September 12, 2011
Know Your Enemy
The Rise of Anti-Christ
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As we study through the rise of Anti-Christ, please keep in mind that John wrote about “Anti-Christ” and indicated that Anti-Christ was already at work in the first century A.D. (1 John 4:3). Throughout all times, satan and his minions will impersonate Christ, oppose Christ, and try to take the place of Christ. While the spirit of Anti-Christ has been at work in the world since Jesus walked in flesh on the earth, the particular man Anti-Christ will appear in the middle of the great tribulation, lasting seven years, just before Christ returns to begin His physical, earthly rule (Zechariah 14:1-5). In Revelation 13:1-10, we read about a beast arising from the sea. This beast is not the dragon, satan of old, but this beast speaks arrogant things and he has authority to act for forty-two months. He gains authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation (Revelation 13:7). We see a strong connection between this beast of Revelation 13:1-10) and the beast that Daniel described in Daniel 11:36-45.
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.
At times in the Bible, we see historical figures personify the future actions of another person. From secular historians, we may consider Antiochus Epiphanes (“Manifest [God]”), Antiochus IV, who ruled in Palestine from about 175-164 B.C., nicknamed Epimanees (Mad One) by his many detractors. He was a despicable person, who seized the kingdom by intrigue in a time of peace. He conducted various military campaigns. Antiochus Epiphanes waged war against Egypt, During his First Egyptian Campaign, he overflowed through Israel and into Egypt. With the assistance of Rome, Egypt resisted the attack of Antiochus Epiphanes. As he passed through Israel, Antiochus sent his general Apollonius with 22,000 soldiers to Jerusalem and sacked it. He invaded Jerusalem on the sabbath and met minimal resistance. Antiochus offered swine sacrifice to himself and Zeus on his own altar erected over the Jewish altar. These sacrifices were apparently to be offered on the twenty-fifth day of each month in honor of Antiochus’ birthday. Finally, Matthias, a Jew, ignited a Jewish rebellion and Judas Maccabeus, the son of Matthias, defeated the occupiers in 164 B.C. and restored the daily sacrifice, marking the beginning the Jewish celebration of Hanukah. All of these acts come to us from secular history about a real figure, Antiochus Epiphanes.
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.
Anti-Christ in View. In Daniel 10:14, we read that God revealed to Daniel what will happen to Israel in the “latter days” (“בְּאַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים“). When we combine Daniel 11:36-45 with Daniel 12:1-2, we see that Anti-Christ himself has come into view. While the historical figure of Antiochus Epiphanes acted according to the prophecy of Daniel given hundreds of years before the birth of Antiochus Epiphanes, the person of Anti-Christ has not appeared to do his evil deeds for forty-two months immediately preceding the return of Christ to earth.
Actions of Anti-Christ. In Daniel 11:36-45, we see that Anti-Christ will do as he pleases, exalt and magnify himself above every god, and speak monstrous things against the God of gods. He will prosper until the end decreed by God arrives. We also see that he has no regard for the gods of his fathers, nor have a desire for women. He will honor a god of fortresses (“וְלֶאֱלֹהַּ, ָעֻזִּים”). He will enter Israel and attack Egypt, and the Libyans and Ethiopians will follow at his heels. His end will come on the plains of Israel, between the seas and the Holy Mountain.
So we learn more about the person of Anti-Christ today.
● Anti-Christ will exalt and magnify himself against the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
● Anti-Christ will not worship the God of Islam, Judaism, or any traditional religion, but instead, he will worship a god of fortresses.
● Anti-Christ will be defeated on the plains of Israel, when Christ returns in glorious victory to reign for a thousand years.
Application for Today
As I live today, I will keep in mind that Anti-Christ will come to wage war on the saints and exalt himself above every god. God will defeat him, and doom him to a judgment already determined. Rather than live in fear of Anti-Christ, I will keep my mind attuned to the ways of Anti-Christ, with his evil intentions of exalting himself, opposing God, and doing everything to please himself. I already see that spirit of anti-Christ at work in the world today, and see evil desires within me. Satan always seeks to deceive us, and mislead us, away from Christ. I will remember the ways and wiles of satan today, and remember that Christ has already defeated satan, and crushed his power. Only Jesus has all power, and Jesus loves me today. Will you avoid the ways and wiles of Anti-Christ today?