There is only “one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5. Christ is the “new and living way” (Hebrews 10:19-22) into God’s presence. He is the ladder from earth to heaven (John 1:51). Our prayers and requests ascend to God through Christ. He takes the place of human priests, altar, ceremonies and sacrifices (John 14:6).
The devil has done all he can to this saving ministry of our Lord. God knew he would do this. He predicted it in order to warn against the enemies attempts to nullify the work of Christ for us in heaven. This is the subject of the prophecy of Daniel 8.
1. What animal did Daniel see and of what was it a symbol?
“Then I lifted my eyes and saw, and there, standing beside the river, was a ram which had two horns, and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher one came up last. I saw the ram pushing westward, northward, and southward, so that no animal could withstand him; nor was there any that could deliver from his hand, but he did according to his will and became great….The ram which you saw, having the two horns — they are the kings of Media and Persia.” Daniel 8:3, 4, 20
NOTE: This ram power became “great”. It was represented in Daniel 2 by the silver chest and arms of the great image and in Daniel 7 by the bear.
2. What animal did Daniel see next and what power was represented?
“And as I was considering, suddenly a male goat came from the west, across the surface of the whole earth, without touching the ground; and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. Then he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing beside the river, and ran at him with furious power. And I saw him confronting the ram; he was moved with rage against him, attacked the ram, and broke his two horns. There was no power in the ram to withstand him, but he cast him down to the ground and trampled him; and there was no one that could deliver the ram from his hand. Therefore the male goat grew very great; but when he became strong, the large horn was broken, and in place of it four notable ones came up toward the four winds of heaven….And the male goat is the kingdom of Greece. The large horn that is between its eyes is the first king.” Daniel 8:5-8, 21
NOTE: This great power became “very great”. It was symbolised in Daniel 2 by the bronze bell and thighs of the image and in Daniel 7 by the leopard beast. The “notable horn” represented Alexander the Great. After making Grecia a world power he died suddenly in his early thirties. After a round of hard drinking Alexander became sick with “swamp fever.” This was the ancient name for malaria which finally claimed his life.
3. What did the four horns symbolise?
“Therefore the male goat grew very great; but when he became strong, the large horn was broken, and in place of it four notable ones came up toward the four winds of heaven….As for the broken horn and the four that stood up in its place, four kingdoms shall arise out of that nation, but not with its power.” Daniel 8:8, 22
NOTE: After Alexander’s death there were many generals who endeavoured to take over the leadership. Finally the Grecian Empire was divided between four of Alexander’s leading generals. Cassander became the ruler of Macedonia and Grecia; Lysymachus became the ruler of Thrace and portions of Asia Minor; Seleucus became the ruler over Bablyon and Assyria; Ptolemy becamae the ruler of Egypt, Palestine, and a portion of Syria. Hence Alexander’s empire was divided as predicted “toward the fours winds of heaven.”
4. What power does the little horn represent?
“And out of one of them came a little horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land. And it grew up to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground, and trampled them. He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host; and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down. Because of transgression, an army was given over to the horn to oppose the daily sacrifices; and he cast truth down to the ground. He did all this and prospered.” Daniel 8:9-12
NOTE: Here is pictured the power symbolised by the fourth beast and its little horn of Daniel 7:19-21. This little horn power is the masterpiece of Satan. In her conquests pagan Rome was “ exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land.” She also stood up against the Prince of princes, Christ. The chief emphasis however is on the little horn power. Because of its desolating career against God, His sanctuary, and His saints, it is called “the transgression of desolation” Daniel 8:13. In Daniel 11:31 it is called “the abomination of desolation.” When Jesus referred to these scriptures He termed it, “the abomination of desolation. “ Matthew 24:15.
5. What was the little horn power to take away?
“He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host; and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down. Because of transgression, an army was given over to the horn to oppose the daily sacrifices; and he cast truth down to the ground. He did all this and prospered. Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said to that certain one who was speaking, “How long will the vision be, concerning the daily sacrifices and the transgression of desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled underfoot?”And he said to me, “For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.” “Then it happened, when I, Daniel, had seen the vision and was seeking the meaning, that suddenly there stood before me one having the appearance of a man.” Daniel 8:11-15
NOTE: The word “sacrifice” is a supplied word and is not found in the original Hebrew. The word for “daily” in the Hebrew is tamid meaning continual or regular. Tamid is used in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers is connection with the regular or continual service of the sanctuary. The daily, continual features of the earthly sanctuary service all pointed forward to the unceasing, personal meditation of Christ as our Great High Priest in heaven. Over and over, at least 15 times, the writer of the book of Hebrews speaks of the constant mediation of Christ. Read Hebrews 5:6; 6:20; 7:3, 8, 16, 17, 21, 24, 25, 28; 10:12; 13:8. The heavenly ministry of Christ is the true daily of Daniel 8.
6. How did the little horn power take away the daily?
It has done this by setting up a counterfeit of the true daily – a human priesthood in the place of Christ’s priestly ministration. Man is taught to look to a human for grace through meritorious works.
NOTE: The apostles believed and taught the truth that Christ ministers continually in heaven for those who voluntarily approach God through Christ Jesus. Read Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1. During the Middle Ages there was an attempt to place more emphasis on the authority of the visible head of the church rather than of Christ. Direct access to Christ by all believers was supplanted by the exultation of the priestly ministry. There was a gradual attempt to develop a system of salvation by works which took the place of salvation by faith in Christ. The mediatorial work of Christ, as man’s Great High Priest in heaven, was gradually set aside and lost sight of. The growing system diverted man’s attention from Christ and deprived them of the blessing and benefits of His ministry. It is only the priesthood and the ministry of Christ that can take away sin. This is a ministry in the heavenly sanctuary. For when Chris was on earth He was not a priest. “For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest.” Hebrews 8:4
The vision of Daniel 8 is more than a conflict between nations. It brings our attention to the taking away of the daily which is a world-wide attempt to dethrone Christ as man’s only mediator. The facts are, “And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1