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When is Jesus coming back?

Part 7 – Daniel’s vision of the ram & the male goat

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A Bible Study to equip us with the Truth of the Scriptures about the Second Coming of Jesus which will be when all that has been written of Him will be fulfilled
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What is the modern day manifestation of the “Kings of Media and Persia” and of the “King of Greece”?
What will happen in the end when the “male goat” will defeat the “ram”?

How important are Daniel’s visions for the understanding of the end-times?

 

To read the previous articles click on the links below

Part 1 – The Second Coming of Jesus
http://mailchi.mp/9529344d2920/jesus-coming-back?e=[UNIQID]

Part 2 – ‘The Earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord’
http://mailchi.mp/4b950b68d2b9/jesus-coming-back-2?e=[UNIQID]

Part 3 – ‘The time is near, I am coming back quickly’
http://mailchi.mp/223a8f8b27de/jesus-coming-back-1334713?e=[UNIQID]

Part 4 – ‘The sign of the fig tree that shows when the summer is at hand’
http://mailchi.mp/e1381884b9ae/jesus-coming-back-1345129

Part 5 – ‘This generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place’
http://mailchi.mp/b87cdf880859/jesus-coming-back-1354197?e=[UNIQID]

Part 6 – Daniel’s Visions of the end-times
http://mailchi.mp/0b5e7158eb0f/jesus-coming-back-1360209?e=[UNIQID]

Over the last 6 articles we have clearly outlined the biblical “theology” of the “end-times” – where the main emphasis has been one simple factor: the Bible shows a series of “events” and “facts” which will have happened before the Second Coming of the Lord.

Until and unless those biblical prophecies have been fulfilled, there will be no return of Jesus, therefore no rapture of the church, therefore no basis for this generation to claim that the return of the Lord is imminent (in our generation).

Instead, we have a lot of work that we are called to complete, as we preach, teach, proclaim, manifest, and advance the Kingdom of God on Earth – first in our own lives, then in our families, our business/workplace, our churches, our communities, our cities, our nations… too much work to do to justify time on imagined scenarios of “rapture” (which cannot happen before the work of the Kingdom of God is completed on Earth).

The prophecy of Daniel we review in this article gives us insight into certain decisive events that will happen before the end of this “age”; it reveals the spiritual source and future outcome of the greatest confrontation of entire civilizations, those of the East (mainly Islam in its various sects and branches) and that of the West (Humanism, Democracy, Freedom of Choice, Value of individual life/person).

The ram and the male goat

In this study we shall NOT study this subject in depth (which is enormous, with many aspects and repercussions). What we want is to see the simple message which the Lord is sharing with us through Daniel’s vision about the end-times.

Let us note in the scriptures below that the “ram” comes from the East (Islamic “theocratic” social rule) and “pushes to the west, north and south”, whereas the “male goat” comes from the West and spreads “across the surface of the whole earth” (western civilization in all its expressions and forms based on Humanism, Democracy, Freedom). The point of reference which defines “east” and “west” is the “holy land” of Israel.

Before we read the vision, we need to be reminded what we said in last week’s article: Pre-Christ historical facts reveal post-Christ prophetic fulfillment. That is to say that Daniel’s prophecy was fulfilled historically in the pre-Christ era, and is being fulfilled again in our post-Christ era in a prophetic way. The spiritual forces behind the historical events/facts are the same spiritual forces which cause new events to take place in our New Testament dispensation, which fulfill the same prophecies in a new way.

Daniel 8:3 Then I lifted my eyes and saw, and there, standing beside the river, was a ram which had two horns, and the two horns [were] high; but one [was] higher than the other, and the higher [one] came up last.

4 I saw the ram pushing westward, northward, and southward, so that no animal could withstand him; nor [was there any] that could deliver from his hand, but he did according to his will and became great.

5 And as I was considering, suddenly a male goat came from the west, across the surface of the whole earth, without touching the ground; and the goat [had] a notable horn between his eyes.

6 Then he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing beside the river, and ran at him with furious power. 7 And I saw him confronting the ram; he was moved with rage against him, attacked the ram, and broke his two horns. There was no power in the ram to withstand him, but he cast him down to the ground and trampled him; and there was no one that could deliver the ram from his hand.

