The vision of Daniel chapter eight will enlarge upon the vision of Daniel chapter seven. In chapter seven, we had the rise and fall of empires. In Daniel chapter eight, we will also see the rise and fall of empires. In Daniel chapter seven, we were given a picture of the judgment. In chapter eight, we will be given a time prophesy concerning the judgment. These two prophetic chapters are closely tied together.
In Daniel 8:1, we are told that Daniel received a vision while Belshazzar, king of Babylon was still in power. That would put this vision around the year of 550 BC.
“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.” Daniel 8:1
In verse 3, Daniel saw a ram with two horns.
“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.” Daniel 8:3
In verse 20, Daniel is told that the ram symbolically represented the kingdom of the Medes and Persians.
“The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.” Daniel 8:20
In the description of the ram, it had two horns. One horn represented the Medes, and the other horn, the higher horn, represented the Persians. The higher horn came up last. The Medes began the empire, but the Persians would become the more dominant of the two. Hence, the “higher came up last.”
In verse 4, Daniel saw the ram conquering others nations to become the next world empire. As a result, Medo-Persia the ram, “became great.”
“I saw the ram pushing westward [defeating Babylon], and northward [defeating Lydia], and southward [defeating Egypt]; so that no beasts [political powers or nations] 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.” Daniel 8:4
In verse 5, we are introduced to the next world empire, namely, Greece. It will be symbolically represented by a goat.
“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.” Daniel 8:5
The Grecian empire did come from the west to conquer Medo-Persia in the east. The “notable horn” is none other than Alexander the Great.
In verse 21, we are told that the goat represented the kingdom of Grecia.
“And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king [Alexander the Great].” Daniel 8:21
We were told that the he goat did not touch the ground. (verse 5) This represents how Alexander conquered the world so quickly. In the same way, the leopard beast of Daniel chapter seven had four wings. See Daniel 7:6. Both are fitting examples of Alexander’s swift conquests.
“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.” Daniel 8:5
In verses 6-8, we find the goat [Greece] defeating the ram [Medo-Persia]. This happened in the year of 331 BC.
“And he [Greece] came to the ram that had two horns [Medo-Persia], which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. 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 [Greece defeats Medo-Persia]: 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. Therefore, the he goat waxed very great [it became the next world empire]: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken [Alexander the Great dies]; and for it came up four notable ones [his four generals] toward the four winds of heaven [from the four different direction of the compass; north, south, east, and west].” Daniel 8:6-8
When Alexander died, he had no son to take over his empire. As predicted, there “came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.” These “four notable ones” represented the four generals that divided up the Grecian empire. There was General Cassander who took over Macedonia, General Lysimachus that reigned over Asia Minor, General Ptolemy that became king over Egypt, and General Seleucus that ruled over Babylon.
Notice that while the ram “was great,” (verse 4) the next world empire, Greece, “waxed very great.” (verse 8). Indeed, Alexander’s empire far exceeded that of Medo-Persia.
It is clear that Daniel understood this part of the vision. After all, God identified the ram and the goat by name. But there is a section coming up that Daniel does not understand.
In verse 9, Daniel sees the next world empire coming out of the “four winds,” that “waxed exceeding great.” This is none other than the Roman empire that defeated Greece in 168 BC.
“And out of one of them [the four winds] came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south [defeating Egypt], and toward the east [defeating Greece], and toward the pleasant land [of Palestine].” Daniel 8:9
Medo-Persia “became great”
Greece “waxed very great”
Rome “waxed exceeding great”
Daniel was not told the name of this next world empire, but it would not have been difficult for him to follow this rise and fall of empires. After all, if Medo-Persia conquered other nations and “became great,” and Greece conquered Medo-Persia and waxed “very great,” then what would he have thought about the next world empire that “waxed exceeding great”? No doubt, it would be an empire that would conquer Greece and become the next world power.
In addition, Daniel would have remembered the dream of king Nebuchadnezzar in chapter two. There was the head of gold—Babylon. Babylon was followed by an empire of silver [Medo-Persia], which was followed by the kingdom of brass [Greece]. What did the legs of iron represent? The fourth kingdom that would crush and devour. The description of Rome crushing and devouring is the same as Rome waxing “exceeding great.”
In verse 10, we find the Roman power waxing “great” against the people of God and to heaven itself.
“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.” Daniel 8:10
It was Roman that crucified Christ and persecuted the early church. Many of God’s people were “cast down” and “stamped upon.”
Even though the Romans crucified Christ, they could not keep Him in the tomb. Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. He now sits at the right hand of the Father.
