Sure Word of Prophecy
The Vicar of Christ
appeared unto Daniel in 538 B.C., the same year in which Babylon fell?
third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a vision appeared unto
me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the
first." Dan. 8:1.
2. Where was
Daniel at this time?
saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan
in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a
vision, and I was by the river of Ulai." Verse 2.
3. What first
attracted the prophet's attention?
lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a
ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was
higher than the other, and the higher came up last." Verse 3.
4. What power
was represented by the ram having two horns?
which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and
Persia." Verse 20.
How are the
rise and work of this power described?
the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts
might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of
his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great." Verse
symbol was next introduced in the vision?
"And as I
was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the
face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a
notable horn between his eyes." Verse 5.
7. What did
the goat with the notable horn represent?
the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is
between his eyes is the first king." Verse 21.
8. How was
the conquest of Medo-Persia by Grecia foretold in this symbolic prophecy?
saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him,
and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power
in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and
stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his
hand." Verse 7.
9. When the
he goat "was strong," what occurred? "Therefore the he goat
waxed very great: and when he was strong, the
great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the
four winds of heaven." Verse 8.
10. Who was
represented by " the great horn," and what followed when it was
the rough goat is the king [kingdom] of Grecia: and the great horn that is
between his eyes is the first king. Now that being broken, whereas
four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but
not in his power." Verses 21,22.
the interpretation given, it is plain that the notable "horn"
upon the he goat represented Alexander the Great, who led the Grecian
forces in their conquest of Medo-Persia. Upon the death of Alexander at
Babylon, B.C. 323, there followed a brief period of confusion in the
struggle for the kingdom, but the succession was definitely determined
by the battle of Ipsus, B.C. 301. Alexander's four leading generals-
Cassander, Lysimachus, Ptolemy, and Seleucus- became his successors.
vast empire created by Alexander's unparalleled conquests was distracted
by the wranglings and wars of his successors, and before the close of the
fourth century before Christ, had become broken up into many fragments.
Besides minor states, four well-defined and important monarchies rose
out of the ruins. . . . Their rulers were Lysimachus, Cassander, Seleucus
Nicator, and Ptolemy, who had each assumed the title of king. The great
horn was broken; and instead of it came up four notable ones toward the
four winds of heaven."- Myers's "History of Greece,"
page 457, edition 1902.
11 What came
out of one of the four horns of the goat?
out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding
great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant
land." Verse 9.
interpretation is given to this little horn?
the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the
full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences,
shall stand up." Verse 23.
13. What did
this little horn do to the people of God?
"And it waxed great, even
to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the
stars to the ground, and stamped upon them." Verse 10.
14. In what
literal language is this persecution of the people of God further
his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy
wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty
and the holy people." Verse 24.
15. How was
this little horn to exalt itself against Christ and His mediatorial work?
magnified itself, even to the Prince of the host, and it took away from
Him the continual burnt offering, and the place of His sanctuary was
cast down." Verse 11, R.V.
16. In the
interpretation of the vision, how is this self-exaltation set forth?
through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand;
and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall
destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but
he shall be broken without hand." Verse 25.
similar language is used by the apostle Paul in describing the
"mystery of iniquity," or "man of sin"?
day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man
of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth
himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as
God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." 2
last two scriptures evidently describe one and the same power,-a power
which while religious and professedly Christian, is anti-christian in
spirit, and the very "man of sin" himself. Possessed with the
selfish ambition of Lucifer (Isa. 14:12-14; Eze. 28:17), he assumes to
occupy the very seat and place of Deity in the temple of God. Professing
to be Christ's vicar, or personal representative on earth, he magnifies
himself against Christ, and "stands up," or reigns, in the place
of, and "against," the Prince of princes.
18. What was
given into the hands of the power represented by the little horn?
host was given over to it together with the continual burnt
offering through transgression." Dan. 8:12, first clause, R.V.
19. What did
this power do to the truth?
