Daniel - Lesson 11

Chapter 11:21-45

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  • From our study last week, we found Daniel receiving a long, detailed prophecy concerning the final kings of Persia and most notably, of the Greek Empire

    • The prophecies covered multiple generations of leaders in both kingdoms

      • In fact, when we include the earlier prophecies Daniel received, we find a relatively complete overview of the first three kingdoms of the Age of the Gentiles

      • We know how the age starts, with Nebuchadnezzar, and how it moves through a total of four Gentile empires

      • Each of these four kingdoms takes its turn at oppressing God’s people in Israel

      • Until such time as the Lord is ready to set up His Kingdom and free Israel from Gentile oppression

    • And last week, we learned briefly about 4 of the Persian kings

      • But quickly, the angel Gabriel moved into an in-depth look at two kingdoms coming out of the Alexandrian empire

      • Daniel received incredibly precise and detailed prophecy about the “North” and “South” kingdoms

      • We saw how the North was the Seleucid Empire and the South was the Ptolemaic empire

    • The prophecies concerning these kingdoms ran from vs.5-20, and covered a span of several hundred years

      • During that time, the North and South warred almost continually

      • And their battlefield, for the most part, was Israel

      • Their conflicts served to accomplish the “trampling” of Jerusalem that God intended

  • While the history of the Seleucid and Ptolemaic kingdoms was interesting, its principle value to us is three-fold

    • First, the incredible accuracy of these predictions gives us complete assurance that Daniel received this knowledge from God

      • It means we can take the rest of his prophecy with the same assurance

      • Much of what Daniel recorded has yet to come to pass

      • So, we must look to his words with as much certainty concerning the future as we do the past

    • Secondly, we see how the Lord controls these kings and kingdoms like pieces on a chess board so as to accomplish His plan for Israel

      • Remember, the Lord numbered the kingdoms in the Age of the Gentiles

      • But more than that, He also explains why they must do as they do, indicating they are moving according to a plan

      • In other words, the rise and fall of these empires isn’t merely happenstance

      • It was according to God’s desires, 

      • Similarly, the age will end on a specific day God has determined, by the return of His Son

    • So both the degree of detail found in these prophecies, and the course of every event, fit into God’s plan and demonstrate the reach of God’s sovereignty

      • We simply can’t read a Chapter like Daniel 11 without acknowledging that all history lies in God’s control

      • He’s not a dispassionate observer of human behavior

      • He’s in control and leading the world to the place He desires it will go

  • So as we ended in v.20 last week, we had reached the point where the Seleucid Empire’s king had been poisoned by a disloyal Jewish tax collector

    • As Antiochus III dies, his son Antiochus IV rises to power

      • Antiochus IV becomes a focal point in Gabriel’s message to Daniel and the subject of Daniel’s prophecy from v.21 to v.35

      • You may remember this man from our study of Chapter 8

    • In Chapter 8, Daniel saw a vision somewhat similar to the vision he saw in Chapter 7 of an animals with horns

      • In Chapter 8, he saw a goat with four horns, followed by a small horn that grew stronger than the rest

      • This small horn invades the Beautiful Land, Israel

      • That small horn was Antiochus IV

    • He was called a small horn because he serves as a type for another terrible leader of the future 

      • That future leader will be the antichrist, who himself was represented by another small horn in Chapter 7

      • So we have two rulers, one near-term to Daniel (Antiochus IV)  and one far-term (antichrist)

      • Both are symbolized in chapters of Daniel as little horns

      • The earlier one is a type of the later one

    • Now in Chapter 11, we will find yet another prophecy about Antiochus and the antichrist

      • And once again, Antiochus will serve as a type, or forerunner, to the antichrist

      • Remember, types in Scripture are always lesser to their greater fulfillment

      • That is, Antiochus IV will say and do things that are similar to the things the antichrist will eventually say and do

      • But the magnitude and effect of the work of the antichrist will be far greater than that of Antiochus IV