Powers that war against heaven
Earthly powers can war against heaven in a couple ways. First, they can persecute God’s people here on planet Earth. Second, they war against the truth. Consider these passages found in Revelation chapter thirteen:
“And there was given unto him [the first beast] a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” Revelation 13:5-7
Here is a power that ruled for “forty and two months.” We had studied earlier that this represents the 1260 years of Papal rule from 538 AD to 1798 AD. This Papal power would “make war with the saints” and persecute them. He would open his mouth in “blasphemy against God, and his [God’s heavenly] tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.” Therefore, the Papacy was at war with the saints here on planet Earth, and against Heaven itself.
What is blasphemy?
Jesus was accused of blasphemy when He claimed to be God (See Matthew 26:63-65), and when He claimed to have the power to forgive sins (See Luke 5:20, 21). But Jesus was not speaking blasphemously, because He is God and He can forgive sins. More than that, He paid for our sins, and He is able to provide the power for us to overcome sin.
Now notice how the first beast [the Papacy] “opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.” This tragic description of the Papacy, places it in direct conflict with Heaven and the plan of salvation.
Daniel chapter eight, will elaborate on this point in verses 11-13. But I would like to make it very clear that neither pagan Rome nor papal Rome can keep Jesus from His work of salvation. They can persecute the saints and teach error, but they cannot prevent Jesus from carrying on His work as our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary.
Jesus our High Priest, the one Mediator
Jesus is in the heavenly sanctuary interceding for us as the only Mediator between God and man. As Paul wrote, “For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5
Jesus is our “merciful and faithful high priest” making “reconciliation” for us in the heavenly sanctuary. Hebrews 2:17
We can take comfort that “we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God.” Hebrews 4:14
“We have such a high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; a minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched [or made], and not man.” Hebrews 8:1, 2
The earthly sanctuary found in the Old Testament was a “shadow of the heavenly.” It was a miniature of the heavenly sanctuary that Moses was shown “in the mount.” Hebrews 8:5
Imagine the privilege of beholding the magnificent heavenly sanctuary. God would then command Moses to make a miniature copy of the heavenly sanctuary, that the people might understand the plan of salvation. The sanctuary service would teach the people the two-fold ministry of the coming Messiah. He would come and die for their sins. He would be represented by all those slain lambs in the sacrificial service. In addition, the work of the priest was prefiguring the work of the Messiah when He would ascend into heaven after His resurrection.
We will cover these precious truths illustrated by the sanctuary and its services in our next chapter. But for now, it will be important for us to recognize that the ministry of Jesus, the Messiah, included His sacrificial death and His work as our High Priest.
We know that Jesus died for our sins as the Lamb of God in 31 AD. But when He arose and ascended into heaven, He began His priestly ministry for us in the heavenly sanctuary.
The year of 31 AD means everything to us. It is the year Jesus died for our sins, and it is the year that Jesus ascended into heaven to intercede/mediate for us as our great High Priest. He will continue to intercede/mediate for us until His second advent. Then He will return as King of kings and Lord of lords.
In verse 11, we begin that part of the vision that Daniel had difficulty understanding. We find a power that magnifies himself as if he were the Prince of the host, the Mediator between God and man.
“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.” Daniel 8:11
We had learned from Daniel chapters two and seven, that there would be the rise and fall of empires beginning with Babylon. There would be Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and then Rome. The Roman empire would rule from 168 BC to 476 AD. It would break-up into ten smaller nations. But out of the ruins of pagan Rome would emerge papal Rome.
In Daniel chapter seven, we were told that the Papacy would “wear out the saints of the most High” and would “speak great words against the most High.” In fact, we were reminded four times in Daniel chapter seven, that the little horn power, the Papacy, would speak “very great things.”
The Papacy has spoken. In Daniel chapter seven, they were described as claiming to have the power to change God’s law. Imagine that! The Papacy thinks they have had the authority to change the Ten Commandments, which God wrote with His own finger.
In chapter eight, we find that they claim to be the Mediator between God and man. For it says, “Yea, he [the Papacy] magnified himself even to the prince of the host.”
Who is the “prince of the host”?
It is Jesus.
Who is Jesus?
He is the Creator. See John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16, 17
He is our Savior. See 1 Timothy 4:10
He is the Lamb of God. See John 1:29
He is our High Priest. See Hebrews 2:17, 18; 3:1; 4:14-16; 8:1, 2
Where is Jesus?
Jesus is in the heavenly sanctuary ministering on our behalf. See Hebrews 8:1, 2; Revelation 2:1
Jesus is the “High Priest of our profession.” Hebrews 3:1. He is interceding on our behalf as the one and only Mediator between God and man. See 1 Timothy 2:5
Therefore, when the Papacy magnifies himself to the “prince of the host” [Jesus Christ], he is magnifying himself as if he is the Mediator between God and man. The Papacy magnifies it’s priests as the true priests of the Christian faith.
