[This is the text to the first half of the “Some Say the Antichrist Has Come” video. The full video can be seen here.]
My approach to the book of Daniel is that of a believer. But I don’t do this with sort of a simplistic, naïve attitude. I’ve done research on this and found that it’s all true, both from a historical and a spiritual perspective.
But, if someone studies Daniel chapter 8 and doesn’t have faith in God, they’ll often come up with some rather strange ideas about it. And sadly, those misunderstandings have been printed and published pretty far.
Let’s say you decide to do some research on all this and find, to your surprise, that there are actually Bibles around that, in their footnotes, say these prophecies of Daniel 8 have already been fulfilled! Or that this chapter was not written when Daniel said, but 100’s of years later!
There was a group of famous, highly respected Bible professors, well over 100 years ago, who could be called “the Critics”. They seemed so wise and they had so much education. But what many didn’t have was faith in God. What they taught was that God simply can’t and won’t tell us the future.
And since Daniel 8:21 clearly predicted the coming of Alexander the Great, the learned “Critics” said that Daniel chapter 8 must have been written after the time of Alexander. We’ve gone over enough material in our earlier classes for you to know that God certainly does tell us the future, at least sometimes. We saw that in the prophecies He gave Abraham, David, Jeremiah and many others.
But these theologians, intentionally or otherwise, spread unbelief in God’s Word. They said that the book of Daniel was written hundreds of years after the Bible says it was. Do you think God knew this was going to happen? Maybe that’s why He had Daniel write, at the beginning of each chapter we’ve studied, exactly what year it was when he got the vision or dream?
Daniel chapter two, verse one says, “Now in the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams;…“
Daniel chapter seven, verse one says, “In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream…”
And Daniel chapter eight, verse one says, “In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a vision appeared to me, Daniel…”
Each of those prophetic chapters starts off by giving the date of the prophecy. If the Bible is just a lie and a fiction, why should any of us waste time with it? But it’s not a lie or a fiction. It is a true historical account. And the contradictions and unbelief of some seemingly learned theologians should be seen for what it is and not affect us.
But, you could say,
“What about those that say that “the Little Horn” has already come!? That these prophecies in Daniel chapter 8 have already been fulfilled!?”
Some people say that. Remember how I told you that there have already been men in history, ones like Hitler, Napoleon and even Stalin? Great, but evil, leaders of nations, who were in some ways foreshadowings of this final demonic dictator to come. Let me now tell you of another one from around 165 BC. And he certainly had many of the characteristics of the final Antichrist. The Greek, Antiochus Ephiphanes was his name.
During the period of “The Return”, some of the Jewish people had come back to the land they’d been driven from by the Babylonians. They’d been treated fairly well during the time of Alexander the Great. But 200 years later, this Antiochus Ephiphanes became one of the greatest persecutors and tormentors the Jews ever encountered.
During a 3½ year rule of terror, Antiochus Ephiphanes worked fiercely to destroy the faith and even the writings of the Jews. He forbid the Jews to worship God according to their customs.He even went into the rebuilt Jewish temple in Jerusalem and offered a sacrificial pig, an unclean animal, an abomination to the Jews.
It was a horrible, terrible time for the Jews. This godless man was certainly a forerunner and, at the least, a partial fulfillment of these prophecies. But, was he really the ultimate fulfillment of the little horn of Daniel 8?
If he was, then this is all now the past and all these prophecies have all already been totally fulfilled. Maybe we’re wrong about it all? “It’s all the past, nothing to get worked up about!” That’s what some say. I’ll finish this supplemental section to Daniel chapter 8 with a personal story where I was faced with these very questions.
[The second half of the text to this video will be published soon.]
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