  • Let’s look at what we learn about Antiochus IV

Dan. 11:21  “In his place a despicable person will arise, on whom the honor of kingship has not been conferred, but he will come in a time of tranquility and seize the kingdom by intrigue.
Dan. 11:22  “The overflowing forces will be flooded away before him and shattered, and also the prince of the covenant.
Dan. 11:23  “After an alliance is made with him he will practice deception, and he will go up and gain power with a small force of people.
Dan. 11:24  “In a time of tranquility he will enter the richest parts of the realm, and he will accomplish what his fathers never did, nor his ancestors; he will distribute plunder, booty and possessions among them, and he will devise his schemes against strongholds, but only for a time.
Dan. 11:25  “He will stir up his strength and courage against the king of the South with a large army; so the king of the South will mobilize an extremely large and mighty army for war; but he will not stand, for schemes will be devised against him.
Dan. 11:26  “Those who eat his choice food will destroy him, and his army will overflow, but many will fall down slain.
Dan. 11:27  “As for both kings, their hearts will be intent on evil, and they will speak lies to each other at the same table; but it will not succeed, for the end is still to come at the appointed time.
Dan. 11:28  “Then he will return to his land with much plunder; but his heart will be set against the holy covenant, and he will take action and then return to his own land.
  • The passage begins with “In his place…” speaking of the murdered king, Seleucus IV Philopater 

    • In his place, comes a man who is a truly evil person

      • Gabriel says he will be despicable, which means someone who is despised

      • He will be despised by the Jewish people for his cruelty

      • In fact, it’s likely this man shares another key quality with the coming antichrist

      • He was almost certainly indwelled by a demon, and perhaps by Satan himself, for reasons I’ll explain later

    • Antiochus IV was not the rightful heir of Seleucus IV Philopater

      • He was able to seize control of the throne because Seleucus IV Philopater’s oldest son was being held captive in Rome

      • After convincing the leaders of Syria to allow him to rule in place of the captive son, Antiochus IV quickly consolidated power

      • In v.21, we see his illegitimate rise to power described

    • He was a ruthless man

      • As we learned in Chapter 8, Antiochus IV declared that he was a god in the form of man

      • He took the name Antiochus Epiphanes, which means “a manifestation of God”

      • But he was prone to unpredictable and strange behavior

      • This led his subjects to call him Antiochus Epimanes, which means “madman”

      • Further evidence that he was likely demon possessed

  • The statements in vs.22-23 are an overview of the passage that follows

    • We’re told this king will push aside an overflowing force

      • He will also depose a prince of a covenant

      • And he will gain power over his adversary with a minimum of forces because he relies on deception

    • It begins in v.24, as Antiochus collects riches from among the vassals of his kingdom

      • He doesn’t use these riches for himself

      • Instead, he uses them to buy allegiances in preparation for war against the Ptolemaic Kingdom

      • In this way, he will achieve a victory his fathers never achieved, namely invading the heart of the Ptolemaic Kingdom

  • Antiochus IV’s campaign against Egypt began in 170 BC, when he marched a large army southward into the Nile Delta without detection

    • Ptolemy VI responded by sending a much larger army to oppose Antiochus

      • But as we read in v.23, Antiochus was able to defeat Ptolemy VI’s forces with his smaller force

      • Antiochus IV managed to capture the Egyptian city of Memphis

    • As v.25 reports, Antiochus succeeded in part through deception

      • The deception came in two ways, as described in v.26 and v.27

      • In v.26, we learn that two of the king’s counselors who shared his table deceived him

      • These two counselors wanted to undermine the young king and replace him 

      • So, they convinced Ptolemy VI to make bad military decisions, leading to his defeat and the loss of many lives

    • The second deception came when Ptolemy VI and Antiochus IV sat down to negotiate a peace, as described in v.27

      • Antiochus had Memphis, but could not capture the key Egyptian city of Alexandria

      • So Antiochus told Ptolemy VI that if he surrendered Alexandria, then Antiochus would allow Ptolemy to continue ruling

      • Meanwhile, Ptolemy agreed to let Antiochus have the city and vowed loyalty to Antiochus, but he was lying too

    • These were all lies, of course, as we read in v.27

      • Antiochus IV kept Ptolemy prisoner under guard while he attacked the city

      • And despite Ptolemy’s assurances, the city of Alexandria did not surrender

      • When Antiochus tried to take the city, the inhabitants fought back and named Ptolemy VI’s younger brother king instead

      • Antiochus eventually left for home, his battles for Egypt awaiting another day

  • Finally, in v.28, we’re told Antiochus IV returns to Syria with much plunder taken from Memphis