What does it mean that the Papacy “magnified himself”?
The word “magnified” in his passage come from the Hebrew word “gadal.” When referring to a human being it unmasks this individual’s attempt to make himself great and mighty in an arrogant, presumptuous, and even illegal act. Therefore, this power took upon himself illegally, arrogantly, and presumptuously the prerogatives that alone belong to Jesus as the high priest of the Christian faith.
How would the Papacy magnify himself as if he were the “prince of the host”?
“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 [Christ’s] sanctuary was cast down.” Daniel 8:11
Daily. The Papacy would take away something from the “prince of the host.” They are taking something away from Jesus Christ. He would take away the “daily sacrifice.” The term “daily” comes from the Hebrew word “tamid.” Of the 103 occurrences of the Hebrew word “tamid,” only six times is it translated as “daily.” See Numbers 4:16; Daniel 8:11, 12, 13; 11:31; 12:11. The most common translation for “tamid” is “continual” or “regular.”
The word “tamid,” is mostly used in reference to the sanctuary. Every morning there was the continual burnt offering. The work of the priesthood was continual. The shewbread was ever present. The menorah had a perpetual flame. The incense on the golden altar went up continually.
The word “tamid” reminds us that the work of Jesus on our behalf is continuous. Heavenly agencies are working on our behalf daily, hourly, moment by moment.
But the Papal power, in verse 11, has “taken away” from Jesus the role as the High Priest of the Christian faith, and the one and only Mediator between God and man.
They have illegally, arrogantly, and presumptuously drawn attention to themselves as the Mediator between God and man. They have essentially replaced the high priestly work of Jesus with their own false priesthood.
At noted before, they really cannot stop Jesus in His priestly work, but they can keep people from finding Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary by establishing themselves as a substitute for Christ.
Taken away. The term “taken away” in verse 11, comes from the Hebrew word “ruwm.” The term actually means “to exalt.” But more specifically it means “to exalt oneself.”
So how did the Papacy exalt their own priesthood above the priesthood of Jesus? First, they would exalt the concept of mediation. They would teach that there needs to be a mediator between God and man. This much is true. This is why we need Jesus, the Son of God, who became the Son of man.
However, they would exalt themselves as the Mediator between God and man, and this is false. There is only one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. See 1 Timothy 2:5
Jesus is able to represent God to man, because He is the Son of God—fully divine. He is also able to represent man to God. Jesus became one of us. He who was fully God became fully man. He is the God-man, and there is no other. Hence, no other could fulfill the role as Mediator between God and man.
Place. The word for “place” is the Hebrew word “makon,” which means “basis” or “foundation.” To exalt their priesthood above the priestly work of Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary, they would “cast down” the foundations that support Jesus as the one and only true Mediator between God and man.
What are the foundations that support Jesus as the one Mediator between God and man?
The book of Hebrews points to the divinity and humanity of Jesus as the basis of His sanctuary and His role as our high priest.
In chapter one, Paul begins by establishing the divinity of Jesus, who is the “brightness of” the Father’s “glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power.” Hebrews 1:3
Even the Father refers to Jesus, saying, “But unto the Son he [the Father] saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom.” Hebrews 1:8
According to these verses, Jesus is the brightness of the Father’s glory and the express image of His person. Jesus, who created all things, upholds “all things by the word of His power.” The Father refers to Jesus as God.
In these few words, it is obvious that Jesus is so far superior to any Catholic priest or any Protestant pastor. How could any mere man be compare to Jesus? Jesus is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. Obviously, we can only contrast them.
Furthermore, would the Father ever say to the pope or a Catholic priest, “Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever”? Obviously not!
The first foundation of Jesus as our Mediator is that He is fully divine. He is able to represent God to man. Therefore, no pope or Catholic priest could ever be a mediator between God and man. For he will never possess any divinity—never—not any!
Then in chapter two of Hebrews, Paul establishes the humanity of Jesus, saying:
“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he [Jesus] also himself likewise took part of the same…For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” Hebrews 2:14, 16, 17
Paul teaches us that Christ put on the same flesh that you and I have. In fact, Paul said that God sent “his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:” Romans 8:3
To rescue man from sin, Christ came in our flesh. He came “in the likeness of sinful flesh.” He came to condemn sin in our sinful flesh by living a sinless life. He became a partaker of our “flesh and blood.” He was “made like unto his brethren.” He “took on him the seed of Abraham.” He did this to save us from our sinful natures.
