This morning I read that Iran is threatening direct action against ISIS if the radical state damages any “holy” Shia Muslim shrines in Baghdad. According to the article, it is not clear whether that direct action will involve ground forces. By means of this invasion will Iran fulfill Daniel 8?
To the secular world this is just another mideast headline. Many in the USA, including the current administration, are probably looking forward to Iran playing the role of policeman keeping the “bad boy” ISIS in check. Many are probably relieved to see the USA not having to get involved. What the secular world is clueless about however, is the Biblical significance of an Iranian invasion of the Middle East.
I am not a sensationalist. Many are probably aware that I take a wait and see approach to whether ISIS is truly the resurrected Beast of Revelation 13 and 17 and as to whether the Blood Moons have biblical significance. In regard to an Iranian invasion of the Middle East however, there is no doubt. Daniel Chapter 8 clearly prophesies this event as the first step in a prophecy that leads to the revealing of the Antichrist. All Christians need to be watchful for this major end time event as our Lord commands.
The modern fulfillment of Daniel 8 may be shocking to you. Many believe that Daniel 8 was fulfilled thousands of years ago by the Persians and the Greeks because events then were similar to the prophecy. This close but not quite accurate fulfillment is known as a “foreshadow.” What these expositors miss are the following critical verses.
He said to me, “Son of man, understand that the vision pertains to the time of the end.” Now while he was talking with me, I sank into a deep sleep with my face to the ground; but he touched me and made me stand upright. He said, “Behold, I am going to let you know what will occur at the final period of the indignation, for it pertains to the appointed time of the end.” (Dan. 8: 17-19 NASB)
The Angel Gabriel makes 3 separate references that this vision applies to the time of the end and the final indignation. What could be more clear? Mark Davidson was the first to realize the significance of these passages. I remember the day I first read his writing. I figuratively fell on the ground just like the prophet Daniel! I was blown away. If you are unfamiliar with this prophecy I bet you are experiencing a similar feeling right now!
The first question that should come to your mind is how did such an obvious passage miss detection for 2500 years? This is a serious question. The answer is bizzare. God sealed the book of Daniel so its meaning was incomprehensible until the “time of the end.” (Dan. 12: 4) The fact that we can now understand Daniel 8:17-19 proves we are in the time of the end. You can read more about the concept of the sealing of Daniel here.
Now that we have established that all of Daniel 8 involves our world’s soon future, let’s look at the vision and why we can be absolutely sure it involves Iran. In the vision a ram head butts its way westward, northward and southward (Dan. 8:3-5). The ram is then attacked by a shaggy goat who defeats the ram (Dan. 8:5-7). After the Angel Gabriel informs Daniel that this vision applies to the time of the end (further proof this is end time prophecy), he identifies the ram and the shaggy goat.
The ram which you saw with the two horns represents the kings of Media and Persia. The shaggy goat represents the kingdom of Greece (Dan. 8: 20-21 NASB)
These verses are one of the primary stumbling blocks of historic expositors. They see the names of ancient kingdoms and think, “aha! this has an ancient fulfillment.” Nothing could be further from the truth. One verse earlier Gabriel advised Daniel that the entire vision concerns the appointed time of the end. Media and Persia disappeared over a thousand years ago. So why did the angel use the names of these ancient kingdoms? The name of Iran (which occupies the same land as ancient Media and Persia) would have meant nothing to Daniel who lived 2500 years ago. The angel gave Daniel names of the ancient peoples who occupied that piece of land that currently is Iran. Those names Daniel was familiar with. There is no doubt that if it “headbutts” west, north and south, Iran will fulfill Daniel 8.
Who is the goat? The Hebrew word translated “Greece” is actually Yavan. Yavan were an ancient people that occupied eastern Greece and western Turkey. The principle city within the region is Istanbul. The Angel is not referring to Greece but rather to the Yavan people who occupy modern Turkey! Turkey is the goat.
Daniel has instructed us that a great war is about to take place between Iran and Turkey and Turkey will prevail. It will be a war between Shia Muslim and Sunni Muslims. There have been wars throughout history. Why does scripture highlight this particular war? Because it launches the career of the Antichrist.
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. 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. (Dan. 8: 9 – 11 NASB)
The little horn is the Antichrist. His coming is ushered in by this war we are about to witness. Every Christian needs to aware of this prophecy. Iran’s invasion will mark the beginning of the end.
The impacts of this war will be significant. You can (and should) read more about this prophecy. There is a section in my new book Are We Ready for Jesus? (due out in early 2015) about his prophecy. You can also read about it here. The definative work on the subject is Mark Davidson’s Daniel Revisited. Please buy the book. Time appears to be short.