Daniel Chapter 8 / Another Vision (Sermon notes and Audio)

Posted on January 1, 2013

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This is the sixteenth in a series of  expositions of the book of Daniel. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the morning of December 30, 2012. This message deals with an early vision of Daniel’s, and his reaction to it. This contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes and a study outline. Please note that the sermon notes are not a full transcript.

AUDIO – Listen Now:

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Daniel 8

Study Outline:

Daniel 8 outline

SERMON NOTES:

Daniel Chapter 8 / Another Vision

v.1:
From this point on, Daniel is again written in Hebrew.

The reason for this is that the major emphasis of the rest of the book is God’s plan for Israel in the end times.

Israel is vitally important to us.

It was Israel that God chose to be the vehicle of His revelation and redemption in the world.

Through the Jews came the knowledge of the One True God, the written Word, and the Messiah Jesus Christ.

Salvation is of the Jews.

John 4:22

This vision occurred in 551 BC.

Daniel received this 2 years after the dream in chapter 7, but before the banquet in chapter 5, when Babylon was conquered.

vv.2-17:
Shushan (Susa) was not too important to the Babylonian empire at the time of this vision, but would later become the capital of Persia.

This is significant because God transported Daniel to the future capital of Persia, before the Persians had even conquered Babylon.

The pinpoint accuracy of the prophecy which is recorded here is but one reason that skeptics try to place a later date on the book of Daniel, and say that it wasn’t really written by Daniel.

Their premise is that the prophecies are too accurate, and must have been written from the perspective of history, not prophecy.

So much for divine revelation!

Shushan was about 200 miles southeast of Babylon.

The frequent reference to a vision make it unlikely that Daniel’s body ever left Babylon.

He likely visited Shushan in the same manner that Ezekiel was transported to the temple in Jerusalem (Ezekiel 8-11), and John was transported to the wilderness and the high mountain.

Revelation 17:3

Revelation 21:10

Since Daniel was about to describe the conquest of the Medes and Persians over Babylon, God put Daniel in the middle of the future Persian capital.

v.15:
Previously, Daniel had been able to interpret the meanings of the dreams of others, but here he had to ask an angel for help.

Daniel is not just pondering the meaning. The idea in the Hebrew is that he is petitioning or asking for an answer.

When you need understanding, where do you turn? Often, God and His word are the last place that we look.

“knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” Proverbs 9:10

We need not lean on our own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

v.16:
Apparently, God personally instructed Gabriel to explain the vision.

vv.17-22:
“The time of the end” likely has a double meaning.

As we will see, the events described have already been fulfilled.

However, the literal fulfillment in Antiochus Epiphanes, in many ways, parallels the Antichrist – a message that Gabriel no doubt intended to convey.

The ram is the Medo-Persian empire, who conquered Babylon in 539 BC.

The Greeks, under Alexander the Great eventually conquered the Persian empire.

The horn was broken in 323 BC, when Alexander died in Babylon.

Consequently, 4 horns arose in its place.

The Grecian empire was divided into 4 parts, among 4 of his leaders.

v.23:
The king that arises out of this divided kingdom is Antiochus Epiphanes.

Some scholars try to attribute verses 23-27 solely to the Antichrist, but that is incorrect.

Verse 22 along with this first sentence tells us that we are still talking about Antiochus Epiphanes.

That this king arises out of the four horns (not ten), which is the divided Greek empire, tells us that the literal fulfillment of this prophecy ends with Antiochus.

This particular vision never goes any farther than him. It stops short of the Roman empire.

in fact, as we look at the traits that are listed, we can see the historical fulfillment of all events.

Gabriel; however, is hinting at something beyond Antiochus Epiphanes.

Antiochus is a pattern of the Antichrist, who in many ways will be like him, though far greater in power, and will exercise his career in the end of the age just before Christ’s return.

The fierceness and sinister schemes apply to both.

v.24:
Antiochus wielded power, and it is safe to say that he was a servant of Satan, though not to the same level as the Antichrist.

Antiochus was responsible for much destruction, and for a time, prospered. He faced war against mighty enemies on all borders.

Again, the Antichrist will take all of this to new levels.

v.25:
Antiochus was deceitful, and initially tried to lure the Jews in, later going to war with them.

The Antichrist will also make peace with the Jews, only to try to destroy them.

“He shall destroy many in their prosperity”
Both ultimately bring financial devastation to the people.

Antiochus defied God by waging war against the Jews, setting up a statue of Zeus in the temple, and offering a sacrifice of swine’s flesh on the altar of burnt offering.

The Antichrist will wage war against the Jews, defile the temple, and declare himself to be the messiah.

Antiochus ultimately died of a terrible disease, not by the hands of man.

The Antichrist will perish at the hand of Christ.

v.26:
After all this, Daniel was told not to reveal the prophecy yet.

v.27:
Daniel did what any good student of Scripture and prophecy should do, he asked the Lord to instruct him, and he did what the Lord said.

Daniel’s quest for answers wasn’t to satisfy some intellectual curiosity, or to appear smart in front of other people.

He was concerned about his people and the work they had been called to do. He so identified with what he learned that it made him ill.

Daniel’s illness didn’t keep him from his work. As soon as he recovered, it was back to work.

From where do you seek your knowledge and understanding?

Why do you study Scripture? Is it to satisfy a curiosity or to impress people? Is it because you want to please God?

Does prophecy make you concerned for those around you?

Does the Word of God stir you and move you to action?

How has the study of prophecy (Scripture) impacted your life?

How has the study of prophecy (Scripture) caused you to impact someone else’s life?

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