And I 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 . Then I 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. I saw 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. 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. And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. And I 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. 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.( Daniel 8:2-6)
I believe that the study of prophecy is very similar to painting pictures with “paint by number”. At first, you fill in numbers with various colors and can’t make out what the picture actually is. Eventually as you keep laboring, the picture begins to emerge , and the details become more evident and clear.
When I began the Christian life, I knew one thing about Eschatology, Jesus was coming back! As I made scripture my life’s study, details began to emerge;the prophesied rebirth of the Jewish State,Israel, the worldwide siege around Jerusalem and Judea (the West Bank), the whole world will turn on Israel, the role of Islam in endgame events, the role of the United Nations also, …etc. .
Sometimes the clear vision of end times events is held up because of faulty teaching, almost like getting the wrong color in the wrong number. I have found that we must be ever open to scripture and not cling too tightly to our previous understanding of prophecy.
The picture is beginning to emerge, though of course I do not have all of the details, but those who have ears to hear are beginning to see the vision of the Parousia and the events leading to it.
For years I have pored over the prophecies of Daniel, as Jesus told us we should in Matthew 24:15, but I must confess that something has been pointed out to me, by a teacher named Joel Richardson, which I have never seen before. I don’t necessarily agree with all of Joel’s conclusions, but I have to admit that he is right about the point I am about to go into.
The great insight which may seem small to some of you, (but is radical to me) is that the vision of Daniel 8 is for the end times.
So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.(Daniel 8:17)
And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be.(Daniel 8:19)
I had been taught, and have taught(correctly) that Daniel 8 was a prediction of the rise of the Medo-Persian Empire(the Ram) and the Greek Empire of Alexander the Great,(The Goat). Daniel predicted these things in the 6th century BC and everything he said was fulfilled in the fourth century BC. This vision is in line with Daniel’s interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar’s vision in Daniel 2, giving more details of the Persian and Greek periods.
But what I didn’t notice is the repetitious angelic announcement that this vision would be fulfilled in the “time of the end”, the last days of the “indignation” the time of Israel’s subjection to Gentile powers.
There is a prophetic law of dual fulfillment, so I believe I was right about the earlier fulfillment of the vision, but I missed the fact that this clear vision is for the “time of the end”, and is a very significant insight into the near future of two major World Powers which have arisen in prominence very recently, Persia(Iran) and Greece (Turkey).
We need to consider this very carefully…