Dr. S. Lewis Johnson discusses Daniel prophecy about the Ram and the He-Goat, symbolizing clash of the Medo-Persian Empire with the rise of Greece. The national origin of the antichrist is interpreted.
Let’s open our class with a word of prayer for the night.
[Prayer] Father, we thank Thee for the privilege of the study of Thy word. We thank Thee for the Book of Daniel and the Prophet Daniel for his faithfulness and concern for the things of the Lord. We pray that we too may have the same kind of concern for the glory of God and for the accomplishment of the purposes of our triune God.
On this earth, we ask Lord that Thou would give us understanding as we consider the first of the first part of eighth chapter of this great prophecy. We know that our Lord Jesus was familiar with the Book of Daniel and enable us to have the same desire to master its comments and its teaching as He too from his human nature did. We ask Lord Thy blessing upon us now in this hour.
For Jesus’ sake. Amen.
[Message] Returning to Daniel chapter 8 and in our study, this hour we want to consider the first fourteen verses which is really the account of the vision that Daniel saw and then in our next study next week we will consider the interpretation of this Ram and He-Goat vision. Revelation, the Book of Revelation is the book of the unveiling of the Christ. Daniel is in one important sense, the Book of the Revelation of the antichrist and so, we will see a great deal in this book about the antichrist. He will appear in the form of the little horn, Daniel chapter 7 and chapter 8 and then as the king in chapter 11, but this is the book in which we have some important material concerning the unveiling of the Antichrist.
When we come to Daniel chapter 8, remember from our first studies that we now turn to the section of the book that is written in Hebrew again. Remember in chapter 1 verse 1 through chapter 2 verse 4, the prophet wrote in Hebrew. But then in chapter 2 verse 5 through chapter 7 he wrote in Aramaic, but here he begins again, writing in Hebrew and will write the remainder of the book in the Hebrew language. And we have been saying in the preceding studies that probably the reason for this that those sections written in Aramaic have to do primarily with prophecy as that pertains to the Gentiles while the sections that are written in Hebrew have primarily to do with prophecies as it relates specifically to Israel. So, we should expect then the predominance of the Jew in the prophecies from this point on.
You will notice some of the things in this chapter that seem to support that. For example, in verse 9 we have reference to “the pleasant land.” Verse 9 reads and out of one of them came forth around a small horn, which grew exceedingly great towards the south, towards the east and towards the beautiful land whereas the Authorized Version has it the pleasant land. Well, that’s a reference to the land of Palestine.
And then in Verse 11 we have some specifically Hebrew expressions. It even magnified itself to be equal with the commander of the host and it removed the regular sacrifice, notice that from him and the place of his sanctuary was thrown down. So, we have the term sanctuary and sacrifice there. So, we have this emphasis upon prophecies that pertains to the nation Israel from now on.
Remember in chapter 2, Daniel saw when he asked for the interpretation, the vision that Nebuchadnezzar had seen of the great figure, which signified the four Gentile kingdoms that would be upon the earth till the second coming of the Lord Jesus. And then, in chapter 7, looking at it from the divine standpoint, we saw the four beasts revealed to Daniel which also pictured the four world empires, which shall have ruled over the earth from the time of Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon till the time of the second advent and remember those kingdoms were Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, the Grecian, and then the fourth kingdom which is not named but was from other factors in the word of God to be identified with the Roman Empire.
We also mentioned that the Roman Empire evidently has two phases, the phase that existed in the past and that there will be a measure of revival of the Roman Empire. That will come before as more definitely when we reach chapter 9. So, I’m anticipating a little bit there. The ruler of the fourth kingdom, that final world empire, which shall have dominion over the whole of the earth, is the antichrist.
Now, the fourth kingdom’s ruler being the antichrist means that when we come to chapter 8 and we have some identifications as far as location is concerned, that we are to expect that the antichrist shall then come from the east as we shall see because the little horn of Daniel chapter 8 is a little horn that comes up among that representation of the Grecian empire.
