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Lowell Brueckner

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The Antichrist


The Book of the Prophet Daniel

“But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end.”
Daniel 12:4

Chapter 11:36-45                                       The Antichrist

36.  "And the king shall do as he wills. He shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak astonishing things against the God of gods. He shall prosper till the indignation is accomplished; for what is decreed shall be done. 
37.  He shall pay no attention to the gods of his fathers, or to the one beloved by women (or the desire of women, KJV, ASV). He shall not pay attention to any other god, for he shall magnify himself above all. 
38.  He shall honor the god of fortresses instead of these. A god whom his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly gifts. 
39.  He shall deal with the strongest fortresses with the help of a foreign god. Those who acknowledge him he shall load with honor. He shall make them rulers over many and shall divide the land for a price. 
40.  "At the time of the end, the king of the south shall attack him, but the king of the north shall rush upon him like a whirlwind, with chariots and horsemen, and with many ships. And he shall come into countries and shall overflow and pass through. 
41.  He shall come into the glorious land. And tens of thousands shall fall, but these shall be delivered out of his hand: Edom and Moab and the main part of the Ammonites. 
42.  He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 
43.  He shall become ruler of the treasures of gold and of silver, and all the precious things of Egypt, and the Libyans and the Cushites shall follow in his train. 
44.  But news from the east and the north shall alarm him, and he shall go out with great fury to destroy and devote many to destruction. 
45.  And he shall pitch his palatial tents between the sea and the glorious holy mountain. Yet he shall come to his end, with none to help him. 

The former verses of 33-35 are applicable to God´s true people at any time, who face the world and its temptations, right up to the time of the end. During the tribulation period, faithful Jews will appear and stand true to God. In verse 36, Gabriel suddenly switches from the story of one personality to another.  With verse 32, he brings the narrative of Antiochus Epiphanes to an end. In verse 35, he points to the time of the end and in the verses before us, he turns from the prototype, whose character in so many ways resembled his final counterpart, to the Man of Sin himself, the Antichrist. By the way, Antiochus Epiphanes, was not the original, given name of this Seleucid king of Syria, but was the name that he assumed, when he usurped the throne from the rightful heir. Epiphanes means God manifested, another detail, resembling the presumptive, blasphemous arrogance of the Antichrist, described in verse 36.

It is not uncommon that prophecy will switch without warning or explanation from one period to another. Isaiah joined the first coming of Christ to his second coming in this way. Because it portrays events in the distant future, it sees them much closer together than the time, in which they will actually occur. Someone gave the example of viewing mountain ranges from a distance. They seem to be one and the same, until you approach the first range and then realize that there is a wide valley between it and the second.

We have exactly the same situation between verses 26 and 27 in chapter nine. Verse 26 tells us of the crucifixion of the Messiah and then relates the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, 37 years later. It explains the total devastation of the city and the fact that its citizens will leave it desolate, fleeing for their lives. Actually that desolation will last for almost nineteen centuries. Then, in verse 27, Gabriel, without making a distinction, takes us to another prince, who will appear at the beginning of the final seven-year period of this dispensation and make a pact with Israel.

Heaven reveals details about Antiochus’ life and reign, in order that we might know something of the personality of the man that he foreshadowed. This will especially be an immense help to those, who watch him come to power in the last seven years of the total 490-year-period, which the angel gave to Daniel, concerning his people. From a personal viewpoint, then, Antiochus Epiphanes is the foreshadow of the Antichrist, but from the governmental point of view, God shows us that it is an extension of the Roman Empire. The little horn in chapter seven represents his government. Rome will be revived in the last days and will provide the platform, from which the Antichrist will launch his world-wide dominance.

After these introductory paragraphs, we turn again to Gabriel’s account. The man, whom he describes, is the epitome of secular/humanist ideology and the epitome of the end-time mentality that Paul describes in 2 Timothy 3:1-9. His doctrine is one of self-love, a willful deter-mination to realize one’s dreams: “He shall do as he wills.” A true representative of the final manifestation of the pride of the fallen Adamic race, he exalts himself above all. Man is his own master, he claims, and spiritual and moral values are trampled underfoot. Religion is a farce, as far as he is concerned; it is the opiate of the masses (Karl Marx).

(Besides the Antichrist description in this book, the main portions of Scripture, which are especially related to him and which you might want to study, are 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12; Revelations chapter 13; chapter 17; and 19:11-20. There are other portions that do not directly refer to him, but in which, his influence is felt and are played out in the events that take place. You will find much end-time prophecy in the book of Zechariah, in particular, and, of course, Jesus Himself tells of the Abomination of Desolation. You might want to study our commentary on Zechariah in this blogspot.)

