The Book of DANIEL
James J. Barker
THE RISE OF ANTICHRIST
- Daniel 11:21--35 is a prophecy describing the rise and fall of Antiochus Epiphanes, who is a prototype of the ultimate, final great dictator of the world, the antichrist.
- And as the prophecy gets to verse 35, the picture of Antiochus Epiphanes fades into a portrayal of the coming antichrist.
- The final part of the chapter, versus 36 through 45, is a prophecy of the antichrist, whose destruction and doom coincides with the end of history and the end of the world.
- In Daniel 11:36, the antichrist is referred to as "the king." This cannot be speaking of Antiochus Epiphanes. Up until verse 35, the king of Syria has been identified as "the king of the north" (cf. 11:6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 15).
- Then in verses 21-35, Antiochus Epiphanes is presented as the king of the north. There is a sharp break in the prophecy introduced by the expression "the time of the end" in verse 35, and then the antichrist is introduced in verse 36.
- John Walvoord quotes E. B. Pusey, who wrote: “Even the Jews in Jerome’s time looked upon this prophecy as having still to receive its fulfillment."
- Walvoord then quotes Jerome (4th century AD): “The Jews believe that this passage has reference to the Antichrist, alleging that...a king is going to rise up who shall do according to his own will and shall lift himself up against all that is called god, and shall speak arrogant words against the God of gods. He shall act in such a way as to sit in the Temple of God and shall make himself out to be God, and his will shall be prospered until the wrath of God is fulfilled, for in him the consummation will take place. We, too, understand this to refer to the Antichrist."
- Notice that Jerome recognized that the king in Daniel 11:36, and the man of sin and son of perdition in II Thessalonians 2 are both referring to the antichrist.
- Furthermore, Jerome taught that Antiochus Epiphanes was a foreshadowing of the future antichrist.
- The king in Daniel 11:36-45 cannot refer to Antiochus Epiphanes, because this king will be opposed by the king of the north (11:40).
- Daniel 12:1 tells us these prophecies will be fulfilled during the great tribulation. This is when the antichrist, the head of the revived Roman Empire, will become a world ruler, and eventually "come to his end" (11:45).
HE WILL EXALT HIMSELF (11:36, 37b)
- In John 5:30, the Lord Jesus said, "I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me."
- On the other hand, the antichrist "shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself" (11:36).
- Daniel 11:37b says, "he shall magnify himself above all."
- Second Thessalonians 2:4 says the antichrist will "exalt himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped."
- This is characteristic of Satan himself (cf. Isa. 14:12-15).
- Second Peter chapter 2 describes false prophets, and verse 10 says they are "selfwilled." The antichrist "shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself" (11:36).
- God judges proud, haughty sinners, and God will judge Satan and his antichrist. Second Samuel 22:28 says, "Thine eyes are upon the haughty, that thou mayest bring them down."
- Proverbs 16:18 says, "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."
- Daniel 11:36 says, the antichrist "shall speak marvellous (astonishing, blasphemous) things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done."
- The antichrist will prosper under the permissive will of God "till the indignation be accomplished" (11:36b).
- "The indignation" refers to the coming tribulation period when God will pour out His fierce wrath and indignation upon this wicked, sin-loving world (Daniel 12:1).
- God will judge guilty sinners who have refused to believe and obey the Gospel. Because of man's wicked unbelief and disobedience, and stubborn rebellion against the Lord, He has determined to punish them with indignation.
- The antichrist will prosper for a short time, but "he shall come to his end, and none shall help him" (11:45b).
HE WILL NOT REGARD THE GOD OF HIS FATHERS (11:37)
- Because 11:37 says the antichrist shall not "regard the God of his fathers," many Bible teachers have taught he will be a Jew.
- Evangelist Hyman Appleman said, "This man has to be a Jew. He cannot be anything else. You say, why not? Because the Jewish Bible teaches that the Messiah is to be a Jew, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Judah, of the stock of David. How could he be anything else but a Jew to claim the Messiahship?" (Anti-Christ and the Jew).
- However, nowhere in Scripture is it stated that the antichrist will claim to be the Jewish Messiah. Actually, it seems more likely that he will be a Gentile because Revelation 13:1 pictures him arising out of the sea, and in Scripture the sea often represents the great mass of humanity; that is, the Gentile nations.
- The Bible teaches that the antichrist will emerge as the head of the revived Roman Empire.
- Daniel 7:7 says the fourth beast (representing Rome) "had ten horns," and Daniel 7:8 says, "I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn..." (the antichrist). Cf. 7:19-21.
- Referring to the destruction of the temple by the Roman army in 70 AD, Daniel 9:26 says, "the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary."
- "The prince that shall come" refers to the antichrist. The "people" that destroyed Jerusalem and the temple were the Romans. Therefore, the antichrist will head up the revived Roman Empire.
- Daniel 11:40 says, "And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind." He will be attacked from the south and the north.
- Daniel 11:44 says, "But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him." He will also be attacked from the east.
- The antichrist will be attacked from the north, south, and east -- but not from the west (Europe and North America). This also indicates he will be the head of the revived Roman Empire.
- Of course, a Jew could head up the revived Roman Empire though it is unlikely with the growth of Islam and the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe.
From the immigrant enclaves of the Parisian suburbs to the drizzly bureaucratic city of Brussels to the industrial heartland of Germany, Europe’s old demon returned this summer. “Death to the Jews!” shouted protesters at pro-Palestinian rallies in Belgium and France. “Gas the Jews!” yelled marchers at a similar protest in Germany.