Some of you have a Scofield Bible, and I have a high regard for the Scofield Bible. As a matter of fact, I kept my teeth, spiritual teeth on the Scofield Bible. After I was converted in Birmingham, Alabama, one of my friends who was anxious to see me grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord, gave me a Scofield Bible when I was still a member of the South Highlands Presbyterian Church there and that was the first Bible that I read through. I was told by Dr. Barnhouse that the way to read the Bible was to start in the Gospel of John and read through the rest of the New Testament, come back and read Matthew, Mark and Luke because they pertain particularly to the fulfillment of all testament prophecy and then go back and read Genesis through Malachi, and that’s exactly what I did. I did it in about — when I was converted in February and I did it for the remainder of the year and read the Bible in that way.
But when I read it, I read it in the Scofield Edition of the King James Version and read the notes, and the notes had a great deal to do with grounding me in some of the fundamentals of the Christian faith. There are many things in the notes of the Scofield Bible that are not reliable in my opinion, but they are, the vast majority of the notes that are there are sound and very true and it is a very useful Bible. And consequently, when I say something negative with reference to it, it’s not to attack the Scofield Bible. It’s been a great benefit to many, many people down through the years.
But there is a note in the Scofield Bible concerning the little horn that is wrong in which references are made to the fact that the little horn of Daniel chapter 7 is not the same as the little horn of Daniel chapter 8. In a moment, we will try to point out that that is not true. And since it is not true in my opinion, then the antichrist we may expect to come from the Grecian Empire, that is from the area that Alexander had under his authority. So, when we look at the Book of Daniel, we are going to see that what Daniel is doing is giving us broad pictures in the beginning and then as the chapters unfold, he is giving us more and more details by which we may fill in the picture, so much like building a house.
The first part of the construction of a house is the drawing of the plans. You may have an architect to draw the plans for your house and then of course, there are bids and the builders begin to construct the house. They begin with the foundations, the walls, the roof, and then they also from that time on move on inside and finish the plumbing, the finish and finally at the end, they paint. And then the last step, which is a continuous eternal step to keep the odd in shape. So, when you build a house, you start with the broad features and then fill in the details and so that is what Daniel is doing. He is giving us broad pictures, Daniel chapter 2, Daniel chapter 7. When they come to chapter 8 now, we are going to see that he is filling in some details and further identifying the little horn who is the antichrist.
Now, let’s turn to the eighth Chapter and let’s read Verses 1 through 4. In the third year of the reign of Belshazzar, the King, a vision appeared to me, Daniel, subsequent to the one which appeared to me previously. Incidentally that means after the one that appeared, which he described in chapter 7 Verse 1 and the first year of Belshazzar. So, subsequent to the one which appeared to me previously and I looked in the vision and it came about while I was looking that I was in the Citadel of Susa, which is in the province of Elam and I looked in the vision and I myself was beside the Ulai canal of the Ulai river. Then I lifted my gaze and looked behold a Ram, which had two horns was standing in front of the canal. Now the two horns were long, but one was longer than the other and longer one came up last. I saw the Ram butting westward, northward and southward and no other beasts could stand before him, nor was there anyone to rescue from his power, but he did as he pleased and magnified himself.
Now, the first four verses record for us the rise of the Ram. The time as given in the very first verse is the third year of the reign of Belshazzar, two years after the preceding vision of the four wild beasts. And the vision appears to Daniel. The points are described as the Citadel of Susa in the province of Elam, and that he was beside the Ulai canal. Now Susa was the capital of Persia. Ulai was near Susa, so Daniel is in this particular place in his vision, he was in the Citadel, which was in the province of Elam, and Persia and I looked in the vision and I myself was beside the Ulai canal. Verses 3 and 4 describe what he saw and I lifted my gaze and looked and behold a Ram, which had two horns. Now we know the representation of the Ram because in verse 20, which we are not considering tonight, we read the Ram, which you saw with the two horns represents the Kings of Media and Persia.
