Segment 4 - Daniel 8
The Antichrist

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“Dear Children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.” 1 John 2:18

Section 1 – The Symbols

As we proceed through the book of Daniel, the prophetic matrix will continue to unfold, and our understanding of God’s Word will become clearer. Daniel 8 adds several important elements to the prophetic matrix. God can say so much with very few words! To make this study easier to digest, I have sub-divided it into seven segments.  If you make sure that you understand the issues in each segment as you proceed, you should end up with a deeper appreciation for God’s Word at the end of this study. Before we examine Daniel 8, there are four points from the previous segment that needs to be restated:


  1. History confirms the identity of the fourth beast in Daniel 7 to be the empire of Rome.


  1. History confirms the identity of the little horn that uprooted three of the ten horns to be the Roman Catholic Church.


  1. The timing of the convocation in Heaven (Daniel 7:9) is linked to the wounding of the little horn power on Earth. (Daniel 7:21,22) The time, times and half a time (the 1,260 years of persecution) mentioned in Daniel 7:25 came to an end in February 1798, when French soldiers captured the pope and put him in exile. The downfall of the papacy occurred because the allotted time of 1,260 years ended, and the Ancient of Days pronounced a restraining order in favor of the saints. As a result, the persecution of God’s people ended. The linkage between the wounding of the papacy in 1798 (on Earth) and the issuance of the restraining order (in Heaven) is a key point. Because the event on Earth is linked to an event in Heaven, we can determine when the convocation in Heaven began.


  1. Daniel 7:11 (and Revelation 13:3) indicate the Roman Catholic Church will return to a position of world preeminence after 1798. Daniel heard boastful words from the little horn after he observed the courtroom scene in Heaven. (Compare Daniel 7:11 with Revelation 13:3)


Now that these four points have been reviewed, consider the following points that will rise from this study on Daniel 8:


  1. Babylon will fall and the Medo-Persian Empire will rise to power.


  1. The Medo-Persian Empire will fall and the Grecian Empire will rise to power.


  1. The cleansing of Heaven’s temple begins after 2,300 years.


  1. During the Great Tribulation, Lucifer, the Antichrist, will physically appear and masquerade as God. He will gain control over Earth for a short period of time and kill a large number of people.


Look over the matrix in Chart 4.1, and notice that it contains some repetition and enlargement of the matrix presented in Segment 3. Especially notice the placement and order of the items located in the rows for Daniel 7 and Daniel 8.


Remember from Segment 1 that “no prophecy is complete within itself,” and Daniel 8 is no exception. As we will see, Daniel 8 cannot be accurately interpreted without using the developing matrix that the four rules produce. Even with a valid set of rules, we have to be careful that we put each element in its intended place. All of the prophetic pieces have to fit together in a harmonious matrix, for God is the Author and Designer of prophecy. Remember, each prophetic element is like a piece of a puzzle that has several sides. The puzzle is solved when all the pieces are positioned in such a way that they harmoniously align with the surrounding pieces.


Prophetic Matrix Including Daniel 2, 7, 8, and 11

Chart 4.1

The Apocalyptic Sequence


God gave the vision in Daniel 8 to Daniel about 550 B.C. Daniel 8 follows the same order found in Daniel 2 and 7. In other words, this vision contains an orderly sequence of events that is followed by commentary that explains the sequence. Carefully study the apocalyptic sequence:


“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.  And I saw in the 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 the vision, and I was by the river of Ulai. Then I lifted up my 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. 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.


“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. 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. And I saw him come close to 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 down to the ground, and stomped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand. Therefore the 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.




“And out of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceedingly great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.  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 practiced, and prospered.” (Daniel 8:1-12, KJV)




These twelve verses focus on three symbols: a ram, a goat and a horn power. Because the Bible is its own interpreter, it provides the meaning of these symbols. The ram represents the kingdom of Medo-Persia. (Daniel 5:28; 8:20). The two horns of the ram represent the co-regent reign of two kings, the king of the Medes and the king of the Persians. The higher horn of the ram in Daniel 8:3 also aligns with the “higher shoulder” of the bear in Daniel 7:5. (See Chart 4.1.)


