RDean/Daniel Lesson 36
Islam, Antichrist, and Anti-Semitism– Daniel 8
We began in Daniel 8 going through the historical fulfillment of this prophecy in the person of Antiochus IV of the Seleucid Dynasty in what is now Syria, who was called Antiochus Epiphanes. We see in this chapter that he is the fulfillment of the prophecy but in his fulfillment of the prophecy he also serves as a type of the antichrist. Now a type is an analogue, it's a model, it is a picture, a shadow representation as it were, of something in the future. This big debate that goes on in prophecy studies is whether or not there is such a thing as double fulfillment and I think we have to be careful about using that terminology because double fulfillment implies that every detail is fulfilled. When a prophetic passage is fulfilled that means every detail comes to pass, but every detail does not come to pass in this passage or any other prophecy twice. Whenever someone talks about double fulfillment there is always in one of them something that's missing, so it's more correct to talk about one fulfillment but maybe a second reference or a type.
So the actual fulfillment of this passage takes place in the ancient world in the person of Antiochus Epiphanes, but then God the Holy Spirit is using him as a picture of the kind of ruler the antichrist will be. And one of the things that comes out of the study of Antiochus Epiphanes is the intense hatred he had for the Jews, so much so that when he invaded Israel and took over he abolished all of the sacrifices, all of the religious observance, there was a death penalty for any mother who circumcised her son; it was a death penalty if anybody was caught reading the Scriptures. And all sacrifices, all prayers, all the temple service was halted. In fact, he went into the temple and he sacrificed a pig on the altar and put a statue of Zeus in the Holy of Holies.
So he is the ultimate example of anti-Semitism and an earthly ruler who is at war against God. Now anti-Semitism is something that is really the seed of the devil, a child of the devil, because anti-Semitism is Satan's attempt to try to destroy the Jew so that God cannot fulfill His promises to Israel. In the Old Testament God promised Israel a specific piece of real estate. That real estate would have boundaries from the River of Egypt to the river Euphrates and over to the Mediterranean, so most of the area that is now Transjordan or the kingdom of Jordan, most of the area that is part of Iraq, much of Syria is part of that land that God promised to Abraham and God has never given that to Israel. There are many other blessings that God has promised to Israel in the Old Testament that they have never received. So if Satan can destroy every Jew before God fulfills His promise then Satan thinks he can win. So that is why anti-Semitism must be fought every step of the way.
And one of the things we have discovered in our study last time in Islam is at the core of Islam is an anti-Semitism that is one of the worst forms ever to develop in history. Last time I began a look at Islam and we looked at Islam, antichrist and anti-Semitism trying to understand what's going on today, but I didn't quite finish and I want to go back and just pick up a few things that I covered at the end rather rapidly and then wrap it up before we get into finishing up Daniel 8.
I was looking at the Arab-Israeli conflict, especially the news today, the Arab summit going on in Beirut and the problems going on there are just like a soap opera, who's going to go, who's not, who walked out today, of course the Palestinians walked out today because the Lebanese wouldn't allow or blocked the airwaves so that Arafat's message to the Arab assembly couldn't be broadcast to them, so the Arabs can't get along. This idea of Arab unity is just a farce, they almost look like the Keystone Cops except it's very serious and very dangerous and many people are being killed in the process.
Last time we saw that underlying the core issue, even though many Palestinians and Arabs do not admit this, their leaders do; the core issue is Islamic, it is a religious issue. The Islamic Research Council stated that the Palestinian question is not a national issue nor is it a political issue; it is first and foremost an Islamic question. The Muslim worldview cannot conceive of religion divorced from politics whereas the western worldview cannot conceive of religion affecting politics. So that's why Americans have such a difficult time understanding what's going on in the Middle East, but the real issue here is that in Islam any land, any territory, any nation that is ever once under the control of Allah can never be lost. It is great loss of face; they can't stand it, Allah can't stand it, it's the height of blasphemy to steal land that once has been under the domination, under the control of Islam, and so all of that area that is called Palestine that's Israel was once under the control of Allah so they are bound by their religious beliefs to take that back, otherwise it is a slap in the face to Allah that not all the territory is not still submitted to him. And of course, that's the meaning of Islam, is to submit everything, the whole world to Allah.
We looked at the development of the conflict. It's important to understand this because the Palestinian make certain claims about the land, that they are a national people, that this is their land and they have a historical right to the land, and they are doing everything they can to build a case that they have a right to the land. They claim, one claim is that the term "Palestine" really is etymologically derived from the old term Philistines, that the Palestinians are the historic genetic heirs to the Canaanites and Israel stole it from the Canaanites in 1400 BC and the Jews are trying to steal it away from them again, but they are the modern descendants of the ancient Canaanites.
