Daniel; Part One.

The following article dwell principally upon the seventh and eighth chapters of the book of Daniel, with a particular focus on identifying the commonly termed “little horn”. The identity of this entity has been the subject of debate and argument for centuries, however, in our day we have been given great light, and we are now able to view history from a perspective unrealised by former Bible students, having the advantage of a more complete panorama  of the history of the empires and kingdoms involved. Also, God Himself has promised in the book of Daniel that readers in the latter days would understand the visions.These visions also hold the key to understanding the book of Revelation, for much information and symbolism is repeated in John’s book, along with an enlarged vision which provides the Bible student with a great deal more insight.

A principle of understanding prophecy, particularly those of Daniels is that later prophecies are repeats of earlier ones, but magnified and inclusive of much  more detail. With that in mind, we shall begin in chapter 2 with the vision King Nebuchadnezzar had of the great statue, and Daniel’s inspired interpretation of it.

Daniel 2:28 But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;

“In the latter days” is an idiomatic phrase meaning ‘in the future’. It is used in different contexts in Deut. 4:30, Gen.49:1, Num.24:14, Isa.2:2, Hos. 3:5, Ezek. 38:16. Most modern versions therefore translate the phrase as “in time to come”, or “in days to come”, or in later days”. From the historicist perspective, it can be concluded that the vision reaches from the time of Daniel and stretches far off into the future to the second advent of Christ symbolised by the stone kingdom when all previous kingdoms are destroyed and never again to be found .
Before we begin to focus on the prophecy itself of Daniel 2, I think now would be a good time to put my plug in for historicism, as opposed to futurism and preterism. John 13:19; Matt. 24:33 and Luke 21:28 provides the precedent and direction we must take to interpreting prophecy. We may look back into history, and it is there we see the rock-solid incontrovertible evidence that gives our faith and hopes a sure foundation. Thus the teachings of Jesus Himself supports a continuous view of prophecy. The church age isn’t a gap inserted in between two separate Jewish ages, nor is it a gap in prophecy. Just as the metals are joined together and the 4th kingdom is still present at the time of the second coming, so does history verify. There are a number of historicist scholars and expositers about, but the better known would the Seventh Day Adventist church, who’s understanding of prophecy to my mind is without equal in modern Christendom.
Were they the first? Did they invent this approach to sustain certain prophetic interpretations that popular theology rejected? No. Most commentators right from the early church recognised the 7 churches of Revelation 2 and 3 as successive phases of Christianity from the time of John to the consummation of all things.
The 7 seals also were recognised as reflecting successive phases of Christianity from John to the second coming. For example, Ambrose, Bishop of Havilburg writing in the 12 century said, “The white horse typifies the earliest state of spiritual gifts and the rider, Christ, with the bow of evangelical doctrine…the red horse is the next state of the church, red with the blood of martyrdom; from Stephen the protomartyr to the martyrs under Diocletian…the black horse depicts the church’s 3rd state, blackened after Constantine’s time with heresies…the pale horse signified the church’s 4th state; coloured with the hue of hypocrisy.” He said this state commenced from the beginning of the 5th century. This historicist view of the seals was the usual view of expositors down through the centuries.

The trumpets also were considered an historical overview of the rise and fall of secular kingdoms from the time of Christ to the future second advent. Scholars such as Daubuz, Mede, Jurieu, along with most all reformation protestants saw the trumpets 1-6 as depicting the desolations and fall of first the western empire of Rome and then the eastern. In 1802 Gulloway, in harmony with many others, viewed the first 4 trumpets as a picture of the Gothic invasions of the west, the 5th and 6th trumpets or the first 2 of the 3 ‘woes’, as depicting the invasions of the Saracens and the Turks in the east.

The prophecies of Daniel can be readily understood by using the historicist approach. Futurism and preterism both leave many unanswered questions, many unfulfilled details, and tend to make prophetic interpretation look more like guesswork and wishful thinking rather than the accurate study and strengthening of faith that it can be.
The image of Daniel 2 sets the foundation for every subsequent vision and prophecy from Daniel to Revelation. What God has set down as His word in Daniel 2 cannot be altered to suit one’s false theories when it comes to studying Revelation. All subsequent prophecies are to be studied on the principle of ‘repeat and enlarge’. That is, once Daniel 2 is understood, any further consideration of later visions must be based on Daniel 2, only with the addition of further detail. Daniel 2 sets the scene, everything else must fit into what Daniel 2 has laid down as the bottom line.

That said, let us settle on what nearly all Bible scholars agree as to what Daniel 2 represents.
Daniel 2:30-45.
The head of gold is clearly identified as the kingdom of Babylon (626-539BC) in verse 38. From history we know that the other 3 kingdoms following Babylon were Media-Persia (539-331BC), Greece (331-168BC) , and Rome (168BC-476AD). Although the Roman empire ruled longer than the other 3 kingdoms put together, it was not succeeded by a fifth world power but was divided up into kingdoms of varying strength, symbolised by the feet of iron and clay, just as the prophecy predicted. These are the nations that make up modern Europe, nations that, to this day, exist as separate national political entities.

The Bible makes it plain that the stone represents Jesus Christ (Isa. 28:16; 1 Cor. 10:4; Luke 20:17,18.) Who at His second advent will destroy all the other kingdoms and establish an everlasting kingdom.

Daniel 7 and 8 compliment one another, and give added impetus and detail to Daniel 2. I will deal with both 7 and 8 together, in order to make it easier to see the parallels.
Daniel 7:3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.
4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings:….

Here is the first beast representing the first of 4 world empires, Babylon, as also revealed as the head of gold in Daniel 2.  Another very sound principle when interpreting scripture, is to take all scripture language  literally, unless there exists some good reason for supposing it to be figurative; and all that is figurative is to be interpreted by that which is literal. That the language here is symbolic is evident when considering verse 17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.
That the intention is to show kingdoms and not just individual kings is also evident by the appearance of beasts. Much as modern nations do today, U.S. the eagle; Russia the bear; N.Z. the Kiwi; Aust. the wallaby.etc. Verses 38 and 39 reveal that the first kingdom is Babylon, which rose to power through war and conquest. When Daniel mentioned in verse 2 the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea, this is symbolic language representing war and strife amongst nations. (Rev.17:15; Isaiah 17:12,13; Jer. 51:1; Jer. 25:32,33.)
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It is to be noted that all the beasts are predatory, in keeping with the above symbolism. And the wings it can be assumed represent speed. (Deut. 28:49; Jer. 4:13; Habakkuk 1:6-9).
The wings were plucked from the lion, thus no longer was it the threat it formerly offered to her enemies. A man’s heart was given to it. Babylon in later years had become timorous, effeminate, and a pleasure seeking society without discipline.

Daniel 7:5 And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.

Daniel 8:3 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.

Daniel 8:20 identifies the ram as being Medo-Persia, thus the ram and the bear represent the same power. The bear raised itself up on one side – indicating the more prominent role of the Medes at the beginning of their rise to power, the individual kings being Ahasuerus and his son, Darius.This is also represented by the two horns, with one coming up higher last.
Just as silver is inferior to gold, and the bear inferior to the lion, so was Medo-Persia inferior to Babylon in regards to wealth and brilliance of career. However, the area of conquest was greater than Babylon.
The ribs in the bear’s mouth represent the 3 provinces of Babylon that the Medes and Persians conquered: Lydia, Egypt, and Babylon. The ram pushed west, north, and south, precisely where the 3 above provinces were.
Cyrus was the Persian king that rose to prominence represented by the horn that rose up higher. It was Cyrus spoken of and named 150 years previously by Isaiah as the leader that would overthrow Babylon. (There are many parallels with Revelation and the drying up of the Euphrates thus cutting off Babylon’s support in the last days, just as Cyrus did to the literal city. This is spiritual Babylon, and the Euphrates is also figurative for the means of support that the people of the earth withhold (Rev.18)when made aware of her corruption.Rev. 16:12 . As Cyrus came from the east to conquer Babylon, so also will Christ come from the east as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.)

Daniel 7:6 After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.
Daniel 8:5 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.
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.

The leopard represents Greece, and Alexander the Great is the first king, the ‘notable’ horn between the goat’s eyes.
As Babylon was noted for her speed of conquest, so Alexander even more so, hence the 4 wings. At the height of his power Alexander died, some say of alcohol poisoning, at the young age of about 30. The Grecian kingdom was then ruled briefly by Alexander’s brother and his 2 infant sons, but they were all soon murdered and after 22 years of warring and infighting among a number of generals who had all dispersed to various parts of the empire and assumed authority and declared themselves kings, the number was reduced to just 4, as depicted by the 4 heads of the leopard and the four horns of the goat. The generals were Cassander, Seleucus, Ptolemy, and Lysimachus.
It will be noted that as the ram (Medo-Persia) in Daniel 8:4 is shown to have become great, so the goat (Greece) in Daniel 8:8 ‘waxed very great’. In area conquered this was very true; Greece had overcome vastly more area  than had the previous empire, however, just as the leopard is inferior to the bear, and bronze is inferior to silver, so the character of the empire was inferior to Medo-Persia. Paganism was developing among these empires and growing as they grew. Each empire also inherited certain traits, traditions, and practices from it’s predecessors. Thus each kingdom grew progressively worse morally and spiritually.

Before I deal with the horn of the goat, I’d like to briefly recap on something from the image of Daniel 2 and stress something that is very important.
What we know of the image is that there are just 4 kingdoms or empires from the beginning of Babylon to the second coming. These four are destroyed by the rock of Christ at His coming.
That means 2 things.
1. That in some form or another they are in existence today (all four!), and will be until Jesus comes.
How do I know this? By the beast that rises from the sea in Revelation 13. (And remember beasts are kingdoms). In this beast there is a remnant of each of the 4 beasts we see here in Daniel. And it is that particular beast that is destroyed and thrown into the lake of fire. This can be easily explained by the fact that the pagan belief system of Babylon was inherited by all the following powers, was developed further and will be perfected into a Christian counterfeit at the end that will deceive most of the world. But more on that later.
2. The iron begins from the victory over the Greeks, and continues unbroken (albeit in another form) right to the end. In other words, there is no gap in history- no “revived” Roman empire that is yet to come. Rome is still with us today, there has never been any full or conclusive end to the Roman empire as yet.

To continue with the goat of Daniel 8. We have discovered that the goat represented Greece, that the great horn was it’s first king, Alexander, and that when he died , after some conflict and debate, 4 kings ruled in his stead. 

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.
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.

There are however a total of six horns that grow out of the he-goat , and it is to the 6th that we will now focus our attention.
This ‘little horn’ was to exceed the greatness of all the preceding horns. Media/Persia “became great” (Daniel 8:4); The he-goat itself was to wax “very great”, (Daniel 8:8), but this little horn was to grow and become “exceeding great”.( Daniel 8:9). It is claimed by many, in fact it has almost become standard belief in modern Christian thought, that Antiochus Epiphanes is represented by this little horn. This is based solely on his persecution of the Jews and the desecration of the temple, as is presumed to have taken place upon a reading of the ensuing verses. The problem however is that Antiochus does not meet the requirements of any other specific in the prophecy. (Some refer to him as being the fulfilment of the little horn that grows out of the fourth beast in Daniel 7 also.)
This is particularly popular with the preterist position, but to insist upon this understanding is to wrest the scripture from it’s historical setting, for an important point to note is that the 4th beast reaches to the end of time, and is destroyed at the second coming. The view that Antiochus is the little horn restricts the entire book of Daniel to the period of time before Christianity was established.

Let me in detail give my reasons why I believe Antiochus cannot be the little horn of Daniel 7.
a. Antiochus does not rise after 10 kings. He was the 8th king in the Syrian line of Seleucid kings. Besides, the prophecy calls for 10 kingdoms to exist contemporaneously, not successively.
b. Antiochus belonged to the 3rd empire (Greece) in actual historical sequence from Daniel’s time.
c. He was not ‘diverse’ from any other king.
d. He did not ‘pluck up’ 3 other kings.
e. He was not ‘stouter’ than his fellows. His father was known as Antiochus the Great, not Epiphanes.
f. He did not prevail until the end of time, the judgment.
g. The kingdom following was Rome, not the kingdom of the saints.