"And it cast down truth to the
ground, and it did its pleasure and prospered." Same verse, last
interpretation already given to this vision shows plainly that the power
represented by the little horn is the successor of Medo-Persia and
Grecia. In the vision of the seventh chapter of Daniel, which is closely
related to this vision, the fourth beast represented the fourth kingdom,
or Rome, in its entirety, special attention, however, being given to the
"little horn" phase of its history. As shown by the work attributed
to it, this little horn, which arose among the ten kingdoms into which
Rome was divided, was to be a religio-political power, which was to change
the times and law of God, and persecute the people of God. In the vision
of the eighth chapter the ecclesiastical features of this fourth world
power are especially noticed and emphasized, and hence the only symbol
there used to represent it is the "little horn" which waxed
of all the four great monarchies mentioned in these prophecies was
paganism; but the paganism of ancient Babylon was re-produced in pagan
Rome, and then adapted and adopted by papal Rome. The little horn of the
eighth chapter represents Rome, both pagan and papal, in its
ecclesiastical aspect, with its union of paganism, and later of
apostate Christianity, with the secular power; with its antichristian
persecutions of the saints of God; with its perversion of the priesthood of
Christi and with its assertion of both temporal and spiritual power
over all the world. It is evident that pagan Rome is introduced into this
prophecy chiefly as a means of locating the place and work of papal Rome,
and the ecclesiastical features of pagan Rome as typical of the same
features accentuated in papal Rome, and that the emphasis is to be
placed upon the fulfillment of the prophecy in the work of papal Rome. A
careful comparison of Dan. 7:21,25, with Dan. 8:10-12, R.V., and 2
Thess. 2:3,4, will amply justify this conclusion.
Romans could not forget-never did forget-that they had once been masters
and rulers of the world. Even after they had become wholly unfit to rule
themselves, let alone the ruling of others, they still retained the temper
and used the language of masters. . . . In the absence of an emperor in the
West the popes rapidly gained influence and power, and soon built up
an ecclesiastical empire that in some respects took the place of the old
empire and carried on its civilizing work."-Myers's "Rome;
Its Rise and Fall," Boston, 1900, pages 398, 399, 442, 443.
The host and
the stars of Dan. 8:10 are the same as the saints of the Most High of
Dan. 7:25; and the Prince of the host of Dan. 8:11 is the Prince of
princes, or Christ. When the same being appeared to Joshua. (Joshua 5:13-15, margin), He applies the same expression to Himself.
In Dan. 8:11-13, in the Revised Version, the words "burnt offering" have
been supplied by the translators after the word "continual," but
this rendering seems to place too restricted a meaning upon the word
"continual." The fact that no word is connected with "continual" in the original text, although in the typical service of the
sanctuary it is used with "burnt offering" (Ex. 29:42), with
"incense" (Ex. 30:8, here rendered perpetual), and with
"showbread" (Num. 4:7), indicates that that which is continual
represents the continual service or mediation of Christ in the heavenly
sanctuary, in which an that was continual in the typical service found
its antitype and fulfillment. See Heb. 6:19,20; 7:1-3, 14-16, 23-25. The
action which made the Pope the vicar of God and the high priest of the
apostasy, really took away from Christ, as far as human intent and power
were concerned, his place and work as the only mediator between God and
man (1 Tim. 2:5), and this took away from Him, as far as man could take
it away, the continual mediation, according to the prediction in this
prophecies of Daniel are cumulative and widening in their view, each
carrying matters farther than the preceding one, and bringing out more
explicitly and more in detail important features down the stream of time.
In Daniel 2, under the fourth universal kingdom, the Papacy is not
represented under any direct symbol or figure at all,-simply Rome
in its united and divided state; In Daniel 7 Rome is symbolized by the
"little horn" coming up among the ten horns representing the
divided state of Rome; while in Daniel 8 the only figure used to
represent the fourth world power is the "little horn" which
waxed "exceeding great."