All of that is false and they are the masters of propaganda because in all of the Islamic countries there's no such thing as freedom of press; the press can only operate if it spews forth hatred and vengeance against Israel and against the United States. They have to tow the party line and so nobody gets the other side of the story in any Islamic country. But the facts are that Jewish immigration began in the late 19th century under what was called the Zionist movement, that actually didn't become formalized until 1897 and the key leader was a man by the name of Theodore Herzl. By the early 1900s, 1918 you have the Balfour Declaration; you have the British Mandate which gave all of the land that Israel now claims, the land that the Palestinians claim and all of modern Jordan was part of the land that was supposed to go to Israel. But then in 1929 the Arabs who lived there had several large riots and killed and massacred a large number of Jews. In order to resolve that situation the British offered a solution that violated their own mandate in the Balfour Declaration. And then on May 14, 1946 the British gave the eastern 4/5ths of the land, now that's 80% of the land that is Transjordan, to the Arabs and that became the modern kingdom of Jordan, the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan.
Just by way of note, in 1968 King Hussein of Jordan, that's after the 67 war, that's important to understand, see, the fight over the West Bank, the fight over the Gaza Strip is that that territory was taken by the Jews when the Arabs invaded in the 67 war, and that's what the Palestinians are claiming, that it's occupied territory and the Jews need to get out. But in 1968, a year after that war, King Hussein of Jordan said that Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan. So they have played fast and loose with these terms and by changing the meaning of the terms they have basically changed the entire debate. In fact, Arafat, in 1974 affirmed that, he said what you call Jordan is actually Palestine.
Going back to the origination of the modern state of Israel, in 1947 the U.N. again partitioned the land and gave 23% to Israel, let me back up. Originally the Arabs got 77% of the land which was the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan. Then of the remaining 23%, that is further divided so that the Jews only got about 17% of that land, 83% went to the Arabs and that was what the Palestinians have, what is now part of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. So in 1948 when the Jews got that small parcel of land the Arabs invaded, and Jordan annexed the area known as the West Bank, Egypt annexed the Gaza Strip, and the Arab governments at that point told all the Arabs living in that land to flee because they were invading. The Arabs that fled became the homeless refugees, about 600,000. The Jews never forced any Palestinian, any Arab to leave his home; they left voluntarily and they left because the Arab nations surrounding them were invading and told them to flee for their own safety. The Arabs that stayed remained in Israel, they are today citizens of Israel, they make up 18% of the electorate, and they have freedom to worship, they have free speech, they have freedom of the press, they have all of these freedoms that you have in a democracy. If they lived in the Palestinian controlled area they would have none of that. So the Palestinians are what they are because of a decision they made that was grounded in the anti-Semitism of the Arab countries that were invading Israel.
Now I also covered a little bit about who the Palestinians are, I mentioned the fact that the term Palestine does not derive from the ancient Philistines. One argument for that is that in the Septuagint, when the Jews who translated the Septuagint from Hebrew into Greek, translated the term for the Philistines they did not use the term Palestinian, they just transliterated it over into Greek. In fact, as my friend, Randy Price, has demonstrated in a tremendous way in his recent book, Unholy War, the term actually derives from a Greek word, palaistos which meant a wrestler, a rival or an adversary. And remember the meaning of Israel, the name given to Jacob by God when Israel wrestled with God was a name that meant "one who wrestles with God." And so the Greeks typically, and the way they love word plays and the way they loved puns was they used their word for wrestler as their name for Israel. So the term "Palestine" was used for Jews and for Israel, even in the ancient world. Philo, who was a Jewish historian who lived down in Egypt wrote of the land of Israel and called it Palestine and called the people who dwelt there Palestinians. And that's before the time of Christ. Josephus, who lived after the time of Christ but still in the same century, Josephus also called that land Palestine and the people who dwelt there, the Jews, Palestinians. So the term Palestinian up until the 1970s was a term that was synonymous with Israel and Jews; it was not a term that was used of the Arabs unless they were people who lived, Arabs that lived in that particular area.
Now the modern Palestinians of today do not have a historic claim to the land. In fact, their roots in the land only go back to the late 19th century. About the same time the Jews were moving back to Israel and purchasing real estate, as the land was recovering because they were beginning to irrigate, they were beginning to farm, they were beginning to plant trees and crops, they needed workers and so many migrant workers came into the area from Europe, from southeastern Europe, from other Arab countries, Egyptians, Turks, Armenians, Italians, Persians, Germans, Sudanese, Hungarians, Tartars, Scots, English, French, just a mix of people moved into that part of the world and moved into Palestine and they were the migrant workers; they were not the landed class, they were not people who owned territory. And in 1947 when Israel became a modern state, only 3% of the land was owned by Palestinians; the rest of the land was owned by Jews. But you never hear that from the Western press or from the Palestinians or from the Arabs. The land during most of the time from the time of Christ up until the 19th century was occupied by nomadic Bedouin tribes and most of that time it was under the domination and control of the Ottoman Empire which was not an Arab empire; it was Islamic but it wasn't Arab based, it was Turkish.
