EPIPHANES, PROTOTYPE OF ANTICHRIST
Pastor K. Kirkland
ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the
prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the
end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed until the
time of the end.
Daniel 12:4, 9.
A few references:
The central event depicted here has ever since
been known as the abomination of desolation. These things happened several
hundred years before Christ, but we shouldn’t view them as musty old relics
from history. If that is what it looks like to you, stick with us, we hope to
dissuade you of that notion.
Alexander the Great had a grand plan, conquer the
world via Greek culture (Hellenism). By subversive means, if that didn’t work,
by force. Antiochus Epiphanes, his successor, had a most difficult proposition
attempting to subvert Jews under his realm in Palestine. It caused an enormous
CULTURE WAR… and eventually, unable to subvert devout Jews, tremendous
By now, you should be seeing the prophetic implications involved here. History is repeating itself. Look around you, THERE IS A CULTURE WAR GOING ON! So far, of a subversive nature, but eventually an Antiochus Epiphanes is going to arrive who will seek to impose his will by force...the "willful" king of Dan. 11:36.
Old Covenant Jews resisted Antiochus, and
were the ones he persecuted, however, we live in New Covenant times. The present
day culture war, at its core, is anti-Christ and anti-Christian.
antagonism against people of Christian and
holiness convictions growing noticeably every day, with conservative vs liberal
polarization growing more noticeable every day, with a general “falling
away” or apostasy growing every day, the
Antiochan events are very relevant...
as we hope to bring out in this study.
We think you will be amazed at just how relevant they are.
This study is being written in May of 2006. We will
be analyzing certain current events of the present day spiritual and political climate: Islamic terrorism, the
geo-political alignment of nations, the culture war, and conservative vs liberal
polarization. The upshot of which, we believe, will, in the not too distant
future, usher in the antichrist and the great tribulation.
The persecutions by Antiochus
Epiphanes occasioned the rise
of the Maccabeans, they were strong, they knew their God and did exploits. The
book of Daniel has much to say about these times. We will explore it’s
Antiochus Epiphanes and the abomination of
desolation form no part of the American experience, not so with the Jews in the
time of Christ. Hanukkah, or “the feast of Dedication,” is based on it, and
was very much a part of their experience. Jesus presumably observed the feast of
10:22. Thus, when he uttered these words, “when
you shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet
standing in the holy place,” the Apostles were fully cognizant of it’s
prophetic implications. It would be well for us if we were too.
Things that are first are most significant in the
Bible. They set the precedent. They are the prototype, the paradigm. Hence,
these Antiochan “firsts,” the culture war, the abomination of desolation,
and his persecutions - which persecution, as noted above, has the distinction of
being the first religious persecution in history - are primary historical prototypes of
the great tribulation and the endtime. Though there be many lines of
prophecy culminating in the endtimes, the Antiochan one takes precedence.
This study is not for everybody, it is for the
Daniels out there, for those, like Daniel, who have a “heart to understand,”
Dan. 10:12. Who desire, as the tribe of Issachar, “an understanding of the
times,” 1 Chron. 12:32. An understanding of our times, that is. Momentous
things are going on already.
This is a very long study. We cover a lot, almost
whole chapters. Were we to post every passage cited, it would be prohibitively
long. It is assumed, therefore, that you look up the passages we cite yourself.
To stay with us on this study, you are going to have to put forth some effort on your part. This is not
superficial stuff, the sort of pablum so many are used to. For those who have
very little interest in prophetic matters – sad to say, not many nowadays do -
we might as well say up front. Stop. No need for you to go any further, this
isn’t for you. However, for those who see it otherwise, read on.
We try to leave no stone
unturned, yet this study, long as it is, is hardly more than a primer. There are
dimensions to the image of the beast and mark of the beast, for instance, that
are beyond the scope of this article. No room to fit in a commentary on Dan. 7,
and the seventy week prophecy of Dan. 9. This article has ramifications,
theological and political, we could not fully address, such as: Godhead issues, Kabbalist
and Gnostic theosophy, the Jewish expectation of “two messiahs,” and of
course, the many political issues involved. We touch on a great amount of
issues, however, always keeping the focus on the main theme, the prophecies of Daniel
in relation to the career of the antichrist.
