Summary: We see pictures and profiles of the anti-Christ in the kings Alexander the Great and Antochus IV Ephianes. Alexander the power and Antiochus the pure evil picture of anti-Christ. We can live in faith and not fear as we look to the rock Jesus.
Intro: Remember as we look at Daniel eight we have already established that Heaven rules. God is in control. Because God is in control we can trust Him and live pure and holy lives that honor Him. God has the answers to all our questions if we will look and ask. The book of Daniel answers many questions not so we can satisfy our curiosity but so we can strengthen our faith or trust on God. God gives us grace to face any pressure, person or problem. Many of the pressures and problems we face are designed by God to get us to look up to Him so that Jesus will be lifted up among men.
If God offered to show you the next 200 years of our nation’s history would you say yes? Think it over, you would see the end of your kids, grandkids and probably the end of this great nation.
During his 1960 presidential campaign, John F. Kennedy often closed his speeches with the story of Colonel Davenport, the Speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives.
One day in 1789, the sky of Hartford darkened ominously, and some of the representatives, glancing out the windows, feared the end was at hand. Quelling a clamor for immediate adjournment, Davenport rose and said, "The Day of Judgment is either approaching or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause for adjournment. If it is, I choose to be found doing my duty. Therefore, I wish that candles be brought."
Rather than fearing what is to come, we are to be faithful till Christ returns. Instead of fearing the dark, we're to be lights as we watch and wait. (Harry Heitz)
God sent Gabriel to Daniel to give Him the broad sweep of Gentile history as it applies to His people Israel. Daniel 2:5- Daniel 7 was written in Aramaic the language of the Babylonians. Beginning here in Daniel eight we have a shift from the Babylonian language back to Hebrew of the Israelites. God is getting ready to show how He will uniquely deal with His people and at the same time pave the way for the Messiah the savior of the world Jesus. As Daniel was receiving this vision from God with the interpretation through Gabriel Daniel 8:16 he was left drained and exhausted Daniel 8:27.
If we come to the Bible with an indifferent attitude or we ignore it all together in our day to day life we will not understand Daniels heavy involvement.
I’m not so sure we wouldn’t be sick if God gave us the next hundred years of the United States future. As we open up Daniel 8:1 – 2 we will discover something of great importance that appears to have no significance. Daniel speaks of a town Susa or Shushan that if Daniel was writing in the 2nd century before Jesus would not need to give details. In the 6th century BC it was important to tell about this city because it was not significant at the time. As unimportant as it was we find out from Nehemiah that it became the capital of the Medes and Persians and from Esther it was where King Xerxes palace was located.
I. Progression of the kings
A) The Ram by the Canal – (Daniel 8:3-4)
1) His character
Two horns one longer than the other represents the Media-Persian Empire. In history the Medes came together first as and were eventually overcome by Cyrus the Great as He defeated His grandfather the king of the Medes. The Larger horn represented Cyrus and the Persians absorbing the Median Empire.
2) His conquest
Daniels vision was clear Persia conquered historically Daniel 8:4 to the west, north and south. They expanded west to Macedonia, north past the Caspian Sea, & south through Egypt. As Cyrus the great lead his armies to battle it wasn’t with the traditional diadem or crown it was with the Rams head. The ram of 8 and the bear of Daniels prophecies show the power of this empire. It was under Cyrus the great that some of the Hebrew captives were allowed to go back to the Holy Land and rebuild the city of Jerusalem and the Temple. (Ezra, Nehemiah)
3) His collapse
The Media-Persian Empire collapsed after Alexander defeats Darius III at Issus represented here in Daniel 8:5-7
B) The he-goat (Daniel 8:5-8)
1) His identity
The Grecian empire followed the Medo-Persian. The first Greek colony was established by an oracle that sent a goat for a guide to build a city. The goat came to the region of Greece and in gratitude for the goat’s leading them in the right direction, they called the city Agae, meaning “The Goat city.” The name of the sea upon whose shores the city was built was called the Aegean Sea, or the “Goat Sea.”