In the 8th chapter of Daniel is an amazing prophecy. Some believe it was fulfilled in 1844. Others believe it was fulfilled by Antiochus Ephiphanes. Daniel could not understand it. Yet it stands revealed for us today!
THE TIME has come to reveal an amazing prophecy for the latter days! YOU need to understand it. This amazing prophecy has been woefully misunderstood. Most scholars and churches admit they do not understand it. Some claim it has already been fulfilled in 1844. They believe that in that year Christ entered into "the heavenly sanctuary" to "cleanse" it. But is this doctrine true? It's time we looked into the Bible to see what this prophecy really says.
A SEALED Prophecy
Open your Bibles to Daniel 8. Notice particularly verse 26. Daniel is commanded to "shut up the vision; for it shall be for many days." Those who assume this prophecy was fulfilled in 1844 deny that Daniel was commanded to "shut up the vision" — to seal it up from human understanding. Yet that is what the Scripture plainly says! Here is a vital prophecy for our time shut up from human understanding until these latter days — "for the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand" (Dan. 12:9-10). This prophecy was not for Daniel's day, but for our age. This prophecy was not meant to be understood till the time of the end. Today the wise shall understand. This is God's promise. These prophecies are to be known today! Now let us notice this amazing prophecy in Daniel 8.
Time-Setting of the Prophecy
Notice the setting of the prophecy. It is the third year of the reign of Belshazzar the king of Babylon. Daniel receives a vision while at Shushan in the Palace in the province of Elam (Dan. 8:1-2). Here is what he sees in the vision, "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. 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" (verses 3 and 4). Here is a mysterious "ram." What does this ram symbolize? Notice the explanation revealed in verse 20! "The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia"! This ram symbolized THE MEDO-PERSIAN EMPIRE. It destroyed the Kingdom of Babylon in 539 B.C. and ruled to 331 B.C. But this is only the beginning of the prophecy. Now notice verse 5: "And as I was considering, behold, a 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." Now notice the explanation of this mysterious symbol. "And the rough goat IS THE KING OF GRECIA: and the great horn that is between his eyes is THE FIRST KING" (verse 21). These symbols are revealed to Daniel so that we can understand the TIME SETTING of this end-time prophecy. The ram — the Medo-Persian Empire — existed on the world scene until 331 B.C. Then the Greco-Macedonian Empire came on the scene with its first great king, Alexander the Great (verses 6 and 7). The conquest of the Medo-Persian Empire by Alexander the Great occurred in 331 B.C. Now continue with verse 8. "... 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." Remember that the horn in the goat's head symbolized the "first king" of the Greco-Macedonian Empire. That was Alexander the Great. But this horn was suddenly "broken"! Alexander the Great died suddenly of a fever in Babylon little more than thirty years of age! Continuing with verse 22 of this amazing prophecy: "Now that being broken," — Alexander the Great being dead — "whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the kingdom, but not in his power." Consider the time setting of this prophecy. It commenced with the Medo-Persian Empire which lasted until 331 B.C. Then the Greco-Macedonian Empire came on the scene with its first king, Alexander the Great. In 323 B.C. Alexander died at the age of 33. Alexander's empire was divided into four major parts — verse 22. None of these parts was as strong as the whole kingdom had been under Alexander the Great. The time setting of this prophecy already brings us to the date 323 B.C.! The rest of the PROPHECY CANNOT BEGIN BEFORE this date! Yet those who claim it was fulfilled in 1844 must begin the prophecy over a century too early. Now notice what is to happen next on the world scene!
A Prophecy for the Latter Time!