So, we know then the meaning of the Ram. It is a reference to the Medo-Persia Empire. This corresponds then with the fifth verse of the seventh chapter where we read and behold another beast, a second one resembling a bear, and it was raised up on one side and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth and thus, they said to it, ‘Arise, devour much meat!’ and that also corresponds to chapter 2 and verse 32 and verse 39 where we have reference to the second kind of metal. Remember, the head of statue was made of fine gold, its breast and its arms are of silver. So, we are now given further information concerning the second kingdom. Verse 39 says, “After you there will arise another kingdom inferior to you.” So, this is the Medo-Persian empire, it is represented by the silver of Nebuchadnezzar’s vision and it is represented by the bear of Daniel’s vision in chapter 7. It is an inferior kingdom to the Babylonian Empire.
Now it is very fitting that the Medo-Persian should be described as like a Ram. This is a very interesting thing. When I was in Dodge City a few weeks ago, when I was made Deputy Marshall [laughter], I had a telephone call, a conference call from Houston and I hope this person doesn’t hear this tape, but it was a — he was a wild man. And there was a friend of mine in Dallas. There was a man in Dallas, a man in Houston and myself and three of us, and they got me on the phone, it was about 11 o’clock in the middle of the day and I was in the motel room, and they died laughing over the fact that I was on Wyatt Earp Boulevard to start with, and that was a bad start.
But for two hours, they talked with me on the phone or really for two hours I listened on the phone. My ear began to hurt, my head hurt and I had to listen to some of the wildest interpretations of the Bible coming from a lawyer in Houston. They were just out of this world. I wish it were possible for me to tell you some of them. But one of them had to do with the Ram, and he was telling me that the Ram in Genesis chapter 22, because it was not a lamb, but a ram, was a reference to Satan. And he also brought in this eighth chapter of Daniel in some devious way by which I have forgotten except that the Ram here of course, is the representation of a pagan empire. And he wanted to make the Ram here the same as the Ram back in Genesis chapter 22. It was a very fruitless conversation from that standpoint, but it was most interesting for weird interpretations of the Bible by a lawyer from Houston. So, if you are listening Mr. Lawyer, they were weird. [Laughter]
Now, the Ram here is identified as Medo-Persia and doesn’t have one thing to do except only vaguely with Satan, and doesn’t have anything at all to do with the ram which Abraham slew in the place of Isaac’s son. A ram is a male sheep, it’s a reference of course, in Genesis chapter 22 to the sacrificial work of our Lord Jesus Christ.
But now it’s very fitting that the Ram be chosen as the emblem of Medo-Persia. The Persians were largely nomads and mountaineers and consequently, it explains the fact that the recognized emblem of Persia or one of them was a ram. Coins, Persian coins have been discovered, which display a ram’s head on the obverse and a ram recumbent on the reverse. And in the Zendavesta, Ized Behram, the guardian spirit of Persia appears like a ram, with clean feet and sharp pointed horns. So, the figure of the Ram was well known. It was like the eagle for the United States of America. So, the seeing of the Ram would have immediately in Daniel’s mind conjured up Medo-Persia.
Now, the next thing that we read about this Ram in Verse 3 is that the Ram had two horns and was standing in front of the canal. Now, the two horns were long, but one was longer than the other or as the Authorized Version has one higher than the other. Now, this is a reference to the fact that this is an empire of Medes and Persians, and if you know the history of the Medo-Persian Empire, you will know that the Persians became dominant in that collusion. And the reference here to one being higher than the other or longer than the other is referenced to the superiority of the Persians over the Medes, and it is parallel to the statement in chapter 7, verse 5 where we read, “And behold another beast, a second one resembling a bear and it was raised up on one side, and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth.” So, the being raised up on one side, signifies the dominance of one side of the bear, which represented Medo-Persia and here the longer horn represents of course, the Persians of the Medo-Persian empire.
Probably also in the first vision that Nebuchadnezzar had of the giant image in which we have a man standing, his head of gold, his arms of silver, the right arm being stronger probably and that vision would represent the Persian empire and left arm being weaker would represent the Medes. Now that is not spelled out because as I said, and Daniel, he has given us broad pictures in the beginning and then filling in the details as he goes along.
In the fourth verse, we — one other thing about the Ram that we want to pay attention to. He says, “I saw the Ram butting westward.” Now, the Authorized Version reads pushing, pushing westward, northward, southward and no other beasts can stand before him, nor was there anyone to rescue from his power, but he did as he pleased and he magnified himself.