Jesus is the only One who has put on human flesh and never sinned. See Hebrews 4:15; 7:26; 1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:5; 2 Corinthians 5:21. Who else has never sinned in fallen human flesh? None.
To save man where man was, Jesus would take upon Himself human nature after four thousand years of sin. The opening chapter of the New Testament goes to great lengths showing the genealogy of Christ; proving that He did receive the same flesh that we have.
Then that blessed day came when “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Matthew 1:23
Imagine that, the Son of God joins the human race. He puts on our flesh. Where did He get this flesh? He got it from Mary. Mary had the same flesh as you and me. She must have been a very dedicated young lady to have been chosen as the mother for Jesus. But like all of us, she too was in need of a Savior. As Mary herself said, “And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.” Luke 1:47
Dear reader, the only people who need a Savior are sinners. Sinless angels do not need a Savior. But every member of the human family needs a Savior, including Mary. As the Bible teaches, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
This is an important point because the divinity and the humanity of Jesus mean everything to us. If Christ became one of us and “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin,” (Hebrews 4:15) then Jesus serves as our example. But if Jesus had put on holy flesh and was not even tempted to sin, then Jesus cannot be our example.
So how does the Papacy cast down the foundations of Christ’s sanctuary? How do they cast down the truth about Christ’s divinity and humanity?
I believe it could be said that the Papacy believes in the divinity of Christ. However, they do not believe that Christ took upon Himself our nature, or our flesh. Consider the following statement about the birth of Mary.
“We define that the Blessed Virgin Mary in the first moment of her conception. . . was preserved free from every taint of original sin. Unlike the rest of the children of Adam, the soul of Mary was never subject to sin.” Faith of Our Fathers, Cardinal Gibbons, pp. 203, 204.
Now notice what they teach about the human nature of Jesus.
“The Catholic doctrine, however, is that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, in His divine nature eternally begotten of the Father, took to Himself from the womb of His Virgin Mother a human nature of the same substance as hers: and therefore, the mother of that divine person, Jesus Christ, the God-man, is in very truth the mother of God.” Question Box, New York: The Columbus Press, 1909, p. 517
If Mary was given a nature “unlike the rest of the children of Adam. . . never subject to sin,” then what kind of nature did Jesus have? They say that Jesus “took to Himself from the womb of His Virgin Mother a human nature of the same substance as hers.”
If Mary’s nature is different from ours, then Christ’s nature is different from ours. If His nature is different from ours, then He could not serve as our example. But Peter wrote, “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:” 1 Peter 2:21, 22.
Peter says that Christ is to be our example and that there was found no guile in His mouth. How are the saints described in these last days?
“These are they which were not defiled with women [not defiled by false teachings within the church]; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.” Revelation 14:4, 5
How was it possible for them to overcome? It was because Jesus became one with us and defeated sin in our flesh that we might now walk in newness of life by His Spirit.
Does the Papacy deny that the only way to the Father is through Jesus? Does the Papacy claim to be a mediator between God and man?
Yes. Doctor Alphonsus de Liguori wrote: “Mary is all the hope of our salvation. . . All those who are saved, are saved solely by means of this divine mother; . . . the salvation of all depends upon preaching Mary.” Glories of Mary, New York: P. J. Kennedy and Sons, pp. 195, 19, 20.
“Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.” Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994), p. 252, #969.
“The priest has the power of the keys, or the power of delivering sinners from hell, of making them worthy of paradise, and of changing them from the slaves of Satan into the children of God. And God Himself is obliged to abide by the judgment of His priest. . . . The Sovereign Master of the universe only follows the servant by confirming in heaven all that the latter decides upon earth.” Dignity and Duties of the Priest, New York: Benziger Brothers, pp. 27, 28
“This same Catholic Faith, outside of which nobody can be saved, which I now freely profess and to which I truly adhere, the same I promise and swear to maintain and profess . . . until the last breath of life.” Roman Catholic Catechism: Geiermann, pp. 103
“One who desires to obtain reconciliation with God and with the Church, must confess to a priest all the unconfessed grave sins he remembers after having carefully examined his conscience.” Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994), p. 374, #1493
“When Christ’s faithful strive to confess all the sins that they can remember, they undoubtedly place all of them before the divine mercy for pardon. But those who fail to do so and knowingly withhold some, place nothing before the divine goodness for remission through the mediation of the priest,…” Ibid., p. 365, #1456
“The Pope enjoys, by divine institution, supreme, full, immediate, and universal power in the care of souls.” Ibid., p. 246, #937
“The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation…There are seven sacraments in the Church: Baptism, Confirmation or Chrismation, Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony.” Ibid., p. 292, #1129 and p. 289, #1113.