The Palestinian claim, though, is that the land actually belongs to them and that they have a right to it and the Jews need to be driven out completely. To do that they have adopted a means of violence or terrorism in order to drive out the Jews and since 1993 the Islamic Jihad and Hamas and various other terrorists groups have launched over 150 suicide attacks, but the concept of a suicide attack is itself is a misnomer because to us it is suicide, but to them it is not suicide because they are doing it in self-defense, they believe that because they have had this land taken from them, they believe they have a right to that land because it was once under Allah's control, therefore what they are engaged in, they would use what we would call a self-defense argument, and so they are actually martyrs to Islam, they do not view that as committing suicide. So when we use the term suicide bombers that term itself reflects our own western orientation and our lack of understanding of just exactly how they are looking at everything. But since 1993 and the last nine years there have been well over 150 suicide attacks, maybe even more. There have been over 50 in the last months alone.
And since the Palestinians began what is called the Al-Aqsa intifada, now the term "intifada" means an uprising, you'll hear that a lot, and the Al-Aqsa is one of the mosques on the temple mount. The Dome of the rock is the one we think of most of the time but there are at least five mosques on the temple mount and when the Likud and Ariel Sharon went there on a legitimate visit, which I will explain in a minute, in September of 2000, that's when the Palestinians allegedly began the Al-Aqsa intifada. It actually began before that but that but once again, that's propaganda, it did not begin then, it was not Sharon's fault, they were already rioting and had already rioted, but since that time there have been over 6,000 attacks on Israel's military facilities, Jewish communities, public places and private vehicles. The question that is on everybody's lips at this time is: is peace in the Middle East even possible? And I would say if there is a peace, if there is a ceasefire it will only be temporary because according to Islam the Palestinians, the Arabs, must throw the Jews out completely, so they will use a ceasefire, they will try to regain control of the disputed territories, the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip but it's simply a holding tactic. Once they get control there then they may let a measure of stability return so they can regroup forces and then go to the next level of attack.
So the real question is, do the Palestinians ultimately really want peace and can they and are they willing to coexist for a long period of time with an Israel of any size in existence. Abu Musa, the leader of the Fatah Interface, another terrorist group, said of peace efforts that they were a farce and a waste of time and their group continues to promise to intensify the intifada. Ahmed Jibril, the Secretary General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine stated that the uprising will continue and get stronger despite U.S. attempts to bring calm t the Middle East Region. Our struggle will continue and such meetings which are held according to Zionist will and under American orders will be of no avail.
I do not think that even this peace plan floated by the Saudi's is going to have any kind of long term results. They are not in accord with any of the beliefs of any of, what we call the extremist groups, which as I've shown are not really that extreme. For example, the Hamas has issued the following communiqué: "Number one, all forces of our people backed by our Arab and Islamic nation are determined on persisting and escalating the intifada until eradication of occupation from all usurped land." So they want to get the Jews out completely. "Point number two, we urge the Palestinian authority to break away from the so-called peace process, once and for all adopt the resistance program, refuse all forms of coordination and negotiations and security meetings with the enemy, and not to be deceived by American promises." And third they stated, "We ask our people in the Diaspora," that's Palestinians living outside of Arab lands, that means in the U.S. and there's over 7,000 living in New Jersey alone, "to display more interaction with our people's intifada in the occupied homeland and share with them in the duty of resisting occupation." That's a call for terrorist activity in the U.S.
This is not a surprise; Moslem clerics continue to call for the destruction of Jews and Christians. For example, a Palestinian cleric at the Gaza Mosque broadcast on Palestinian TV stated on September 21, 2001, "Wherever you are, kill the Jews and the Americans who are like them." The Palestinian authority [can't understand name] in his weekly Friday prayer sermon at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on July 11, 1997 prayed, "Oh Allah, destroy America for she is ruled by Zionist Jews." A well-known Islamic slogan is to kill the Jews on Saturday and kill the Christians on Sunday. There is no ultimate desire for peace in the Islamic camp; not when you have their key leaders praying prayers like this and issuing statements like this.