Reasons why Antiochus cannot be the little horn of Daniel 8.
a. Antiochus was not a horn in his own right. He was of the Seleucid line therefore was a part of one of the four.
b. He did not wax exceeding great. In fact his father was greater, but neither was as great as even Babylon or Media Persia, certainly no greater than Alexander. Yet the prophecy demands that the little horn be greater than any empire before it.
c. He does not fit the time periods. According to Maccabees 1:54,59, and 4:52 Antiochus suppressed the sacrifices exactly 3 years. This fits neither the 1260 days , (times time and half a time,) nor the 2300 days (evenings and mornings of Daniel 8:14). These figures do not compliment one another NOR do they meet the reign of Antiochus.
d. The 2300 days is prophetic. Using the day/year principle established elsewhere as being the standard and norm for interpreting prophetic time periods, it is a literal 2300 years.

Therefore,
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.

can only refer to the empire of Rome, and thus is the Daniel 8 parallel to not just the 4th beast of Daniel 7…
7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.

… but also the iron legs of the statue of Daniel 2. See how each prophecy repeats and enlarges upon the preceding prophecy?

The dragon beast represents the Roman empire (168 B. C. – 476 A. D.). This empire came to be known as the “iron monarchy of Rome” (Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 4, p. 161). The ten horns represent the ten kingdoms into which the Roman Empire was divided when it fell apart. These ten kingdoms, according to Edward
Gibbon, were: The Alemanni, the Franks, the Burgundians, the Vandals, the Suevi, the Visigoths, the Saxons, the Ostrogoths, the Lombards and the Heruli (see, M. H. Brown, The Sure Word of Prophecy, pp. 54, 55).
“The historian Machiavel, without the slightest reference to this prophecy, gives the following list of the nations which occupied the territory of the Western Empire at the time of the fall of Romulus Augustulus [476 A. D], the last emperor of Rome: The Lombards, the Franks, the Burgundians, the Ostrogoths, the Visigoths, the Vandals, the Heruli, the Sueves, the Huns, and
the Saxons: ten in all.” (H. Grattan Guinness, The Divine Program of the World’s History, p. 318).
Already in the fourth century, Jerome had spoken of the fragmentation of the Roman Empire in the following terms:
“Moreover the fourth kingdom, which plainly pertains to the Romans, is the iron which breaks in pieces and subdues all things. But its feet and toes are partly of iron and partly of clay, which at this time [note that Jerome was living when this was happening] is most plainly attested. For just as in its beginning nothing was stronger and more unyielding than the Roman Empire, so at the end of its affairs nothing is weaker.” (Jerome, Commentary on Daniel, comments on 2:40, column 504). In the days when Jerome lived, the Roman Empire was coming apart. The barbarian tribes from the north had descended upon the empire with a vengeance and broke it up into the nations which today constitute western Europe.

Daniel 7:7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.
8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.
 

Daniel 8:9 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 them.
11 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.
12 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.

Remember, that the little horn in Daniel 8:9 is different from the little horn of Daniel 7:8. The one in Daniel 8:9 represents the empire of pagan Rome. It is the parallel symbol of the dragon beast with the ten horns and iron teeth that rises from the sea. However, in Daniel 8:10 can be seen a change in the practice of the little horn from being one that “waxed exceeding great” on a horizontal plane to one that then “waxed great” on a vertical plane. Rome at first operated as a secular pagan entity. But here we see a change in her nature to a religious entity in that she began to attack the things of God and spiritual truths that pertain to heaven.
The little horn of Daniel 7:8, which grows out of the Roman empire
amongst the former ten horns and uproots 3 of them, is also an entity which has aspirations of a more heavenly nature.

Daniel 7:9 ¶ I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
11 I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.

We see here that the duration of this little horn does not end until the judgment. So it endures right up to the second coming, therefore is with us today. There are also much more written on this little horn. There is in fact more detail given concerning this horn than on any of the other beasts together. Thus it is abundantly clear that in His love and mercy God desires that we know who and what this entity is for it is clearly a threat to our spiritual welfare.

Daniel 7:15 ¶ I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.
16 I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.
17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.
18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.
19 Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet;
20 And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.
21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;
22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.

Again we see that this horn endures until the second coming, but we also see more detail of it’s character and practice. Daniel was greatly concerned and approached the accompanying angel to inquire regarding the vision, particularly the little horn. Here is the angel’s reply.

23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.

So here is a summary of the characteristics that pertain specifically to the little horn. 

1. The little horn arises from the fourth beast (7:8). The fourth beast represents Rome, so the little horn must be a Roman power.

2. The little horn arises among the ten horns. The ten horns are the divisions of western Europe, so the little horn must arise in western Europe (7:8). Notice that these first two characteristics restrict the geographical location of the little horn to western Europe.

3.The little horn rises after the ten horns (7:24). According to historians, the ten horns were complete in the year 476 A. D., so this must mean that the little horn was to arise to power sometime after 476 A. D.

4. The little horn was to pluck up three of the first [ten] horns by the roots (7:8). This means that these three nations would be uprooted from history. Daniel 7:20-21 explains that three of the first horns would fall before the little horn, and Daniel 7:24 tells us that the little horn would subdue three horns. In other words, three of the first ten nations would disappear from history!!

5. The little horn was to speak great words against the Most High (7:21, 25). Revelation 13:5 explains what these words would be, namely, blasphemy. And, What is blasphemy according to the Bible? It is when a merely human power claims to be God on earth and when it thinks it can exercise the prerogatives and functions of God (see, John 10:30-33; Mark 2:7).

6. The little horn was to be a persecuting power. This is stated in Daniel 7:21 and repeated in verse 25.

7. The little horn would think it could change God’s “times”, that is to say, God’s timetable of prophetic events. (Daniel 2:21). We shall see that the little horn invented a false system of prophetic interpretation to rival historicism.

8. The little horn would even have the audacity to THINK that it could change God’s holy law. (7:25).

9. The little horn would be different than the ten horns. It would be an amalgamation of church and state (7:24)

10. This power would govern for a time, times and half a time (7:25). This comes out to 42 months or 1260 days (see, Revelation 13:5-6; 12:6, 13-15). In Bible prophecy, literal days are symbolic of years, so this power was to govern for 1260 years .

11. The little horn had eyes like a man. In Bible Prophecy, eyes are a symbol of wisdom (see, Ephesians 1:18; Revelation 5:6). Even today, an owl is a symbol of wisdom because of its large eyes. In other words, this power was to depend on human wisdom.

I have dealt with some of the above characteristics in more detail under the appropriate title on the home page of this site.

It is commonly and correctly asserted that the “man of sin” and “son of perdition” spoken of in the NT are names given for this same entity. We are admonished by Paul regarding this entity:

2 Thess. 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4  Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

In order to deceive the very elect and stand in Gods Temple ,he needs to rise out of the / a Church.

What is the temple in the NT? There are actually 3.
1. God’s own sanctuary or temple in heaven.
2. The church corporate.
3. The individual Christian

The little horn cannot obviously get to heaven to stand there. Nor can he invade our own bodies. But he can invade the church. And if he is to deceive believers in the church, he must appear stealthily, acting as one of us. Professing truth, dressed in sheep’s clothing but inwardly a ravening wolf.
2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.
Here we see what was originally a true Christian. In the Greek the ‘falling away’ has connotations of divorce, apostasy. There is no falling away unless at first there was a right relationship. Therefore he doesn’t actually come from without the church, but from within. John also hints at this when he says :

1 John 2:18 ¶ Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

The only other time the ‘son of perdition’ is mentioned in scripture is in reference to Judas. Judas was one of the elect. He was one of the closest select disciples who was with Jesus every day. One of the inner circle, even the treasurer. So also is the antichrist. He is presumed to be Christian. One of the closest to the Lord. In looks, in profession, in outward appearance everything suggests that he is above reproach. Let us not be deceived into believing that he is an outright outspoken sword wielding gun-toting bigoted irreligious enemy of Christ. Then where would be the deception?
Nor should we presume that the little horn represents just one man. The other horns represented kingdoms and lines of successive kings. So also does this little horn. Prophecy if anything is consistent.

The word ‘antichrist’ does not mean openly against Christ as in open warfare. The Greek word ‘anti’ means in many instances ‘in place of’ or ‘instead of’. So the apostate church establishes itself, or its leader, as a replacement of Christ in the minds and hearts of its followers.

2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
Isa 14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High
Re 13:1,4. And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy…. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

Satan can no longer ascend to the heights he lusted for in heaven in person as he has no further access to heaven, yet he can still, through a frontman or proxy, receive the worship and honor he feels he deserves and craves. Antichrist is his masterpiece. Because it is all about worship. Revelation 13 repeats the word worship and deceive many times. A form of worship whereby Christians are deceived and are worshipping Satan instead of Christ, through the apostate church, the ‘antichrist’, who is set up ‘in place of Christ’.
“Lord, Lord, didn’t we do many wonderful works in your name? Depart from me, ye workers of iniquity, I never knew you.”

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21 thoughts on “Daniel; Part One.

  1. Brendan, dear brother in Christ, this is a lengthy – yet interesting – article. First of many I hope. Coming, as you are, from a historical point of view, you appear to have overlooked the claim made by the Rome (that is still with us) that is suffered persecution under the authorities of the pagan Roman Empire (kingdom of iron). There seems to be no sound distinction made between the pagan and the Christian Roman Empires. One would assume that you have overlooked the Constantinian Christian empire. Or it may be that this lacuna suits the purposes of your thesis.

    Jason Michael

    • Hi Jason. The next article will deal with the Constantine connection. As to your suggestion that Daniel’s prophecy applies only to pre-Christian Rome one must remember my very first premise, that the image of Daniel 2 forms the framework for every subsequent prophecy, which magnify and provide more detail. That image revealed just 4 world empires, the last enduring right up to the second coming of Jesus, who destroys every vestige and remnant of those empires. Revelation 13 reveals to us the composite beast which rises from the sea; that beast is Satan’s masterpiece of deception and is a counterfeit form of God’s church (as I showed in the article “Antichrist revealed”); the Antichrist, which is finally destroyed in the Lake of Fire.

      • Brendan, my brother in Christ, there are a number of things which we two may have to come to terms with vis-a-vis our theological reasoning. There are certain things which we believe which the other doesn’t and won’t. This must be respected. One of these is the method of biblical reading; according to rationalism I cannot accept that biblical authors had access to any knowledge of the future. You don’t buy this and I will respect this. This among other differences. Thus we may have to establish a reasonable ‘common ground’ from where to begin dialogue.

      • Hello my friend, I had to laugh at your latest post…many a time I have come home from spending 12 hours in the cold windy rain (yes, despite the travel brochures we do have winters in NZ) and asked myself, “Why didn’t I get a better education and lived my life at ease at a desk?” Then God answers, “My son, I did not sanctify my servant Moses in the office of the Egyptian exchequer, Moses tended sheep for 40 years in the wilderness; nor did I sanctify my servant David in the public relations department of Saul’s court, he tended sheep (and killed lions and bears in his spare-time) in the wilderness; I did not sanctify my servant Israel in the luxury and splendour of Goshen, Israel wandered 40 years in the wilderness of Sinai: My son, those cows you milk, those calves you feed, that weather you endure, is making you a better man. Deal with it.” To which I humbly reply, “yes but…ummm…what about ummm…I could do,no maybe not…what about…well perhaps if…oh, okay. I’ll go milk the cows.” God then says, ” For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” (Heb.10:36) I have been tending cows now for 10 years, it may have taken Moses and David 40 odd years to get their lives in order before embarking on their ministry, but that’s them. That’s not me. I take heart that it took Jesus just 40 days in the wilderness. I figure if God really tries hard he might finish with me a little sooner than others and I just might get that desk job in the nice air conditioned office somewhere……
        Seriously though, this farm is beautiful. On a clear day, and we get lots of those, I can see from the top of a nearby hill 150 miles in every direction. Gorgeous. I really wouldn’t swap it for any other job right now.

