True visions from God are decidedly different to those who in our day say theirs are God given. Daniel is in vision. Before he was facing and seeing, now he is falling prostrate before the angel Gabriel out of great fear (terror). Now we proceed to:
Da 8:18 While he was speaking to me, I was in a deep sleep, with my face to the ground. Then he touched me and raised me to my feet.
Gabriel is speaking to Daniel but because of him being so terrified he passes out! He losses consciousness and collapses on his face. This won’t be the last time as it happened again in a different environment
Da 10:7 I, Daniel, was the only one who saw the vision; the men with me did not see it, but such terror overwhelmed them that they fled and hid themselves. 8 So I was left alone, gazing at this great vision; I had no strength left, my face turned deathly pale and I was helpless. 9 Then I heard him speaking, and as I listened to him, I fell into a deep sleep, my face to the ground.
It happened to John the apostle:
Rev 1:17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead.
In this case it was before Jesus. What I am sure must anger and displease our Lord greatly is the blasé method the proponents of today’s dreams and visions carry on. They carry on as if they can command and instruct the Lord as to what He must do … and for them it is entertainment. Yet with both Daniel and John, the ground is holy, be it the Lord Jesus or one of His angels. For you and me today, this reaction ought to be ours as we relate to Sermons and Bible Studies we hear and our personal Devotions day by day. Reverent fear of holy things is missing today.
1) As instructed, angel Gabriel is about to explain the vision to Daniel.
Da 8:19 He said: “I am going to tell you what will happen later in the time of wrath, because the vision concerns the appointed time of the end.”
Remember this “time of wrath” is not the wrath of final judgment. It relates to punishment of Israel for their apostasy. Because of their sin against God, He is punishing them. Remember the time frame relates to the end of Antiochus’s abominations, after which the Messianic Kingdom will be established.
2) The vision’s interpretation.
Da 8:20 The two-horned ram that you saw represents the kings of Media and Persia.
This refers to the successive kings of the Medo-Persian Empire.
Da 8:21 The shaggy goat is the king of Greece, and the large horn between his eyes is the first king.
The goat represents Greece. The first king was Alexander the Great.
Da 8:22 The four horns that replaced the one that was broken off represent four kingdoms that will emerge from his nation but will not have the same power.
Four kings will arise from this nation that the “large horn” once reigned over. However, they would not enjoy the same strength (power) and command that Alexander the Great had.
Da 8:23 “In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a stern-faced king, a master of intrigue, will arise.
During the latter part of the kingdom (their reign) of the four horns, a king, Antiochus Epiphanes will arise.
(a) Who are the rebels have become completely wicked? These are not pagan people. They are Jews who has apostatized. They brought paganism amongst the Jews. They even built a pagan gymnasium in Jerusalem for their games. When one wonders about God’s punishment upon the Jews we need to remember their apostasy, introduction of paganism and its application (the gymnasium) in the holy city. A friend and colleague went into a “Christian” Bookshop to purchase a clerical collar and said he thought he was in a toy shop. What place do those relics and many other items have in God’s House today? Be very careful what you bring into God House … it might be just a building, but it is dedicated to the glory of God. Whatever we bring into God’s House needs to at the very least not offensive to
Ex 20:4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousandgeneration of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
We do not venerate idols, pictures, “holy oils or waters”. Christianity is a religion of faith in the presence of the Living God amongst His people.
(b) The coming king’s description … a stern-faced king, a master of intrigue, will arise.
(i) He would be uncompromising, inflexible, terribly strict … an authoritarian. He would offer no leniency, no clemency … just a harsh unyielding spirit.
(ii) He was a master of intrigue. He practiced deceit. He used secret methods to obtain what he wanted. He would conceal his true intention by the use of ambiguous words. He was so cunning that it was very difficult to deceive him. His description reveals him as Antiochus Epiphanes. Where does such cunning come from?
2 Cor 11:3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
The serpent is the devil!
Rev 12:9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.
He uses his cunning to draw people away from the faith
Eph 4:14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.
As God’s own we need to be alert. Be it a politician or a spiritual leader, their cunning, if they are not of God is very dangerous. Before we proceed we need to confront ourselves with three very important issues.
(1) Do you revere God? You might respond immediately saying “yes” … and then we ask … “In all of life, is Jesus Lord of your heart?” That is, as He walks with you throughout the day, does he see behavior and attitude that holds him in honor or are there times when sees paganism entering you, His temple?
(2) Do you use aids to draw you closer to God other than the Bible and Prayer? Crosses, St. Christopher’s, candles, incense, etc. are pagan if used to create a spiritual climate.
(3) Do you get caught up with the intrigue offered by certain teachers? Man might be crafty, cunning and manipulative and these show they are not from God and need to be avoided.
Father, we ask for daily protection and that you help us not to fall prey to con-artists who seek to lead us away from Your safe protection. Amen.