8 Therefore the male goat grew very great; but when he became strong, the large horn was broken, and in place of it four notable ones came up toward the four winds of heaven.

9 And out of one of them came a little horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious [Land.] 10 And it grew up to the host of heaven; and it cast down [some] of the host and [some] of the stars to the ground, and trampled them.

11 He even exalted [himself] as high as the Prince of the host; and by him the daily [sacrifices] were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down. 12 Because of transgression, an army was given over [to the horn] to oppose the daily [sacrifices;] and he cast truth down to the ground. He did [all this] and prospered.

… (skipped verses for brevity) …

20 “The ram which you saw, having the two horns–[they are] the kings of Media and Persia.

Note: the ram of the east that pushes against the west is one, yet stands for two kings = that is Islam which is one, yet comprises two major sects which are incompatible with one another and in constant strife with one another; the Sunnis and the Shiites.

Key point to remember from v.7 above: “the male-goat attacked the ram and broke his two horns” = this shows that both the Sunnis and the Shiites will be trampled under the power of the male-goat which will prevail “across the face of the whole earth” (v.5).

(Dan.8 continued)
21 “And the male goat [is] the kingdom of Greece.
 
(Dan.8:21 continued) The large horn that [is] between its eyes [is] the first king. 22 “As for the broken [horn] and the four that stood up in its place, four kingdoms shall arise out of that nation, but not with its power.
Note: when the first King (Alexander the Great) of the Hellenic Kingdom (Hellas is ‘Yavan‘ in Hebrew, ‘Greece‘ in English) died, the ‘Hellenistic Empire’ that he had established was broken up to 4 smaller Kingdoms ruled by his 4 Generals. Historically that took place after Alexander had defeated and conquered Media and Persia. 

The spiritual force that had empowered Alexander to do the impossible (he did not lose any battle in 12 years of military conquest even though he came against a much larger Persian Empire), was the same spiritual force that now empowers the western civilization to overcome the “kingdoms” of that same region (which are the strongholds of Islam).

And that is the spiritual force of our God who uses the “platform” of the western civilization for the purpose of advancing the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.

(Dan.8 continued) 23 “And in the latter time of their kingdom, When the transgressors have reached their fullness, A king shall arise, Having fierce features, Who understands sinister schemes. 24 His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; He shall destroy fearfully, And shall prosper and thrive; He shall destroy the mighty, and [also] the holy people. 25 “Through his cunning He shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule; And he shall exalt [himself] in his heart. He shall destroy many in [their] prosperity. He shall even rise against the Prince of princes; But he shall be broken without [human] means.
Note: we shall NOT work in depth on this portion above which pertains to the times when Islam will no longer rule in the countries of Asia and the Arabic nations – it is not for us. The only point we want to keep from these words of Daniel’s prophecy is that the power of the male-goat is “mighty, but not by his own power” – there is a spiritual source which empowered Alexander – we shall speak about it below.

“Alexander the Great” was the “male-goat”

 
In the historical fulfillment of Daniel’s vision, Alexander the Great was the “male-goat”. A variety of coins across the ages depict him with the horns of a male-goat on the side of his head, as additional evidence that Daniel’s vision was true and fulfilled.

The fact that he was “mighty, but not by his own power” is also a historical fact, since he never lost a battle in 12 years that he led his army in the conquest of the Kingdoms and Empires of Egypt and the East, defeating even the Persian ‘King of kings Darius III’.

So Daniel’s vision has been fulfilled historically… now the challenge is to connect the historical fulfilment with the present-day and the future reality of the world, which the vision speaks of – and how that pertains to the Kingdom of God which will be preached and will develop disciples of Jesus in every place on planet Earth (see previous articles).

I will try to give a simple explanation here:

Where anti-Christian “theocratic” rule dominates a nation, the Gospel of God’s Kingdom is not allowed to be preached freely; there is severe persecution which hinders the advancement of the Kingdom of God

 

[which in fact is the very reason for which Islam was created as a new expression of the same ancient spirits of the “Kings of Media and Persia” – Satan’s purpose though Islam is clear: to block the advancement of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, and to obtain a people who worship Death].