        I agree with you wholly that the biblical authors had no personal innate knowledge of the future, however, as Daniel himself said, Daniel 2:28 But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;

        Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

        Revelation 22:6 And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.

        God is pleased to reveal the future to His servants the prophets, by dream and vision, and they in turn have revealed them to us. The symbolism can be understood when using the Bible itself as its own expositor. It is prophecy fulfilled that gives us confidence in the word as belonging to God, and this really is the base for our trust in its authority. It is prophecy that distinguishes the Bible from every other religious writing. The Koran, the writings of Hinduism and Buddha and Confucius, the book of Mormon and any other ancient sacred writings are bereft of prophecy for only God can say…
        Isaiah 46:9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
        10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

  2. Trust me, Brendan, on the academic life: you are not missing much. Meagre pay, no respect and migraine headaches. From my usual spot in the biblical studies library at Trinity College I can see, on a clear day (rare in Ireland), clean across the cricket field to the Pavilion (the “Pav”) Pub. It makes me wish that I had more expendable income and non-theological friends. C’est la vie. On a personal note, I would be greatly vexed if our religious differences were to cause any personal disquiet between you and I. The feeling I get is that you are an interesting chap, and one I wouldn’t mind having coffee or a pint with. So often in such discussion there is a poison and bitterness – the guy in the other site kept deleting those posts of mine which “offended” him, and discussion became quite impossible. At length he agreed to delete all of my posts. You have my word that you shall find no such hostility from me in this regard.

    On the subject of sacred scripture I can see only that proof of the power of scripture comes only from the scripture. This is always a circular argument. Per se, there is nothing wrong with a circular argument; so long as all players are in agreement on the rule. As you and I differ on this authority, we are forced to appeal to reason and some other authority as to why one must accept the authority of scripture. This other authority need not be Tradition, that would be a mean trick to get you to play by my rules. In discussion I believe in fair play. So we may have to look to non biblical justification for the justification of the sole authority of scripture – one in which we can both agree. As if I wished you to accept Tradition, I would need to appeal to an authority outwith Tradition which you were happy to accept. This is our problem in dialogue.

    On reading sacred scripture I treat is as an historical record of revelation, not as the Revelation itself; which I hold to be Christ alone. As an historical document, the task of the academic biblicist or theologian is to put the text through rigorous historical critical evaluations. The fruit of this is not ‘the reduction’ of scripture, but a richer understanding of the people and the faith that produced it.

    • Quote:On reading sacred scripture I treat is as an historical record of revelation, not as the Revelation itself; which I hold to be Christ alone.
      This is an interesting concept, and one which I had to ponder for a while. Let me ask you a question. Your present knowledge of Christ; came it by a second-hand revelation that others received, or came it by a revelation to you from Him, through the medium of His word? (See Luke 24:13-32)

      Quote: As an historical document, the task of the academic biblicist or theologian is to put the text through rigorous historical critical evaluations.The fruit of this is not ‘the reduction’ of scripture, but a richer understanding of the people and the faith that produced it.

      Do these ‘critical evaluations’ give a richer understanding of the central figure of the scriptures, Jesus Christ?

      I would be delighted to have a drink with you one day, alas, it will be neither coffee or beer for me, those days are gone and a more healthy diet today would require a fruit juice or smoothie. However,in all my 58 years I have yet to venture further offshore than the next biggest wave to surf in again, so I don’t hold a huge amount of hope that I will be relaxing in a Dublin cafe chatting with you any day soon, as enjoyable an idea it may sound.

      • Well now, don’t be getting the impression that I am a drunkard or a coffee fiend. Not at all. Everything in moderation. New Zealand isn’t so far away. Come to think of it, it is as far away from Dublin than methinks that I can travel. Anyway, we may yet get a chance to enjoy a smoothie – and talk about football or rugby (something less theological).

        My knowledge of Christ came in many ways. First from Bible lessons from my Presbyterian school masters. Here it would be wrong to say that I came to ‘knew Christ.’ If anything the school taught me to seriously dislike religion and Jesus. Jesus was brought to me as a human being, and my Lord, by my first priest; before I became a Christian. He lived a Christian life which attracted me to the holiness and gentleness of the priest, and then into a personal relationship with Christ. This is tradition (handing on) in action. After this came the reading of the Gospel and a life in the Church.

        When I understand “Revelation,” I understand it in accord with the Apostle, saint Paul, when he writes in Ephesians, “With all wisdom and insight, he made known to us (revealed) the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ (Ephesians 1:8-9).” Thus God revealed to us the mystery of his will ‘in Christ.’ So from the earliest years of the Church it was the man Christ Jesus who was the Revelation of God. Scripture then is ‘a revelation,’ albeit of a derivative nature; as the writing down of what the eyewitnesses has experience in the Revelation. So the Evangelist, saint Luke, writes, “I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account, for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know ‘the Truth’ concerning the things about which you have ‘been instructed.’ Here we can see that the ‘instruction’ of Theophilus was another example of tradition in action. So it is my conclusion that scripture is a revelation, but only because it is a ‘record of the Revelation.’

        On your second question regarding whether I gain a richer understanding of the central figure of the scriptures, Jesus Christ; it would have to be confessed that it really does. Maybe it would be best to give some explanation of biblical criticism. ‘Criticism’ in this sense does not mean that one is ‘critical’ of the scriptures. Far from it. It praises the text as the work of a human hand and mind, and subjects it to the same exploration as one would give other human texts such as Joyce, Keats, or even New Zealand’s most famous author, Katherine Mansfield. By exploring what we can know of the world in which the author lived, their language, culture, myths, children’s stories, religious beliefs, politics etc. etc., we can come to see more fully the ‘hidden text’ that is ‘between the lines’ of the ‘surface text.’ An example of this would be that if I were to write about ‘socialism,’ coming from Scotland, I would mean the Labour party, strikes, workers rights, and civil liberties etc. Yet if this were to be read by a 60 year old man in a former Communist country such as Slovakia, my ‘socialism’ would mean to him, ‘the reader,’ Leninism, Marxism, Stalinism, a totalitarian regime, forced labour, control of the workers, dictatorship etc. So he couldn’t possibly ‘understand’ me. To understand me, he would have to subject my work to literary criticism. By understanding my life and its wider history and culture etc., he would come to see that maybe he should read ‘democracy and social care,’ when he reads my ‘socialism.’

        As the biblical texts were written within another time and place than we are each in, there are things in the text which need to be teased out. It does not mean that the text is faulty. By no means. It simply recognises that we are shaped by different assumptions than the authors of sacred scripture.

        This said, I would say that yes, this does bring me into a closer relationship of with Jesus. My experience of Jesus is rich because I have the Jesus of my faith and prayer and tradition, the Jesus of the Gospels and the Jesus contextualized within historical literature. So I have a multi-dimensional conceptualisation of my saviour. I can understand the emotional appeal he was making when we wrote on the sand (for example); one has to understand the Rabbis of first century Palestine to have an inkling of what he was doing here. So I come to see him, more fully, as a witty, serious and human man, whom I could love and laugh and cry with; and ultimately worship as my Lord.

        I hope this is a good explanation for you, convoluted as it reads now.
        Post scriptum. You now have to start answer my questions. Quid pro quo.

        Your friend, Jason Michael

      • Hello my friend and brother, thank-you for your explanation. I have no issue with most of what you have told me, that kind of textual examination is something we do as a church/fellowship every time we open the Word. It is truly important to appreciate the culture and times of the events one reads about; the timelessness of the principles and lessons however that the characters and events unfold reveal a timeless God who changes not. Our difference of course as you have rightly pointed out lies in the ‘divinely inspired/human originated’ debate; the implications of course being by what ultimate authority one yields to in his faith.
        You asked about slavery in the OT. I must admit, that that is a question I have never considered, and you have certainly started me to thinking. I had a look at some of the references to slavery and/or slaves and discovered a couple of things
        1. All slaves, whether Hebrew or Gentile, were to be treated the same as a hired labourer.
        2 The Hebrew slaves were freed after 6 years, with assets and provisions to set them up for their immediate futures.
        3.Permanently injured slaves had to be set free, even for such things as a broken tooth. This would greatly discourage abuse.
        4. They were to rest every Sabbath just as one of the family.
        5. A Hebrew slave was one usually by choice, having sold himself into slavery as a result of extreme poverty. A provision was made for lifetime servitude, but that was at the slave’s own choosing.
        6. Gentiles captured as a result of war were treated more as serfs than slaves, were also to be treated the same as a Hebrew slave or common labourer. And they were also voluntary. Even so such a one had rights and could expect to be treated in such a fashion that was for superior to what a Hebrew could expect from an Assyrian captor or other Gentile master of those times. Slaves to Hebrew masters could own property, they earned money with which they could buy their freedom, and even take part in business disassociated from their relationship with their masters.

        Therefore, from my understanding slavery in those times within the Hebrew paradigm were more of an indentured service or contractual arrangement. Similar to a doctor voluntarily committing himself to a certain amount of time to the hospital he was trained in in order to pay back his tuition fees.

        We cannot judge the slavery of those times with what we are more familiar with in the 18th or 19th centuries. Most slavery of the OT was voluntary, and even when a child was sold into slavery to alleviate poverty, this was of benefit to the child and brought economic security and personal protection. Thus slavery was more an economic transaction than a human rights issue. Considering the number, complexity and strictness of the laws governing slavery, it would appear to me that God was giving more rights to the slaves, and their personal rights were far more important, than the ‘property’ rights of the owners.

        As to the authority of scripture. You suggested So we may have to look to non biblical justification for the justification of the sole authority of scripture; the only non biblical source that I can think of outside of the Bible itself and outside of church or tradition, is history, in particular that history which has been revealed to us through prophecy first, and which having been written by some in blood across the intervening centuries, today bears conclusive proof to the veracity of the authorship and inspiration of the scriptures.

        I have got to go and milk the cows now, but will return later.
        God bless, Brendan.

  3. The S.D.A interpretation of the `little horn’ power of Dan. ch. 8 has always been a little thin, quite understandably because of an aversion to considering that Antiochus Epihanes IV can have anything to do with this aspect of prophecy at all, primarily because Antiochus is identified by both Futurists & Historicists, as the `little horn’, which thus serves to divert the prophetic eyes of the Protestants from the Papacy. Both schools of prophetic interpretation were founded shortly after the Council of Trent, according to it’s tenets. However, one aspect of the nefarious actions of Antiochus, which has been consistently ignored by Adventists by reason of their Trinitarianism, is applying the deeds of Antiochus spiritually to the `little horn’ power of Daniel 7, as we often see type and antitype depicted in the Scripture in a spiritual and prophetic sense.

    The `great horn’ (verse 21) has come to be understood almost universally as Alexander the Great – when he died his dominion was broken up into four smaller kingdoms and in the `latter days’ of those kingdoms, the `king of fierce countenance’ who `stood up’ is believed by most expositers of this prophecy to be Antiochus Epiphanes lV. Sir Isaac Newton quite rightly says of this:

    `This last horn is by some taken for Antiochus Epiphanes, but not very judiciously. A horn of a Beast is never taken for a single person: it always signifies a new kingdom, and the kingdom of Antiochus was an old one. Antiochus reigned over one of the four horns, and the little horn was a fifth under its proper kings. This horn was at first a little one, and waxed exceeding great, but so did not Antiochus. It is described great above all the former horns, and so was not Antiochus. His kingdom on the contrary was weak, and tributary to the Romans’ and he did not enlarge it. The horn was a King of fierce countenance, and destroyed wonderfully, and prospered and practised; that is, he prospered in his practises against the holy people: but Antiochus was frighted out of Egypt by a mere message of the Romans, and afterwards routed and baffled by the Jews. The horn was mighty by another’s power, Antiochus acted by his own. The horn stood up against the Prince of the Host of heaven, the Prince of Princes; and this is the character not of Antiochus but of Antichrist. The horn cast down the Sanctuary to the ground, and so did not Antiochus; he left it standing. The Sanctuary and Host were trampled under foot 2300 days; and in Daniel’s Prophecies days are put for years: but the profanation of the Temple in the reign of Antiochus did not last for so many natural days. These were to last till the time of the end, till the last end of the indignation against the Jews; and this indignation is not yet at an end. They were to last till the Sanctuary which had been cast down should be cleansed, and the Sanctuary is not yet cleansed.’ (`Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel’, Sir Isaac Newton, Chapter 9, pp. 123, 124.)