Dear reader, God does not want us to be ignorant of Christ’s mediatorial and priestly work in the heavenly Sanctuary. Inspiration has made the high priestly work of Jesus a major focus of the prophetic picture. Prophecy is not simply about the rise and fall of nations. It is not simply about future events. It is about the plan of salvation and what all of heaven is doing to help the human family. But it is also about those earthly forces that obscure the true meaning of the gospel.
Jesus is the Mediator between God and man, and it is our privilege to go directly to the Father through His beloved Son. No priest or pastor can connect heaven and earth for you. Your relationship with God must be personal and intimate. Through Jesus Christ and Him alone, do we have access to the Father.
Verse 12 Armies for the Papacy
“And an host [or army] was given him [the Papacy] against the daily [against the high priestly work of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary] by reason of transgression [by intentionally deviating from God’s plan of salvation], and it [the Papal power] cast down the truth [concerning the plan of salvation and Christ’s role as our High Priest] to the ground; and it practiced, and prospered.”
Back in verse 11, we had the foundational truths that pointed to Christ as the sole Mediator between God and man cast down. Clearly pagan Rome cast down the physical temple in Jerusalem, but Papal Rome cast down the foundational truths supporting Christ’s mediatorial work in the heavenly sanctuary. But to prosper as she did, she needed a “host” or army to stand on her part. She would need the very support of the nations to enforce her decrees and to sustain her institutions.
When Constantine became emperor in AD 313, a compromised Christianity became the religion of the empire, and the Church of Rome was identified as the one and only true church. From then on, the Church of Rome grew in power, prestige, and possessions. Constantine lavished the Roman Church with finances to build cathedrals and to even pay people to come to church. However, in AD 330, when Constantine moved the capitol to the east, from Rome to Constantinople [which is today Istanbul, Turkey], the empire in the west gradually became weak.
During the next two hundred years, many invading forces ransacked Rome and pillaged the surrounding countryside. The western part of the empire was falling apart. By AD 476, the west had disintegrated into ten smaller kingdoms. But then something happened, Clovis, the king of the Franks [the French], was converted from paganism to Catholicism in AD 496. In AD 508, the Franks, the strongest of the ten divisions of Rome, delivered a deathblow to the Gothic nations that opposed the primacy of the pope and the false claims of the Catholic priesthood. These Gothic nations were labeled with the name “Arian Christians.” But these Gothic nations were not really Arian in the truest sense.
“But among the different barbarian peoples of the West, especially in Gaul and Spain, who had received Christianity from the Roman empire during the ascendancy of Arianism, . . . . These barbarians, however, held Arianism rather through accident than from conviction, and scarcely knew the difference between it and the orthodox doctrine [of the trinity]. Alaric, the first conqueror of Rome; Genseric, the conqueror of North Africa; Theodoric the Great, king of Italy and hero of the Niebelungen Lied, were Arians.” Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Vol. III, 640–641.
These “Arian” Christian nations were challenging the Church of Rome for the control of the empire. However, the battles of AD 508, between Arian and Catholic forces, whereby the Arian nations were mortally wounded, prepared the way for the Papacy to control the empire by 538.
In AD 538, when Emperor Justinian looked to the west from his throne in faraway Constantinople, he saw (1) the highly organized and powerful Papal hierarchy, with (2) the support of the strongest of the ten divisions of Rome, and (3) the destruction of her main opposing forces. It then seemed good to Justinian to confer to the Pope the temporal and ecclesiastical power of the west. And so it was, papal Rome would now determine the next thousand years of church history. And it wouldn’t be until the “time of the end,” when God’s people would discover precious truths concerning the work of Jesus in the Heavenly Sanctuary above.
In conclusion of verse 12, we find the armies of the Franks [the French] fighting the battles for Papal Rome against the Arian/Gothic nations. We also find that “by reason of transgression” the Papacy had cast the truth to the ground for temporal and political gain. The apostle Paul wrote concerning this, saying:
“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers [bishops], to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing [or death] shall grievous wolves enter in among you [bishops], not sparing the flock [the people of God]. Also of your own selves [of you bishops] shall men arise, speaking perverse things [intentional falsehoods], to draw away disciples after them [and not after Christ].” Acts 20:28–30.
Paul had predicted this problem among the bishops in the church. Some of them would intentionally speak perverse things to have men follow and admire them instead of making them true disciples of Christ. To draw men after themselves they would of necessity have to teach error. This whole situation made Paul weep as he closed with these comments, saying, “Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.” Acts 20:31.
