The rise and fall of Antichrist, Pt2

This study continues from Rise and fall of the Antichrist, Pt1.

Please note: You can listen to the audio of this study here.

Please take time to read Daniel 7:1-28

This chapter clearly deals with events that occur within a definite time period that climaxes with:

  • the return of Christ in royal power having been invested with His Kingdom by the Father.
  • The inauguration of judgment, v10.
  • the pouring out of wrath upon the little horn and the sudden destruction of the Kingdom he heads in an fashion unprecedented in history, v11-12, 25-27. This is unique judgment.

The time period that this vision specifically deals with is definitely described, v25. This is the second half of a seven year period, 9:27 – in fact, the final three and a half years of time.

A consideration of this period must contemplate two main themes.

  • The activities of the little horn, the Antichrist, the man of sin.
  • The activities of heaven and especially the return of Christ in power.

The two themes cannot be separated but can only be rightly considered together. In fact, any consideration of Antichrist must be subordinate to the contemplation of Christ and His royal, conquering power.

I THE RISE AND ACTIVITY OF THE LITTLE HORN.

The rise of Antichrist. The ten horns variously represent ten kings or kingdoms. Sometimes it is the kingdom that is in view, sometimes the king as an individual. A horn symbolizes the concentrated power of the beast. One horn suddenly springs into prominence and all the power of the empire represented by the ‘beast’ is now concentrated at a single point. This is a man, v8 who exercises control of a specific kingdom, v26. That this is a man is also clear from Rev 19:19-20: Antichrist is a man with a soul, and is ultimately damned in hell. From inauspicious beginnings he rises to appear more stout [‘greater’] than the others. It appears, v24, that he is part of a succession of Kings in one of these ten kingdoms. Cp also Rev 17:11 which suggests a dynastic succession. In the course of his rise to prominence he overthrows three other kings/kingdoms. Behind his rise to power is military conflict. Cp Rev 13:3—an early, almost fatal military blow from which he recovers to go on in his career of blasphemy.

The emphasized actions of Antichrist. The activity of the second half of his seven year career is in view here, it climaxes in judgement. His activity is seen to involve:

His words, v8, 11, 20, 25. It is his calculated/stated purpose to overthrow God’s purpose and laws. Cp Rev 13:5-6—given his evil power by Satan. Motivated by the pride and agenda of Satan, he speaks against God in blasphemy.

His actions, v21, 25. He particularly targets the saints of God in order to destroy them. Cp Rev 12:6, 14-17, 13:15, 20:4. While Israel as a nation will certainly feel the persecution power of Antichrist, this chapter being in Aramaic is directed principally toward a Gentile audience and so addresses the effect of his rule on the saints, Gentile believers in the main but not exclusively. Chap 8 addresses some of Antichrist’s activity with reference to Israel. Cp II Thess 2:3-4

The overruling purpose of God, v25. Cp Rev 13:7. God gives His people into the hands of Antichrist for a time. The purpose of God is deliberate! A definite limit is placed on the length of his domination of the saints for the end is determined and Antichrist will come to the end God has purposed. N.B. there is no pre-tribulation rapture! The saints suffer at the hand of Antichrist until Christ appears to terminate his tyrannical rule in the earth.

II THE INVESTITURE OF CHRIST AS KING.

Far above the scene on earth and unseen by evil men, another scene is unfolding. The veil is drawn aside for the people of God that they might see into Heaven. “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:28 AV).

The King is presented. The scene in Heaven is the investiture of Christ with His earthly Kingdom immediately prior to His return. Cp v14. This scene occurs in the dying seconds of this age. The Son of man stands before the Father’s throne, to leave there as the King of Kings and return to earth with the assembled hosts of Heaven  in glory and power, This corresponds with John’s vision in Rev 14:14, 1—Christ and His glorified people standing on the earth, in Zion having come as the royal redeemer. The same contrast is observed here in the Revelation as is seen in Daniel’s vision between the rampaging of Antichrist (Rev 13) and the triumph of the Saviour (Rev 14). These events are clearly linked to the destruction of Antichrist, Rev 14:11 and the ushering in of judgement on the earth. See also Daniel 8:25, II Thess 2:8-10, Rev 19:11-16, 19-21.

Against all the odds. Cp v18, 26 BUT… Judging by how things appear on the earth at this time this is a most unlikely event!  Ps 2 outlines this same truth. Yet the Kingdoms of the world will fall to Christ and His people. The eye of faith will see what is unseen by those on earth at this time and recognize that Christ will prevail despite appearances to the contrary!

The unity of Christ and His people. Cp v14, 18, 22, 27. It is striking to see that what is said to belong to Christ is also described as belonging to His people. Christ takes the kingdom, His people take the Kingdom. This same thought is expressed in Rev 20:3-4. The coming of Christ to reign is a final element of the display of His mediatorial power as the Redeemer King. This investiture relates to Christ as the son of man – God manifest in flesh, the mediator. As God He is already King; as the God-man/Mediator He awaits the day when His enemies will be made His footstool and He returns to earth to stand upon them and subdue the earth to His rule and Law.

Continued in the Rise and fall of Antichrist, Pt3.

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