Edwin Locke who is the Dean's Professor of Leadership and Motivation at the R. H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland in College Park writes: "The two sides are not equal. Every Arab country is a monarchy, theocracy or a military dictatorship. Freedom of speech, property rights, free elections and the separation of Church and State are almost nonexistent. Israel is the sole country in that entire region that recognizes individual rights. The non-violent, non-PLO supporting Arab who lives in Israel enjoys far greater freedom than he would in an Arab nation. The fundamental goal of the Palestinians is destruction. Why such seething nihilism? Consider that when the Jews came to Palestine it was a desert; people were living in the same primitive manner as they had been since the time of Moses. The Jews brought western knowledge and values to the Middle East. They turned an almost barren land into a modern industrial civilization. They raised cities where there had been only dirt. They developed irrigated farms where there had been only dry sand. They built cars and trucks and planes where there had been mainly pack animals."
What are the stated goals of Palestinians? The ultimate goal is not an independent Palestinian state but a Palestine that is completely devoid of Jews. This is why Arafat rejected the largest offer of land ever made by [can't understand name] two years ago at Camp David II. The reason Arafat rejected it is if he had accepted it, that tremendous offer of land, then he would have lost face before his own people because they want all the land, not some of the land. According to a PLO declaration the struggle with the Zionist enemy is not a struggle about Israel's borders but about Israel's existence. The goal is clearly understood and supported by none other than former U.N. Secretary General and 2001 Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Butros Butros-Ghali. Butros-Ghali stated the Jews must give up their nation and Israel as a state and assimilate as a community into the Arab world. The U.N. is historically anti-Semitic. Since 1947 the U.N. has issued over fifty resolutions condemning actions by the Jews and they have not yet issued a single condemnation of anything that the Palestinians have done. The Arabs want to destroy all the Jews. [Can't understand name] the leader of Hezbollah states: "There can be no peace until the Jews return to their countries of origins.
Many people think, well the Palestinians ought to have some rights, didn't the Jews force them out to become homeless, landless refugees. That's the Arab lie but that is not the truth; the truth is somewhat different. At the time of, in 1948 when Israel became a nation, the U.N. mandated only a small portion of land to the Jews. At the time Arabs owned only 3% of the land but the U.N. resolution gave the Arabs 82% of the land. They rejected that and instead they had a military assault on Israel, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Jordan, Kuwait, Iran, Iraq, deported at that time over 600,000 Jews from their countries. They stole everything; they robbed their bank accounts, they took their cars, they took their homes, they took everything they had, the Jews could only leave with what was on their back. In contrast to that the Jews did not steal anything from any of the Arabs who left, they still could go back and get their bank accounts, they still had rights to whatever they had owned, but the Arabs used that as an excuse to steal everything from the Jews.
The 21 Arab states easily could have absorbed the original 650,000 Palestinian refugees in 1948 but they refused to do so, even though their land mass was 700 times larger than that possessed by Israel. The Jewish population of the new nation at that time was only 600,000. They not only absorbed about 600,000 refugees from Arab countries, they also absorbed over 800,000 refugees from Europe. Nevertheless, Arabs remained in Israel and today still have more freedom than any Arab living in an Arab country.
Now we need to ask what does Islam really think about the Jews. A couple of quotes are illustrative. First of all, from the Hamas spokesman; the Israelis should understand that their existence is the only provocation in the area. The very fact that they claim the land, that they are there, that's the reason there is a fight. The Koran states in the family of Imran, Surah 112, "They," the Jews "have incurred anger from their Lord and wretchedness is laid upon them." So there is justification from the Koran to destroy the Jews. Furthermore, the Koran states: "Allah will raise against them," that means he will fight against them, "until the day of resurrection." So obviously if Allah can't be the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of the Bible because the god of the Koran is continuously fighting against the Jews.
Furthermore, in another quote from the Hadith #4 in the Koran we read; "This is our enemy and the disease that plagued our land. They [the Jews] are cursed like Satan. This enemy is also sent out to launch war on people exactly like Satan. They are the enemy so beware of them. Allah [can't understand word], how they are perverted." Furthermore we have other statements from the Palestinian authorities as well as other groups that give us a better understanding of what they think of the Jews. A Hamas leaflet from September 1, 1993 states: "We are announcing a war against the sons of apes and pigs which will not end until the flag of Islam is raised in Jerusalem."
Yasser Arafat stated to Arab ambassadors in Stockholm on January 30, 1996, "We Palestinians will take over everything, including all of Jerusalem. We plan to eliminate the state of Israel and to establish a Palestinian state." See, they're not looking for a cooperative thing; they don't want to have a Palestinian state in existence alongside of Israel.
[Can't understand name] the Palestinian [can't understand word] of Jerusalem on July 11, 1997 states: "The Muslims say to Britain, to France, and to all the infidel nations that Jerusalem is Arab. We shall not respect anyone else's wishes regarding her." Furthermore, [can't understand name] stated on November 28, 1997, "If Israel persists in not recognizing Palestinian sovereignty in the eastern part of Jerusalem, it is the Palestinian's sides right to demand its rights from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea." So they want all the land.
