The Book of DANIEL
James J. Barker
SATAN'S LAST DICTATOR THE ANTICHRIST
- We saw last time that the "little horn" of Daniel 8:9 is not to be confused with the "little horn" of Daniel 7 -- the coming antichrist.
- The little horn of Daniel 8:9 is Antiochus Epiphanes, who was a picture and type of the antichrist.
- That these prophecies have a final fulfillment in the antichrist is clear from Daniel 8:17, where we see the angel saying to Daniel, "Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision" (cf. 8:19).
- Also, verse 25 says, "he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes." Antiochus Epiphanes never stood up against the Prince of princes, i.e., the Lord Jesus Christ, but the antichrist will (cf. II Thess. 2:7-9; Rev. 19:19-21).
- Furthermore, in His Olivet Discourse, our Lord said Daniel was referring to the future antichrist defiling the temple, not to Antiochus Epiphanes, who had already been dead for nearly 200 years (Matthew 24:15).
- Tonight we will consider the antichrist, referred to many times here in the book of Daniel.
- The prefix anti may mean either "against" or "instead of." The biblical picture of the "antichrist" suggests that both thoughts are involved in the term.
- This is why throughout history Christians have identified the pope (the so-called "vicar of Christ") as the antichrist.
- I think it is more likely that the pope will be the false prophet, described in the book of Revelation as the man who promotes and assists the antichrist.
- I believe the antichrist will be a political leader, not a religious one.
- A few years ago, Paul-Henri Spaack, who was the prime minister of Belgium, as well as the first president of the United Nations General Assembly said, "The truth is that the method of international committees has failed. What we need is a person, some one of the highest order or great experience, of great authority, of wide influence, of great energy. Let him come and let him come quickly. Either a civilian or a military man, no matter what his nationality, who will cut all the red tape, shove out of the way all the committees, wake up all the people and galvanize all governments into action. Let him come quickly. This man we need and for whom we wait will take charge of the defense of the West. Once more I say, it is not too late, but it is high time."
- He also said, "We don’t want another committee. We want a man of stature to hold the allegiance of the people and lift us up out of the economic morass we have gotten ourselves and into which we are now sinking. Send us a man whether he be God or a devil, send him."
THE ANTICHRIST WILL BE A KING OF FIERCE COUNTENANCE (8:23).
- This chapter has perplexed students of Bible prophecy, because many of these prophecies, including the title "king of fierce countenance" seem to describe Antiochus Epiphanes (8:23).
- The man described prophetically by Daniel is said to appear “in the latter time of their kingdom” (8:23), that is, of the four kingdoms of verse 22, the four kingdoms which were formed after the death of Alexander the Great (8:21, 22). That would be Antiochus Epiphanes.
- This king will appear “when the transgressors are come to the full” (8:23).
- This "king of fierce countenance" will have the ability to understand "dark sentences,” that is, he will be able to interpret riddles. The Hebrew word translated "dark sentences" means, "riddles, difficult questions, enigmatic or perplexing sayings, etc."
- The same word is often translated "riddle" in reference to Samson's riddles (Judges 14).
- It is translated "hard questions" in I Kings 10:1 -- "And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions."
- In Psalm 49:4 and Proverbs 78:2, the word is translated "dark sayings."
THE ANTICHRIST WILL GET HIS POWER FROM SATAN (8:24)
- Again this prophecy could be understood to refer to either Antiochus Epiphanes, or the antichrist. Regarding the antichrist, Revelation 13:2 says, "the dragon (Satan) gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority."
- Second Thessalonians 2:9 says, his "coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders."
- Though there are many instances of demon possession, Judas Iscariot is the only person in Scripture who was indwelt by Satan. John 13:27 says, "Satan entered into him."
- Perhaps the antichrist will be the second man to be indwelt by Satan.
- The antichrist will have great Satanic power, "and he shall destroy wonderfully" (Dan. 8:24). "Wonderfully" here means, "extraordinary, beyond one's power," referring to his Satanic powers.