Now, turn back to chapter 7, verse 5 and behold another beast, the second one resembling a bear and it was raised up on one side and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth, and thus they said to it, ‘Arise, devour much meat!’ So, the “Devour much meat” there is parallel with the pushing westward, northward, southward and no other beasts standing before it, no one to rescue from its power. In other words, the beast of chapter 7 and the Ram of chapter 8 are representative of the dominance of this Medo-Persian empire in the dominion — in the ruling of the earth. So, it is a recognition of the fact that this empire was an empire that took within its territory’s vast areas. So, it does picture them of the fact that the Medo-Persian empire is one of those great world empires, pushing northward, southward and no other beast could stand before it.
You will notice also that there are personal things said about it, but he did as he pleased and magnified himself, so the picture of the Ram suddenly becomes personified and we have a Ram that is magnifying himself. Now the reason for that is that we will see in the interpretation is that the little horn is one who takes to himself certain of the characteristics of these world empires and characteristics of all world emperors is that they love to magnify themselves.
And even J.C. likes to magnify himself too. Just this morning, I opened the newspaper and there he is telling us that one thing you can count on him for is, he will not panic in a crisis. He is just that kind of person. So, he is magnifying himself too in virtue of 1980, and they will have a lot of magnifying of themselves between now and then. And if you want to turn off your TV entirely, that’s probably the wisest thing that you could possibly do.
Incidentally, I got a letter from — one of the issues of the Evangelical Newsletter. I don’t recommend that you take this, but nevertheless in it there was an interesting comment about TV. Gordon [Indistinct] adds himself to those concerned about the influence of TV on as whole. His warning continues to be timely. Perhaps the most startling if not overwhelming fact of American domestic life is the sheer quantity of time we spend sitting in front of our television sets. The Nielsen agency reports that the average American family watches, get this, 44 hours a week. 44 hours a week, can you imagine that? That’s over six hours a day. The average family. [Indistinct] sees spiritual connotations, we sit down before a box of tubes we human beings have made and say to it, “You are my God, save me from loneliness and despair, from confusion and pain, surely happy days and easy answers will follow me all the days in my life and I will dwell in front of the tube forever.” [Laughter] Now he said TV forever, but I like tube better.
He goes on to say, television is deliberately and diligently telling us who we are, what we have done, what we can do. It is the place where we go to learn what is powerful, valuable and permissible in our society. Well, as the race for the Presidency heats up, those hours will probably be rising. But now to get back to the subject, how did I get off of that? Magnifying himself. So, we will see a lot of magnification, talk about that next week too.
The next thing in the section is “The Rise of the He-Goat.” And let’s read verses 5 through 8 where Daniel describes the male goat. While I was observing, behold a male goat. Now the Authorized Version where it’s a He-Goat. This New American Standard Bible has,
“A male goat, was coming from the west over the surface of the whole earth without touching the ground; and the Goat had a conspicuous horn between his eyes. And he came up to the Ram that had the two horns which I had seen standing in front of the canal and rushed at him in his mighty wrath. And I saw him come beside the Ram, and he was enraged at him; and he struck the Ram and shattered his two horns, and the Ram had no strength to withstand him. So, he hurled him to the ground and trampled on him, and there was none to rescue the Ram from his power. Then the male goat magnified himself exceedingly. (That’s characteristic of these world emperors. They magnify themselves) But as soon as he was mighty, the large horn was broken; and in its place there came up four conspicuous or notable horns toward the four winds of heaven.”
So, Daniel after seeing the Ram sees this He-Goat and noticed that he comes from the West. Now that will be important. Let’s turn back to Daniel chapter 7 and read verse 8 or perhaps we should read verse 6 first. “After this I kept looking, and behold, another one, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird.” Notice the four wings of the bird. “The beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it.” Now remember, when we were describing, expounding this chapter and describing what was meant by this leopard, we may reference to Alexander and also to the fact that when Alexander died, his kingdom was divided into four parts. So, notice here in Verse 5 then, the four wings of a bird. And let’s also read Verse 8. “While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth uttering great boasts” magnifying himself again.
