We need to clearly understand the meaning of the word host in Daniel 8. “And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land” (verse 9). The little horn is Antiochus. This is a type of the coming leader of the Holy Roman Empire. But it is also a type of a leader inside God’s own Church.
There is a duality here. First, there is an Antiochus used by Satan to destroy God’s Church, spiritual Israel, from the inside. Then there is an Antiochus, leading the Holy Roman Empire, who destroys the nations of Israel.
“And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them” (verse 10). The Revised Standard Version reads “of the host of the stars.” God’s own people are helped by the stars, or angels, of God (Revelation 1:20), if they desire help. This evil power “stamped upon them”—the end-time Laodiceans—those saints of God who transgressed God’s law.
Strong’s Concordance defines host this way: “a mass of persons, … especially … organized for war” and “soldiers,” “army.” The expression also means to muster soldiers for warfare.
Host can refer to an army of demons, angels or men. God has an army of angels and saints. Satan has an army of demons and men—in this case sinning saints.
“Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down” (Daniel 8:11). These words are written in military terms. The Prince of the host is Christ. The word to should be against. This Antiochus inside God’s Church is fighting against Christ.
There are two great sins. The daily, or Work of God, has been taken away by this evil man. Also, the place of the sanctuary, the place where God’s Work was being done, was cast down.
This evil Antiochus took over God’s Church. Only the very elect remained loyal to God and were used to continue His Work.
God’s Work is always done through men and women. It takes time to continue God’s Work when it has been destroyed.
“And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered” (verse 12). This evil Antiochus was given an army of God’s own people to fight against God! Satan gave him this army because God’s people sinned.
In 2 Thessalonians 2, this same event is called “a great falling away” in the Greek. That is another way of saying they were “casting truth to the ground,” or destroying the faith of God’s people.
First you must have the truth to cast it to the ground! Who had the truth in this end time? God sent an end-time Elijah (Herbert W. Armstrong) to “restore all things” (Matthew 17:10-11).
Elijah had to be the source of this truth discussed in Daniel 8, because he restored all things—all major truth in this end time!
Then, after the Church rebelled, God commanded His very elect to “prophesy again” (Revelation 10:11). We must do the continual by prophesying again as Mr. Armstrong did—with new revelation added, as always.
This is all so very simple and logical if we understand God’s truth.
The great responsibility that each of God’s members has is to keep the world and sin out of God’s Church. It is a continual battle when you have God’s truth. Satan is totally committed to destroying that truth.
We must fight to keep Satan and transgression out. That means you must have God’s government—headed by a leader like Mr. Armstrong—to implement God’s law. This is where the Laodiceans have transgressed. They rejected the government God gave to Mr. Armstrong. Only the pcg continues that same identical government. Every one of the Laodicean groups have rejected God’s government. That is why they are Laodicean!
What is our spiritual war about? It’s about fighting for truth. Once we have the truth, it is our basic duty to keep Satan from casting it to the ground. We are God’s loyal host—defenders of the faith.
Implementing God’s government and law is the only way to protect God’s precious truth.
God’s Church has suffered probably the worst defeat ever in this end time. And it all revolves around rejecting God’s government. That is where the great transgression lies.
Where do you find this war of Daniel 8 today? If we know God’s truth, the answer is painfully clear!
The host, or God’s own army, has been “trodden under foot” because of its rebellion (verse 13). This is the greatest crisis in this end time! Why? Because many of those Laodicean people will lose their salvation. Nothing could be more serious.
The Last End
Daniel didn’t understand this vision God was giving him. God sent the archangel Gabriel to Daniel to explain (Daniel 8:15-16). “Understand, O son of man,” Gabriel said, “for at the time of the end shall be the vision” (verse 17). That means what it says! Though prophecy is dual, and this passage was fulfilled in part by Antiochus Epiphanes in the second century b.c., its main fulfillment is for “the time of the end”—the time immediately preceding the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to this Earth.
“Now as he was speaking with me,” Daniel wrote, “I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright. And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be” (verses 18-19). This all unfolds in the “last end”—the end of the end time, as we have often said. We are in that time! Notice it says, “for at the time appointed the end shall be.” The time appointed at the “last end” is referring to a specific period of a few years that has already come and gone (I explain this in my free booklet Daniel—Unsealed at Last!). This means there is not much more time left before Christ returns.
Skip down to verse 23: “And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.” Keep in mind the context. The main fulfillment of this is for the time of the end. It’s still speaking about what’s happening inside the Church. It’s a time when transgressors, or sinners, “are come to the full”—during the Laodicean era, led by a man of sin.
“And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people” (verse 24). There is a far greater power here than just a physical being. Satan is behind this man. As we have taught in the past, this verse does refer to a Satan-inspired man leading the great false church to rally a united Europe. In type, this verse applies to that Hitler-type leader. He will be the leader of the Holy Roman Empire.
The next verse is even more descriptive: “And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand” (verse 25). This man will destroy many people by preaching peace, peace—or love, love—but he practices the opposite. His is a policy of craft, or deceit, as it reads in the Revised Standard Version.
Satan is to blame above all. He is the father of lies and deceit (John 8:44). He never comes with warlike rhetoric—it’s always with words of “love” and “peace.” (Paul even said the devil is disguised as an “angel of light” in 2 Corinthians 11:14.) But make no mistake, Satan comes to destroy! He destroys by peace and, as Lange’s Commentary adds, “with suddenness, by a malignant surprise.”
In verse 26 of chapter 8, Daniel writes, “And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days.” Today we are right in the midst of it. This is happening in God’s temple. This whole vision is about God’s Church right now—the last end. Daniel is trying to get us to see the kind of warfare going on behind the scenes.
This is the only time of salvation for those members called into the Church of God today. Judgment is now on us. If we fail this time, there is no second chance.
God gets very specific with this prophecy. It’s carefully planned to the very day! What a loving God we have. If God did so much to help Daniel fight against Satan while this was being revealed, what kind of battle do you think we will face as God opens our minds to actually understand and proclaim this message? Satan is raging mad right now. He’s been cast down to this Earth and his sight is fixed on you—your faith. How will you respond to his attack? Will you be like so many Laodiceans who have caved in to the pressure? Or will you respond as Daniel did?
“And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king’s business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it” (verse 27). He was astonished and he didn’t even understand it! Now that you understand, how astonished are you?