The Antichrist is a dreadful blasphemer: “He shall speak astonishing things against the God of gods.” The worst example that exists today, in my mind, is that of Richard Dawson, the miserable English biologist and atheist, who wrote the 464-page, God Delusion, in 2006. Dawkins contends that belief in a personal god qualifies as a delusion and he does not hide his hatred for Him in the slightest. He describes God, as He is revealed in the Old Testament, in horrendous terms, which I could not repeat. This will be the contention of the Antichrist and as head of the “super-human” race, he will claim to be god above all, a last-day messiah, offering hope to the world: “He shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god.”

It would be a disturbing factor against his self-exalting claims, if he could discover that the Bible predicted his appearance and philosophy, long before he existed. The God, whom he opposes, has decreed his presence on the world scene and has determined his end. “What is decreed shall be done.” He is nothing, but a pawn, under the sovereign hand of God, (as were the great kings of Babylon and Persia) carrying out his necessary part in the end-time purposes, before God casts him into the Lake of Fire (Rv.19:20). 

This man will be the most perfect human example of hubris… the sickness of those who believe that they know everything and have lost contact with reality (see article on hubris, He shows an extreme and foolish arrogance, accompanied by a dangerously overestimated self-confidence. The ancient Greeks gave us the word and used it to describe someone, who “challenges the gods”.  He has acquired this personality trait from the one, who will empower him, the devil himself (Rev.13:2). Lucifer was cast out of heaven, when mutinous pride was found in him (see Ezek.28:12-17). It is the anti-god state of being and so the man that Gabriel describes is correctly titled the Antichrist.

He will exalt himself over history and the lessons that it teaches; he will have no respect for his forefathers, nor will he learn from them (2 Ti.3:2). Righteous and noble traditions will have no value for him. “He shall pay no attention to… the desire of women” (alternate reading of verse 37), as a celibate, or it could mean that the Antichrist will be a homosexual. I am not the only commentator, who considers that possibility. It would explain the overwhelming propaganda by the media today towards the acceptance of homosexuality. It has tremendously changed public opinion on the issue, hardened people’s hearts to the clear teaching of the Bible, and prepared people to accept a homosexual leader.  The spirit of Antichrist is already here (1 Jn.4:2) and its mentality dominates society in our times.   

“He shall not pay attention to any other god”, but Gabriel’s speech seems to point to the fact that even those, who deny God and the spirit world, have their religion. The angel speaks of a god of fortresses, a god whom his fathers did not know, and a foreign god. His idol and religion will be military might and he will pour his political economy into it in order to finance wars. He will be dedicated to a new world order, something akin to the philosophy of the Athenians of Paul´s day, who relished and believed in new teaching.

Revelation tells us that the antichrist beast will have ten allies: “And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings… they are to receive authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast… These are of one mind, and they hand over their power and authority to the beast” (Rev.17:12,13). He will arise from the sea of humanity and have tremendous popular support: “The whole earth marveled as they followed the beast… and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?’… And the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel to see the beast…” (Rev.13:1-4; 17:8). So he deals with all opposing fortresses with outside help… “the help of a foreign god”. As Antiochus, he will amply reward all those who support him.

Commentators tell me that verse 40 does not concur with the final part of Antiochus’ history. For example, Adam Clarke comments, “The kingdoms of Egypt and Syria (as we have studied them, controlled by descendants of Alexander’s generals)… did not exist at the time of which the prophet speaks; therefore other southern and northern powers must be sought.” There will be a last-day south and north kingdom conflict, which does not include the Antichrist until later.  Antichrist heads the revived Roman Empire. MacArthur adds, “Here is the last great battle with the final army from the north retaliating against the attack of the final southern African power. Antichrist will not allow this without striking back and winning, defeating both as recorded in verse 41.”

I think, from the last part of verse 40 onward… “And he shall come into countries and shall overflow and pass through”… we see a mighty conquest, unequaled by any of the kings of the north and the south in past history. It is world conquest that overthrows the countries of Western Asia and passes over to Europe. Antichrist crushes all opposition and enters “the glorious land”. Zechariah prophesies that “two thirds shall be cut off and perish and one third shall be left alive” (Zech.13:8). The third speaks of the faithful and wise Jews, who will be purified (v.33-35) and who will call on Jesus, as their Messiah. Here we read that “tens of thousands shall fall”, which may occur after the Abomination of Desolation. African nations will fall into his hands. Other areas of the east and north will rouse him to battle to destroy them. 

He will then encamp in Israel between the Mediterranean Sea and Jerusalem to prepare the final battle against the Jews. Zechariah prophesies, “I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle” (14:2). “Yet he shall come to his end, with none to help him.” Again Zechariah fills the blanks that are left in Daniel’s account: “The Lord will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle” (14:3).     


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