In each of
these last two chapters the little horn is introduced to tell especially
of the workings of the same terrible power-Rome papal. Both chapters deal
with the same great apostasy. In the seventh chapter, the little horn
takes away the law of God. In the eighth chapter, it takes away the
gospel. Had it taken away only the law, this would have vitiated the gospel; for, with the law of God gone, even the true gospel
could not save, because the law is needed to convict and give a knowledge
of sin. And had the Papacy taken away only the gospel, and left the law,
salvation through such a system would still have been impossible, for there
is no salvation for sinners through even the law of God itself apart from
Christ and the gospel. But to make apostasy doubly sure, this power
changes, vitiates, and takes away both the law and the gospel.
the Sabbath, the Papacy struck directly at the very heart and seal of the
law of God, just as in substituting its own mediatorial system for that
of Christ's it struck directly at the heavenly sanctuary and its service,
which, in his epistle to the Hebrews, Paul shows to be the very heart and
essence of the gospel.
question was asked in the hearing of the prophet?
heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint
which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily
sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the
sanctuary and the host to be trodden underfoot?" Dan. 8:13.
answer was addressed to Daniel?
said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the
sanctuary be cleansed." Verse 14.
verse 13, R.V., the vision is clearly defined. It is "the vision
concerning the continual burnt offering [or continual mediation], and the
transgression that maketh desolate," which results in giving both the
sanctuary and the people of God to be trodden underfoot. The time when the
vision was to have its special application is stated in verse 17 to be
"at the time of the end," or in the last days. This is
additional proof that this prophecy was to find its complete fulfillment in
papal Rome only, as pagan Rome passed away many centuries ago. The sanctuary and the twenty-three-hundred-day
period here referred to are considered at length in succeeding readings. See
Chapter 53 and 54 of this book.
prophetic period begins at the time when the continual mediation of Christ
was taken away by the Papacy?
from the time that the continual burnt offering shall be taken away, and
the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand
two hundred and ninety days." Dan. 12:11, R.V.
as the taking away of the continual mediation of Christ is made the
beginning of a prophetic period, there must be some definite act at some
definite time which, in form and intent, takes from Christ His priestly
work in the heavenly sanctuary. This act was the official decree of an
ecclesiastical council held at Rome in 503 A.D., by which it was declared
"that the Pope was judge as God's vicar, and could himself be judged
by no one." See Hardouins "Councils," Vol. II, page 983;
Labbe and Cossart's "Councils," Vol. IV, col. 1364; and Bower's "History
of the Popes" (three-volume edition), Vol. I, pages 304, 305. The work
of Clovis king of the Franks, who earned for himself the title of "the
eldest son of the church" by his campaigns to subdue the kingdoms
hostile to the Papacy, contributed much toward putting into practical
effect this claim of the Papacy, which finally resulted in establishing
the Pope as the head of the Roman priesthood which has usurped the
priestly work of Christ, and has established another system of mediation
in its place. This work of Clovis came to its climax in the period
503-508, and this period therefore becomes the natural one from which to
date the 1290 years of Dan. 12:11, which would accordingly end in the
period 1793-98, at the same time as the 1260 years of Dan. 7:25.
Rome would have fallen her bishop, had he not, as if by anticipation of
the crisis, reserved till this hour the master-stroke of his policy, He
now boldly cast himself upon an element of much greater strength than that
of which the political convulsions of the time had deprived him; namely,
that the bishop of Rome is the successor of Peter, the prince of the
apostles, and, in virtue of being so, is Christ's vicar on earth. In
making this claim, the Roman pontiffs vaulted at once over the throne of
kings to the seat of gods: Rome became once more the mistress of the
world, and her popes the rulers of the earth."-" The
Papacy," by J. A. Wylie, page 34.
assurance was given to Daniel concerning the period of time mentioned in
the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true; wherefore
shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days." Dan. 8:26.
the expression "the vision of the evening and the morning"
reference is made to the vision concerning the twenty-three hundred days,
as may be seen by referring to the marginal readings of Dan. 8:14.
interpretation of the vision of chapter 8 closes without making any
explanation of the long period of time which was mentioned to Daniel in
the answer to the question, "How long shall be the vision?" This
important feature was left to be interpreted later. See the next chapter.
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