Verse 13: The Angel’s Question
In Daniel 8:13, Daniel hears a heavenly visitant or angel asking a very serious question.
“I heard one saint [literally; “holy one”] 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?”
Notice that the angel did not ask about the ram and the goat. He did not ask about the little horn power [pagan Rome] that defeated Egypt, Greece, and Palestine. Rather, the angel asked about the little horn power [papal Rome] that magnified himself and took way the daily. He wanted to know more about the transgression of desolation and how long it would trodden under foot Christ’s sanctuary, and the host [God’s people].
Remember, Rome ruled in two phases. There was pagan Rome that ruled the world in its first phase. After the disintegration of Rome by 476 AD, Papal Rome would rule in its second phase by 538 AD. So the angel was not referring to pagan Rome in his question, but to papal Rome.
Who was this angel speaking to?
The Bible says, “. . . and another saint said unto that certain saint. . .”
Who is this “certain saint”?
In the Hebrew, the word “saint” is not present. There is only the word “certain.” The word “certain” comes from two Hebrew words that mean “wonderful numberer.”
Who is the “Wonderful Numberer”?
It is Jesus. See Isaiah 9:6
Consider this most solemn scene: “Then I heard one saint speaking [Daniel heard Jesus, the Holy One speaking], and another saint [another holy one, the angel Gabriel] said unto that certain saint which spake [Gabriel now asks Jesus, the Wonderful Numberer, a question], 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?”
Gabriel asks Jesus, the Wonderful Numberer, this most solemn question. The fact that Jesus is asked the question tells you how important the answer is. The fact that Gabriel, the archangel, asked the question, tells you how interested the angels are.
The answer by the Wonderful Numberer is a time prophesy. This tells you how important this time prophesy is. It is the longest time prophesy in the Bible. It reaches the furthest into the future.
The Wonderful Numberer answers the question because He alone knows the answer. He is the Master of numbers and time. He created time. He created all the stars and knows them by name. He knows the number of hairs on your head. He is Jesus, the Wonderful Numberer!
This great time prophesy representing 2300 years, covers more than one-third of Earth’s history. The Wonderful Numberer has given us a wonderful number.
Gabriel asked the question, but Jesus, the Wonderful Numberer, addressed the answer to Daniel. “And he [Jesus] said unto me [Daniel], Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”
This wonderful time prophesy points us to the cleansing of Christ’s sanctuary. Now how wonderful is that!
This great time prophesy is directing our thoughts to the great work of Jesus as our High Priest. This is why the counterfeit work of the Catholic priesthood becomes so serious.
No man can save you. Only Jesus can save you. Confessions to a priest have no saving value. Only sins confessed to the Sin-bearer and the High Priest of the Christian faith have saving value.
Prior to the 2300 day prophesy, we had only one other time prophesy mentioned in the book of Daniel. That was the 1260 day prophesy representing 1260 years. It pointed to the persecution of God’s true church during the reign of the Papacy from 538 to 1798. God’s people were persecuted by the Church of Rome for refusing to accept her false doctrines and priesthood.
Therefore, in Daniel chapters seven and eight, we have the true priestly ministry of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and we have the false priesthood of the Catholic Church. Clearly, these are held in contrast to one another. Jesus the true Mediator between God and man, and the Papacy as the false mediator.
According to verse 13, the Papacy’s departure from truth was premeditated. Gabriel asked, “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?”
Transgression of desolation: This particular word for “transgression” represents a premeditated crossing over the line of God’s law; a rebellious act of rejecting God’s authority; a willful deviation from the path of righteousness; a way of achieving independence from God; going beyond the limits of God’s laws with the purpose to deceive others; a refusal of being corrected; losing the ability to distinguish between right from wrong; an aggressive breach in its relationship with God; and a deliberate casting off of its allegiance to God.
Desolation: This word represents something so detestable that it leaves one absolutely speechless.
Consequently, the “transgression of desolation” is a detestable and premeditated act of departing from God’s purposes.
The counterfeit priesthood of Catholicism was premeditated. It was a willful deviation from the path of righteousness. It was a way of achieving independence from Christ. In was, in fact, a system that verily replaced Christ as the Priest of the Christian Faith. It was an aggressive breach in the Catholic church’s relationship with God, and she has never repented. If she were to repent, she would have to do away with her entire false structure. There would be no pope. There would be no more confessions to a Catholic priest, and much more. Simply said, she would have to accept Jesus as the one and only Mediator between God and man.
Verse 15: Daniel seeks to understand
According to the next verse, Daniel 8:15, Daniel did not seem to understand the conversation between Gabriel and Jesus.