    • Along the way, he passes through Israel again

      • While he’s in town, a Jew named Jason decided to take opportunity for his ambition

      • Jason desired to be made high priest of Israel, so he bribed Antiochus IV to install him in place of the real high priest, Onias III

      • Seeing Jason’s success, a third man, Menelaus, also bribed Antiochus IV to be made high priest

      • Always a one for personal gain, Antiochus agreed to install Menelaus over Jason

      • Later, Onias III protests against these moves and the Jews begin to align their support behind one man or the other

    • Eventually, Antiochus, now back in Syria, tires of the political maneuvering within Israel

      • So he has Onias III killed, along with those who schemed with the various men

      • He then decides to pursue a vendetta against the Jewish people in the city of Jerusalem

      • His army entered the city in 168 BC and killed 80,000 Jews and desecrated the temple

  • Before we move into the rest of Antiochus IV’s story, we can already see some parallels to the coming antichrist

    • We learned in the study of Chapters 8 & 9, that the antichrist will rise to power over a period of time

      • He initially comes to power amidst 10 other world rulers

      • During those early years, he gains power through intrigue and military victories, leading three kings to conspire against him 

      • Eventually, he dies as a result of their treachery, but he comes back to life again with greater power to deceive the world

      • After gaining power at the middle of Tribulation, he turns his attention to persecuting the Jewish people, especially in Jerusalem 

    • This broad arc is foreshadowed in the events of Antiochus’ life

      • He acts in similar ways, though on a smaller scale, in keeping with being a forerunner

      • But Antiochus IV’s similarities to the antichrist only grow

Dan. 11:29  “At the appointed time he will return and come into the South, but this last time it will not turn out the way it did before.
Dan. 11:30  “For ships of Kittim will come against him; therefore he will be disheartened and will return and become enraged at the holy covenant and take action; so he will come back and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant.
Dan. 11:31  “Forces from him will arise, desecrate the sanctuary fortress, and do away with the regular sacrifice. And they will set up the abomination of desolation.
  • Back in v.27, Gabriel told Daniel that this king wouldn’t prevail against his enemy in the south until the appointed time, and now in v.29, that time has come
    • In the same year that Antiochus rampaged Jerusalem, he also decided to continue southward to attack Egypt again

      • Upon his arrival, he discovers the Roman consul Popillius Laenas had sailed from Cyprus to secure the territory for Rome

      • In v.30, we’re told that ships from Kittim will bring this army to Egypt

      • Cyprus is the modern name of Kittim

    • Faced with a superior army, Antiochus IV had no choice but to return home

      • Antiochus was prevented from entering Egypt as he had hoped, as v.29 reports

      • His return trip took him once again through Israel

    • As v.30 explains, he’s enraged by his loss to Rome and so he decides to take the loss out against the Jewish people

      • The reference to “holy covenant” is always a reference to the Old Covenant by which the Jews received the Law and the temple service

      • Opposing this Covenant meant opposing the practice of the Law and temple service

      • Similarly, Antiochus IV showed favor for any Jew who would likewise oppose practice of the Mosaic Law

  • To stop the Jews from practicing the Law, the king used deception to gain entry into the city with his force of 22,000 men

    • Once inside the city walls, he attacked the Jews on a Sabbath, when they were reluctant to fight back

      • His general, Apollonius, killed many in the city and took many Jews captive as slaves

      • He plundered the temple of its gold and set the city on fire

      • Antiochus set his mind on exterminating the Jewish people and ending Jewish religious practice forever

    • So, in addition to the destruction done by his general, Antiochus banned the Mosaic Law, including temple services and the feasts

      • He burned all copies of the Law that he could find

      • He set up a statue of Zeus, his god, inside the temple along with an altar, where he made burnt offerings

      • And for good measure, he sacrificed a pig on the Jewish altar and demanded that Jews continue to sacrifice swine there on Antiochus IV’s birthday

      • Pig blood in the temple prevented the Jews from using the temple until such time that it had been properly cleansed

    • As we learned in Chapter 8, this event was so ignominious that it was given a name: the abomination of desolation, as mentioned in v.31

      • The abomination refers to all the steps Antiochus took to desecrate the temple in December 168 BC