Turning back now to chapter 8 and speaking of a He-Goat that came from the West. What is meant by the He-Goat? Well, again, we don’t have to guess, because in verse 21, in the interpretation, Daniel writes “The shaggy goat represents the kingdom of Greece, and the large horn that is between his eyes is the first king.” So, we have Greece and the first king of this worldwide empire. Of course, we know that Alexander was the king, the first king of the worldwide Grecian empire, but it’s represented as a goat.
Now that too is something that Daniel probably would have understood because the Goat was associated with Macedonian empire. Owing to its connection was the famous legend of Caranus, it was the national emblem of Macedonia and it is found on the coins of that country. The ancient capital of Macedonia was called Aegea or Goat City, and the people were called Aegeadae. And the adjacent waters received the name of the — well what the sea and they are Greece, the Aegean Sea which of course, means the Goat Sea. That is the name of it. And thus, Alexander when he had a son by Roxana, he named his son Aegus, or son of a goat because that was the national emblem. Some of the successors of Alexander are represented on coins with goat’s horns. So, in verse 5 then, when Daniel sees this male goat, he would have recognized this as the national emblem of Macedonia perhaps.
The notable horn, is described in verse 8. The male horn magnified himself succeeding but as soon as he was mighty. A large horn was broken and in its place there came up four conspicuous horns incidental as a notable horn or conspicuous horn is designed to represent first the strength of Alexander because the horn was the strong part of the animal, the source of the animal’s power in battle and the notable or conspicuous nature of it was the intelligence and skill of Alexander in empire. So, the notable horn is a reference to Alexander.
Now the defeat of the Ram is of course, a representation of Alexander’s defeat of the legal Medo-Persian Empire. It was a struggle of ponderosity versus agility, or weight versus speed, anybody who knows baseball or football or military affairs knows that speed almost always overcomes ponderosity or weight, which may be an argument for losing weight. Ladies and gentlemen, that hardly is appropriate for the message I guess.
Now, let me say just a few words about Alexander. Alexander had 30,000 men and 4,000 to 5,000 cavalry. When he attacked the Medo-Persians, he was across the Hellespont and into Asia Minor before the Persians even disputed his passage. They were slow as usual. He beat them at Granicus destroying the army of the Satraps. He spent 12 months consolidating his position and then Darius Cotemanus with 600,000 men came against him, but he made a serious tactical mistake. He set up his position at Isis only a mile and a half of flat ground was found.
And so, consequently he could only arrange 4,000 men in his front rank. So, had these vast horns, but he didn’t have any place to put his men. Consequently Alexander easily beat them. He managed to attack them from the side and overcame them very easily even though he was tremendously outnumbered, very much like Stonewall Jackson and some of the campaigns that he waged in the earlier part of the Civil War, when he won battles by virtue of his superior skill and tactics in attacking the Yankees from the side. And in that way, he did away with the strength of their numbers.
Alexander subjugated Syria, Phoenicia, Palestine and Egypt and cut the Persian Gulf from the sea and communication with Greece. That took about 20 months. He found the last family of Darius about 30 miles from Nineveh and then a carefully chosen position to take advantage of cavalry. In scythed chariots, he managed to defeat the one million men rather handily. He advanced diagonally across the left wing upsetting the Darius’ plan and that caused a gap in their southern flank and Alexander plunged into the center of the Persian army and there was total confusion and consequently he won the battle and became the first really legitimate world emperor. And you probably know at the height of the Alexander’s power, he died at Babylon and 323 BC of marsh fever and also of intemperance: women and whiskey.
Now, Alexander was a great man and a great world empire, our great world emperor and he is represented here in this way. But now, notice the eighth verse, because Daniel is unfolding things long before this time incidentally that did come to pass. Then the Male Goat magnified himself exceedingly, but as soon as he was mighty, notice. Alexander was right at the height of his power, a young man, but as soon as he was mighty, the text says, “The large horn was broken; and in its place there came up four conspicuous horns toward the four winds of heaven.” The implication being that there were four successors and also that they pointed out in various directions of the compass. That we know is exactly what happened. The empire of Alexander was divided into four parts, divided up among his generals. Ptolemy took the land of Egypt; Cassander, the land of Macedonia and Greece; Lysimachus, Thrace and Western Asia Minor; and Seleucius, Eastern Asia Minor and the East. That will be important as we shall see because out of a certain part of the Alexandrian Empire will come the Little horn or the Antichrist.