The ugly threats were surpassed by uglier violence. Four people were fatally shot in May at the Jewish Museum in Brussels. A Jewish-owned pharmacy in this Paris suburb was destroyed in July by youths protesting Israel’s military campaign in Gaza. A synagogue in Wuppertal, Germany, was attacked with firebombs. A Swedish Jew was beaten with iron pipes. The list goes on.
The scattered attacks have raised alarm about how Europe is changing and whether it remains a safe place for Jews. An increasing number of Jews, if still relatively modest in total, are now migrating to Israel. Others describe “no go” zones in Muslim districts of many European cities where Jews dare not travel. ("Europe’s Anti-Semitism Comes Out of the Shadows" -- New York Times, September 23, 2014)
- Revelation 12:13 says, "And when the dragon (Satan) saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman (Israel) which brought forth the man child (Christ)."
- The assumption that the antichrist will be a Jew is based primarily on a misunderstanding of John 5:43 and II Thessalonians 2:4.
- In John 5:43, our Lord said to the Jews, "I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive."
- This does not necessarily prove the antichrist will be Jewish. It only means the Jews will "receive" him. Being spiritually blind and desperate for help, many Jews will welcome the antichrist, and sadly, many will be deceived by the antichrist.
- In fact, the Bible teaches that the whole world will be deceived by the antichrist. Revelation 13:8 says, "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."
- Second Thessalonians 2:4 does not say the antichrist will be a Jew. It says he will "exalt 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."
- It is difficult to imagine orthodox Jews allowing this to happen, but the Bible says that during the coming tribulation "God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie" (II Thess. 2:11).
- Perhaps the antichrist will claim to be Jewish. This would undoubtedly upset Muslims who despise Jews. Perhaps the antichrist will claim to be part Jewish and part Muslim! That would certainly make him very popular with the ecumenicalists and the news media.
- By the way, I think this "strong delusion" (deception, brainwashing, etc.) has already started, but will get much worse after the rapture.
- Second Thessalonians 2:7 says, "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth (hindereth) will let (hinder), until he (the Holy Spirit) be taken out of the way."
- Then what is the meaning of Daniel 11:37? "Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers." This means he will have no regard for traditional Christianity or traditional Judaism or traditional Islam. He will have a special appeal to the God-haters, atheists, agnostics, freethinkers, skeptics, evolutionists, etc. He will devise his own religion, much like Hitler did.
HE WILL INTRODUCE HIS OWN RELIGION
- Revelation 13:4 says, "And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast."
- Revelation 13:8 says, "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."
- Revelation 13:11-18 says the false prophet will enforce this new beast-worship.
- The religion of the antichrist will be a strange combination of occultism, materialism, militarism, humanism, and paganism.
- The antichrist will not "regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all" (Daniel 11:37).
- The antichrist will not regard "any god." Therefore, the expression “the gods of his fathers” is not a reference to just the true God of heaven, but would include any deities whether pagan or the true God of heaven.
- Some expositors see this prophecy-- "Neither shall he regard...the desire of women" -- as a reference to the antichrist's rejection of goddess worship, specifically the worship of Mary, whom Roman Catholics worldwide worship and adore.
- However, it could mean the antichrist will be a homosexual. Many conservative expositors, such as C.F. Keil, H.C. Leopold, and Edward Young, have said they believe the antichrist will not have a normal desire for women. He will probably be a sex pervert.
- A Baptist pastor in Arlington Texas recently received some attention for preaching that the antichrist will be a homosexual. Pastor Dwight McKissic of the Cornerstone Baptist Church said, "Within the past decade, the U.S. military, pulpits, POTUS, SCOTUS, Halls of Congress, popular votes in certain states, the public school systems, and the NFL, have all upheld policies and affirmed same-sex relationships and homosexuality"
- "Daniel also reveals that the Anti-Christ would not desire women. A male who does not desire a woman is considered suspect where I came from. I believe that Daniel was telling us that the Anti-Christ would have no desire for women, which may be a subtle way of suggesting that the Anti-Christ would be a homosexual, or certainly unmarried" ("Saints in Sodom: How Are God’s People to Live in an America that is Increasingly Accepting of Homosexuality?").
- The antichrist shall "honour the God of forces" (11:38), probably referring to military strength. Verse 39 refers to his worship of "a strange god."
- This means the antichrist will not be an atheist. He will not worship the true God, but he will set up his own strange system of worship, and he will demand that people worship his "strange god" (cf. Rev. 13:4-18). The religion of the antichrist will be a strange combination of occultism, materialism, militarism, humanism, and paganism.
- The antichrist will use the harlot church to gain power. Revelation 17:3 describes the harlot sitting upon a scarlet coloured beast (the antichrist). But once the antichrist is in control of the one-world government he and his allies will destroy the harlot church (cf. Rev. 17:16, 17).
- "The destruction of the harlot reduces all her pomp and gorgeous robes to naught. She is stripped of them, her flesh is eaten, and she is burned with fire. These graphic words clearly picture the downfall of the apostate world church of the future" (John Walvoord, The Revelation of Jesus Christ).
- Those who cooperate with the antichrist will be rewarded -- "he shall cause them to rule over many" (11:39).
John Walvoord said, "He is Satan’s masterpiece, a human being who is Satan’s substitute for Jesus Christ, hence properly identified as the Antichrist. His activities, in keeping with his complete materialism, are characterized by warfare and his honoring those who honor him. Those cooperating are given subsidiary rule expressed in the phrase, “he shall cause them to rule over many,” and he 'shall divide the land for gain,' that is, shall reapportion territories in keeping with his desire for conquest" (Daniel, The Key to Prophetic Revelation).