Let us continue with verse 3: "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." Look at this prophecy again. Here a "little horn" appears coming out of one of the four divisions of Alexander's empire. THIS "LITTLE HORN" CANNOT HAVE ARISEN BEFORE THE DIVISION OF ALEXANDER'S EMPIRE, as some claim! Notice that again! "OUT OF ONE OF THEM CAME FORTH a little horn"! Whatever this mysterious horn symbolizes, whatever this little horn does on the world scene, must occur AFTER the death of Alexander the Great — after the division of his empire into four parts! We come now to the climax of this vision. Daniel was told: "For AT THE TIME OF THE END shall be the vision" (verse 17). The vision of "the little horn" is for the time of the end! Read verse 23, "AND IN THE LATTER TIME of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full." But WHO does the "little horn" symbolize? Notice the Bible explanation! "A king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty... and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace [the margin says "prosperity"] shall destroy many; HE SHALL ALSO STAND UP AGAINST THE PRINCE OF PRINCES; but he shall be broken without hand" (verses 23-25). There is the answer! Look at this prophecy again. Notice it is a prophecy for the latter days. The little horn symbolizes a king who shall arise "in the latter time of their kingdom" (verse 23). This man stands up AGAINST THE PRINCE OF PRINCES — that is Christ at His second coming! Here is a great Gentile world ruler who stands up against Christ and is supernaturally destroyed — "without hand" — not by human hand but by divine intervention in human affairs. The Bible interprets this "little horn" as A RULER WHO SHALL EXIST AT THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST! He comes on the scene when world transgression — world sin — has reached its climax (verse 23). This "little horn" is described again in Revelation 17:14. There we read that he makes war with the Lamb and the Lamb shall overcome him and his allies. This "little horn" does the same thing as the final "beast" of Revelation!
What the "Little Horn" Does
But to continue with this amazing prophecy for the latter days! "And it [the little horn] 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. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, AND BY HIM THE DAILY SACRIFICE WAS TAKEN AWAY, AND THE PLACE OF HIS SANCTUARY WAS CAST DOWN. And a host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression" — the margin reads: "the host was given over for the transgression against the daily sacrifice" — "and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practiced, and prospered" (Daniel 8:10-12). Many have tried to interpret these mysterious symbols out of their own human reasoning. They have tried to read into the Bible meanings that are not there. Let THE BIBLE interpret the Bible! Notice the explanation in verse 24: "And his power shall be mighty." That's the explanation of the first part of verse 10: "It waxed great." To continue: "But not by his own power." This king will not accomplish his great deeds by his own strength. Revelation 17:17 reveals why. Ten lesser kings GIVE THEIR MILITARY POWER AND STRENGTH "unto the Beast." This little horn "shall destroy wonderfully" — shall have marvelous, frightening military powers "and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people" (verse 24). Here is a persecuting power, a power which destroys God's people — the children of Israel — and persecutes the true church (Dan. 8:10,24). Verse 25 continues to explain verse 11, and so on. But what about the "daily sacrifice" that is taken away and what about the "sanctuary" that is cast down? What do these symbolize? What do they mean? Could this be true of "the heavenly sanctuary" — God's Throne?