What you see in this study is not recent impulses.
Rather it comes from long years of prophetic study. I am no prophecy neophyte.
Rather, an old veteran of many “prophecy wars.” What you see in this study
is the distillation of over 40 years of study on the subject, i.e. the prophetic
implications of Antiochus Epiphanes as the premier prototype of antichrist.
For prophecy students, much of what you see in this
study you are probably familiar with. However, you will find insights, I dare say, you have not considered before. I claim no
infallibility. However, I do believe in a God and his prophetic word which are.
And I believe we are nearing the “time of the end,” when God inspires with
increased knowledge things that have been sealed up in the book of Daniel, Dan. 12:4, 9. In
particular, the subject matter at hand.
PROPHETIC PRECEDENTS IN DANIEL
The purpose of this
section is to emphasize the tremendous effect Daniel has on the New Testament.
Many of it’s most important precepts were established in Daniel. In the
Gospels, for instance we see Jesus conversing often with the Jews about the
kingdom. It was obviously a term of common usage among them.
But where did they get such terminology from? From
the prophets in general, and Daniel in particular. The kingdom is very prominent
in Daniel…plus a lot of other prophetic concepts of common usage among them.
Much of which was developed in the period of time between the Old and New
Testaments. The apocalyptic writings of this period (the Pseudipigrapha) reveal
that their prophetic concepts were based primarily on Daniel. Daniel set the
Their concept of a coming
kingdom was derived largely from a common theme we see in Daniel, that of a Son
of Man who was to come with the clouds of heaven, defeat and take over the last
earthly kingdom in a succession of kingdoms, or world empires. Not only defeat the last one, but
RULE OVER IT AFTER HE DEFEATS IT. It was to be an earthly kingdom, because the
Son of man takes their earthly kingdom from them, replacing it by his own
kingdom. We see this in Dan. 2, the “metal man” prophecy, and in Dan. 7, a succession of four
Daniel is the basis for many important prophetic
themes in the New Testament, such as:
(Not an exhaustive list, enough to get the idea
though, of the great influence Daniel has on the New Testament. “cp” is
shorthand for compare.)
Daniel is also the basis for many important themes
in the book of Revelation…
Daniel is also the basis for many important themes
in the book of Revelation…
[In the above, note how important doctrines such as
the Mighty God in Christ, and the pre-millennial, post-trib rapture of the
church come to light when Daniel is compared to the NT.]
should carefully scrutinize this man. What we know of him comes from historical
sources. Except for the prophecies in Daniel, you won’t find him in the OT.
His career took place in the inter-testament period. By the time we get into the
NT, however, he has become a tremendously important historical figure. So much so,
he forms the backdrop to Jesus’ words in the Olivet Discourse. The prophecies
of Matt. 24, 2 Thess. 2, and many parts of Revelation are largely based on him
and his career.
career takes up a lot of space in Daniel. As the primary forerunner
of Antichrist, Antiochus Epiphanes is hugely important. This is why so much space is given in Daniel describing the career of
one evil man - because he prefigures the ultimate evil man.
get the full picture of this evil man, we will be gaining all we can learn about
him in chapters 8 and 11, especially chapter 11. Daniel is our primary Biblical source of reference in
we do, a preliminary point concerning Daniel and the book of Revelation. The
book of Revelation is not an identical rubber stamp, a straight through
duplicate of what we see in Daniel - a common mistake made by Dispensationalists.