Now what is going on today with this latest intifada? What has happened, let's get a little contemporary look at history. It's usually blamed on the visit of Ariel Sharon to the temple mount on Friday, September 29, 2000, but is that true. We need to look at the facts. The Palestinians had, at that time been voicing threats of an uprising for several days, ever since it became known that members of the Israeli government were going to visit the temple mount. On that day, Ariel Sharon and his six member Likud delegation, that's the conservative party in Israel, entered the temple mount through the nearby Mograbi gate. Their purpose was to investigate the building of a Moslem mosque at the site and reports that underground construction work was destroying valuable archeological remains. By the way, the Arabs have been digging under the temple mount and removing semi-truckloads of artifacts for the last several years in their attempt to destroy all evidence that there has ever been a Jewish presence on the temple mount.
Now the question is, did Sharon and that Likud delegation have a right to go on the temple mount? Were they violating some sort of law or some sort of treaty? No, they had a legitimate right to do this. They were accompanied by 1,000 Israeli police officers, and they were necessary because of all the threats, they were accompanied with a representative team from the Waqf, which is the Muslim Supreme Council that maintains jurisdiction over the Islamic Mosque. So it's not just officials from Israel but they were accompanied by Islamic officials as well. Sharon and his team never attempted to enter any mosque; they were merely surveying the construction. When interviewed by reporters Sharon stated the temple mount is in our hands and will remain in our hands; it is the holy site in Judaism and it is the right of every Jew to visit the temple mount.
See, Israel regained control of the temple mount in the 1967 war but Moshe Dayan turned it back over to the Arabs. Nevertheless, the Jews maintain security on the temple mount. When Sharon went on the temple mount the Palestinians rioted. Thirty policemen and four Palestinians were wounded. Palestinians claimed that Sharon defiled the mosques. Arafat claimed it was an affront to the Moslem holy places and called for all Arabs and Moslems to move immediately to stop these aggressions and Jewish practices against holy Jerusalem. The next day the Palestinian mufti who's the leader of the Palestinian Muslims in a sermon accused the Israeli government of desecrating the Al-Aqsa mosque and called for a jihad to eliminate the Jews from Palestine. That started another riot. But what's the rest of the story. Israel had maintained legal sovereignty over the temple mount since 67 and for 34 years it's been the responsibility of the Israeli government and Jewish police forces to guard Islam's mosque and to guard the temple mount and to protect the Arabs there and to keep Jews off the temple mount. Jewish police surround the temple mount to keep Jews from getting on the temple mount and they have successfully done that since 67.
Furthermore, no one ever thought to publicize the decision of the Israeli Supreme Court which protected the Muslim workers on the temple mount, even while they were in the process of destroying irreplaceable and priceless archeological artifacts. The western media never publicized the fact that no one in Sharon's group ever tried to enter a mosque, and they never did anything to a mosque. In fact, the whole trip up onto to the temple mount was video taped by Israel's channel 2 News group and tells the whole story; nothing happened! Five months later, on March 2, 2001, the Palestinian authority communications minister finally admitted that the intifada was not a reaction to Sharon's visit but had been planned since July. The violence actually began two days before Sharon's visit at the Netzarim junction by the Palestinians. And then more events occurred the next day, but the whole thing once again centers around what's going on on the temple mount. And everything focuses on the temple mount and this is important, as we will see when we get into the next chapter, in Daniel 9, because that's where the abomination of desolation takes place.
So we have the statement by Osama Bin Laden and other terrorist leaders that the whole issue is to protect and free the temple mount; that one of the reasons they attacked on September 11th was to prevent America from supporting Israel so that they could free the temple mount. Everything is related to Israel's presence in the land and the temple mount. So to understand what's really going on we have to understand the religious framework and the religious background and this has been true ever since the events in the 2nd century BC when Antiochus Epiphanes invaded the temple mount and desecrated.
Turn back to Daniel 8:17 to pick up our study. What's happened is in the first part of this chapter we went through the vision and that Daniel has an interpretation of the vision given to him by Gabriel. "So he" that is Gabriel "came near to where I was standing, and when he came I was frightened, and fell on my face," he was so frightened, his heart's racing, he just passes out, he swoons, he loses control and he just falls on his face. "…but he said to me, 'Son of man, understand that the vision pertains to the time of the end.'" We're going to come back and investigate that phrase, what does it mean, "the time of the end." That sounds to our ears like the end times, like the end of the Church Age perhaps, into the Tribulation. What does that mean?