    While Sir Isaac quite correctly notes that the kingdom of Antiochus was weak, for he was `frighted out of Egypt from a mere message from the Romans’; there are other aspects of this prophecy which were not fulfilled by him. For instance – when the prophecy states that `by peace [he] shall destroy many’, the policy which he followed was to persecute, murder and enslave. It is from Antiochus the saying `a line drawn in the sand’ is derived. Upon his second attack on Egypt in 168 B.C, the Roman Senator Gaius Laenas drew a circle around him and instructed him that if he stepped outside of the circle before giving the answer which the Senate required; which was withdrawal from Egypt – then Rome would declare war on him. He wisely confirmed that he would withdraw from Egypt!

    There was nothing peaceful about Antiochus Epiphanes; in fact, he was known among his contemparies as `Epimames’, which is a play on words that means `madman’! Nevertheless, there is no other kingdom which this prophecy can possibly apply to, as quite clearly this `little horn’ power is a kingdom which arose in the `latter days’ of Alexanders’ original empire. This leaves us with a dilemma.

    How can the prophecy possibly apply to him, yet also not apply to him?

    The prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation fit together like a hand in a glove. Sometimes the same prophecy is given more than once, but in a different setting, and with differing symbology; although some symbols might be the same. This is because the prophecies given always relate to the spiritual condition of those who profess to be adopted into the family of God, and are called His sons and daughters. But as we live in a world of many nations, then often these prophecies are applied to the powers that they speak of as a two-fold application; they will not only have a political application, but a spiritual application as well – as many world powers have historically been a composite of both. This prophecy is no exception, for we find that this prophecy is first found in Daniel Chapter 7, but uses mainly different symbology:

    `After this I saw in the night visions, and beheld a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things. . . . . Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spoke very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. (Daniel 7: 7-8, 19-26)

    In Biblical prophecy, a `beast’ power is represented as an empire, or conglomerate of nations – the prophecy states that `the fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom on earth.’ This `fourth beast’ is almost universally recognized as the fourth world empire – which was of course the Roman Empire – and the prophecy states that out of the Roman Empire grew the `little horn’ power of Daniel Chapter 7. As the prophecy also states that `the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise’, a `horn’ power is represented as a kingdom. But as it is described as a `little horn’ instead of a `great horn’, it is a small kingdom which nevertheless posesses an extraordinary amount of power in relation to its size. This `little horn’ power found in Daniel Chapter 7 has identical attributes to the `little horn’ power found in Daniel Chapter 8, and is in fact the same power – but seen in a different light. Where it is seen in Daniel Chapter 7 as coming up among the nations of Europe, it is as a political entity, for the nations of Europe were formed when the Roman Empire broke up, whereas in Daniel Chapter 8 its power is described as standing up against the `Prince of princess’, who is Christ:

    `For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.’ (Isaiah 9:6)

    In Daniel Chapter 8 we apply this `little horn’ power in a spiritual sense, instead of a political sense, as it opposes Christ spiritually. Indeed, as the prophetic `key’ for religion is called `peace’; then when Daniel Chapter 8: 17 states that `he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many’, we find that it is by the philosophies which this religious power has imbibed that this power `shall destroy many’! All pagan religions began at Babylon, where the nations of the earth were spritually confused when Nimrod first rebelled against the Lord and built the Tower of Babel – Babylon means `confusion’. From there, these pagan philosophies spread throughout the world and were further refined under the Platonism of the Greeks. Antiochus was determined to restore Alexanders’ kingdom to its former glory and followed in the practices which Alexander introduced; which was the syncretism of the religious beliefs of the nations around him into a state religion dedicated to the Supreme god Zeus; but as the Jews were already engaged in a civil war between the traditional Jews in the country, and the Hellenized Jews in Jerusalem – when Antiochus tried to dedicate Solomons Temple to Zeus, the Jews refused this and he declared war on them. He then sacrificed a pig in the temple to Zeus; which the Jews regard as an abomination, slaughtered 40,000 of their number and carried as many away into slavery. He also outlawed all Jewish religious practices; the punishment for offenders was death.

    So in a spiritual sense, we find that the `little horn’ power of Daniel Chapter 8 embodies the syncretism of the pagan practises of the nations surrounding it into it’s own religious practices and further refines these beliefs by subjecting them to Platonic philosophy. This prophecy also determines that its character is revealed to have attributes identical to Antiochus and it will persecute, enslave and murder, in the name of her god, just as Antiochus did. She is referred to in the Bible in a spiritual sense as `the abomination that makes desolate’ the ministration of Christ as our Saviour, in the heavenly Sanctuary, which was made `without hands’. (Daniel 12: 11, Hebrews 9: 11,12,)

    So if we are to look at the `ten kindgoms’ which arose out of the break-up of the fourth beast, and the `little horn’ that arose among them and subdued three nations – which were the Ostrogoths, the Heruli & the Vandals; plus we take into account that this little horn power embodies in a spiritual manner the persecuting power of Antiochus, plus the philosophies which he confessed, their can only be one answer.

    • Hi, interesting comment. I think you will find that Adventists would agree with you on the most part, although your comment at the beginning that our understanding of the little horn of Daniel 8 being a little thin may grate with some lol.
      That the two little horns of Daniel 7 and 8 are the same power we accept wholeheartedly, although the horn of Daniel 8 began its life as a political entity (verse 8:9 describes its actions as being on a horizontal level “which waxed exceeding great toward the south, the east, and toward the pleasant land”) and then changed its focus and nature into a mixed secular and spiritual entity in verses 10 through to 12 (and it waxed great even to the host of heaven etc…) while retaining much of the pagan roots, characteristics which can be clearly seen in Cathjolicism today, which put together describe the Roman pagan empire and its change into the “holy ” Roman empire in the 6th century ad. It is the same horn because the papacy as described in verses 10 to 12 although having a spiritual aspect to it remained very much a political entity, the popes even to this day claiming temporal and spiritual power.

      The following is taken from {http://web.me.com/martinsimpson1/Directory/Directory.html}
      which gives a very comprehensive commentary on Daniel and Revelation.

      v 10 And it (f, Rome papal) waxed great, even to the host of heaven [God’s people]; and it (f) cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them.

      Killed many of God’s people. See v 24.

      11 Yea, he (m) [Rome pagan] magnified himself even to the prince of the host,

      The prince of the host is the “Prince of princes” (cf. Dan 8:25), a term similar to the “Lord of lords” (Ps 136:3) and the “King of kings” (Rev 19:16).

      Josh 5:14, margin shows the Prince of the host is the Lord.

      Pagan Rome crucified Christ (Acts 4:26-27; Ps 2:1)],
      …and by him (m)

      The margin reads, “from him”, i.e. from Pagan Rome]

      …the daily

      Heb. ha tamid – “the continual.” The phrase requires a subject but nothing is given in the Hebrew text. For this reason virtually all translations add a subject even though no subject is given in the Hebrew text.

      …sacrifice

      “Then I saw in relation to the “daily” (Dan. 8:12) that the word “sacrifice” was supplied by man’s wisdom, and does not belong to the text, and that the Lord gave the correct view of it to those who gave the judgment hour cry…” EW 74-75. The KJV shows this by placing it in italics]

      …was taken away

      Heb. ruwm – “taken up,” “lifted up.” The little horn “TOOK UP” the daily. In every other instance where Daniel used this word “ruwm” it clearly meant, “lifted up,” “exalt,” & “held up” (e.g. Dan 11:12, 36; 12:7). Just as the Priests took away (Heb. ‘ruwm’) the fat (Lev 4:8, 10, 19) from the sacrifice, (the fat represented the sin) so the little horn would TAKE UP the “continual.”

      TAKEN UP AND TAKEN AWAY

      Dan 11:31 & 12:11 also speak of the taking away of the daily but those text use the Hebrew word “suwr” which does mean “taken away.” Why Dan 8:11 speaks of the daily being taken up while Dan 11:31; Dan 12:11 speak of it being taken away will become clear.

      THE DAILY – A WITHHOLDER

      The daily was “taken away” in order to set up the Papal power:

      “And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall TAKE AWAY the daily, and they shall PLACE the abomination that maketh desolate.” Dan 11:31

      “And from the time [that] the daily shall be TAKEN AWAY, TO SET UP the abomination that maketh desolate.” Dan 12:11 margin.

      The daily apparently withheld the establishment of the abomination of desolation – the persecuting Papal system.

      THE “WITHHOLDER” TAKEN AWAY

      The Papal spirit was developing in Paul’s day but was withheld from being fully revealed by the dominance of Pagan Rome. Speaking to the Thessalonians Paul said “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth [old English – “withholds”] [will let – “withhold”], until he be TAKEN OUT OF THE WAY. And THEN SHALL THAT WICKED BE REVEALED, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:” 2Thess 2:7-8).

      What was it that withheld the establishment of the Papal Rome? The power of Pagan Rome. Therefore the daily was the self exalting power of Pagan Rome which armies fighting for the Papal Rome TOOK AWAY (Dan 11:31; 12:11). Papal Rome then TOOK UP (Dan 8:11) the very same self exalting spirit of antichrist and the “daily” continues on today.

      “Here we have a point on which Paul affirms the existence of knowledge in the Christian Church. The early church knew, he says, what the hinderance was. The early Church tells us what it did know upon the subject, and no one in these days can be in a position to contradict its testimony as to what Paul had by word of mouth only, told the Thessalonians. It is a point on which ancient tradition alone can have authority. Modern speculation is positively impertinent on such a subject.” H. Grattan Guinness, Romanism and the Reformation, p. 105 (1887).

      “Only there is one that restrainth now, until he be taken out of the way, that is when the Roman Empire is taken out of the way, then he (antichrist) shall come.” John Chrysostom, Homily omn 2 Thessalonians 2, Number 4. Bishop of Constantinople (390).

      “…He who now hinders must hinder until he be taken out of the way. What obstacle is there but the Roman State; The falling away of which, by being scattered into ten kingdoms, shall introduce antichrist…” Tertullian, “On the Resurrection,” Chap. 24-25. Christian Apologists in North Africa (200AD)

      “We have the consrenting testimony of the early fathers, from Irenaeus, the disciple of St. John, down to Chrysostom and Jerome, to the effect that it was understood to be the imperial power ruling and residing in Rome.” Edward B. Elliot, Commentary on the Apocalypse, Vol. 3, p. 92 (1862).

      “While the Caesars held imperial power, it was impossible for the predicted antichrist to arise…On the fall of the Caesars he would arise.” H. Grattan Guinness, ROmanism and the Reformation, p. 105 (1887).

      “Paul did not identify the restraining power which they knew to be Rome, for fear of reprisals. Remember the Christian Church was under persecution by Rome.” Dr. Ron THompson, Champions of Christianity in Search of the Truth, p. 47 (1996).

      The Great Controversy p49-50:
      “Little by little, at first in stealth and silence, and then more openly as it increased in strength and gained control of the minds of men, “the mystery of iniquity” carried forward its deceptive and blasphemous work. Almost imperceptibly the customs of heathenism found their way into the Christian church [taken up?]. The spirit of compromise and conformity was restrained for a time by the fierce persecutions which the church endured under paganism. But as persecution ceased, and Christianity entered the courts and palaces of kings, she laid aside the humble simplicity of Christ and His apostles for the pomp and pride of pagan priests and rulers; and in place of the requirements of God, she substituted human theories and traditions. The nominal conversion of Constantine, in the early part of the fourth century, caused great rejoicing; and the world, cloaked with a form of righteousness, walked into the church. Now the work of corruption rapidly progressed. Paganism, while appearing to be vanquished, became the conqueror. Her spirit controlled the church. Her doctrines, ceremonies, and superstitions were INCORPORATED [taken up?] into the faith and worship of the professed followers of Christ.” [bracketed comments supplied].