Revelation is progressive. Daniel, and all OT prophecy, must be interpreted by
the superior light of NT revelation. The NT often modifies the basic imagery we
see in the OT prophets.
see this in the book of Revelation. The four horsemen of Rev. 6, for
instance, are not identical to what we see in its original Zech. 6:1-8 form, it
has been greatly modified. The beast with seven heads and ten horns of Rev. 13
is not identical to what we see in Dan. 7, it has been radically modified,
brought up to date, and made to fit the geo-political context of the endtime.
for instance, the template we see in Dan. 11, of Antiochus making military
excursions into the Ptolomaic kingdom of Egypt, the king of the south, as we
shall see later in this study, is not identical either, but is only a rough
template, a rough approximation. We intend to bring the geo-political situation
that existed in Daniel’s day up to date to fit our present day geo-political
alignment of nations.
with current events, in this study we intend to bring the prophecies of Daniel up to date to fit
the conditions of the world today. Such as the Antiochan culture war, and the
present day religious and political polarization between conservatives and the
liberal left. More on this later.
ANTIOCHUS NEAR AND
FAR IN DANIEL CHAPTER EIGHT
commentary here is only on the verses, and parts of which, that are pertinent to
our subject. However, we encourage looking up the passages and reading them for
yourself in full. The scripture is in italics.
angel interprets for Daniel the events leading up to “the little horn,” cp
verses 1-9 and 20-22. Events in Daniel’s near future, which events we know were
fulfilled to a tee: the Greek King, Alexander the Great, defeated the Medo-Persian
Empire; upon his death, his empire was partitioned into four segments, “out of
one of them,” the Selucid Empire, arose King Antiochus, the
Daniel’s perspective, the “little horn,” King Antiochus, lay in the near
future, however, as indicated by our commentary below, we believe the prophetic
“near-far phenomena” projects him much further into the future. As such,
Antiochus was the "near," projecting a "far" fulfillment.
Forerunner of Antichrist, in other words. Dan.
9 …came forth a little horn, which waxed
exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant
From Antiochus’ point of geographical
reference in Syria,
Palestine was southeast. Antichrist’s career and rise to
prominence is also going to be related to Palestine.
10 And it waxed great even to the host of
heaven; and it cast down some of the host, and of the stars to the ground, and
stamped upon them.
In the precursory event, Antiochus said many blasphemous things against the Jew’s forefathers. As to the endtime Antiochus,
“he openeth his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his
name, and his tabernacle, AND THEM THAT DWELL IN HEAVEN,” Rev. 13:6.
11, 12 …and by him the daily sacrifice
was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary cast down. And an host was given
him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression.
These were events connected with Antiochus’
“transgression” at the temple in Jerusalem. As precursory events, it points
to reestablished temple religion by unbelieving Jews under the Old Covenant. Which covenant is no
longer valid, we are now “sanctified through the offering of the body of
Jesus Christ once for all…he offered one sacrifice for sins forever,” Heb. 10:7-12. The only valid sacrifice and covenant in effect today is
Christ and the New Covenant, but this does not rule out the fact that Jews in
their Old Covenant unbelief will fulfill the Antiochan prophecies.
12 …and it cast down the truth to the
ground; and it practiced and prospered.
attacking temple worship, Antiochus did, indeed, cast down the system of Old Covenant
truth “to the ground.” In the endtime, however, the antichrist will have
superior New Covenant truth to cast down, of which, the OT temple worship was but it’s
mere shadow. His policy will prosper (see commentary below on v. 24, 25)
to the time element in these verses, it has reference to Antiochus’
abomination of transgression (desolation) when the evening and morning
sacrifices were stopped, (see also v. 25). Antiochus’ persecutions continued
for 3 ½ years, which is also the time span of the endtime great tribulation.
19 And he said, behold, I will make thee
to know what shall be in the last end of THE INDIGNATION…
Antiochus’ blasphemous acts were, indeed, to the
Jews a colossal indignation. But the angel points to an indignation beyond Antiochus.
A “last end and indignation” of much larger scope and intensity.
Which indignation, or apostasy, we see in 2 Thess. 2:3.
23 And in the latter time of their kingdom
Four Grecian provinces resolved into two, more fully
developed in chapter 11 as the king of the north and south. Latter time, indeed.
