Revelations Antichrist

Who is the Antichrist according to Revelations

Introduction

Throughout the ages, earthly kingdoms have arisen to challenge the kingdom of God. There has been a battle for the throne, a battle brought into sharp focus in the Old Testament Book of Daniel. Scripture contains two books of end-time prophecy: Daniel and Revelation. Unlocking Daniel’s symbols makes Revelation’s prophecies clear. And Jesus’ statement in Matthew 24:15 directs us to understand “Daniel the prophet...whoever reads, let him understand.

One of the most fascinating Bible chapters is Daniel 2 that also gives a vital Bible prophecy time line that helps identify who or what is the antichrist today. A king dreamed of world events that spanned 2,500 years. Those events have come to pass with such precision that only the hand of God could have been involved. It’s a prophecy that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is in control of history. It is a prophecy that’s been almost totally fulfilled ... almost, but not quite. Daniel 2:1 says: “In the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; and his spirit was so troubled that his sleep left him.

This was the king who ruled the great Babylonian Empire 500 years before Christ, the king who built the luxurious Hanging Gardens, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Nebuchadnezzar had a dream which seemed of great significance, but when he awoke, he could not remember what he had dreamt. So he called his wise men who claimed to see into the future and asked them to tell what he had dreamt. When they admitted that they could not, Nebuchadnezzar condemned them to death.

Now young Daniel, though a prisoner of war in Babylon, was counted among the “wise men” for his gifted intelligence and understanding. When the king’s captain came to execute Daniel, he asked for time to pray for God to reveal the dream and God did! Then Daniel, taking no credit to himself, went before Nebuchadnezzar and told the king that no mortal man could reveal the dream. “But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has revealed ... what will be in the latter days.” Daniel 2:28. The king’s dream focused on end-times, the close of earth’s history. The dream starts with Nebuchadnezzar and marches through history to the current day.

So Daniel told the king what he had dreamed: “You, O king, were watching: and behold, a great image! ... This image’s head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.” Daniel 2:31-35.

The King was excited! “Yes, that’s it! That’s it!” he cried. “That’s exactly what I saw! But Daniel, what does it mean?” What does it mean not only to Nebuchadnezzar but to you and me? Daniel continued: “You, O King, ... are this head of GOLD.” Daniel 2:37-38. Nebuchadnezzar Metal ManThe Babylonian Empire of Nebuchadnezzar (which made more lavish use of gold than any kingdom since) was secure as the dominant world power from 605 B.C. to 539 B.C., but he was to be overthrown by a kingdom represented in Daniel 2:32 as “the breast and arms of SILVER.” Just a few pages ahead in your Bible, Daniel 5:28, the next world ruling power is named: the joint empire of the Medes and the Persians. Again, a fitting symbol: the two arms joined at the chest to show two kingdoms the Medes and Persians. They ruled the world for two centuries, from 538 B.C. to 331 B.C., but they too were overthrown by a third kingdom.

This third kingdom, depicted in verse 32 as the “belly and thighs of BRONZE,” was the Greek Empire of Alexander the Great. And what did Alexander’s men wear into battle? Bronze! Bronze breastplates, bronze helmets, bronze shields, bronze swords. Once again, God chose a fitting symbol to describe the kingdom that would rule the world from 331 B.C. to 169 B.C.

But history does not end with this third kingdom. Greece did not rule the world forever, for there was a fourth metal after the gold of Babylon, the silver of the Medes and Persians, the bronze of Greece. The next kingdom is represented by IRON. Daniel 2:40 says, “The fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron.” The iron monarchy of Rome was the last world kingdom, which in 168 B.C. overthrew the Greeks.

Just as legs form the longest part of the body, Rome had the longest reign of any other of the world powers. For more than 500 years, half a millennium, Rome was invincible. But what did the Bible predict would happen next? Daniel 2:41-43 says, “Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom.