Where there is Democracy and Freedom (even though Humanism resists and fights against Christian values and moral standards), people are free to attend Church services and the Gospel to be preached without fear of death by Law (as in Islam). Therefore, even though the male-goat is symbolic manifestation of a segment of the demonic realm, God is still using this social environment for the sake of the Gospel.

Even though Alexander was not literally a “servant of God”, he still served a purpose in regards to God’s Kingdom. The fact that he established the Hellenic language as the formal language of communication of his Empire, paved the way for the Roman Empire to inherit an Empire where people could communicate in the same language.

The fact that later the Hellenic language was used for the writing and spreading of the New Testament Scriptures, in its own right reveals the fact that God used Alexander to establish that language as the medium of communication of the peoples of those days.

The fact that the Romans later did not abolish the Hellenic language but embraced it as a formal language of the Roman Empire (along with their own Latin), shows that indeed the Lord had ordained that language to communicate the Gospel to the world.

Still on the same line of argument, the language that Alexander established throughout his Empire more than 2,300 years ago, is still the language of the Hellenic Republic (‘Greece’) to this day. Even though changes have naturally occurred, the formal translation of the Bible of the Hebrews into the Septuagint version (the Hellenic language of the 2nd and 3rd centuries BC) bears additional witness to the significant task that God assigned to Alexander to accomplish [see end note on God’s assignment to Alexander].

[Think about it; just how many languages in the world are still alive today after more than 3,000 years? The Latin died, even though it was the language of the more formidable Empire of all times, that lasted more than 1,000 years! But the Hellenic language is still used by one of the most ancient peoples, and remains the standard of reference in regards to the Scriptures.

Moreover, about 52,000 words of the Hellenic language have been incorporated into the languages that were derived from the Latin, e.g. English, French, etc – if it were not for Alexander’s conquest, none of all that would not have happened – but it was God’s plan and will to spread the Hellenic language and establish it as a medium of communication, very much like in our generation He has ordained the English to evangelise the world.

As He had used Alexander in those days to establish the Hellenic language, He used the Spanish and English conquests and Empires to establish the Spanish and English languages as the most prevailing languages in the west in our days].

Likewise, even though the Roman Empire was not God’s servant per se, the roads they built and the social system they established in vast regions of the world replaced the savagery and antagonism of the local barbaric tribes scattered everywhere – an environment which would have made the spread of the Gospel impossible.

But when the time came of the Gospel to be spread, there was one common language (Hellenic in the Eastern regions, and later also Latin in the western parts of the Roman Empire), there was peace throughout, and travel was easy for those days.

As background info, Alexander had been discipled by Aristotle into the Hellenistic, philosophical mindset of ancient Athens. His main life’s goal was “to Hellenise the barbarians” – meaning, to teach them the Hellenic language and the philosophical mindset, culture and social values – which was the main vehicle of Humanism and Democracy which promoted the value of the individual person.

The entire western civilization is based on the Platonic worldview of ancient Athens. Plato’s “The Republic” is the basis of the western worldview and the Democratic system of ancient Athens which is now the western worldview and social rule by which we live. All the foundational principles of the Roman Empire, which have been revived through its modern expression, the EU, were the values which Alexander spread beyond Athens into the entire world of those days.

After Alexander, the next major Empire that rose up was the Romans, who actually continued and spread further what Alexander (the first King) had started.

So God used Alexander, as much as He later used the Roman Empire, and each subsequent Empire after that which were all basically different expressions of the same spirit of the “first King” (Alexander) – so, the male-goat is really the spirit of the western civilization, which started with Alexander (and because it serves God’s purposes) has not been defeated to this day, but continues to spread and take over the whole world.

How is the male-goat of Hellas related to Christianity, the Bible, the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, or the promise of salvation through Jesus Christ? What has all that got to do with the end-times and the Second Coming of Jesus?

Obviously, to develop a proper study of these words alone, we would need a book or a series of articles. But the reason I refer to this story in this study is very simple:

-> to show through the words of Daniel the same message which we studied in previous articles through the words of Isaiah and Apostle Paulthat Islam will no longer be a dominant power when the time for the Second Coming of Jesus will be drawing near.