The second symbol, the goat, represents the kingdom of Grecia. (Daniel 8:21) The great horn represents the fist prominent king of the Grecian empire. History reveals this king was Alexander the Great, who died in the prime of life. The four horns that replaced the great horn represent four generals that eventually gained control of Alexander’s empire. Historians identify these generals as Cassander, Lysimachus, Ptolemy and Seleucus.


We know the identity of the ram and goat, but what does the third symbol, the horn power, represent? Until the twentieth century, a majority of Protestants claimed the little horn in Daniel 7 and the horn power in Daniel 8 represented the papacy. True, both horns have important similarities, but they are not the same entity. We will see that the horn power in Daniel 8 is many times more powerful than the Roman Catholic Church.


Beasts Are Kingdoms – Horns Are Kings


In Daniel 8, the two beasts represent empires, but the horns of the ram and the goat represent kings. This distinction is important, because the horn power in this vision is not attached to a beast (a world empire). Further, the Bible says this horn power is a king. (Daniel 8:23) Daniel was told this king will exalt himself to be as great as the Prince of the host, Jesus Christ! (Daniel 8:11) The horn power in Daniel 8 is a stern-faced king that will rule over Earth during the Great Tribulation. (Daniel 11:36) This coming king is the Antichrist, Lucifer, who will dazzle the world with his power, authority and ability to perform incredible miracles. He will gain control of Earth and do more evil than Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot combined. In short, the dreaded Antichrist will not be a mere man. The coming Antichrist will be Lucifer, appearing in the flesh, masquerading as an angel of light, and claiming to be Almighty God. (2 Corinthians 11:14; Daniel 11:36; Revelation 9; Revelation 13:11-18)



Timing Is Everything


The vision in Daniel 8 almost covers the same 2,600 years described in Daniel 2 and 7. The only difference is that6 the Daniel 8 vision starts with the Medo-Persian empire (538 B.C.) instead of the Babylonian empire (605 B.C.). The sequence in this vision ends when Jesus destroys “the stern-faced king” at the Second Coming. Daniel 8:25 indicates the horn power will be destroyed by God: “… he will be destroyed, but not by human power.” (See Daniel 2:44, Daniel 7:11 and Revelation 19:11-21.) This is an important specification. Men will not be able to destroy the Antichrist. Lucifer will do whatever he wants and no one will be able to stop him. Jesus does not lay hands on His enemies at the Second Coming; He simply commands the wicked to die. The sharp sword that comes out of His mouth represents His ability to speak the command and people drop dead. (See Revelation 19:15-21.) It is interesting to note that the voice that calls the righteous dead to life (1 Thessalonians 4:16) is the same voice that commands the wicked to die. (Revelation 19:21)


Because God is the Creator of apocalyptic prophecy, we know Daniel 8 will harmonize with the matrix established in Daniel 2 and Daniel 7. Pay close attention to the words of Gabriel, as he speaks to Daniel about the sequence of events: “And I heard a man’s voice from the Ulai calling, ‘Gabriel, tell this man the meaning of the vision.’ As he came near the place where I was standing, I was terrified and fell prostrate. ‘Son of man,’ he said to me, ‘understand that the vision concerns the time of the end.’ While he was speaking to me, I was in a deep sleep, with my face to the ground. Then he touched me and raised me to my feet. He said: ‘I am going to tell you what will happen later in the time of wrath, because the vision concerns the appointed time of the end.’” (Daniel 8:16-19, italics mine)


Look at the words that have been italicized. Gabriel twice emphasized the point that this vision concerns “the time of the end” or “the appointed time of the end.” The word “appointed” means the time of the end was set or predetermined long ago. God has set a date for the Great Tribulation to begin. The Father has also set a date for the second Coming. (Matthew 24:36) So, ready or not, believe it or not, God’s great time clock is counting the days to the appointed time of the end. (Read Revelation 9:15 and notice how the date for the sixth trumpet has been predetermined down to the very hour.)

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