      As Papal Rome TOOK UP the self exalting spirit of antichrist “it CAST DOWN the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered.” (Dan 8:12)], and the place of his sanctuary was cast down [Dan 8:11 “Yea, he (Pagan Rome) magnified [himself] even to the prince of the host (crucified Christ), and by him (“from him,” from Pagan Rome) the daily (the self exalting spirit of antichrist) was taken away (was taken up by Papal Rome), and the place of his sanctuary (the place of Pagan Rome’s sanctuary, i.e. the city of Rome) was cast down (given up when Constantine moved the capital from Rome to Costantinople in AD330).”

      The word “place” is from the Heb. ‘makown.’ In the seventeen OT instances makown is translated as “place (14)”, “habitation (2)” and “foundations (1).

      Solomon said of the earthly sanctuary “I have built an exalted house for You and a place (makown) for You to dwell forever.” 2 Chron 6:2. Again in Exo 15:17 it speaks of “…the place (makon) You have made O Lord for Your dwelling, the sanctuary, O Lord, Your hands have prepared.” Makown is equated again with dwelling and sanctuary] (m) [Pagan Rome’s] [ROME ABANDONED

      The city of Rome, the place or habitation of pagan Rome’s sanctuary, was cast away when Emperor Constantine “abandoned Rome” (Croley, p207-208) and shifted the capital to Constantinople in 330 AD. Without a strong ruler in Rome the Papacy slowly rose to prominence.

      HIS SANCTUARY

      Perhaps Rome’s most famous temple or sanctuary would be the Pantheon. The name signifies “the temple or asylum of all the gods.” The idols of the nations conquered by the Romans were sacredly deposited in some niche or apartment of this temple, and in many cases became objects of worship by the Romans themselves. This temple of paganism would be well described as “his sanctuary.”

      The “place” or “location” of this sanctuary,the city of Rome, was abandoned and taken up by the Papacy.

      CAST DOWN

      In Dan 7:9 THRONES were “cast down” for those who were to sit in judgment on the papacy (and all professed believers)..

      In Dan 8:11 A SEAT was “cast down” for the Papacy which was to sit in judgment on the saints.

      The Dragon (Pagan Rome) had given the Beast his power, SEAT (place from which he ruled, i.e. Rome) and great authority (Rev.13:2).

      This “sanctuary” in Dan 8:11 is from the Hebrew miqdash which can refer to a pagan sanctuary. According to Strong’s Hebrew & Chaldee Dictionary it means “A consecrated thing or place …whether of Jehovah or of idols.” e.g. Moab’s sanctuary (Isa 16:12) Tyre’s sanctuary (Eze 28:18).

      This sanctuary (miqdash), whose place was cast down, is NOT the sanctuary (Heb. quodesh) which is to be cleansed in Dan 8:13-14. Quodesh ALWAYS refers to God’s true sanctuary. By using different words in such close proximity, Daniel clearly wanted us to understand that the sanctuary of Dan 8:11 was not the sanctuary of Dan 8:13-14.

      As the sanctuary of Dan 8:13-14 is Christ’s sanctuary, evidently the sanctuary of Dan 8:11 belongs to another. As the little horn (Rome) and Christ are the only possible owners, it must be Rome’s

      “Cast down,” Heb. shalak. AV – cast 77, cast out 15, cast away 11, cast down 11, cast forth 4, cast off 2, adventured 1, hurl 1, misc 3; 125” Strong’s Concordance].

      12 And an host [THE HOST

      Dan 8:12 “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.”

      Dan 11:31 “And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily [sacrifice], and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.”

      The word “arms” in Dan 11:31 is from the Hebrew “zeroah.” Daniel used this word in Dan 11:15, 22 where he clearly meant military armies.

      Armies took away the “daily.” i.e. Armies TOOK AWAY the self exalting spirit of antichrist in its Pagan & Arian forms. These armies helped to establish the papal power which actually TOOK UP the self exalting spirit of antichrist.

      In Dan 7:10 an HOST of angels, the armies of heaven, attend the judgment scene as the papacy is judged (along with all professed believers).

      In Dan 8:12 an HOST attend the Papacy as it sits in judgment on the saints] was given him against the daily sacrifice [The host was given AGAINST the Pagan and Arian FORMS of the daily] by reason of transgression [UNITING CHURCH & STATE

      Through the transgression of uniting the church with the state powers, the Papacy came into being. The church having received state power became the persecuting abomination of desolation, an abomination that could desolate. The church was to rely on Christ for support, power, and influence. When she turned to the state for these she became an harlot. cf. Rev 17:2.

      Papal Rome received support from emperors Zeno & Justinian and king Clovis of the Franks. These “forces” overthrew the self-exalting activity of the Pagan and Arian forces to establish the papal supremacy.
      A REPETITION OF THE PAST. THE CHURCH WILL ONCE AGAIN UNITE WITH STATE AND ALL OPPOSITION WILL BE TAKEN AWAY

      The transgression of investing the church with state power resulted in the papal supremacy. So it will be again. To establish the second papal supremacy, the healing of the deadly wound, the ‘Protestant’ U.S.A. and the 10 horns will “give their power and strength to the beast.” (Rev 17:13; Rev 13:15-17). The church will be invested with state power and all opposition to papal rule will be overthrown. Even now the collapse of communism and the crushing of Moslem power has begun.

      An army was given to Papal Rome against the continual self-exalting behaviour manifested by pagan forces. The battle matured during the period of AD 496 to 508. In this time Clovis, the king of the Franks, became the first of the ten horns of Dan 7, to become Catholic and is called the “Eldest Son of the Church.” He used the sword to expand the power of the Papacy. This culminated in AD 508 with the subjection of the Arborici, the Roman garrisons in the West, Brittany, the Bergundians, and Visigoths. The Arian Visigoths represented the epitome of self-exalting behaviour against God in the view of the Roman church.

      The “host” was an army, led by Clovis, which united with the church (Papal Rome). This “host” represented a counterfeit army in contrast to the genuine host of heaven mentioned in verses 10 & 13, the saints of the Most High], and it (f) [Papal Rome as a religio-political power] cast down the truth to the ground [THE TRUTH CAST DOWN

      The Papacy obscured, perverted & opposed the truth esp. Christ’s ministry in the heavenly sanctuary. It did this by instituting in its place a counterfeit earthly system. Papalism has counterfeit: Priests, Law, Gospel, Baptism, Sanctuary, & Doctrines.

      In Dan 7 where God presides as judge the truth was EXALTED as the standard in the judgment. Here in Dan 8 where the Papacy presides as judge the truth was CAST DOWN

    • Did I say that `Antiochus is identified by both Futurists & Historicists, as the `little horn’? Oops! Sorry about my poor editing. That was meant to be Futurists & *Preterists*!

      On the subject of Preterism, I don’t wish to offend the brother, however – Preterism implies that as it is generally conceded that the disciple John, the `beloved disciple of Christ’ wrote the Book of Revelation in 94/95 A.D, then the Full Preterist mode of interpretation is generally regarded as little more than a commentary on the Book of Daniel. After all, if all prophecy ceased with the destruction of Solomon’s Temple in 70 A.D; which is shortly after the Roman Emperor Nero committed suicide in 68 A.D, and Vespasian thereafter succeeded him, then according to this mode of prophetic interpretaton, all prophecy had already been fulfilled 25 years ealier when John wrote the Revelation. This of course begs the question, if this is indeed true, then why couch the Book of Revelation in symbolic language which is at times difficult to understand? Why not instead write it as a literal commentary on the prophecies of the Book of Daniel revealed, for the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation fit like a hand in a glove. Another criticism of Full Preterism, is that it completey ignores nearly two millenia of church history, and effecitively implies that God abandoned his Church when these prophecies supposedly expired. It is for these reasons that Preterism holds little, if any currency as a viable mode of prophetic interpretation today. However, as Preterism teaches that the millenium began with the triumph of the Christian (Roman) Church over Pagan Rome; then the implications of what this school of thought allows when followed through to its logical conclusions is quite disturbing, as the following commentator concludes:

      `If the implications of this teaching are followed through, it permits Rome’s pope as the “Vicar of Christ” during the present millenium; all people need to submit to him.’ (`Death of the Church Victorious’, O. Need, 1996, p. 44, fn. 9.)

      Logically, as Preterism infers that it was the Church Triumphant that defeated the Antichrist in the form of the Pagan Roman Empire, then advocates of this mode of prophetic interpretation tend to be inclined to to Ecumenicalism; which by definition means that there should be a single Christian Church which encompasses all others. Preterism implies that this one Church is by definition the Roman Catholic Church, for `Catholic’ means universal, and we see this assumption of Papal Supremacy reflected in the following Catholic interpretation of Revelation 12:1:

      `Before we exhibit to our readers the history . . . . of the prophecies relating to the empire of Antichrist, it is necessary that we consider, for a few moments, the history of the Catholic Church, that is of the kingdom and empire of Christ . . . . If we turn to the twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse, we find the following words – “And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.”
      Now, what is meant by that symbol? In its first and limited application, I should refer it to the blessed Virgin Mary, the all-pure Mother of God, for she might well be compared to a woman “clothed with the sun” . . . . in the strictest sense of the term, Mary, as the Mother of Christ, is also the mother of all those who are born again in Christ, and were all committed to her maternal keeping by Christ upon the cross in the person of John, the beloved disciple. And when, in the fifth verse, the Prophet tells us, that “She brought forth a man-child, who was to rule all the nations with an iron rod, and her Son was taken up to God and His throne:” it is evident that Christ our Lord, the only Son of Mary, is most distinctly referred to; but in a more extended and general sense, that there can be no doubt that the Catholic Church of Christ is “the woman clothed with the sun,” and so all interpreters, both ancient and modern, have with one accord interpreted this symbol . . . . Her being “clothed with the sun” denoted her infallible authority, and her unerring truth, for how can there be any darkness of error in the teaching of her who is “clothed in the sun?” ‘ (`Mahometanism in its Relation to Prophecy’, Ambrose Phillips, 1855, pp. 102 – 104.)

      The Catholic Church accordingly teaches that the Church Triumphant defeated the antichrist in the person of Nero, and in the system of pagan Rome. For this reason, Ovid Need remarked in the quotation seen above that when followed through to its logical conclusions, if one is a Preterist, one *should* submit to Rome as the Vicar of Christ. But as I stated previously, Preterism & Futurism were set up shortly after the Council of Trent by the Jesuits who presided at Trent, so that objectives of Trent might be eventually realized, and the Protestants would eventually return to Rome. The manner in which Preterism is formulated, demonstrates that it was designed to not only divert the eyes of wayward Protestants from Rome, but in fact return them to her.

  4. Hi `Brakelite’,

    I think we are basically very much in agreement – far be it from me to even *hint* that the `abomination that makes desolate’ the ministration of Christ in the Heavenly Sanctuary, is the setting up of priests and prelates that provide another mediator between God and man, and is the spirit of antichrist. This of course also `desolates’ the Sabbath, and replaces it with the pagan Sun day – just as Antiochus slaughtered a pig, dedicated it to Zeus, and forbade by law the worship of the Jews on the Sabbath; which of course mirrors what Adventists believe will be a secular law which engages the temporal power of the Church by assuming that the Church has the power to legislate in the matters of conscience and thus enforce the `mark of the beast’ in the forced observance of the false sanctity of a Sunday Law.

