The Book of Daniel
I have been studying the Book of Daniel lately. I am a little confused at the divergence of opinion as to who the Antichrist will be. Some say he will be the Roman prince, the first beast of Revelation 13; some, the King of the North or Syria; and, others, that he will be Judas Iscariot. I would be grateful for your help on the matter, and also on some books you might be able to recommend on this subject.
M. A. R.
Dear Brother M. A. R.,
Many consider the two most valuable works on the Book of Daniel to be those of William Kelly and A. C. Gaebelein. Together these form a splendid commentary upon this difficult prophecy.
Yes, there is a divergence of human opinion as to who in the prophetic picture will be the Antichrist. This, in itself, should save us from too much dogmatism. Considerable reflection upon this subject has led to the conclusion that the second beast of Revelation 13 is the Antichrist. It appears that Daniel 11:36-40. Zech. 11:16-17. John 5:43. 2 Thess. 2:8-10 and Rev. 13:11-18 all refer to the same evil person. From these passages, it is gathered that he may be a Jew who will readily be received by the Jews of Palestine, and that he, possibly, will not appear in full power until after the destruction of the Papacy by the Western powers whom she, the Papacy, has deceived (Rev. 17:16-18). The Antichrist, the Jewish false Messiah, will have opportunity then to unite Judaism and Christendom under one head. All will be commanded to worship the first beast, the ruler over a ten king kingdom. The world will eventually see an empire similar to that of Constantine in which Church and state unite to destroy all opposition. During the Great Tribulation, all who refuse the mark of the beast will be appointed to destruction. The Mystery of Iniquity will be climaxed by a trinity of evil: the devil, the beast, and the false prophet. This climax will not be reached, however, until after the true Church is removed from earth (2 Thess. 2:7-8).
I would point out that the Ten King Empire of the West will be the friend and the protector of the Jewish nation, but the deadly enemy of all true believers from among both Jews and Gentiles.
The great Northern Confederacy is the enemy of the entire Jewish nation, and is the rod of God’s anger by which He will punish His ancient people. At Armageddon, both confederacies will join in battle for the possession of Palestine, but neither will attain the prize for the Lord Himself will descend with the armies of Heaven to destroy both of these evil forces and to take possession of the Holy Land for Himself and His people (Zech 14).
Yours in the Lord,