The Surprise Answer
Before we can fully understand this prophecy we must read Daniel 8:13-14. "Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, 'How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?' And he said unto me, 'Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.'" This is the mysterious part of the vision which was shut up to Daniel — which was not to be revealed until the latter days! THIS IS A PROPHECY FOR THE LATTER DAYS! Some have tried to explain this prophecy before God's time came to reveal it! One particular denomination claims that this vision of "2300 days" commenced in 457 B.C. and ended in A.D. 1844. This denomination claims that the "2300 days" represent 2300 years in fulfillment. This denomination further insists that the "sanctuary" that was cast down is the Holy of Holies in heaven itself — God's very throne! They claim that the very throne of God was "cleansed" beginning in 1844. This denomination has assumed that the prophecy commenced fulfillment in 457 B.C. How did they arrive at this date? They certainly didn't get it from the Bible! Notice why! The Medo-Persian Empire ruled the world until 331 B.C. Then Alexander came on the scene. He died in 323 B.C., after which his empire was divided into four parts. Out of one of the four divisions of Alexander's Empire is to rise this little horn "IN THE LATTER DAYS!" It is the little horn which takes away the daily sacrifice and casts down the sanctuary! Whatever the little horn is to do for "2300 days" cannot have begun UNTIL AFTER THE DIVISION OF ALEXANDER'S EMPIRE INTO FOUR PARTS! But 457 B.C. is over a century too early! That date cannot be the commencement of the "2300 days"! But notice further. The little horn takes away the daily sacrifice! Was the daily sacrifice taken away from 457 B.C. until 1844? Did a king for 2300 years prevent the daily sacrifice from being offered? Did a king for 2300 years cast down the sanctuary of God? Of course not! THE JEWS WERE OFFERING THE DAILY SACRIFICE ALMOST CONTINUOUSLY FROM THE DAYS OF EZRA AND NEHEMIAH UNTIL THE JEWS WERE DRIVEN OUT OF JERUSALEM IN 70 A.D. The date 457 B.C. is the commencement of ANOTHER prophecy altogether — the "seventy weeks" prophecy in Daniel 9:25. The year 457 B.C. marks the commencement of Daniel's prophecy of "seventy weeks" which led to the first coming of Jesus Christ! THAT PROPHECY HAS NOTHING DIRECTLY TO DO WITH THE PROPHECY RECORDED HERE IN DANIEL 8! The prophecy of Dan. 9 is a detailed explanation of one aspect of Daniel's FIRST vision in chapter 7 (compare Dan. 9:21,23 and 7:16). The prophecy of Daniel 9 is not the explanation of the "2300 days." That prophecy was sealed from human understanding until this "time of the end." Daniel 8 proves that this prophecy of the "2300 days" could not have commenced in 457 B.C.! And therefore IT DID NOT END IN 1844!
NOT Heavenly Sanctuary!
This denomination claims, however, that the sanctuary was not on earth but in heaven! Of course! They could not claim it was the sanctuary on earth because during that time it was not cast down! The sanctuary on earth was not trodden underfoot — was not cast down — in the days of Christ and the Apostles as their theory requires! Granted that the earthly sanctuary was a type of the heavenly sanctuary, God's throne. But what king has ever cast down God's throne in heaven for 2300 years? Notice the last part of verse 13. The "sanctuary" is to be "trodden underfoot"! No kingdom, no power has ever trodden underfoot God's sanctuary for 2300 years! The Bible itself proves that this amazing prophecy was not fulfilled in 1844! The doctrines of the "Sanctuary Question" and of the "Investigative Judgment" spawned by Mrs. E. G. White are utter blasphemy against God's Throne. Anyone who believes that it was fulfilled then IS DELIBERATELY THROWING ASIDE THE TESTIMONY OF SCRIPTURE ITSELF. Some people would rather put the words of the self-styled "prophetess" in place of the very Word of God! It's time we opened our minds. It's time we straightened out our hearts before God and repented of following the snares of Satan the Devil! It's time we began to BELIEVE THE BIBLE for what it says!
A Common Misunderstanding
Notice Daniel 8:26: "And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true..." The vision of "2300 days" is actually called in the Scripture "THE VISION OF THE EVENING AND THE MORNING." Why? Turn in your Bibles to verse 14 of chapter 8. In most Bibles you will find a marginal note for the word "days." This note reveals that the original Hebrew of the word "days" is "evening morning." This prophecy is NOT referring to 24-hour days but to evenings and mornings — THE EVENING AND MORNING SACRIFICE! Notice in verse 11 that the little horn takes away the DAILY SACRIFICE. The daily sacrifice was offered in the evening and in the morning. See Lev. 6:9 and 12. Verse 14 is a MISTRANSLATION in the text of the King James Version, though it is correct in the margin. The Revised Standard Version more correctly reads, "for two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings." In other words, here is a prophecy that two thousand three hundred evening and morning sacrifices would cease to be offered. Since the daily sacrifice was offered TWICE A DAY, this prophecy is actually speaking of one thousand one hundred fifty (1150) days. In 1150 days there would be exactly two thousand three hundred sacrifices offered at evening and morning. At the end of this 1150-day period the sanctuary is to be "cleansed" or "justified." This prophecy is yet to be fulfilled! That's why it was shut up and sealed from human understanding until our time. It was not for God's people or the world until these latter days!