“And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man.”
We can logically understand why Daniel did not comprehend the meaning of the vision. After all, while Daniel was in Babylon, there was no earthly sanctuary, for it had been destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC.
The Hebrew people were to be captives in Babylon for seventy years. See Jeremiah 25:11, 12; 29:10. When Daniel penned this vision, the Hebrew people were near the close of their seventy-year captivity. So how would Daniel relate the 2300th day prophesy to the seventy years?
Verse 16: Gabriel commissioned to speak to Daniel
In Daniel 8:16, Gabriel is sent to Daniel to help him understand the vision.
“And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.”
Verse 17: Gabriel speaks to Daniel
In Daniel 8:17, Gabriel tells Daniel that the vision is for the “time of the end.”
“So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.”
In the vision, some things would be fulfilled in the near future. Daniel would live during the time of the Medo-Persia, represented by the ram. The Grecian empire was soon to rise and would end by 331 BC. Rome would follow and end by 476 AD. But the vision of the 2300th day would not be fulfilled until the “time of the end.” In fact, no one would fully understand this great time prophecy of 2300 days until the “time of the end.”
This doesn’t mean that people didn’t try to understand these words. It simply meant that they did not understand them correctly until the “time of the end.” Even Daniel, who had received the vision, said,
“And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.” Daniel 8:27
The “mareh” and the “time of the end”
There are two different Hebrew words in Daniel chapter eight for the word “vision.” There is the Hebrew word “chazon,” which refers to the entire vision. For example, “And I saw in a vision [“chazon”]; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace.” Daniel 8:2.
Then there is the Hebrew word “mareh,” which specifically refers to the 2300th day prophesy. For example:
“And the vision [the “mareh”] of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut up thou the vision; for it shall be for many days.” Daniel 8:26
What is the vision of the “evening and the morning”?
There is only one thing in Daniel chapter eight that has to do with an “evening and the morning.” It is the 2300th day prophesy found in Daniel 8:14.
“And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days [literally; “Unto two thousand and three hundred evening and morning]; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”
Therefore, the vision of the “evening and the morning” is specifically referring to the 2300th day prophecy and the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary.
How long is this time prophecy?
In the King James Version, it is translated as, “Unto two thousand and three hundred days [plural].”
Yet, the best translation of the original Hebrew is, “Unto two thousand and three hundred day,” not days.
The Hebrew literally reads, “Unto two thousand and three hundred evening and morning; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”
We know that an “evening and a morning” is one day. See Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31. Therefore, we are looking a 2300 day prophecy or the 2300th day prophesy. They both represent the same length of time.
The Geneva Bible has the best translation of the Hebrew text, which reads, “Unto the evening and the morning [singular], two thousand and three hundred: then shall the Sanctuary be cleansed.”
Something wonderful is going to happen on exactly the 2300th day. The cleansing of the sanctuary is going to happen on the 2300th day.
Therefore, the “mareh” is the 2300th day prophesy. Now consider the following passages:
“And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision [“chazon,” the entire vision], and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man. And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of the Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision [the “mareh,” concerning the 2300th day prophecy]. So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face [in reverence]: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man; for at the time of the end shall be the vision [the “mareh,” concerning the 2300th day prophecy].” Daniel 8:15, 16
The “mareh,” the prophecy concerning the 2300th day prophecy, would be not be fulfilled until the “time of the end.” When the “time of the end” would come, the 2300th day prophesy would be fulfilled, Christ’s sanctuary would be cleansed, and knowledge would be increased concerning this great prophesy.
Verse 18, 19 The Last Days
“Now as he [the angel Gabriel] was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright. And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be.”
The “last end of the indignation” means the “last end of the wrath.” In other words, the vision concerning the 2300th day prophecy points towards the end of time.
We are told that “at the time appointed the end shall be.” This phrase, again points to the fact that the 2300th day prophecy brings us towards the end. For this phrase can be translated as, “at the time of the last sanctuary feast day, the end shall be.”
The feast days in the sanctuary service were celebrated throughout the religious year. They were, in fact, appointed times or a “time appointed.”
The Passover would be the first “appointed” feast day at the beginning of the religious year. The Day of Atonement would be an “appointed” feast day at the end of the religious year.
It is interesting to note that the first appointed feast day, the Passover, was celebrated with the offering of a ram. The last appointed feast day, the Day of Atonement, was celebrated with the offering of a goat. To the Hebrew mind, the symbols of Medo-Persia and Greece, as the ram and the goat, respectively, would certainly bring the sanctuary service to mind.