      • Here, we find a very specific parallel to the antichrist of Tribulation

      • In Matthew 24, Jesus warned

Matt. 24:15  “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),
Matt. 24:16  then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.
Matt. 24:17  “Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house.
Matt. 24:18  “Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak.
Matt. 24:19  “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!
Matt. 24:20  “But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath.
Matt. 24:21  “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.
  • Jesus spoke these words after Antiochus IV lived and died

    • Since Jesus was speaking about a future time, clearly, He was talking about a different event 

    • Yet Jesus specifically referred back to Daniel 9, where the antichrist is described

  • So we’re seeing in Jesus’ words confirmation that the account of Antiochus is a picture, or type, of something greater yet to come

    • In fact, Jesus adds the words “let the reader understand” to emphasize that a deeper understanding is required

    • That deeper understanding is knowing that Antiochus IV pictures the antichrist

    • Based on prior chapters of Daniel, along with Chapter 11, we see that picture coming together

  • In Daniel 9, we learned that the antichrist will make a covenant with the people of Israel to allow them to restart sacrifices in their temple

    • But at the midpoint of Tribulation, the antichrist will stop the sacrifice and grain offering

      • Then, he will set up another abomination of desolation in the temple 

      • Revelation 13 gives us a hint of what that future abomination will be:

Rev. 13:14  And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life.
Rev. 13:15  And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
  • The antichrist will be supported by a false prophet who will deceive the world into worshipping the antichrist as god

    • To facilitate the world’s worship, the false prophet will set up an image of the antichrist in the temple

    • This image will have supernatural power to speak, which only inspires the world’s awe and devotion all the more

  • Clearly, Antiochus IV pictures these events

    • He enters Jerusalem and puts an end to the Law so that he can supplant worship of Yahweh with his own system

    • And Antiochus IV set up an image in the temple, just as Jesus forewarned would be the calling card of the future antichrist as well

  • And the parallels continue

Dan. 11:32  “By smooth words he will turn to godlessness those who act wickedly toward the covenant, but the people who know their God will display strength and take action.
Dan. 11:33  “Those who have insight among the people will give understanding to the many; yet they will fall by sword and by flame, by captivity and by plunder for many days.
Dan. 11:34  “Now when they fall they will be granted a little help, and many will join with them in hypocrisy.
Dan. 11:35  “Some of those who have insight will fall, in order to refine, purge and make them pure until the end time; because it is still to come at the appointed time.
  • Antiochus convinced many faithless Jews to participate in Zeus worship 

    • He was expert at pitting various Jewish factions against one another in order to gain what he wanted

      • He first gained the defection of the progressive elements of Israel who were already apostate and were quick to obey his demands

      • Once he had their loyalty, Antiochus IV turned to the conservative elements in Jewish society 

      • He offered to help them root out the progressive elements within Israel if they pledged their loyalty to him

    • The conservative Jews were so threatened by the progressives that they agreed to Antiochus IV’s terms

      • They adopted the view that the enemy of my enemy is my friend

      • So in the end, Antiochus was able to take both groups into idolatry through his manipulation

    • Because of Antiochus IV’s atrocities, a Jewish revolt broke out, as v.32 alludes

      • A priest named Mattathias and his sons rose up in Ephraim and led an army of conservative Jews against Antiochus IV

      • Eventually, the movement pushed the Seleucids out of Israel altogether

      • In the battle, Antiochus IV’s general, Apollonius was killed

  • Interestingly, the Maccabean revolt didn’t please every Jew in Israel

    • The apostate progressives feared the rise of the conservatives within Judaism

      • So they didn’t favor the revolt and didn’t fight against Antiochus

      • Meanwhile, Antiochus IV retaliated by killing many of those who had opposed him by both sword and burning

      • Though he inflicted great losses upon Israel, he wasn’t able to retake the land

      • Within a few years, Antiochus IV died insane in Persia, probably the result of a lifetime indwelled by demons

    • Eventually, the success of the Maccabees won over all Israel 

      • The progressives eventually united with the conservatives

      • And after their victory, the Maccabees founded a new conservative Jewish kingdom

      • In fact, the Jewish culture swung hard to the right

    • The Mosaic Law returned with far greater zealousness, which is described in v.33

      • Those who knew God’s law began to spread its practice and understanding among the largely apostate Jewish population

      • Some of those leading this revivalist movement later became the Pharisees of Jesus’ day

      • Others became the Essenes, who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls 

      • And many of those who were opposed to the revolt in the beginning later joined in support of the Maccabees, which is the hypocrisy mentioned in v.34

  • Many in Israel fell during these battles, yet it served a godly purpose

    • Notice in v.35, we’re told that those who have insight will fall

      • These are the godly who love the Lord and His Law

      • Why does the Lord allow some who are His to die in this way?