- The antichrist "shall prosper, and practise (thrive, accomplish great exploits), and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people," i.e., Israel (8:24).
- Through his policy (his cunning craftiness), the antichrist "shall cause craft (deceit, treachery) to prosper in his hand” (8:25).
THE ANTICHRIST SHALL MAGNIFY HIMSELF (8:25; cf. 8:11)
- One of the marks of the antichrist is he will "magnify himself" (8:25; cf. 8:11). Second Thessalonians 2:4 says he "opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God."
- Daniel 7:8 says he will have "a mouth speaking great things."
- Daniel 7:25 says, "And he shall speak great words against the most High."
- Daniel 11:36 says, "And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods."
- Daniel 11:37 says the antichrist shall not "regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all."
- His blasphemy is seen by his rejection of the true God of heaven, as well as his assumption of deity to himself. The apostle Paul says he will sit in the temple of God, "shewing himself that he is God."
- Revelation 13:5 and 6 says, "And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies...And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven."
- "And by peace shall destroy many" (8:25). There are many prophecies which predict that the antichrist will destroy many by means of a false peace.
- I believe the rider on the white horse in Revelation 6:2 is the coming antichrist. The historian, A.J. Toynbee said, "By forcing on mankind more and more lethal weapons and at the same time making the whole world more and more inter-dependent economically, technology has brought mankind to such a degree of distress that we are ripe for deifying any new Caesar who might succeed in giving the world unity and peace."
- "Unity and peace" are what the world is looking for, and the antichrist will give them what they want. First Thessalonians 5:3 says, "For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape."
- Daniel 8:25 says, "And by peace (he) shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand."
- He shall oppose “the Prince of princes" (the Lord Jesus Christ), “but he shall be broken without hand," that is, his power shall be destroyed without human intervention.
- Second Thessalonians 2:8 and 9 says, "whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders."
- Revelation 19:20 says, "And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone."
- Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days. Afterward he rose up, and did the king's business; and he was astonished at the vision, but none understood it (8:27).
- Chapter 8 concludes with Daniel saying that the vision is true, but the understanding of it shall be delayed for many days as well as its fulfillment (8:26).
- God's Word is "true" (8:26), and people who ignore God's Word or disobey God's Word or twist God's Word do so at their peril.
- These amazing prophecies were "shut up" ("sealed") for "many days" (8:26), but now we are getting close to their fulfillment.
- Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days (8:27).
- Afterward he rose up, and did the king's business. Despite the severe strain, Daniel went back to work. He "rose up, and did the king's business."
- Daniel was astonished at the vision, but none understood it (8:27). Even today, most people do not understand the prophecies in the book of Daniel and the book of Revelation, but to the serious student of Scripture they are very important.
- Sir Robert Anderson was born in Ireland in 1841. He died in 1918.
- He was a police commissioner for the London Police; he worked for Scotland Yard; he was a lawyer, an intelligence officer, a preacher, and an author.
- He wrote many books about the Bible, including Daniel in the Critics' Den and The Coming Prince, which is about the coming antichrist.
- In his introductory remarks in his book The Coming Prince, Sir Robert Anderson wrote, "Is the world's history about to close? The sands of its destiny, are they almost run out, and is the crash of all things near at hand? Earnest thinkers will not allow the wild utterances of alarmists, or the vagaries of prophecy-mongers, to divert them from an inquiry at once so solemn and so reasonable. It is only the infidel who doubts that there is a destined limit to the course of "this present evil world." That God will one day put forth His power to ensure the triumph of the good, is in some sense a matter of course. The mystery of revelation is not that He will do this, but that He delays to do it...The Christian finds in it a further proof that the God he worships is patient and longsuffering – 'patient because He is eternal,' longsuffering because He is almighty, for wrath is a last resource with power. But the day is coming when 'our God shall come and shall not keep silence.' (Psalm 50:3)."