Before the Fall of Babylon in 537 B.C., the Prophet Daniel had an interesting vision. His vision is described in Daniel 8:1-12. Daniel saw a ram with two horns that charged toward the west, north and south. No one could stand up to this ram. Then Daniel saw a goat with one prominent horn that charged against the ram. The ram was powerless against the goat and the goat trampled the ram to the ground. The goat became very great, but at the height of its power the prominent horn was broken off and was replaced by four lesser horns. One of these lesser horns became stronger and stronger until it took away the daily sacrifice. “It prospered in everything it did and truth was thrown to the ground.”
Most Bible prophecy students say that this is a picture of the Mede-Persian Empire that was defeated by Greece, led by Alexander the Great. At the height of his conquests, the Greek leader died and his empire was eventually taken over by four of his generals. A descendant of one of the generals, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, committed what is known as the Abomination of Desolation, and is a type or foreshadow of the anti-Christ.
This seems to be the picture of what Daniel saw, except . . . the angel Gabriel told Daniel that the vision concerned “the time of the end.” (Daniel 8:17) Gabriel explained that the ram represents Media and Persia, which we know today as Iran. He also specifically named the goat as representing the king of Greece. Here we must consider that in the Bible, both Old and New Testament, Greeks represent the Western nations. If we substitute Iran for Mede-Persia and “the West” for Greece, we get a modern-day picture.
Iran, which is the pre-eminent Middle Eastern power today, especially after the elimination of Iraq, will do as it pleases. Turkey is trying to join the European Union, or the West, but is listed as an ally of Persia (Iran) in the Biblical “Battle” of Gog and Magog. Saudi Arabia is rich, but depends on the United States for military balance in the Middle East. At some point, it appears that Iran will be overcome by the West. In this chapter of Daniel, Gabriel says there will be four Western powers. That also fits with today. The Quartet, composed of the United States, Russia, the United Nations and the European Union, came up with the “Roadmap” for peace in the Middle East.
In the next chapter, Daniel was told that the people of the “ruler who will come” would destroy the city and the sanctuary (Jerusalem and the Temple). (Daniel 9:26) This was fulfilled in 70 A.D. by the Romans, a Western nation. It appears, therefore, that the “ruler who will come” will be from the West, either Europe or America.
Gabriel tells Daniel that in the latter part of the reign of the four European powers (The Quartet) another king (the anti-Christ) will arise. He will cause deceit to prosper. He will take his stand against the Prince of princes (the Lord Jesus), and he will be destroyed, but not by human power.
According to Gabriel, Daniel chapter eight outlines the End Times. This chapter says Iran will do as it pleases in the Middle East, but will be overcome by the four Western or European powers. Out of these Western powers will come the anti-Christ, who will be destroyed by the Lord Jesus. This chapter gives us a thumbnail sketch of the events of the Last Days.
The Lord told us, “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.” (Isaiah 46:10) May His magnificent, sovereign name be praised always.