    • Gabriel says that it must happen in order to refine, purge and purify the rest until the end

      • “The rest” refers to the rest of Israel

      • So the death of some of the faithful was intended to push out apostasy in Israel

      • It caused the apostate within Israel to come into line with the conservatives

      • This purge was so powerful that it kept Israel orthodox until the end times

    • Over the millennia, the people of Israel have remained largely true to their Law in every generation since that time

      • While there have always been apostate Jews, even until today, Jewishness was forever associated with observing the Law

      • Judaism has never since reverted to the widespread apostasy of past ages

  • Here again, we see a type for the last days with the antichrist

    • In the last days, the Jewish people return to a state similar to the time before Antiochus

      • The Jewish people will have become largely apostate

      • Apart from a small orthodox minority, most Jews today do not practice the Law in any meaningful way

      • And of course, the temple service is not possible today

    • But because of the rise of the antichrist, great war will break out

      • And in the midst of that conflict, there will be martyrs

      • As we read in Revelation, speaking of how Satan attacks God’s people in the time of Tribulation

Rev. 12:17  So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
  • And then the result of this turmoil is seen in Revelation 6
Rev. 6:9  When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained;
Rev. 6:10  and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”
Rev. 6:11  And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.
  • These martyrs serve God’s greater goal of purifying Israel during Tribulation

    • As the prophet Zechariah explains

Zech. 13:8  “It will come about in all the land,” 
Declares the Lord, 
            “That two parts in it will be cut off and perish; 
But the third will be left in it.
Zech. 13:9  “And I will bring the third part through the fire, 
Refine them as silver is refined, 
And test them as gold is tested. 
They will call on My name, 
And I will answer them; 
             I will say, ‘They are My people,’ 
            And they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”
  • The Tribulation leads some of Israel to be cut off

  • But others will be refined and call upon the Lord

  • Furthermore, in preparation for this time of purging, the Lord will promote the rise of conservative, orthodox Judaism in Israel

    • In the last days, God will supernaturally provoke Jewish desire to follow the Law, according to promises given in Malachi

Mal. 4:4  “Remember the law of Moses My servant, even the statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel.
Mal. 4:5  “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord.
Mal. 4:6  “He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.”
  • To bring Israel back to an observance of her Law, the Lord will bring an appearance of Elijah the prophet
    • As Malachi explains, Elijah will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children

    • This means giving the modern descendants of Israel the same heart for God’s Law that their ancestors had

  • And conversely, the hearts of the children will return to where their fathers’ hearts were

    • This is a description of Israel returning from apostasy immediately before the “great and terrible day of the Lord”

    • That’s a reference to Tribulation

  • This is the end time Gabriel mentions in v.35

    • The nation of Israel was brought back into a degree of orthodoxy by the actions of Antiochus IV

      • It required the intense evil of such a man to unite the people of Israel in following their Law

      • That good work resulted in loss of life, even among the godly, but it also rescued Israel from apostasy for a time

    • And then in the last days, a new revival will be needed

      • And so another terriblly despicable man will be required

      • The Lord will permit the rise of the antichrist so He may use this one to bring Israel back into the bond of the Covenant

      • As we read in Daniel 9 earlier

  • And now in Chapter 11, we transition to the far-term prophecy concerning the one Antiochus pictures, the antichrist himself

Dan. 11:36  “Then the king will do as he pleases, and he will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will speak monstrous things against the God of gods; and he will prosper until the indignation is finished, for that which is decreed will be done.
Dan. 11:37  “He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the desire of women, nor will he show regard for any other god; for he will magnify himself above them all.
Dan. 11:38  “But instead he will honor a god of fortresses, a god whom his fathers did not know; he will honor him with gold, silver, costly stones and treasures.
Dan. 11:39  “He will take action against the strongest of fortresses with the help of a foreign god; he will give great honor to those who acknowledge him and will cause them to rule over the many, and will parcel out land for a price.
  • This passage sounds at first as if we’re still talking about Antiochus