History confirms that this seemingly unconquerable Roman Empire crumbled for two reasons, from within and from without. From within wealth poured into Rome through taxes collected from all over the world and the simple Roman life was replaced with luxury and pomp. The political world brewed with corruption, crime infiltrated the streets, the work ethic was lost, sexual immorality was rampant. And as the mighty Roman Empire weakened from within, Rome was attacked from without and divided into ten smaller kingdoms.

Where are we living today? Right down in the toenails of history! Every part of this prophecy has come to pass except one. Daniel told the king in verses 34 & 44: “You watched while a STONE was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces... The God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed... It shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” That Rock cut out without hands symbolizes Jesus Christ, who will come to establish His kingdom.

Why is it important that you know about the dream of an ancient king? Simply this: Nebuchadnezzar’s dream portrayed history before it was lived, and once you realize the Bible can be trusted with the past, you will know without a doubt it can be trusted to predict those things still to come. Today we have hope, for tomorrow is in the hands of the God who guides history and who loves us! The Lord of History has the last word ...

History has followed this prophecy like a blueprint and will continue to do so. The political workings of this planet are not random. God has been guiding, controlling, and overruling all along.

God through the prophet Daniel foretold the break up of the Roman Empire into ten toes of the Image, representing the ten kingdoms into which Rome was divided when barbarian tribes carved up the empire. They are:

The Ten Divisions of Rome

1. Anglo-Saxons - England. 6. Suevi - Portugal.
2. Alemanni - Germany. 7. Visigoths - Spain.
3. Burgundians - Switzerland. 8. Heruli - Exterminated.
4. Franks - France. 9. Vandals - Exterminated.
5. Lombards - Italy. 10. Ostrogoths - Exterminated.

The last three have no modern names, for they originally took over parts of the Empire but were eventually destroyed, “plucked up by the roots” as Daniel 7:8, 20, & 24 foretold.

Daniel 2:41-43, Ten toes, ten kingdoms, and just as IRON and CLAY won’t mix together, so the ten kingdoms will not be joined. No matter how many battles are fought, no matter how many Hitlers or Napoleons or Charlemagnes seek to conquer, the world will never be united under one ruler again.

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill stated: “Any man must have a blind soul who cannot see that some great purpose and design is being worked out here below.” So inescapably did Daniel’s prophetic portrayal correspond to its historical fulfilment that the great English historian Edward Gibbon, though not a Christian or Bible believer himself, wittingly or unwittingly used Scriptural language in his monumental History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire when he wrote: “The images of gold, or silver, or brass, that might serve to represent the nations and their kings, were successively broken by the IRON monarchy of Rome.

History has played itself out and only one kingdom is left to be established. Soon Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Rock of Ages, the One who paid such a remarkable visit to this planet over 2000 years ago, is going to pay us another visit. And He’s going to make quite an entrance the second time. The heavens will rumble with a great shout as trumpets blast and angels sing. Then Christ and the angelic host will swoop down in a cloud of glory to gather His faithful ones!

The Antichrist arises and changes God's law
A fascinating story from Greek mythology warns against deception dressed in religious clothes. The Greeks, unable to defeat the Trojans, resorted to deception. They built a huge wooden horse and delivered it to the gates of Troy, declaring it was an offering to the goddess Athena. But armed Greek soldiers were hiding inside the horse. The Greeks left it outside the walls of Troy and sailed away.

The Trojans were happy to accept it as a token of divine favour, embracing it as a symbol of victory from the gods. But that night, once the horse was inside the city, scores of Greek soldiers jumped out of a secret door. These warriors opened the gates to other Greeks who had returned. The city was set afire. The Trojans had accepted falsehood and were defeated through deception. An offering to the gods, a religious symbol which they at first rejoiced over, was actually part of the enemy’s deceitful plan.