Daniel 8:18, "Now while he was talking with me," that is while the angel Gabriel was talking with Daniel, "I sank into a deep sleep with my face to the ground; but he touched me and made me stand upright." Now I want you to notice and you'll see this several other times when prophets have this kind of close encounter with an angel or with God that it affects them physically. At the end of the chapter Daniel says that he was sick for weeks after this, I mean, it's like our mortal body can't really handle the presence of God or the presence of angels. Think about that the next time you hear somebody claim that they saw an angel. You always start with what happens in Biblical events when angels appear. So Daniel sank into a deep sleep and then angel jerks him upright to listen to what he has to say.
Now look at Daniel 8:19, "And he said, 'Behold, I am going to let you know what will occur at the final period of the indignation; for it pertains to the appointed time of the end." Now what time of the end is this? Is this a time of the end related to what was happening in that period, in that dispensation or is this a time of the end related to the end times of Israel, what we call the Tribulation? Daniel 8:17 uses the same phrase, "the time of the end." And this is just the Hebrew word which means the end, the end of an era, or sometimes it's used to refer to the final end time period in human history.
In Daniel 8:20 just to give you a reminder, Daniel had seen a vision where there was a ram and this ram had two horns and that ram represented the two kings of Media and Persia. And it was attacked by a shaggy goat and that, according to the angel, represented the kingdom of Greece. So we saw that under Alexander the Great the armies of Media and Persia were defeated. Verse 21, "…and the large horn that is between his eyes is the first kind," and that large horn is Alexander the Great. Then in verse 22, "And the broken horn and the four horns that arose in its place," so that horn breaks, that's when Alexander dies at an early age, and is replaced by "four horns that arose in its place," so you have this bizarre picture of one large horn being knocked off and out of it its root for smaller horns grow up. And he says those four horns "represent four kingdoms which will arise from his nation, although not with his power," and we studied those, that's Cassander and Lysimachus and Seleucids and Ptolemies down in Egypt.
Then Daniel 8:23, "And in the latter period of their rule, when the transgressors have run their course, a king will arise insolent and skilled in intrigue," now notice that, in verse 22 we say that four kingdoms which will arise from his nation, and then verse 23 says that "in the latter period of their rule," well, whose rule is that? What does it mean "the latter period of their rule?" Whenever you have a pronoun, and you have a plural pronoun here, "their," you have to look to its nearest antecedent, the nearest concrete noun that it could refer to and if you look back at verse 22 that is the four kingdoms. So verse 23 makes it clear that it is in the latter period of their rule, that is the rule of these four kingdoms. So it is at the end of the Grecian era, before Rome comes to the forefront and before the time of the New Testament. And one thing we realize is the dates on Antiochus Epiphanes are between 171 and 164 BC. And Rome arises in 149 BC and the last Seleucid dies in 129 BC, so this is clearly at the end of that Greek Empire, it's not quite the last days, but it is at the end of that period and so that fulfills the prophecy.
Then we read a description of his power in Daniel 8:24-25, "And his power will be mighty, but not by his own power, and he will destroy to an extraordinary degree and prosper and perform his will," he'll do whatever he wants to, God is going to give him the freedom to run amuck, "he will destroy mighty men and the holy people.  And through his shrewdness he will cause deceit to succeed by his influence; and he will magnify himself in his heart, and he will destroy many while they are at east. He will even oppose the Prince of princes, but he will be broken without human agency." Now this is directly fulfilled by Antiochus Epiphanes. For example, his power is mighty; he was able to defeat the Egyptians and he was able to overrun Israel, but according to this it's not his own power, he gets his power from somebody else. So apparently there is some demonic influence with him. "…and he will destroy to an extraordinary degree," and he went around and he pillaged all of the temples and stole all of the money from the temples because they were used as banks and he was trying to get enough money to pay off the reparations to Rome.
Then "he prospered and performed his will, and destroyed mighty men and the holy people," and in his wars he wiped out and destroyed many of the great generals of the armies and the great leaders in the armies that he was opposing.
Then Daniel 8:25, "it's through his shrewdness," that indicates that he was cagey, he was cunning, he was crafty in his strategy against his enemies. Furthermore it states, "he will cause deceit to succeed by his influence," so he is deceitful in his approach, "he will magnify himself in his heart," that refers to his own arrogance, "and he will destroy many while they are at ease," that is they will think that there is peace. It reminds me of many statements in Scripture where people will be saying "Peace, peace," when there is no peace. The Jews were thinking there would be peace and that they could somehow compromise with him and they couldn't. And then finally Scripture states "he will even oppose the Prince of princes," and he does that, he did that, by erecting a statue of Zeus in the Holy of Holies and sacrificing a pig on the altar. So he is opposing the Prince of Princes, who is the Messiah, by his assault on the temple, "but he will be broken without human agency." And according to ancient sources he died from some horrible disease where he basically bled out internally and he had terrible cramps, doubled over, and just died a horrible devastating death, but he wasn't killed in battle, he wasn't killed by some other individual, he wasn't assassinated. God finally took his life.