    • In fact, the narrative is so subtle that it’s easy to miss the break

      • One clue that we’ve moved to events of the last days is found in the final mention of an appointed time in v.35

      • That reference is a clue that we’ve jumped ahead in time, starting in v.36

    • Furthermore, the context of this passage makes it clear that we’re talking about someone else

      • The events of this passage have no parallel in history, so they must still be future

      • That’s our second clue that we have transitioned to the one Antiochus IV pictures: the antichrist

      • We’re looking into the final of the 70 sevens from Daniel 9

  • This future king will do as he pleases in a future day, meaning no one will challenge his power

    • In particular, he will magnify himself above every god everywhere

      • We know that Antiochus called himself a manifestation of a god, but he still acknowledged other gods as well

      • In particular, we noted earlier, he worshipped and sacrificed to Zeus

      • And we know that Antiochus couldn’t do everything he pleased, especially where Rome was concerned

      • But this king will declare there is no other god above himself

      • And in the process, he will speak monstrous things against the true God

    • As he does these things, he will prosper, but only until the indignation is finished

      • “The indignation” refers to the state of suffering for Israel during this time

      • This period of judgment for Israel has been decreed and must be accomplished

  • Then in v.37, we find that this man will have no regard for any god worshipped by his “fathers”, which means his predecessors

    • So he will not have a religious past

      • He will not be an avowed follower of any religion himself

      • Instead, he will assume the role of icon

      • This is the moment at the middle of Tribulation we discussed earlier, when the antichrist is resurrected by the power of Satan

      • From that point forward, he declared himself to be god and the world will believe it, based on his miraculous resurrection 

    • He will also have no desire for women

      • This line has intrigued many Bible students and led to some unhelpful speculation

      • It simply means this man will show no interest in normal human sexual relationships

    • The reason has nothing to do with his sexual preference, but rather, it’s essential to his claims to being a messiah

      • God has no need for a human sexual relationship

      • Jesus had no interest in women, so the antichrist counterfeits this quality of the Messiah

      • He forgoes romantic interests to project himself as a Messiah

  • Then in v.38, Gabriel says this man will “honor” a god of fortresses, a god his fathers didn’t know

    • I believe this god is the same one called “a foreign god”, again in v. 39 

      • This god is honored by the antichrist’s reign and rule

      • Even as the antichrist calls himself god, he likewise reflects glory upon a strange god who wasn’t worshipped in the same way before

    • This relationship sounds similar to the relationship between Jesus and the Father

      • Jesus Christ is the name above all names

      • He is God

      • And yet, He also honors God the Father

    • So here again, the antichrist continues to counterfeit Christ

      • As we learned in our earlier lessons, the antichrist will be resurrected at the midpoint of Tribulation by the power of Satan

Rev. 13:2  And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority.
Rev. 13:3  I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast;
Rev. 13:4  they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?”
  • The beast here is the antichrist, and the dragon is the serpent of old, Satan
  • Notice that Satan gives his power to the antichrist

  • And then after the antichrist is resurrected, the antichrist causes the world to worship both the dragon and himself

    • Here, we see a counterfeit Trinity emerging in the time of Tribulation

    • The antichrist seeks to be a messiah and Satan is his foreign god who is worshipped because of the false messiah

    • The only Person missing is the Holy Spirit, and the false prophet and his freakish speaking image serves that purpose 

  • Then in v.39, we’re told that this king will show honor to those who honor him

    • He will parcel out land for a price, controlling commerce and the ability to produce food

      • Revelation confirms this behavior in the antichrist of end times

Rev. 13:15  And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
Rev. 13:16  And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead,
Rev. 13:17  and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.
  • The antichrist will control commerce with a mark that he assigns to all humanity

    • Only those who take the mark can buy and sell, the parceling out of land for a price