With these words, the geo-political situation of Antiochus’ day is projected
all the way to the “latter time,” the endtime.
the transgressors are come to the full
23 …when the transgressors are come to
has reference to Jewish transgression, apostate Jews transgressed in Antiochus'
day. But by no means was it the fullness of it. Nor even in their transgression
at the "cutting off" of Jesus Messiah (Dan. 9:26a), nor in AD 70,
had it reached its fullness, rather it has grown exponentially. The
apostasy, or falling away, of 2 Thess. 2 is the fullness of it. The antichrist will be the man of sin,
man of transgression, the man of lawlessness.
23 …when the transgressors are come to
the full, a king of fierce countenance…shall stand up
The military charisma of Antiochus
was fierce, so his
persecutions. The fullness of the endtime falling away will manifest
the antichrist’s fierceness. As with Antiochus, his fierceness will first be
manifested militarily, then, in his persecutions – the great tribulation.
23 when the transgressors are come to the
full, a king…UNDERSTANDING DARK SENTENCES shall stand up.
is the major tie in with the occult.
Antiochus was an adept of the pagan mysteries, especially the Dionysian (more on
this later). The antichrist will be adept in
all forms of occultism, witchcraft, Freemasonry, New Age, especially Kabbalism and
Gnosticism, “principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness
of this world, spiritual wickedness in high places,” Eph.6:12b. Which
esoteric, humanistic theosophy gives rise to the deification of man. By this
time in the antichrist’s career, his deification will have become the fullness
of the falling away, 2 Thess. 2:3,4. Theosophic “dark sentences” are
the inspiration behind antichrist’s exaltation of himself as God.
24 and his power shall be mighty, but not
by his own power
By the devil’s power, Rev. 13:2b. When satanic
lying wonders will be openly manifested, 2 Thess. 2:9, Rev. 13:13-15.
24 and he shall destroy wonderfully
Shock and awe. The world will marvel, or be
astounded by the military success of this man, when he goes forth as the white
horse rider conquering his foes, they will say, “Who is like
unto the beast, who is able to make war with him?”
24, 25 and he shall prosper, and
practice…and though his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his
What craft is this? Probably
indicative of his economic socialist
policy (craft). As Hitler’s socialist economic policy – Nazi is an acronym
for National SOCIALIST German Workers Party - arrived on the scene when the
world was in severe economic depression causing Germany to prosper, so the
antichrist. We believe history will repeat itself on this. Severe economic
depression will occasion the rise of the antichrist. The economic policies of
the antichrist will also be socialist. Ultimately to be manifested in the
economics of the mark of the beast (buying and selling), Rev. 13:16, 17.
24 and shall destroy the mighty and the
Antiochus persecuted the Jews who opposed him, the
mighty and holy of that time, but in the endtimes, persecution of the Christian
elect, Holiness people, is indicated – in Palestine and elsewhere.
25 …and by peace shall destroy many…
antichrist will be a man of the anti-war left, a man of UN globalist
“peace.” Ultimately, the mark of the beast will be presented as the solution to the
world’s economic distress, but will be the means of their eternal spiritual
destruction, Rev. 14:9, 10.
25 and he shall magnify himself in his
cp 8:11, 11:36, 2
25 he shall also stand up against the
Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.
Which the antichrist does at Armageddon, Rev. 19:19,
but is destroyed. Thus, his NT title, the son of "perdition," 2 Thess. 2:3.
10 - 12, all must agree, cover a very large scope. The angel in v. 10:2-4,
gives a step by step description from Daniel’s time of the Persian empire,
followed by the Greek empire of Alexander the Great and the breakup of his
empire, resolving into the two main players, the king of the north and king of
the south, with Palestine in the middle. In continues on as a running historical account of events
from Daniel’s day all the way to the endtime great tribulation and the
resurrection in 12:1,2, cp Matt. 24:21.
in relation to the Jewish people. Daniel, knowing only the Old Covenant, his
concern would, naturally, be in relation to it. He knew nothing of NT theology.