Now that is how this passage is fulfilled in the person of Antiochus Epiphanes. But there is a greater application than this. Let's go back and look at a couple of things in the passage that we bypassed earlier. Look back at verse 14, "And he said to me, 'For 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the holy place will be properly restored." Now that tells us that this is taking place historically during the time of Antiochus Epiphanes; this was a little over six year period, approximately six years and four months and it's during the time when Antiochus Epiphanes was overrunning Israel. [tape turns]
…message of comfort that this was a relatively short duration and it would come to an end. Now when we look at the passage, when it says, back in verse 23, that it will be in the latter period of their rule, let's try to put this together with some other elements that we've seen in prophecies in Daniel, in Daniel 7 and Daniel 2. Daniel 7:12, after we go through the prophecy of the beast, remember the various beasts we went through, the lion, he bear and the leopard, and then that great horrible beast that represented Rome, at the end of that Daniel states, "as for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time." So their dominion continues down through history.
Then in Daniel 2:35, we go back to the original statue dream that Nebuchadnezzar had, that the whole kingdom, the kingdom of man, even though it starts with Babylon, with the head of gold and then you have the Medes and the Persians with the torso of silver, and then the Greeks and then the Romans with the iron, there's one rock that knocks that whole kingdom down. There are elements of each empire, elements of each kingdom that continue and go through history so that today our culture is what it is because there are many remnants, many ideas that are still prevalent here that are holdovers from the ancient Babylonians, from the Greeks, from the Romans, and this is all part of the kingdom of man. And that will not be destroyed until the final end time. So there's a double element here that's talking about what will actually be fulfilled at the time of Antiochus Epiphanes but there is a double reference here because it refers to the situation that will occur at the end of the period for Israel, what we call the Tribulation.
Now a question comes up at this point, and that is why in Daniel 7:8 does the beast of the Tribulation come out of Rome and in Daniel 8:23 the beast appears to come out of the Greek Empire. In Daniel 7:8 you have the little horn which comes out of Rome and in Daniel 8 the little horn comes out of the Greek Empire. The only way to reconcile Daniel 7:8 with Daniel 8:17, 19 and 23 is to say that the beast of the Tribulation, the antichrist, will come out of the remains of the fourth kingdom Rome, which succeeded the third kingdom, Greece, according to Daniel 7. And that according to Daniel 8 where we have this beast coming out of Greece, indicates that there are certain elements of Greek culture which has been granted an extension of life according to Daniel 7 and Daniel 2. So you have two things happening here, the fact that there's going to be this political entity that's the fourth beast that's going to be the political base for the antichrist and yet the Daniel 8 passage indicates that it bears a resemblance to the Greek culture. And so it's going to have an ideological philosophical root in Greek culture.
Now in our culture today, in 2002, these four streams of culture inherited from ancient history, all have come together in western civilization in many different ways. And it's just as much a part of our culture, in fact, our culture has more to do with Greek democracy, we keep thinking about this country, we hear of this country as a democracy, and yet in its founding, if you go back and you read the thoughts of the founding fathers, their model was ancient Rome, it wasn't ancient Greece; they were building a republic, not a democracy. It wasn't until there was a shift in the education system in this country in the early 1800s that there began to be a model, the focus went to Greece instead of Rome, and they began to think of this country more in terms of a democracy as opposed to a republic. And that began to change our orientation so that today we're very democratic. We try to reduce everything to its lowest common denominator so that everybody can have the same opportunity and be treated in the same way, and that's produced a number of problems. But a lot of this has its roots in the kind of thinking that came out in the liberalism and communism and socialist thought of the late 19th century.
So when we look at the beast that will appear in the future, politically he has its roots in old Rome, and elements of the ancient Roman Empire, but in terms of ideology he's going to have this same approach that we see in so many modern politicians, give everything to everybody and everybody is equal, and it's going to have its roots more in Greek philosophical thought.
Let's look at Daniel 8:23, "In the latter period of their rule, when the transgressors have run their course," now in terms of this fulfillment, this term, "transgressors have run their course," this is the phrase in the Hebrew, it's a qal participle, and it indicates rebellion against authority. Now in terms of its immediate fulfillment, this was in the time of the rebellion that occurred at the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, but in terms of its typology it relates to the end time because these kings, these kingdoms are all in rebellion against God. The Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, the Greek, the Roman Empires are all part of the kingdom of man and the kingdom of man is man's attempt to establish meaning and purpose and stability and peace on earth and wealth and happiness and everything apart from God. So what God is saying is He's going to allow all of this to come to its ultimate conclusion and when He's let all of this run its course, then there will be this final judgment.