    • And those who fail to take the mark are beheaded, according to Revelation 20

  • Finally, Gabriel describes how this man comes to his end

Dan. 11:40  “At the end time the king of the South will collide with him, and the king of the North will storm against him with chariots, with horsemen and with many ships; and he will enter countries, overflow them and pass through.
Dan. 11:41  “He will also enter the Beautiful Land, and many countries will fall; but these will be rescued out of his hand: Edom, Moab and the foremost of the sons of Ammon.
Dan. 11:42  “Then he will stretch out his hand against other countries, and the land of Egypt will not escape.
Dan. 11:43  “But he will gain control over the hidden treasures of gold and silver and over all the precious things of Egypt; and Libyans and Ethiopians will follow at his heels.
Dan. 11:44  “But rumors from the East and from the North will disturb him, and he will go forth with great wrath to destroy and annihilate many.
Dan. 11:45  “He will pitch the tents of his royal pavilion between the seas and the beautiful Holy Mountain; yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him.
  • Similar to Antiochus IV, the antichrist will fight neighbors

    • Notice however, that this king is fighting both south and north, which means again, this can’t be Antiochus IV, for he didn’t fight himself

      • The most likely explanation is that these powers are the three “horns” that the antichrist uproots after his resurrection

      • These kings tried to kill the antichrist at the midpoint of Tribulation

      • So after he’s resurrected, the antichrist seeks revenge by attacking these kings

    • According to Gabriel, the antichrist will succeed in moving through these nations and subduing all of them, just as we learned in Daniel 7

      • And also like Antiochus IV, the antichrist will make a special point of invading Israel, the Beautiful Land

      • Just as Antiochus tried to destroy the Jewish people, so will the antichrist place special emphasis on eliminating Israel

  • The enemy’s focus on destroying Israel is directly related to Israel’s role in Christ’s Second Coming

    • As Daniel’s prophecies have taught us, the Messiah returns to put an end to Gentile rule and to set up a Jewish kingdom

      • But what if there are no Jews left?

      • What if the enemy has succeeded in wiping out the Jewish nation?

      • Then Jesus’ Second Coming would be thwarted, or so Satan thinks

    • Therefore, Satan has always made it his goal to remove the Jewish people from the earth

      • He has been working through various means over the millennia to end the Jewish people

      • And once Satan is indwelling the antichrist, he will turn his full attention to that goal

  • In vs.41-42, we also learn that his conquests will fell many surrounding nations

    • But all the nations we hear are neighbors to Israel...why don’t we hear of other areas on the earth?

      • Because by this time in Tribulation, very little of the earth remains inhabited

      • The judgments of Tribulation have destroyed most of the earth, leaving only the area we call the Middle East

      • Within this small space, the antichrist operates

    • And he defeats his enemies in all directions, except for a few key areas

      • These areas, all east of Israel, are spared by God for the purpose of preserving a remnant of Israel

      • Edom, Moab and Ammon all refer to land east of the Jordan

      • In this area, the Lord will preserve a portion of Israel in protection in the desert

    • Calling Israel a “woman” and the antichrist indwelled by Satan a “dragon”, Revelation 12 describes this defense of these territories

Rev. 12:13  And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child.
Rev. 12:14 But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.
  • Notice, Israel is held in safety in the desert for 3.5 years, the second half of Tribulation

  • They are held in a place called the sheep’s pen, or botzrah

Mic. 2:12  “I will surely assemble all of you, Jacob, 
I will surely gather the remnant of Israel. 
I will put them together like sheep in the fold; 
Like a flock in the midst of its pasture 
They will be noisy with men.
  • This place is in present day Jordan, so the Lord will spare these places from the antichrist to protect the remnant of Israel

  • Finally, like Antiochus IV, the antichrist will plunder many – yet in the end, he will be defeated in battle

    • In v.44, we’re told that the antichrist will be drawn into battle with rumors from the East and North

      • These rumors draw him and his allies into battle against Jerusalem and the last fortress of Jews in the city

      • Unlike the Jews held in safety in Botzrah, these Jews are unbelieving, yet orthodox

      • It’s these last remaining Jews who must call out for the Lord to bring about His return

    • To prevent that outcome, the antichrist camps his army west of Jerusalem, between the holy mountain and the great sea

      • He will attack the city on the western side

      • There, he meets his end as a result of Christ’s Second Coming

      • Christ comes through the east gate of the city and leads the population out of the city to safety

      • Then he fights the antichrist and destroys him

    • Our study tonight doesn’t permit me time to walk you through the entire battle that takes place at this point

      • Our Revelation Bible study will fill in those gaps

      • But for now, it’s enough to know that Gabriel foretells the end of the antichrist in the battle for Jerusalem

      • For as we learned, the antichrist’s death is the last act of the Age of the Gentiles