It was at the end of the religious year with the Day of Atonement, that the sanctuary was said to be cleansed. This is important for us. We know that the slain lamb represented Jesus. We know that the work of the earthly high priest prefigured the work of Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary. And we know that the various feast days also pointed to Jesus.
For example, when Jesus died on the cross it was the Passover. He became our Passover lamb on Passover. It was perfect timing!
The day Jesus was resurrected was the Feast of Firstfruits. Jesus is the “firstfruits” of those who will be resurrected unto life eternal. See 1 Corinthians 15:20
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit fifty days later fell upon the Feast of Pentecost. All of the early “appointed” feast days met their perfect fulfillment in the ministry of Jesus. They meet them on the exact day. It was perfect timing!
Since all of these early “appointed” feasts met their perfect fulfillment in the ministry of Jesus, we should expect that the latter “appointed” feasts would find their perfect fulfillment in the ministry of Jesus as well.
The latter “appointed” feasts were the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Booths. The Day of Atonement was the same as the Day of Judgment.
If the early “appointed” feasts met their perfect fulfillment in the early part of Jesus’ ministry, would not the latter “appointed” feasts meet their perfect fulfillment in the latter part of Jesus’ ministry?
Since the Day of Atonement/Judgment prefigured the day Jesus would begin to judge the world, we would expect that it would also fall on a specific day. In fact, as will see, it will fall on the 2300th day.
We would also expect the true Day of Judgment to be fulfilled towards the very end of Jesus work as our High Priest. After all, the Day of Atonement/Judgment in the Hebrew economy fell on the last day of the religious year. More on this point later.
Verses 20-22: The Ram and the Goat
The concluding verses in Daniel chapter eight will now focus on interpreting the vision. Gabriel tells Daniel the meaning of the entire vision.
“The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king [Alexander]. Now that being broken [with the death of Alexander], whereas four [generals] stood up for it, four kingdoms [Egypt, Babylon, Macedonia, and Asia Minor] shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power [none of these general would possession the power of Alexander].”
Verse 23: The Roman Seige upon Jerusalem
“And in the latter time of their kingdom [in the latter time of the Grecian Empire arose the mighty power of Rome], when the transgressors are come to the full [during the time when the Jewish nation continued to fill her cup of iniquity to the brim], a king of fierce countenance [the Romans], and understanding dark sentences [promising protection to Judea, but in the end destroying Jerusalem], shall stand up [and utilize its power to destroy the Jewish nation].”
The latter part of this verse was prophesied in the time of Moses. See Deuteronomy 28:47–53. It speaks of a siege on Jerusalem. It would be a time of such terrible plight and starvation, that the Jewish people would even turn upon their children and eat them. See Deuteronomy 28:52, 53. This was, tragically, the case in the Roman siege upon Jerusalem in AD 70.
Verse 24: The Papacy’s Power
“And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power [the Papacy is powerful when the nations support and enforce her decrees]: and he [the Papacy] shall destroy wonderfully [shall destroy and persecuted God’s true church more than any other power in history], and shall prosper, and practice [in exercising goverance over the nations], and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people [by warring against God’s true church for 1260 years].”
Verse 25 The Papacy’s Dominion
“And through his policy [not God’s policy] also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart [as the Papacy promotes himself as Christ on earth], and by peace shall destroy many [many martyrs, many deceived]: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes [the Papacy is against Christ as she presents herself as a substitute for Christ]; but he shall be broken without hand [at the Second Coming of Christ, the Papacy will be destroyed].”
Verse 26 Prophecy Sealed
“And the vision [the “mareh”] of the evening and the morning [the 2300th day prophecy] which was told is true [it will come to pass]: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days [The fulfillment of the various elements of this prophecy will take place over many centuries. The vision of the “evening and the morning” would also be for many days. The 2300th day prophesy would be the longest time prophesy in the Bible].”
Verse 27 Daniel Astonished
“And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king’s business; and I was astonished at the vision [the “mareh”] but none understood it.”
The prophetic vision of Daniel chapter eight, made the prophet Daniel absolutely sick. And I imagine that you are as saddened by these prophecies as I am. How different history could have been if the bishops in Rome did not apostatize from the truth. If they would have only exalted the ministry of Jesus as our only high priest of the Christian faith. If they would have exalted Jesus as the only Mediator between God and man. If they had not tampered with the Ten Commandments. How different history would have been. I wish these things had never happened. But we know, historically and prophetically, that they did.
We will now turn our attention to Daniel chapter nine. In this chapter, we will discover a seventy-week prophesy pointing to the crucifixion of Christ. The starting point of this prophesy is the same starting point for the 2300th day prophesy. This will tell us when God began to judge the world.