But now, let us read the section that has to do with the rise of the Little horn, verses 9 through 14. “Out of one of them came forth a rather small horn, which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Beautiful Land.” Now, notice this little horn comes out of one of the four horns and that would give us further information identifying the antichrist and the part of the land from which he will come. So,
“Out of one of them came forth a rather small horn, which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Beautiful Land, Palestine. And It grew up to the host of heaven and caused some of the host and some of the stars to fall to the earth, and it trampled them down. It even magnified itself to be equal with the commander of the host; and it removed the regular sacrifice from Him, and the place of His sanctuary was thrown down. And on account of transgression the host will be given over to the horn along with the regular sacrifice; and it will fling truth to the ground and perform its will and prosper. Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to that particular one who was speaking, How long will the vision about the regular sacrifice apply, while the transgression causes horror, so as to allow both the holy place and the host to be trampled? And He said to me, ‘For 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the holy place will be properly restored or vindicated.’”
This is the rise of the little horn. Now, the origination of the horn is rather interesting. Now, notice it says, in verse 9, “And out of one of them came forth this notable horn.” Now let’s turn over of chapter 7, verse 8. In chapter 7, verse 8 we read, “While I was contemplating the horns, behold another horn, a little one came up among them. This is among the ten horns of the four beasts.” And, let’s stop for a moment. In chapter 7, it states that the fourth beast had 10 horns and the little horn came up among the 10 horns of this four beasts. We said it represented the restored Roman Empire.
In Chapter 8, the little horn is said to come from the four of the third — the second — the third of the beasts, that is, the leopard of chapter 7 and the Medo-Persian Empire. This is the reason that the Scofield Bible says that the little horn of chapter 7 is not the same as the little horn of chapter 8. The little horn of chapter 7 being identified with the Roman Empire, thus the antichrist or else the little horn of chapter 8 is identified with the Grecian empire and therefore, must be Antiochus Epiphanes; that is a ruler who ruled before the time of Christ.
Antiochus was a very wicked man, he was the younger son of Antiochus the Third or Antiochus the Great. No one would ever have anticipated that he would have ever had authority. But he boastfully assumed the title of Antiochus of Epiphanes and ruled for a while. Antiochus Epiphanes incidentally means Antiochus the Illustrious. Behind his back they called him Antiochus Ephimanes, Antiochus the mad man. So, in the Scofield Bible due to the fact that the little horn is identified with the fourth empire in chapter 7 and identified with the third in chapter 8, they have made the erroneous conclusion, therefore the little horns are different.
But if we remember, that in the fourth empire, we have gathered into that empire, all the empires of the earth. Then of course, it is possible for the little horn to be identified with the third of these world empires and also at the same time, be identified with the fourth, if the fourth is an empire that includes all of the other. And that of course, is exactly the way the case, that’s exactly what happens. It’s like if we were to turn to someone here in this audience and say, “What are you?” and he would say, “Well, I’m an American.” Then I would turn to someone else and say, well — perhaps I would say the next day to the same person, “What are you?” and he might say he is a Texan. While he is not denying that he is an American, when he says he is a Texan. He just further identified his place of domicile or his place of origin. Person can be a Texan and an American, and there is no conflict.
So, likewise the little horn may come up from the Grecian empire, but since the Grecian empire is part of that final worldwide empire, it may also be said to be within the worldwide empire of the restored Roman dominion. So, there is no conflict and we save ourselves from the confusion of having a little horn in one chapter mean one thing and a little horn and the next chapter mean something else.
Daniel is trying to give us identifications in which he is narrowing down the place of origin of the antichrist. He first says in chapter 7, the Antichrist is going to come from this fourth great worldwide restored Roman Empire. But now he gives us a further identification of him. He will come from the Grecian part of that Roman — that worldwide Roman restored empire.