    I wished to make the point that there is far more to Daniel 8: 23 – 26 that Adventists generally give the text credit for – as it is a spiritual analogy of the `little horn’ power of Daniel 7 – i.e. – while Daniel 7 identifies the papacy as the `little horn’ power, Daniel ch. 8. gives us an overview of how this persecuting power will persecute in the spirit of Antiochus, and what its philosophies are based upon. Antiochus may be described as a *type* of Antichrist, which finds its fulfillment in Rome. My comment that the Trinitarianism of Adventists generally blinds them to this is entirely valid – the syncretization of Hellenism into the surrounding nations saw Greek Platonic philosophy gain an entrance into the early Church in the second to fourth centuries via the Alexandrian Catechetical School via Pantaenus, Clement of Alexandria & Origen, his pupil. The neo-Platonism of Clement & Origen, who are credited as early Church Fathers, influenced Athanasius & Arius, as both men sought to quarantine Christ from what Platonism deems to be the corruption of the soul by this material plane of existence, and eventually Athanasius’ spiritualistic view on the human `nature’ of Christ became the orhodox view of the early Church in the form of the Nicene and Athanasian (Chalcedonian) Creeds. Athanasius has been described by some as taking the `world-soul’ view; which in more modern times would declare that he is (or rather, was) a follower of the New Age Christ. The following quote should demonstrate why:

    `Consistently, therefore, the Word of God took a body and has made use of a human instrument, in order to quicken the body also, and as He is known in creation by His works so to work in man as well, and to shew Himself everywhere, leaving nothing void of HIs own divinity and knowledge of Him. For I resume and I repeat what I said before, the Saviour did this in order that, as He fills all things by His presence, so also might He fill all things with the knowledge of Him . . . . For He was made man that we might be made God.’ (Athanasius, `On the Incarnation’, 1.45, 54)

    Obviously, Athanasius never completely rescinded the pantheism of the Platonism which he originally imbibed, and the Nicene Creed is an ontological formula which states his understanding of this, and is particularly weak in its conception of the Holy Spirit, for as the Holy Spirit is designated as a Third Person who is co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial with the Father and Son, then therefore the Holy Spirit is due the same worship and `adoration’ which the Father and Son are. In Penacostalism (which would be the religion which Athanasius would embrace today if he were alive) the one mediator between man and God, Jesus Christ, is confused with another mediator, which is seen as the Holy Spirit. Is this not antichrist? What was that which Ellen White said about Christ vacating the Holy Place and entering the Most Holy Place in 1844, and Satan setting up residence in the Holy Place and bewitching the Churches with spiritualism?

    Arius’ Aristotellian position on Christ having his divinity conferred upon him in advance, and was therefore `strong god’ but not `full god’ of course became subjugated to the Athanasian position, but does see a resurgence in some Churches, such as the Jehovah’s witnesses, where this position results in the `example theory’ of the atonement, and the resulting legalism that ensures.

    Thus we find that the Platonic philosophies which Antiochus promulgated, and attempted to force the Jews to worship in the `God’ of Zeus, found their way directly into the Roman Church, with the doctrine of the divine origin (excuse the pun!) of the soul being assumed as an `a priori’ doctrine by the time that Nicea was convened, thus making it easier to accept the philosophical conception of Athanasius’ conception of the ontological relationship of the Godhead, which thus found further expression in the Athanasian Creed, which states that Christ must take upon Himself the pre-lapsarian `nature’ of Adam, thus quarantining Himself from the Augustinian conception of `original sin’.

    Thus Daniel 8: 23 – 25 depicts in a spiritual sense the character of antichrist which is found in the nefarious deeds of Antiochus in a literal sense. My original point was that the Trinitarianism of Adventists blinds them to seeing this, for how can one believe this when one’s foundation is built upon the very doctrines which led to the `abomination that makes desolate’ in the first place? According to the dictates of systematic theology, the next logical steps which the Roman Church took after the formation of the Nicene and Chalcedonian Creeds, were the formulation of the doctrine of original sin, and the assumption of Mary as the Mediatrix of heaven; which in pentacostalism is achieved in some quarters through the adoration of the Holy Spirit. If Adventists are to ever consign the doctrine of the *condiditonal* immortality of the soul, to the dustbin of history, then they are well and truly in trouble, as if one believes in the divine origin of the soul, as is common with most Churches which deem themselves `Protestant’, then the doctine of the Investigative Judgment becomes stale and profitless, and is discarded as illogical.

  5. G’day mate, thanks for your comments, they are very insightful and provide a good clear picture of where we are at in current history.
    The New Age Christ you speak of is everywhere. From Oprah Winfrey to self styled gnostics on open forums. Modern mysticism does indeed bear a number of similar characteristics to JWs , not the least of which is the assertion that Jesus rose as a spirit rather than a physical being.
    Prophecy is meaningless apart from some obscure allegorical stories and Biblical history becomes mythological, the writers of the OT ignorant savages with little or no idea of the real Jehovah God (they see Jehovah God as a vengeful tyrant with no love) therefore the love of Christ becomes our example. Everybody is saved because Christ’s love is unconditional and judgment is non-existent. As you say, the investigative judgment? What for???

    • Gidday. How’s life across the ditch? As you can see, I do not consider Trinitarianism as orthodox theology, as taught by Scripture. My *primary* study is the character of God, as I firmly believe that the last message to be given to this dying world is a revelation of the character of God, seen in light of Rev. 14: 6-12; and most specifically upon the pronouncement – `Here are they that keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus.’ Galatians 5: 6 informs us that true faith `works’ by love. And what is that love? It is the unconditional love which Christ has for us, which was demonstrated to us on the cross. For in our `natural’ state, that is, our `natural’ minds which have been corrupted by the fall, we are by nature selfish. This is the mind which Lucifer appropriated when he first turned from away from God, and then to self – and is the same mind which Adam appropriated from Lucifer, when he sinned and turned away from God. And by reason of inheritance that we are the sons of Adam, then it is impossible for us to attain to anything higher than the mind of Adam the first who sinned when he was tempted by Lucifer – which necessitates that of our selves, it is impossible for us to conceive of any form of love that is not motivated by self. For in turning away from God, Lucifer loved himself more than he loved the Father. Thus it is impossible of ourselves to conceive of the love which the Father and Son have for us, for every desire and thought which we have of our own nature is corrupted by self. But Christ is self-less – and we could never have understood this self-less love unless it was first demonstrated to us at Calvary. Christ rightly teaches us that `no greater love hath a man than this, than to lay down his life for his friends.’ Nominal Protestant Churches believe that this teaches that the greatest form of love there is, is that a man lay down his life for his friends. But this is an erroneous assumption. In this passage, Christ comments on our *human* conception of love, for in having received this corrupted mind from Adam as a result of inheritance, all of our ideas of love are self-seeking and are in fact disguised selfishness. This idea that only the *good* are worth saving, forms the basis of all pagan belief, and became refined under Greek Platonic Philosophy, to the point that it is clearly demonstrated in the Greek legend of King Admetus, and his young Queen, Alcestis. Perhaps I should lodge a post on this. The apostle Paul was patently aware of the Greek idea of love, which was called `eros’, and makes an oblique reference to the legend of Admetus & Alcestus in Romans 5: 6-11:

      `For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
      For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet possibly for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.’

      Note that Paul says that Christ died for the ungodly – that is, all men, for all men are ungodly. (Of course, this does not mean that all men will be saved, for as justification is a free gift, it must be received in order to benefit from it!) This was in sharp contrast to the Greek philosophers, who believed that if a *good* man were consigned by the Delphine Oracle to die, then if another were to die in his place, then he would live, because he is a great man and the world needs him so much. But Christ did not come to save the good, for `there is none good, not one’, but came to save the ungodly; thus demonstrating that the self-love of the Greeks was in fact disguised selfishness and exposes this as the same mind, or attitude which Lucifer grasped at, for he believed he was equal with the Son, when he first turned away from God. Thus we find that the first false doctrine which originated at Babylon and thus displays this mind of selfishness, was the doctrine of the divine origin of the soul, for it teaches that because the soul is of divine origin, and originated with the One in All, then one’s sole duty in this life is to acheive union with the One, by doing good works so that the soul might be purified and released by the chains of the mortal, and wicked body which weigh it down. And as all the pagan teachings which then emanated from this core belief demonstrate in doctrinal form the endless struggle of the soul trying to achieve union with the one, then all doctrines in the Christian Church which have this doctrine as their foundation, reflect in a diluted form, this `eros’ of the Greeks – as it was Augustine who first attempted to syncretise `agape’ with `eros’, and ended up with `caritas’, or charity. Pope Benedicts First Encyclical Letter emphasises that `eros’, or self-seeking love, transcends `agape’, or self-less love, as this is the character upon which the character of the Catholic Church is based, and eventually led to persecution, the Inquisition, and the setting up of the `abomination of desolation’, where the Pope is depicted as the vice-god on earth. Although the early Church had long accepted the doctrine of the *natural* immortality of the soul, due to the Platonism of Origen and Clement of Alexandria influencing people such as Tatian and Jerome, it was in Augustine that this doctrine coalesced:

      `Plato gave a strong focus on the inherent immortality of the soul. At first this was resisted by many Christians as incompatible with the gospel message, and the concept of the “conditional immortality” of the sould was preferred: namely, that God would elevate the human being into immortal life (and not merely the soul but the body too,) if (and only if) the creature was obedient to the covenant. Only after the third century did the presuppostion of the soul’s immortality became more commonly accepted in the Christian world. The dominant figures of Augustine and Origen were very influential for this development.’ `The SCM Press A-Z of Patristic Theology’,2005, J. McGuckin, p. 317.)

      Thus we find that Daniel 8: 23 – 25 reflects the philosophies upon which this system was built, and the underlying character of self-love, upon which epitomises it. For although Christians who refuse the advances of Ecumenicalism rightly point out that the pagan symbology of the Catholic Church which belie her her origins in Babylon, there are few who rightly define her character, as most believe doctrines which are based upon the `eros’ of Plato, as the two edifices of Christian theolgy which form its very foundation – the doctrine of the natural immortaltiy of the soul and the Nicene Creed – were appropriated from Plato’s conception of the One, and have assimilated (albeit in a diluted form), Platonic conceptions of `eros’. For the Bible speaks of two minds, and two minds only – the mind of Christ and the mind of Lucifer, the Devil – and the doctrines which we believe reflect one or the other. When one begins to study Systematic Theology in this light, then the question which is naturally asked is – `Does *this* doctrine adquately portray the `agape’ of God, and thus conveys His self-less character, or has it been corrupted by the `eros’ of the Greeks, and conveys the selfish mind of Lucifer?’ It is only when we begin to find ourselves asking these questions, then we are able to truly discern truth from error. For the Creeds of Christendom have been corrupted by the `eros’ of the Greeks, and thus obscure the true character of God.

  6. Hi. Yep, life here is good; it’ll be better when the shaking stops.
    Please excuse me for not wanting to discuss trinitarianism. I grew up a Roman Catholic, received Christ as my Saviour in my early twenties, and spent the next 10 years or so in various pentecostal churches. The questions I had regards Catholicism were for the most part cleared up by a more sound Biblical foundation within the Protestant paradigm, but certainly raised more questions re the role and character of the Holy Spirit. I am at present very aware of the many now within our ranks who have discarded the trinity doctrine, some among them personal friends. I appreciate that for many it is a very important issue, but as far as I am concerned, the absolute truth concerning the full nature of God can never be fully understood this side of eternity…the reality or not of the trinity is something I am quite content to leave till then. I do not see how one can either gain or lose either way so long as one recognises that Jesus must always be considered sole Mediator.
    On the matter of agape love, I found your comments interesting. You might find my article here (https://brakelite.wordpress.com/2010/11/06/godly-patience/ ) somewhat goes along with your perspective on the true nature of the love of God.
    Looking forward to your own site when it is up and running.