Could it be that there’s a Trojan horse in the midst of the Christian Church? Could millions be deceived and not know it? Maybe we have accepted a so called “offering to God” which is actually falsehood under a religious guise. Let me speak plainly: Satan’s greatest deceptions are religious ones. Satan disguises error as truth. He’s a cunning foe who will do anything to mislead us including the substitution of a COUNTERFEIT religious day of worship in place of the Sabbath of the Ten Commandments! Satan’s master deception, his Trojan horse under the guise of religion is a counterfeit day of worship.

Incredibly enough the Bible predicted it. God foresaw that a rival antichrist power would dare to attempt to change His holy Law! The Devil knows that if he can initiate the change of the TEN COMMANDMENTS written with God’s own finger on tables of stone, he can open the floodgates for every other species of falsehood to flow into the Christian Church. Let’s see how it happened.

Daniel’s Amazing Dream: Previously we learned about King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a great image, recorded in chapter two of Daniel’s book. Now we will look at chapter seven, where Daniel himself had a dream and saw four “beasts” rise up out of the sea. These divinely inspired dreams are full of vital meaning for us today. Daniel Antichrist ChartDaniel chapter seven is like an INSTANT REPLAY of Daniel chapter two only better, because it adds more details and looks at things from a different perspective. Daniel’s dream starts in the days of Babylon but takes us through the days of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome, the four world empires. It takes us through Christianity’s early days and shows how AFTER the death of Christ and His disciples in the early centuries, a power would arise that would attempt to change the Sabbath.

Read Daniel 7:1-8 and consult the illustration. Note that the fourth beast was indescribable, not like a lion, a bear, a leopard, or anything Daniel had ever seen before! The fourth was a dreadful, powerful beast with iron teeth and ten horns. Then among those ten horns, Daniel saw another horn come up. This “Little Horn” became a great power. Daniel 7:8 says, “In this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things” Verse 20 says, “very great things.” And this Little Horn, which is also know as Antichrist, and is synonymous with the first beast of Revelation 13, tried to change the Commandments and the very Law of God.

Unlocking The Symbols: Some think interpreting prophecy is anybody’s guess. But 2 Peter 1:21 RSV says, “No prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation.” That means I should not depend on what I personally think the prophecy means and I should not give my own private interpretation, because the Word of God explains itself, if we let it. God tells us plainly in Daniel 7:17 and 23 that “These great beasts, which were four, are four kings, which shall arise ... The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth.” So these beasts are not four individual kings but rather four successive kingdoms or world empires. In fact, The Living Bible says the fourth beast “is the fourth WORLD EMPIRE that will rule the earth.” Even today we use beasts or animals as symbols. We say the elephant symbolizes the Republican Party, and the donkey the Democrats. We use the Russian bear as a symbol of that country, the regal lion for England, the eagle for the United States. Just as we use animals as symbols for nations, so does God.

Which kingdoms or nations do the beasts in Daniel’s dream represent? Chapters 2 and 7 of Daniel contain remarkable parallels. For instance, the last part of the image had ten toes, and the last beast had ten horns. The four metals and the four beasts symbolize the same four world empires and so the fourth kingdom is one and the same. Compare the two verses.

Daniel 2:40 “And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.

Daniel 7:23 “Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.

The fourth beast is the Roman Empire which fell in A.D. 476 and was divided into the nations of modern Europe represented by the tens horns. This point in history was after the death of Christ, after the days of the apostolic Church. In those days when Rome was being divided, something would happen. In Daniel 7:8 the prophet looked at those ten horns, at the ten divisions of Rome, and saw coming up among them a Little Horn which had “eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.

The Mysterious Little Horn: WHERE would this Antichrist power arise? Not in Asia, Africa, or South America, but “among” the ten horns, which means out of the Roman Empire and out of Rome. WHEN would this power arise? Daniel 7:24 tells us “after” Rome’s fall and subsequent break up in A.D. 476. This horn had “eyes like the eyes of a man.” 1 Samuel 9:9 says a prophet was called “a seer” because he sees with God’s wisdom and foresight. But this Little Horn power has not the eyes of God but the eyes of a man. This power is based not on God’s divine wisdom but on merely human wisdom.