Now I want you to turn with me to the Revelation chapter 13 and I want you to see how John the Apostle follows me in this interpretation. [Laughter] That’s just to keep you awake. Now, in Revelation chapter 13, the apostle gives us a vision that he saw and it’s obvious that he is thinking about the things in the Book of Daniel, chapter 13 and he talking about the dragon. “And he stood on the sand of the seashore, the dragon is contemplating what he is going to do, it is in the midst of the tribulation period and I saw a beast coming up out of the sea having ten horns and seven heads.” You see now, this is the same as that fourth wild beast indescribable of Daniel chapter 7, and he says, he saw this beast coming up out of the sea having ten horns and seven heads and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names.
And the beast which I saw was like — what? Like an indescribable animal described in Daniel chapter 7? No. Like a leopard. Now, what was the leopard in Daniel chapter 7? Well, if you look back at Daniel chapter 7, and you will look at verse 6, “After this, I kept looking and behold another one like a leopard. Now what is the leopard representative of? It is the third empire? Babylonian, Medo-Persian — Grecian, like a leopard. So, the Antichrist according to John is described or the beast is said to be like a leopard.
Now he goes on to say there are other things about him, that identify him with the other beasts. He was like a leopard and his feet were like those of a bear and his mouth like the mouth of a lion, and the dragon gave him power and throne and great authority. In other words, the antichrist will combine with any of all the features of these four great world empires, but his primary identification is, he is like a leopard. In other words, he will come from that part of the world represented by the ancient Grecian empire. So, when we talk about a revived Roman Empire, we don’t mean by that, that the ruler of that reviewed Roman Empire will be a Roman.
Now, if men like DeHaan, like in the 30s when Mussolini arose, there was a great deal of interest among Bible students, because they had the mistaken notion that there, since the Roman empire is to be reviewed in the last days, and the Antichrist is going to be the ruler, you might think he would be Roman. But, and when Mussolini came along and he started making these great boasts and magnifying himself, Bible teaches like Dr. DeHaan. That is the one thing in which Dr. DeHaan probably would have liked to taken back. He was really a great Bible teacher, but he went out on a limb and identified Mussolini as the antichrist, because he was making head of big miles and he was saying great things and he was a Roman and Italy was making its way to the upper ranks of the nations of the earth again. But, if he had thought about this particular chapter and the chapter in Revelation chapter 13, I don’t think he would have made that mistake.
The Antichrist has a definite identification with the Grecian empire and in a moment and later on in this book, we will find that he has even identified with a certain part of the Grecian empire. So, we should expect him to rise from a certain part of the ancient Eastern world. Now, he may become a Roman emperor in the sense that, he rules over all of this territory, but his own identification is with a particular part of those empires.
Well, the desolation of the sanctuary has described in the tenth through the twelfth verses and I think we can omit this until next week and finally, the justification of the sanctuary in verse 13. One can see of course from reading this, reading all of these prophecies that the hope of the world is not in man, the hope of the world is in the Lord God.
Sometime ago, the National or the World Council of Churches had a worldwide conference and the subject of the conference and the theme was “Christ, the Hope of the World.” Some of you may have remembered that particular conference, because it was advertised widely. Time magazine had an article on this and then shortly afterwards someone wrote a letter to the editors. This is what they said, “Instead of Christ, the Hope of the World, the slogan should be Man, the Hope of the World. When man is brought to realize his vast potentialities, when he realizes that he is on his own, released from the drag of the centuries, in reverence and humility, he will scale the heights of his destiny.” Isn’t that amazing? The Bible, as you can see, makes it very plain that the hope of the world does not lie in man and especially in that kind of man. The hope of the world lies in the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is time for us to close. Let’s close with a word of prayer.
[Prayer] Father, we are grateful to Thee for these ancient prophecies which enable us to understand so much better the things that are happening in the world about us, deliver us from the boastful arrogance, characteristic of the little horn and the antichrist and give us true humility, the humility to recognize what we as men are before Thee and enable us to truly trust Thee in our personal life, in our church life, and in our lives as citizens of this country and of the world. We look forward to the coming again of our Lord Jesus Christ, we look forward to the great victory that He shall accomplish in his second advent and we look forward to the kingdom, which Thou shall bring through Him. Bless us in the classes that follow.
We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.