    • It is good that you perceive the difference between the love which we `naturally’ have; which is that a man will lay down his life for his friends, and the `agape’ of God, which is that Christ died for us, while we were yet still enemies to Him. However, this cannot be fully understood by Christians who believe in the natural immortality of the soul, for this not only necessitates belief in a limited conception of the atonement – indeed, an *incomplete* atonement, which, in doctrinal form finds expression in the `flesh’ which Christ manifested in His human incarnation – which is the `flesh’ which Athanasius believed that Christ assumed in his Gnostic conception of the gospels (remember, he believed that Christ was made man, so that we might be made God); but must be seen in light of what Christ died to save. For it is clearly manifest that whatever is not assumed, cannot be saved. Thus, Christians who believe in this doctrine, which is the basis of all error (in the garden of Eden the first great lied spoken by the Serpent was `Hath the Lord said thou shalt die if thou eat from the tree? Thou shalt not surely die’), cannot comprehend the import of the `second death’, for it is the second death which Christ saves us from. *This* is the death which Christ suffered and experienced on our behalf when He was `hung on a tree’, for our sakes, for `Christ has been made a curse for us, for cursed is anyone who is hung on a tree.’ That `curse’ necessitates that you have commmitted the unpardonable sin and have been cut off from the face of God forever. The heavens are as brass and He will not hear your prayers, for anyone who was `hung on a tree’, outside the camp, *as Christ was* – was consigned to this fate. We see this stupendous love which we would never have comprehended *unless* it was first demonstrated to us on the cross, depicted as an object lesson with Moses and the children of Israel dancing around the Golden Calf, while Moses was on top of the mountain receiving the Ten Commandments and communing with God. When the Lord was going to wipe them out and begin again with Moses, what did Moses say? Sure, Lord – wipe `em out and start again with me, for they most surely deserve it! No. This is what he said:

      `And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if you will forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray you, out of your book which you have written.’ (Exodus 32: 32)

      This is the only place in the KJV where you will find this dash –; it indicates that Moses was so choked with emotion he could barely speak. But when he *could* find his voice, he said to the Lord, `Lord, blot my name out of your book of Life, so that my people might live.’ In this, he was a type of Christ, for he was willing to forgo eternal life so that his people might live, and thus demonstrated to us the love which the Father and Son have for us. But if one instead believes that Christ is delegated to a Divine Traffic Director, sending those who have been `good’ to heaven, and those who have been `bad’ to eternally suffering in the flames of hell, then how can these people comprehend the fact that Christ died *at least* the equivalent of the `second death’, so that we might not suffer that same fate ourselves? For the penalty of sin is death – the *second death*, and the Devil has sought to keep this from us, so that we might not know the love which the Father and Son have for us; for Christ was *made* a curse for us, so that we might not be cursed ourselves. This is the `agape’ of the Father and Son revealed, and the devil knows that when people begin to comprehend this, then his time is short. For the faith of Jesus is revealed in the unconditional love He has for us, when, as He felt the unity He shared with the Father from eternity begin to break up at Calvary, having laid aside His divinity and suffering as a man, He felt that the heavens were as brass and the Father would not hear His prayers. But by faith He clung to the Scripture which testified of Him, and died the equivalent of that which we are all condemned to die, and was raised again on the third day by the Father, for being sinless, the grave could not hold Him. In the last days, those who `keep’ the commandments of God *by* the faith of Jesus will share in the experience Christ had at Calvary, when all seems to have forsaken them, and they have only the Scripture and their own testimony to sustain them. For the `agape’ love of Christ will be imparted to them, and their only concern will not be for themselves, but instead that others might be saved. Like Moses, they would have their names blotted from the Book, so that others might live. Against a love such as this, there is no law – for it fulfills the law, as the law is fulfilled in Christ.

      I understand your concerns about the Trinitarian doctrine and the divisiveness and hurt that this has caused. But Christ did not come to bring peace, but a sword:

      `Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
      10:38 And he that takes not his cross, and follows after me, is not worthy of me.’ (Matthew 10: 34 – 38)

      Nobody likes divisiveness, or even worse, to be cast off by one’s brethren and perceived as a most dangerous heretic of the worst kind who must be silenced at all costs. But the nature of truth is that it causes divisiveness, for the devil will resist it to the uttermost, and those who are of the weakest minds will seek to control, so that they then become his tools and persecute the brethren.

      I understand your confusion about the `role and character of the Holy Spirit.’ Although I am constrained to say little about this, for fear of offending you – I will direct your attention to this passage:

      `Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.’ (Romans 8: 26)

      We both know that there is only one mediator between man and God; Christ Jesus of Bethlehem. But according to the text seen above, the *Spirit* makes intercession for us, which is to say that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us as a mediator between us and God, as the Pentacostals believe. So therefore we have two Gods mediating for us – Christ and the Holy Spirit. But as Christ ministers to us in the Heavenly Sanctuary, why then, does the Spirit intercede for us? This makes a mockery of the Sanctuary doctrine. The answer is actually very simple, for the Scripture reveals the identity of the Holy Spirit to us, and brings Christ much closer to us than we had previously thought. For the Devil has sought to keep Christ so far away from us, that we must go in search of Him to find Him – but He is `nigh, even at the door’. So the Jews go on pilgramage to find Him in Jerusalem, the Catholics go to Rome, the Muslims to Mecca, and Adventists to Cooranbong. (Local joke!) I will enter into a discussion with you on the identity of the Holy Spirit *only* if you want me to, otherswise I will remain silent on the matter.

      • Kymbo, I have no idea if you will ever read this, but I write this short note to inform you that 18 months ago, I received understanding of what you have been telling me in these posts…that the Godhead comprises solely of Father and Son, their shared spirit being the spirit OF Christ, and God. It is CHRIST in us, the hope of glory…not some creation of man.
        And indeed, the true agape love of the Father and Son can be only understood from the perspective of this literal Father/Son relationship, and not with the role-playing metaphorical father/son paradigm that the trinity encapsulates.
        My favorite verses in scripture are now 1 Cor. 8:6; John 17:3; and John 3:16.
        God bless bro…PS, I am now living in Melbourne, if you are ever in the area would be cool to meet. God bless.

      • Hi Brendan, I rarely use my yahoo account; & generally use my gmail account instead. Same handle, but instead addressed to gmail.com. I must say that after finding your email after trawling through a couple of months of emails, I was pleasantly surprised to see that you understand that the agape of Christ can only be understood in a true Father/Son relationship – that of the Father giving the Son to us for eternity, and that the only way we can overcome sin is through Christ living in us via the Holy Spirit of the Father and Son. When speaking of this in John 14:18, after speaking in parables, at which Christ informed the disciples that the Comforter (or advocate) to come was known by the disciples, for He dwelt with them, and knew them, Christ then plainly tells them ‘I will come to you’. He had to go away and begin His ministry as High Priest, and as He is limited by flesh and blood and cannot be with men everywhere, He sends His very own Spirit to us instead. So when we get the Spirit, we get Christ Himself and the fruits of the Spirit follow, if we subjugate our will to His. The devil knows that when Christians begin to realize this, then his time is short. I live in Adelaide, so I daresay that at some time we will most likely catch up. Did I ever write a Part 2 to this? Probably not. We should talk. Are you on Skype?

      • G’day mate. A friend of mine pointed something out I had never previously realized is that in the original Greek there is only one fruit of the spirit; love. Love is then described as being joy, peace, kindness etc. Makes a great deal of sense when one considers love being the fulfilling of the law.
        Anywayb yeahb Adelaide is not that far away…haven’t been there yet…are contemplating a trip to Perth at some stage (family there) but undecided how. Driving, though long, would be an interesting option. A visit to see you en route would be great. Oh, and I dont do skype. 🙂

  7. Linking Daniel ch. 8 & 9.

    If one is to scrutinize Daniel chapter 9, certain keywords lead one to believe that
    the Seventy `Weeks’ of Daniel is in fact an explanation of prophecies delineated in Daniel chapter 8, which the prophet confessed he could not understand. One of these key words is found in Daniel 9: 24, which reads:

    `Seventy weeks are determined upon your people and upon your holy city . . . . ‘

    Sir Isaac Newton was not only one of the greatest scientists of all time (the next time an apple falls on your head, think of Newton, for he discovered the law of gravity), but was also an avid Bible student, and wrote over 4 million words on the subject – much of which focussed upon his interpretation of prophecy. His rendition of the word `determined’ is cut out. As the `seventy weeks’ is a measurement of time, then this seventy weeks of years – or 490 years (which is in accordance with the day/year rule in determining prophetic time periods in Historocist eschatology) is cut out of a longer time period. But where? For it is not to be found in this prophecy! Or is it?

    In Daniel chapter 8, verse 11 to 16, we find language which directs us to the Hebraical Sanctuary service, which was found in the Old Testament.

    `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. 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. Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spoke, 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? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.’

    The Sanctuary, or Temple of Old consisted of two apartments, which were known respectively as the Holy and Most Holy Place. While the Most Holy Place was only ever entered one day each year on the Day of Atonement, which was when the sins of the people were expiated, the `daily’ ceremonial services ceased when King Nebuchadnezzar razed Jerusalem, destroyed Solomon’s Temple and carried the majority of people who dwelt in the Kingdom of Judah into captivity in 606 B.C, when Daniel was a child of about six or seven years of age. This was a consequence of the Kingdom of Judah following after her sister Kingdom of Israel in worshipping other Gods, and persistently defiling the Tabernacle of God with the worship of false Gods – although a multitude of prophets had been sent to both kingdoms warning them to return to Jehovah, or they would be cut off from the face of God. While the destruction of Jerusalem resulted in the people no longer having a temple to worship in, the Ark of the Covenant also disappeared – which thus indicated to the Jews that God had forsaken His Chosen People, for He no longer dwelt with them. Although a prophet himself, Daniel did not realize until the first regnal year of `Darius, the son of Ahaseurus’ (Dan. 9: 1) that the captivity of the Jews was about to end in that very same year, for prophecy is given in such a manner that it is not understood until the right time in which it should be understood, which is usually at the time in which it is being fulfilled!

    `In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; in the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.’ (Daniel 9: 2)

    `Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes’ was made co-regent with King Cyrus the Great of Persia in 539 B.C, for it was in this year that Cyrus defeated Nabonidus, the King of Babylon, and Belshazzar, his son, who had been made co-regent with Nabonidus, as the account on this clay tablet demonstrates:

    ` “In regards to the bright star which has appeared, I will undertake to interpret its meaning for the glory of my lord Nabonidus, Babylon’s king, and also for the crown prince, Belshazzar”

    What is interesting to note is that on this oath, the man swore by both Nabonidus and Belshazzar. While on oaths dating back to other times, generally only the king is mentioned. This seems to indicate that Belshazzar had a co-reigning authority that was second only to his father throughout all the Empire. This backs up the Bible completely:

    Belshazzar speaking to Daniel in chapter 5 verse 16 says: . . . “Now if you can read the writing and make known to me its interpretation, you will be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around your neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.” (Here Belshazzar indicates he was the second highest ruler in Babylon and not the first.)’ (`Bible Believers Archaeology: The Search for Truth’, J. Argubright, 2003, p. 71.)

    Daniel had been informed by the angel Gabriel nearly fifteen years beforehand, `in the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar’ (Daniel 8:1), that the `transgression of desolation’ would `tread the Sanctuary underfoot’ for a period of 2,300 years (Daniel 8: 13, 14); but as he `was astonished by the vision, but none understood it’ (Daniel 8: 27), he then undertook an extensive study of the prophecies concerning his people. The Biblical account of a nerveless hand writing on the wall is attributed to Belshazzar, who asked Daniel to interpret the words `Mene, Mene,Tekel, Upharsin’ (Daniel 5: 25), and promised to make him the third ruler of the kingdom if Daniel could interpret the words. This was his reply!

    `This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it. TEKEL; You are weighed in the balances, and are found lacking. PERES; Your kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.’ (Daniel 5: 26 – 28.)

    Although there has been much debate about the legitimacy of Belshazzar on account that the story of the `writing on the wall’ seems to be fanciful – for there was no record of him anywhere except of in the Bible, several items of archaelogical evidence which have been discovered since the 1850’s lend support to the Biblical account. Another source of controversy which has led scholars to doubt the veracity of the Book of Daniel is found in verse 11, where King Nebuchadnezzar is described as the Father of Belshazzar; which is of course impossible! Unfortunately, the passage is poorly translated, and a more accurate translation would be `grandfather’, in the sense that Nebuchadnezzar was the ancestor of Belshazzar.

    According to the Jewish historian Josephus, Belshazzar reigned for seventeen years. So also did Nabonidus, his father, who made him co-regent of the kingdom of the Medes and Persians, in much the same way that `Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes’ was later made co-regent with King Cyrus the Great of Persia. As Nabonidus was crowned king of the entire Babylonian empire in 556 B.C, then therefore `the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar’; which was the year in which Daniel was first given the prophecy of the 2,300 days, was most likely 554 B.C. This date agrees with Ptolemy’s Canon, which is a list of kings which was originally derived from the observation of solar and lunar eclipses in known years. Daniel possibly looked upon the crowning of Belshazzar as co-regent in anticipation, for he was already aware of a remarkable prophecy recorded which Isaiah, a prophet of his people recorded approximately two hundred years earlier, which personally named King Cyrus the Great as returning the Jews to Jerusalem, and laying the foundation for a new temple:

    `Thus says the LORD, . . . . that says of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, You shall be built; and to the temple, your foundation shall be laid. (Isaiah 44: 24, 28.)

