Preface to Daniel 8 Study
Updated: Nov 25, 2022
Recently, I found myself immobilized, unable to lift my hands or feet to do anything. One minute I was walking, talking, healthy and strong working in my garden, fixing my supper and then, suddenly, I was on the floor unable to lift myself or my limbs, paralyzed. Besides the fact that I thought I might be breathing my last or soon to be unconscious, I also was acutely aware that I had a message to tell the world that I had not yet told. I had taken my health for granted. I had not used the gift of health to get the job done that I had been given of God. You see, by the grace of God, I love to study scripture! And through the promises of God and His Holy Spirit I have been given an understanding of the scriptures. It is a gift that God really wants all of us to have. I thank God for His gift; but the gifts of God are given to give. I know I am to use my gift of understanding to teach others. Although I have restored health, I am now once again acutely aware of the fragility of life. I have a desire to do my part to help others understand prophecy so they can build faith in God and be ready for what is coming.
Before the age of thirty, I merely read my Bible. However, Jesus commented on Daniel 8, saying He wants us to not stop at simply reading but to also seek to understand what we read in the prophecies (Matthew 24:15). He promises the gift of His Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth (John 16:13). These words were written to all, not solely to pastors and theologians. Consequently, for the last twenty-five years, I have been not only reading but reading to understand. God has been true to His promise!
Our world continues to move on toward prophetic destinations. The wonderful thing is that God told us before it came to pass what would happen, so when it was fulfilled, we would believe. God is trying to prepare all who will seek to understand. Daniel 8 is a picture of the greatest controversy in the universe. It is more than just a picture of reigning world kingdoms; Daniel 8 gives us a picture of the controversy between God and Satan and the conclusion to this battle over the hearts of mankind.
Patterns in God’s Word are important. Prophetic order in Scripture is purposeful, each event building on the last, each event coming as God said it would. The story line of the prophetic Word repeats itself, everything written for the next generation down to those living at the end of time. Written prophecy, though often relevant for the time written, is also relevant at the end of time so the reader can be familiar with the order of events and of how both Satan and God work (1 Corinthians 10:11). Due to its repetitive nature, prophetic history gives us no excuse for not believing the warnings of God, for not knowing the story plot, for not understanding the character of the actors, and for not knowing the prophetic outcome of the great controversy between Christ and Satan.
Scripture teaches us that prophecy should be studied with three overreaching themes in mind for which I will briefly give scriptural support below.
1. The following Scriptures tell us that prophecy should be studied as a revelation of God before it comes to pass for the purpose that we might believe in God and know the thoughts of our own heart.
Isaiah 42:9 Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them. https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Isaiah-Chapter-42/
John 13:19 Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.
Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
30 But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.
Revelation 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
2. Secondly, the following scriptures reveal that prophecy must be studied as it relates to Jesus Christ, the center of all prophecy being the testimony of Jesus Christ and His sufferings for us.
44 And he said unto them, these are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
Revelation 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: 2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
Revelation 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
3. Finally, Scripture tells us that all prophecy is pertinent regarding the time at the end of the world, just before Jesus comes again.
1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
Revelation 22:6 And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Revelation-Chapter-22/
I have done my best to convey Daniel 8 through these three frameworks. My study of Daniel 8 has taught me more than ever how much God cares for us, giving us His Word that we might be taught individually to believe, and to understand the cross as it relates to our personal life. Be assured that when prophecies come to pass, God is always in control of our personal situation. Even as Jesus walked the road to Emmaus with his disciples, He is walking with us, expounding to us in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself (Luke 24:13-32).
The Daniel 8 prophetic visions are concerned with the mighty powers of earth and heaven. Specifically, we will discover the Ram kingdom of the Medes and Persians, with its dual power to re-establish freedom of worship and government under God to the people of Israel. We will see Satan, the singular power behind the He-goat, as he works through the king of Greece to destroy the two powers of the Medo-Persian kings and begins to trample upon the re-established worship and government of God on earth. Furthermore, through the Little Horn power, we will see how God allows Satan to reveal his blasphemous character to the world even as He allows him to persecute His newly established church and how He sees His church through this time of tribulation. We will understand how God makes things right again and continues to work, even now, to establish a right relationship with those who worship Him.
Then in answer to Daniel’s questions regarding the meaning of the first vision of Daniel 8, we will study the second vision, the appearance of the Mighty Warrior and Captain of our Salvation, Jesus Christ, as He comes to the front to save the world from sin and the destructive forces of Satan. This study will give us the perspective of heaven regarding the time fulfillments of the time components in the prophecies of Daniel 8.
Finally, we will inspect more closely the Daniel 8 prophecy as it relates to the “end of the indignation” or the very close of time. We will see how God uses this prophecy to teach us what is coming now and in the future.
When we are done with our study of Daniel 8, we should understand:
1) The direct fulfilment of these prophecies
2) How these prophecies relate to the sufferings of Jesus Christ and the cross
3) The end time connotations contained within these prophecies
After studying Daniel 8, Heaven also compels me to relate to you an understanding of the things I see happening currently in the world that relate to the close of time prophecies in the final chapters of my book. I want you to take a fresh look at what we can learn from the Daniel 8 vision to understand we are even now under attack by a very deliberate power who is still at work to destroy our freedoms and true worship of God. This power is once again trying to take the place of God through earthly powers. However, the Bible tells us that the Mighty Warrior of Heaven is going to set up His eternal kingdom to reign as God with us right here on earth and will destroy all the kingdoms of the world without hand. Glory be to Almighty God! The closing chapters of earth’s history are upon us. I pray to God that as you study Daniel 8 alongside of me, that the Holy Spirit will speak to your heart, implore you to study scripture more in depth, and give you understanding, even as He has done for me.
Sharon Oxentenko, Author