The ram is Islam (a New Testament version of the ancient Babylonian spirit)

The male goat is the western civilization (Humanism, Democracy, Freedom)

As western civilization has been growing and expanding throughout the Earth over the last 2,500 years (since the days that philosophy, humanism and democracy were rooted in ancient Athens), so Daniel’s vision reveals to us that Humanism and the world of Democratic values will consume all the eastern/Islamic forms of social rule.

Islam will be crushed under the growing influence of the western values, while the Gospel of the Kingdom of God will continue to grow and thrive in the environment of freedom of religion and tolerance of personal choice of worship.

As God used Alexander the Great as the “first king”, etc… Throughout the ages God has used the socio-political environment of Humanism, Freedom and the Democratic values which have their origins in Athens of the 5th century BC to prepare the way for a world where the Gospel can be preached freely.

I am sure you now have one million questions on the basis of what I just said, but I cannot answer all of them in this article – the goal here is simple: to look at an overview of what the Bible is teaching us about the end-times.

Even though I have not developed this last topic adequately, the goal was only to show a glimpse of the relevance of the vision of the ram and the male-goat to the Second Coming of Jesus. He will not be coming back before Islam (the ram) has been trampled underfoot by the western civilization (the male goat).

Then, in an environment of Democratic values and freedom, Christianity will grow and expand in the nations which are presently dominated by Islam, until the time comes for Israel to welcome their promised Messiah (as we have seen in depth in previous articles).

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Closing remarks for clarity:

Humanism is known as a negative, anti-God, atheistic worldview which denies the Christ and often takes aggressive stand against the Church, Christian values and any  religious form of “faith in God” – as such, humanism is an enemy of the Gospel. However, the flip side of the same coin is that the humanist worldview allows people to believe whatever they choose to believe in. In an environment of freedom the Church is free to worship God, and the Gospel of the Kingdom is free to grow on the basis of personal faith.

God’s assignment to Alexander:

According to the historian of the 1st century, Flavius Josephus (“Jewish antiquities 11.317-345“), and a similar record in the Talmud, God appeared to Alexander in a vision in the form of a man dressed as the High Priest of the Jews and told him that He would empower him to defeat the Persian Empire.

According to Josephus, Alexander explained that each time he went into battle, he would see a vision in the likeness of this High Priest leading the Greek troops to victory. In gratitude, and out of profound respect for the spiritual power of the Jews, Alexander was a kind and generous ruler. He canceled the Jewish taxes during Sabbatical years, and even offered animals to be sacrificed on his behalf in the Temple.

That happened when he marched against Jerusalem, but was met by the High Priest Jaddua outside of the gates of Jerusalem which were kept wide open while the Hellenic army of was approaching. As Alexander explained to Parmenion about Jaddua:

“I saw this very person in a dream, in this very habit (clothing), when I was at Dion in Macedonia, who, when I was considering with myself how I might obtain the dominion of Asia, exhorted me to make no delay, but boldly to pass over the sea thither, for that he would conduct my army, and would give me the dominion over the Persians; now seeing this person in this habit (clothing) I believe that I bring this army under the Divine conduct, and shall therewith conquer Darius, and destroy the power of the Persians. When he had said this to Parmenion, and had given the high-priest his right hand, the priests ran along by him, and he came into the city. And when he went up into the temple, he offered sacrifice to God, according to the high-priest’s direction, and magnificently treated both the high-priest and the priests.” 

In simple words, God appeared to Alexander in the form of the High Priest of Israel, showing to him the same apparel that He had shown to Moses. Alexander honored the God of Israel, and the Law He had given to the Jews. As a result the God of Israel granted to Alexander the supernatural power to defeat all his enemies in all of the battles with superior and more numerous armies.

As God delivered the “King of kings Darius III” into the hands of Alexander, so He will also deliver the Islamic “kingdoms” to the same power that was born in ancient Athens and has continued to spread throughout the earth in the last 2,500 years.

Let’s close this article with an interesting piece of information: the name of the capital city of Macedonia, which eventually became the capital city of all the Hellenic cities of the days of Alexander who became the King of all the Hellenic city-states, was “Aigai”“Aiga” until today means “Goat”! Hence “Alexander the male-goat”!

Of course Daniel did not know any of that when he wrote his vision about 300 years before Alexander was born – all that God had ordained/foreknown came to pass in those days, and will again come to pass in the days ahead before the Second Coming of Jesus!

 

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