Something about the Little Horn made it fundamentally different from the first ten horns. Daniel 7:24 says the Little Horn power would be “diverse” or (RSV) “different from the former ones,” the former ten. The first ten divisions of the Roman Empire became the modern nations of Western Europe and are all political in nature. This “Little Horn” would be different or “diverse” in that it proved to be a religious power (or at least a hybrid, being part religious and part political, that is, a religio-political entity).

Daniel 7:8, 11 & 30 emphasize that this “Little Horn” had “a mouth speaking great things... VERY great things.” Modern translations say, “great boasts,” “pompous words,etc. Finally, Daniel 7:25 divulges that “He [the Little Horn power] shall speak great words against the most High.” Clearly then, God is telling us that this power, this religious power which was “different” from all the political powers of Europe, this power that arose in Rome after the break up of the Roman Empire would make great claims, great decrees. It would speak pompously, boastfully, even claiming infallible power to change God’s Law and the day of worship!

We know the Roman Catholic Church is responsible for this predicted change for two reasons: (1) It’s the only institution that COULD have done it, and (2) it ADMITS doing it! A catechism is a set of questions-and-answers used as an official training manual to instruct new Church members. On page 50 in The Convert’s Catechism we read:

QUESTION: Which is the Sabbath day?
ANSWER: Saturday is the Sabbath day.
QUESTION: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
ANSWER: We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.

Again and again in many official sources, the Church brazenly admits changing the day! Here is just one more complete with the original scanned image. Select for more Catholic Quotes.

TRADITION DOESN’T COUNT
Popular thinking says that tradition if old and long standing should be honoured. If that were so, then prostitution, as “the world’s oldest profession,” deserves great respect from all of us! But how OLD a practice is has no bearing at all on how VALID it is. Antiquity of error proves only that we have been going wrong for a long time! Besides, if a tradition’s long-standing practice is what should impress us, then it’s no contest, the Seventh day Sabbath of the Lord going all the way back to Creation wins hands down!

Jesus voiced Heaven’s view of man-made tradition in Matthew 15:3, 6, & 9 and says quite plainly it is worshipping Him “in vain.

A QUESTION OF AUTHORITY
People ask, “What difference does a day make?” The whole issue is not a matter of days but a choice of masters. We are not talking about mere days. We’re talking about masters and allegiance to, loyalty to, the master of our choice. In the final analysis, who is our Master? Jesus Christ or Church leaders? Days as such may not be important, but the Bible is. Will we follow the traditions of misguided men or the Word of God? The choice is yours. The Apostle Peter boldly declared: “We ought to obey GOD rather than MEN.” Acts 5:29.

EXAMINING DANIEL 7:25: When God predicts the Little Horn power shall “think to change times and laws,” it must pertain to DIVINE laws. The Revised Standard Version says “the Law” of God. Man’s laws like traffic or tax laws change so often it’s hardly worthy of notice and would not be mentioned in the Bible. And the only one of God’s Ten Commandments having to do with TIME is the Fourth Commandment regarding the Sabbath. But why does the prophecy say the Little Horn would “think” to change the law? Can any earthly power really change that Law written with God’s own finger? No, but the Little Horn would dare to “think” to change God’s Law! That venerable English version of the Bible for Roman Catholic believers, The Douay Bible, translates Daniel 7:25 as follows: “And he shall THINK HIMSELF ABLE to change times and laws.” Hover over link for Adam Clarke's Commentary on Daniel 7:25.

FROM GENESIS TO REVELATION: The very first cardinal appointed by the Roman Catholic Church in the United States was Cardinal James Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore. Cardinal Gibbons was always one of my heroes as I grew up in the Church. He was a brilliant scholar. His book, The Faith of Our Fathers, sold millions of copies in America. This is what he said on page 89 of that book: “You may read the BIBLE from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a SINGLE LINE authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The SCRIPTURES enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day we [Catholics] never sanctify.