    Six years prior to Daniel receiving his vision of the 2,300 days, in 559 B.C Cyrus assumed the throne of the kingdom of Ashan, which is now a part of southwestern Iran. Daniel would have viewed this event with interest, as he would have wondered if this was the man who would return his people to Jerusalem. As Cyrus enlarged his kingdom to the point where some believe that he was crowned King of Persia in 546 B.C, by this time Daniel would have been certain that this was the man which Scripture described as `my shepherd’, for Cyrus practiced an unprecedented policy of tolerance toward the nations which he conquered, to the point that he treated them generously and payed respect to the local deities. We now come to the year 539 B.C, and Daniel has exhausted his studies of the older prophecies of the Scriptures, and now begins a process of studying the prophecies of his contemporaries – one of them being Jeremiah. As he began to study the prophecies of Jeremiah, he realized that the captivity of the Jews would last seventy years from the beginning of the exile, which began when King Nebuchadnezzar began his first incursion into the kingdom of Judah in 606 B.C., for according to the prophecies of Jeremiah, Babylon was about to be destroyed (Jeremiah 25:12), and his people were about to be returned to Jerusalem:

    `Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon . . . . after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.’ (Jeremiah 29: 1, 10.)

    Jeremiah was born in c. 655 B.C, was called into the prophetic ministry in approximately 625 B.C, and was carried away by King Nebuchadnezzar’s armies in his third incursion into Jerusalem in 588/587 B.C, at which time the city of Jerusalem and the Temple of Solomon were razed to the ground, and Zedekiah, the last King of Judah was carried away in chains to Babylon, where he remained a prisoner until he died. As King Nebuchadnezzar treated Jeremiah kindly, he probably lived to be an old man. But as Daniel was reputedly carried away into captivity eighteen years before Jeremiah in 606 B.C when he was about six or seven years of age, then Daniel was probably a young man of about twenty five years of age and became a contemporary of Jeremiah when the older prophet was himself exiled at about fifty years of age. However, the two men probably never met, as Jeremiah was taken by Johanan, with the rest of the remnant of the population of the Kingdom of Judah to safety in Egypt, when in 586/587 B.C, Nebuchadnezzar made his first incursion into Judah:

    `But Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, took all the remnant of Judah, that were returned from all nations, where they had been driven, to dwell in the land of Judah; even men, and women, and children, and the king’s daughters, and every person that Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had left with Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Jeremiah the prophet, and Baruch the son of Neriah.’ (Jeremiah 43: 5 – 6. See also 2 Kings ch. 25.)

    By the time that Daniel began to study the prophecies of Jeremiah, Cyrus had enlarged his kingdom to the point that he was about to invade Babylon – and the prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah were informing Daniel that in this very year Cyrus would invade Babylon, and the captivity would end, for it had been exactly seventy years since Nebuchadnezzar had first invaded Jerusalem! But the vision of the 2,300 days still troubled him, for when this vision was first given to him, he did not understand it, so the charge was given to Gabriel to `make this man to understand the vision’ (Daniel 8: 16). Another vision which consisted of the symbols of a ram and a goat was given to him so that he might understand the vision of the 2,300 days, but we find at the close of the chapter he `none understood it’ (Daniel 8: 27). So by the time the captivity was about to end, and he was studying the vision given to Jeremiah, he would have been an old man approaching eighty years old, and although heartened by the fact that his people were finally about to be returned home from their long years in slavery and exile, Jerusalem was about to be rebuilt and the foundations of the temple were about to be laid, the vision which he had received many years before hand still appalled him, for although he understood none of it, the length of it indicated that the Shekinah Presence of the Lord would not again dwell with his people for another 2,300 years – for the Sanctuary would not be cleansed until that time, which would thus turn a rebuilt temple into an empty edifice, for the vision had informed him that `two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed’ (Daniel 8: 14). Consequently, at the beginning of Daniel chapter 9,we find that Daniel is completely distraught, and pleads with the Lord on behalf of his people to shine His face on the Sanctuary, so that his people might not remain desolate:

    `O LORD, according to all your righteousness, I plead to you, let your anger and your fury be turned away from your city Jerusalem, your holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and your people are become a reproach to all that are about us. Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of your servant, and his supplications, and cause your face to shine upon your sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake. O my God, incline your ear, and hear; open your eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by your name: for we do not present our supplications before you for our righteousnesses, but for your great mercies. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for your own sake, O my God: for your city and your people are called by your name.’ (Daniel 9: 16 – 19.)

    But even while he was praying, Gabriel took pity on him and answered him, telling him to `to understand the matter, and consider the vision’:

    `Yea, while I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give you skill and understanding. At the beginning of your supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to show you; for you are greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.’ (Daniel 9:21-23)

    This is undeniable proof that the vision of the Seventy `Weeks’ of Daniel explains the previous two visions which are found in Daniel chapter 8, which are of course
    the vision of the ram and the goat and the vision of the 2,300 days, for the Seventy `Weeks’ of Daniel is given to him so that he might understand the two previous visions – for in Daniel 9: 17 he is pleading with the Lord to shine His face on the Sanctuary which lies desolate, which brings to mind the original vision of the 2,300 days which he did not understand. Perhaps he had been hoping that the 2,300 years in which the Sanctuary would lay desolate might end with the seventy years of captivity; but if this is so, Gabriel corrects him, for in Daniel 9:24 Gabriel instructs Daniel that another seventy years are about to be determined upon his people; but this time, seventy weeks of years are to be cut out of the entire vision of 2,300 years, and this amount of time and no more is given to the Jews, in which they are to make Christ their Messiah. As Gabriel continues to explain the vision, in verse 27 he instructs Daniel of the `abomination which makes desolate’ the ministration of Jesus for His people in the Heavenly Sanctuary; for it is at this time, at the end of the vision, that the Sanctuary is to be finally cleansed. Daniel well understood that although it would be another two and a half millennia before the Sanctuary would be cleansed, he could be consoled by the thought that the prayers of His people would be answered, for the promised Messiah, `the desire of all nations shall come” (Haggai 2:7), for at the beginning of chapter 10, it is now 536 A.D, Cyrus had ruled Babylon and Medo-Persia for three years – and Daniel has finally come to understand the vision of the 2,300 days; for he now understood the preceding vision of the Seventy `Weeks’:

    `In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.’ (Daniel 10:1.)

    It should be noted that at the end of chapter 8, Daniel informs us that `I was astonished by the vision, but none understood it’ (Daniel 8: 27), and at the beginning of chapter 10, then informs us that `a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision’ (Daniel 10: 1). As the vision which he is speaking of must be the vision of the 2,300 days, which is found in Daniel chapter 8 verses 13 and 14, then that vision must be revealed in Daniel chapter 9, for we are told at the end of chapter 8 that he `none understood it’, then in verse 17 of chapter 9 he is pleading with the Lord to shine His face on the Sanctuary; which is a direct reference to Daniel 8: 13 & 14, and at the beginning of chapter 10 that he then `had understanding of the vision’, and `the time appointed was long’ – which is also a direct reference to Daniel 8: 13 – 14. Therefore the only possible conclusion must be that the vision of the 2,300 days is explained in the prophecy of the Seventy `Weeks’ of Daniel, and this component of the prophecy is specifically dealt with in the Historicist interpretation of prophecy in verses 26 and 27 of that chapter. As the prophecy of the Seventy `Weeks’ was `cut out’ of the much longer prophecy of 2,300 years, it necessitates that this longer period of prophetic time would end long after Christ had been crucified. Therefore the `Sanctuary’ which the angel Gabriel referred to must represent a heavenly Sanctuary, as the physical Sanctuary ceased to have any spiritual significance after Christ was crucified at Calvary:

    `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 heavens; a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.’ (Hebrews 8: 1.)

    Thus the 2,300 years (and by extension the prophecy of the Seventy `Weeks’ of Daniel, for this prophecy was `cut out’ of the preceding vision of the 2,300 years) has nothing to do whatsoever with the rebuilding of a literal temple in Jerusalem, as the prophecy signified that it would be 2,300 years and the Sanctuary would be cleansed – and the Cleansing of the Sanctuary is that which is in heaven, for the earthly sanctuary has ceased to exist – the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary instead mirrors the typical Day of Atonement in the Hebraical Sanctuary Service of old – for judgment is implied. Verse 26 and in particular verse 27 of the Seventy `Weeks’ of Daniel speak of the `abomination which makes desolate’, and explain the vision which is given in chapter 8; which speaks principally of a ram, of which we are informed represents the kingdom of Medo-Persia which succeeded Babylon, and a `rough goat’ which represented Greece during the time of Alexander the Great. When Alexander died, his kingdom was divided into four smaller `horns’, or kingdoms, out of which arose another, who `by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes’ (Daniel 8:25). This chapter depicts in a spiritual sense the attributes of the persecuting power which seeks to destroy the people of God who are faithful to Him at the end of time, while the prophecies found in chapter 7 identify this power, how it rose to power, and demonstrates how it has attempted to thwart God and His plan of salvation over the long expanse of history. Chapter 2 deals with these prophecies in a more generalised sense, and is then expanded upon in chapters 7, 8, 9, 11 and 12:

    `I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things . . . . I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.’ (Daniel 7: 8, 21, 22)

    This `little horn’ power of Daniel ch. 7 was uninaminously identified by the Reformers as the `man of sin’ of 2 Thessalonians 2: 3 – 4.

  8. Hi Brendan,

    It would be good to catch up sometime. After studying the Song of Solomon ch. 5 & 6 in relation to Rev. 3:19,20,21 I realized that the Lord was instructing me to return to Church and teach people what I know., in the spirit of Agape – not to be devisive or confrontational, but instead to encourage our people to press together in love and truth. So I found a Church that I actually feel comfortable in, and was rebaptized a couple of years ago, with my Pastor knowing full well that I do not subscribe to the Nicene Creed. (He seemed to think that he could convince me of the validity of the doctrine. But as he is a theologian, and all of the doctrines which I believe are Christ centred, I actually get on well with him, as I understand the terminology which he at times uses & he seems to understand what I mean when I deliniate the differences between Agape & Eros.) So the Lord has blessed on that point – I teach Bible in one of the Sabbath School classes, and occasionally take a sermon. And sing as well. I’m also going to Vanuatu at the end of this month with ADRA & will be away for two weeks.

    Oh – and by the way, the word for love in Rev. 3:19 is phileos instead of agape. If you would like to know my thoughts on why this is so, just let me know & I will send you an email on this.

    The Lord has impressed me not to bring to the forefront the errors of Trinitarian theology – although many others are doing this, there are few who have a right conception of the agape of the Father and Son, which (as you say) is the true fruit of the Spirit. As a result, divisiveness occurs when there is no need for this. There are some within the church who have a simple faith who simply cannot undrstand the complexities of the error which Trinitarian doctrine promulgates, and it would destroy their faith if this were pressed upon them. It is enough for them to know that on the cross, Christ experienced what the lost must suffer on our behalf, so that we might not have to suffer this ourselves, and when we get the Holy Spirit, we get Christ Himself and it is only by this means that we can overcome sin. (If they are smart enough, they will get the rest.) I am instead impressed to be as the apostle Paul was – to be all things to all men, without compromising my faith. I teach truth (as you and I understand it) to those who are ready to listen, and for those who aren’t, or are of a simple faith – focus upon Christ living in us by the Spirit instead. By this means I am able to do a modest work for the Lord.

    As you know, this quarter we are studying Galatians, and you probably won’t be surprised to find that
    Galatians is actually my favourite book in the Bible, so I am right at home in facilitating my Sabbath school class on this subject – so few Adventists actually seem to have a clear understanding of the covenants, as well Christ being made a curse for us, as cursed was anyone who was hung on a tree.

    I find it a real blessing that I am finally able to talk with you in this way 🙂

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