referred to as the “Prince of
chapter 11:22 he is called "The Prince of the Covenant."
All these terms refer to
Jesus the Son of God who was crucified under the authority of the
11 it says that "he magnified himself
even to the Prince of the host.”
Away the Daily Sacrifice
And how did he do that? By
taking away the daily (sacrifice).
“daily” refers to the continual mediation and intercession of Jesus
Christ in the heavenly Sanctuary. And in its place was substituted
the intercession or mediation of Mary, and Popes, and earthly
priests. People were taught to look to the Church for forgiveness of
the place of his Sanctuary was cast down.”
And how has the Papacy done
that? By setting up (a rival sanctuary) here on earth with a
priesthood claiming divine powers.
Notice the statement, “…Thus
the priest may, in a certain manner, be called the creator of his
creator, since by saying the words of consecration, he creates as it
were, Jesus in the sacrament, by giving Him a sacramental existence,
and produces Him as a victim to be offered to the eternal Father. As
in creating the world it was sufficient for God to have said, Let it
be made, and it was created, He spoke, and they were made, so it is
sufficient for the priest to say, “Hoc est corpus meum,” and behold,
the bread is no longer bread, but the body of Jesus Christ.”
Statements such as this come
as a shock and surprise to a person who is not familiar with the
teachings of the Catholic Church.
So that you may be able to
understand the full significance of the above statement, I will
quote from a description of the Mass, "The solemn moment is here.
Christ, as the eternal High Priest, will renew in a bloodless manner
His death upon the Cross.
The Lord of Hosts will descend from His heavenly throne to be
Christ will come to us with His Flesh and Blood, but under the
appearances of bread and wine.
The divine victim will be sacrificed….
Christ mystically renews His death on the altar….
Christ, the victim, is now really and truly present on the altar
under the appearance of bread and wine, and His life has been
re-offered and sacrificed to God…"
So coming back to
11 were it says “he magnified himself even to the Prince of
the host.” You can see how this prophecy has been fulfilled to the
very letter but it does not stop there. For in
12 something more is added, “And an host was given him against the daily
sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to
the ground; and it practised, and prospered.”
Away the Daily Sacrifice
In the first part of this
verse where it says, “an host was given him”, this suggests that
multitudes would come under the influence of this Little Horn power.
The word “sacrifice” is a
The word “daily” means
The King James translators
supplied the word “sacrifice”.
Because this word “daily” or
“continual” is used in connection with the Sanctuary. And in the
context of these verses featuring the activity of the Little Horn,
it is very clear that “continual” in this setting refers to the
continual priestly ministry of Jesus Christ in the Heavenly
Sanctuary. And the taking away of the “daily” is the obscuring of
the ministry of Jesus. And we noticed how that this was done in our
11, where an earthly priest claims to forgive sins, and more
than that boldly states that he is able to create Christ in the form
of a wafer.
Truth the the Ground
12 it mentions that this power would
“cast down the truth to the ground.”
And it has done this by
burning at the stake people who have tried to make the Bible
available to everyone; by failing to preach the Word of God, by
encouraging church members not to study the Bible, by teaching that
the priest is the only one qualified to explain the Holy Scriptures,
by inventing such mythical places as Purgatory, Limbo and Hell. One
could go on and on, but time does not allow it.
Long Shall This Be?
13 says, “Then I heard one saint
speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake,
How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the
transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host
to be trodden under foot?”
One angel asks a question
and another answers it for Daniel’s benefit. “How long shall be the
vision concerning the daily sacrifice?”
When Daniel wrote this
prophecy, Babylon was still the ruler of the world. The temple or
sanctuary at Jerusalem was in ruins, and had been for more than half
a century. The prophet was confident that the 70 years of captivity
was coming to an end.
the transgression of desolation.”
This term covers both Pagan
and Church oppression throughout the long centuries. For not only
have God’s people been wiped out, but the Truth of God has been
desolated and distorted.
give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot.”
The Sanctuary or the Church
has been relentlessly attacked by its enemies. So has the Host or
God’s people, and will continue to be till the end of time.
14 says, “And he said unto me, Unto
two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be
There are two Sanctuaries
mentioned in the Bible, an earthly and heavenly. The earthly was in tent
form in the desert of Mt Sinai then later in the magnificent Temple
built by King Solomon, and the one built at the time of Ezra and
Nehemiah. However far more important to those living in New
Testament times is the Heavenly Sanctuary.
St Paul devotes a lot of
time to this subject in the Book of Hebrews. And St John in
Revelation gives us an insight into what it means to the believer.