Another False Idea
Some have contended that this prophecy has already been fulfilled. This is NOT TRUE! Notice why: what happened to the daily sacrifice in the days of Antiochus Epiphanes (168-165 B.C.) was ONLY A TYPE of what is yet to occur! The wicked deeds of Antiochus Epiphanes are recorded in Daniel 11:31. He polluted the ancient sanctuary. He took away the daily sacrifice BUT NOT FOR EXACTLY 1150 DAYS. Daniel 11:31 is not referring to the same event described in Daniel 8. Notice especially in Daniel 11 that the latter days do not commence until verse 40. "And at the TIME OF THE END..." That's in this generation, almost two thousand years AFTER the days of Antiochus Epiphanes. But Daniel 8 shows that the little horn, which takes away the daily sacrifice and casts down the sanctuary, ARISES IN THE LATTER DAYS. It is to arise at the time of the end. The little horn is the LAST KING of one of the four divisions of Alexander's Empire. He is, in fact, the last king who rules over the "Kingdom of the North" — one of the four divisions of Alexander's Empire. The King of the North, described in Daniel 11, was originally Syria — NORTH of Palestine. BUT SYRIA WAS SWALLOWED UP BY ROME. The Roman system of government became the "Kingdom of the North." It has existed to our time in Europe. This amazing history is described in Daniel 11:36-41. In Daniel 11 the last King of the North is pictured as occupying "the glorious land" Palestine (verse 41). This is the same region that the little horn" of Daniel 8 is yet to control IN OUR DAY!
The Final Fulfillment
This amazing prophecy is about to be fulfilled in our day. A great crisis is yet to occur in Palestine. After nearly 19 centuries a part of the tribe of Judah the Jews — has come back to Palestine. In their war of independence in 1948 they gained possession of the new part of Jerusalem, but the Arabs still control old Jerusalem. Not only Jerusalem, but the whole land of Palestine is divided. It is an armed camp likely to ignite at any moment! In the near future we shall literally see the next great prophesied event for Palestine — "the daily sacrifice" and "the sanctuary" restored before our very eyes. Then will come World War III and the occupation of Palestine and Jerusalem. A great European Church-State union will be in control of Palestine and the whole Western World. It will prohibit the Truth. It will "cast down the truth to the ground." It will practice and prosper! It will persecute and martyr God's Holy people. It will be allowed to tread Jerusalem underfoot and to prohibit the daily sacrifice at the sanctuary for 1150 days. It will substitute its own abominable, idolatrous rites in place of the evening and morning sacrifice. Jesus referred to this same event in Matthew 24:15. "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, STAND IN THE HOLY PLACE, (whoso readeth, let him understand;) Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains... for then shall be great tribulation..." climaxing in the second coming of Jesus Christ (verses 15-21). The Gentiles will trod down Jerusalem for 1260 days (Rev. 11). It will be the time of the two witnesses who will prophesy in the streets of Jerusalem for 1260 days, then be killed, and — just IMMEDIATELY BEFORE THE RETURN OF CHRIST — be raised from the dead in the sight of the people! God will suddenly intervene in human affairs. He will put an end to this wicked idolatrous system. "The sanctuary SHALL BE cleansed." We are very near the fulfillment of these amazing prophecies. It is time we wake up to world events and free ourselves from fables and traditions began more than a century ago! It's time we believe the Bible and not false teachers! It's time we asked God for wisdom and ask Him to lead us and to show us HIS TRUTH!