"When the transgressors have run their course, a king will arise," and he is described as "insolent and skilled in intrigue." Now this takes us another step further. Antiochus pictures this insolence of the antichrist. Now when we look at the word "insolent" as it's translated in the New American Standard Version and in the King James Version it's translated "a man of fierce countenance," actually in the Hebrew it means a man with a strong face. Now it's only used one other time in the Old Testament and that helps us understand what this means. In Deuteronomy 28:50 there is the prophecy to Israel that there will be "a nation of fierce countenance who shall have no respect for the old, nor show favor to the young." So that shows us that this term, "fierce countenance," has to do with somebody who has no compassion, they have no mercy, they are not concerned about the old, they're not concerned about the young, and this is one of the characteristics of both Antiochus Epiphanes and the antichrist. He will be ruthless; he will have no compassion for the poor, no compassion for the elderly or the young.
Furthermore, he is going to be "skilled in intrigue," and literally in the Hebrew it is the word [sounds like: ou ma biyn]The word biyn has to do with understanding or discernment and ma biyn is a participle form meaning that he is a man of understanding and the term [sounds like: he dote is the word for riddles. This is the same word that's used of Samson, that he was someone who understood riddles, and it's also used of Solomon, that Solomon was brilliant because he was a man who was able to discern riddles, he had a great brain, great critical thinking skills and so this is a person who is going to be able to think through all the knotty problems of the Middle East and come to some sort of resolution.
In Daniel 8:24 we read, "And his power will be mighty, but not by his own power," this tells us, in terms of the antichrist that he will be indwelt by Satan. "…he will destroy to an extraordinary degree," and if you read through Revelation, if Revelation, the events of the Tribulation were to occur today when there's 7,000,000,000 on the planet, about 6,000,000,000 would die according to the figures of the Tribulation, there's going to be massive death and catastrophe during the Tribulation, it's going to be… the more I read Revelation the more bizarre that period of time is going to be. I think demons are going to be thrown out of heaven half way through the Tribulation and they are actually going to be walking on the earth and visible to people, so it will be truly a time of final judgment for not only mankind but also for the angels.
In Daniel 8:25 we're told more about him, that he is going to be a man of extraordinary intellectual capacity, he's going to manipulate nations and manipulate people, he's going to be powerful militarily because he will be able to take over, we saw in Daniel 7 he's going to defeat militarily three other nations and then force a European alliance.
Let's just summarize this, summarize the characteristics of the antichrist that we pick up in these verses. First of all, he is going to appear in the latter time of Israel's history and we'll see this in Daniel 9, that it is at the end time of the seventieth week or the last seven years of Israel's history. So he appears at the latter times of Israel's history. Now remember, all of this is by application from the typology.
Secondly, through alliances with other nations he will achieve worldwide influence. He's going to align himself with other nations and achieve worldwide influence; that's in Daniel 8:24.
Third, he is going to develop a peace program that will help his rise to power, Daniel 8:25.
Fourth, he is extremely intelligent and persuasive, Daniel 8:23. He will convince people of the legitimacy of his plans and his power.
Fifth, he's characterized by satanic control; he will be indwelt by Satan, Daniel 8:24.
Sixth, he is a great adversary against Israel and the Messiah, the Prince of Princes, in Daniel 8:24 and 25.
Seventh, a direct judgment from God will terminate his rule in Daniel 8:25.
So this passage is actually fulfilled in Antiochus Epiphanes, but in that fulfillment it teaches us, it is a type, of the antichrist, and from that we learn several things about the antichrist and his characteristics.
Then we come to the last two verses. Daniel 8:26, "And the vision of the evenings and mornings," and that's what this is called, that's the title of this because of the 2,300 evenings and mornings, "the vision of the evenings and mornings which has been told is true; but keep the vision secret," that is, it's understanding would not come until other revelation came along which made this clear, "for it pertains to many days in the future." I'm sure that even though Daniel understood when he's talking to the angel and he says well, what does this mean and what does that mean, the angel said well, the first horn represents this king, the other four horns represent these other kings, but Daniel didn't see it because in prophecy you my have a pretty good idea of how things might work out in a broad pattern, you don't know the details until afterwards. So much of this was still somewhat obscure to Daniel.
Then Daniel states in Daniel 8:27, "Then I, Daniel, was exhausted and sick for days. Then I got up again and carried on the king's business," he's still in Babylon remember, "and I was astounded at the vision, and there was none to explain it." See, he understood it generally but he just didn't have those specifics and even though when we study prophecy there are many things that we think we understand about Revelation, many things we can understand, there are also things that we won't understand until it actually happens and then we'll say oh, that's how it worked out, because we're not given every specific detail. That's why you have to be so careful with this, trying to use prophecy to evaluate what's going on in contemporary times.