He presents Jesus as our great High Priest ministering in the
Notice what it says in
Hebrews 8:1, 2, "1. Now of the things
which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest,
who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the
2. A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which
the Lord pitched, and not man.”
It is wonderful to know that
Jesus is up there in heaven acting on our behalf covering our sins
with His righteousness, offering each one of us a place in His
Cleansing of the Sanctuary
I am sure that someone is
wondering what is meant by the statement "Unto
two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be
Two things are mentioned
here, a time period and an event. The time period we will give full
coverage in another study. The event we will look at right now
because it is vital in understanding what the Angel has told Daniel
about the cleansing of the Sanctuary.
Exodus 25:8 it says, “And let them
make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.”
God wanted to be close to
His people. He wanted them to realize what His presence meant. He
wanted them to understand Him better.
Exodus 25:40 it says, “And look that
thou make them after their pattern, which was showed thee in the
It was to be made as close
to the original as possible. They were to make it according to a
Now in that
verse of Daniel it talks about cleansing. This was not done
with soap and water but by blood.
There were two services in
the earthly sanctuary; one was daily or continual, the other was
yearly. And at this time what was called the cleansing of the
sanctuary took place.
In order that we may
understand just what was involved in this, we should take a few
moments to go through these services. However before we do this, we
should have a quick look at the building itself.
The earthly Sanctuary was
divided into three parts: a courtyard which contained an Altar of
Burnt Offering and a Laver which was a bowl for washing. Then as you
moved into the actual Sanctuary itself there was the First Apartment
or Holy Place with three articles of furniture: a table which had on
it showbread, an Altar of Incense, and a seven branched lamp stand.
Then in the Most Holy Place there was only one article of furniture,
the Ark of the Testament which contained the 10 Commandments.
Now let us look at the
service called the daily which was held in two places: the Courtyard
and the Holy Place.
A person has sinned, he has
murdered someone. He is burdened with guilt. He knows that as a
sinner he deserves to die, for the Bible says “the wages of sin is
death”. So what does he do? He comes to the courtyard with a lamb.
He is familiar with the instruction God gave to Moses in
Leviticus 1:3. “If his offering be
a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish:
he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the
tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD.”
Why is the sacrifice to be
without blemish? Because it represents Jesus Christ the spotless
Lamb of God the sinless One, our Saviour and Redeemer.
You will notice that no one
is forced to bring a sacrifice, he is to do it voluntary.
Verse 4 says, “And he shall put his
hand upon the head of the burnt offering…”
You may ask "why does he do
this? It is because that Lamb is his substitute and the Lamb dies in
You can see how this
pictures what Jesus Christ does for us. He is our substitute, the
Lamb of God, slain from the foundation of the world. The sinner
knows that his lamb is not his Saviour, but without that lamb he
would be lost.
The priest takes the blood
of the lamb in a basin and enters the Holy Place. Then he sprinkles
it before the veil and on the altar of incense.
So what has happened? That
man's sins have been transferred from himself to the Sanctuary, and
that is good news for you and for me. For it tells us that guilt can
be removed, that the burden can be lifted. That is, if you accept
Jesus as your substitute.
It was John the Baptist who
said "Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world."
Jesus the Lamb lived the perfect life here on earth, and He died a
death that he did not deserve to die. He is my Lamb, my substitute.
Now as we noticed, the sin
was transferred from the sinner to the lamb, then to the Sanctuary.
So what was happening in the
Sanctuary? Sin was accumulating so once a year there was to be a
very special service and this is known as the Cleansing of the
Sanctuary. On that very special day all Israel gathered around the
Sanctuary. Prior to this there was a warning given, trumpets were
sounded, the people must confess their sins. They must make things
right with their neighbours, everything had to be put right. All
this must be done before the DAY of Atonement.
There were special seasons
of prayer; there was fasting, then on that very solemn day two goats
were chosen. One was called the Lord's goat and the other Azazel.
The Lord's goat was slain by
the high priest. The blood was taken into the Sanctuary, into The
Most Holy Place, and sprinkled over the Mercy Seat; where once again
we have a picture of Jesus, this time in His mercy to the repentant
Under that Mercy Seat were
the 10 Commandments. The broken law demanded the death of the
sinner, “the wages of sin is death”. But the Mercy Seat placed above
the law shows God’s mercy to the offender.
Now isn’t that good news to
the one who has a burden of guilt weighing him down; to the one who
feels the load is too heavy. Your sins can be forgiven.
Yes Jesus says, "I died for
you, My blood will cleanse you from all sin." So do as St Paul
advises you in
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne
of Grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of