We should interpret Daniel 11 with that in mind. Yet, we of the NT revelation,
having insight that he did not have, must also interpret him in the light of the
new, especially the prophetic sections of the NT: Matt. 24, the prophetic
passages in the epistles, and the book of Revelation.
11 is in a very difficult, cryptic style, which has baffled people for
centuries. According to 12:4, 9, not to be rightly understood until OUR time,
the time of the end.
11's scope stretches all the way to the endtime tribulation and resurrection. Yet
it’s main focus is none other than King Antiochus. The angel takes Daniel
forward to Antiochus’ time, taking up most of the prophecy, and then, while
describing his career, it very cryptically leaps forward all the way to the time
of the end, v. 11:36-12:2.
is this but the near-far prophetic phenomena so common in prophecy? Jesus did
the same thing in the Olivet Discourse…which has stumbled some (Preterists).
we have is the angel trying to show us that the career of Antiochus is being
projected into the future as the template for the time of the end. The time of
the end, not the final end point, though it is included, but the TIME of the
end. An important distinction. In terms of Revelation, the time of the end
beginning with the opening of the seals.
11 is history in detail, mostly on Antiochus' career. Yet, according to the angel in 10:14, we should read it
prophetically. The angel says as much, he tells Daniel that the
revelation he was about to receive pertained to the latter days
I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter
days: for yet the vision is for many days.
“Latter” from Daniel’s perspective,
in two dimensions: the near
future (a mere few hundred years in the future to Antiochus), and the far distant future
(approx. 2500 years in the future so far).
is the important key. Antiochus
is the precursory antichrist in v. 21-35 of chapter 11. The antichrist,
a sort of “endtime Antiochus,” begins to be described in v. 36, his career
continues through v. 45.
abomination of desolation took place under Antiochus, detailed in the precursory
section, 21-35, yet in Matt. 24:15 Jesus projects THIS section into the future
(Antiochus and the abomination of desolation happened nearly two hundred years
prior). It is chapter eleven of Daniel that Jesus is quoting from
in Matt. 24:15. We are to understand the progression of events in Dan.
11:21-35 as foreshadowings of endtime events.
:15 Whenye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
events of the next section, Dan. 11:36-45, though, are not precursory, but are
described in much more precise language. The use of “the time of the end” in
v. 27 & 35, pointing the precursory section to the actual time of the end beginning in v. 36, highlights the distinction between these two
sections. It illustrates “near-far” prophetic phenomena. The
precursory section, the “near” events, the endtime section, the “far”
events (see the commentary on v. 27 and 35 in the next section).
prophetic principle we see oftentimes in prophecy is recapitulation, that is,
after a series of events there comes a stepping back, giving us additional
detail the former did not give us. Evident in the seals, trumpets, and vials of
Revelation, for instance. We see it in Daniel 11. The first section takes us to
the abomination of desolation and Antiochus’ persecution of faithful Jews, it
sort of trails off while describing the activities of the Maccabees and the
devout Jews during Antiochus' persecutions, v. 32-35, and then,
quite abruptly, in v. 36 there comes a stepping back.
character of Antiochus has already been described in great detail, yet the last
section beginning in v. 36 steps back and describes it AGAIN. This
time, however, it is describing the
ENDTIME King Antiochus, the antichrist. Hence, in the last section, we have
a sort of stepping back and telescoping forward at the same time. The stepping
back to let us know that the antichrist is based on the Antiochus paradigm. The
historical King Antiochus is the paradigm, yet there are many differences
between the historical Antiochus and the king of the last section…which
indicates we should interpret the last section as prophetic of the endtime
three things: the early career of Antiochus in Dan. 11, the beginning of sorrows
(birth pains) in Matt. 24:4-8, and the first four seals of Revelation conflate. That is,
Antiochus’ early career parallels the beginning of sorrows and the first four
seals. Which, conflated together, depict the antichrist’s early career BEFORE
his true character and intentions are revealed.
DANIEL ELEVEN COMMENTARY
rise of King Antiochus (IV) Epiphanes.
21 …shall stand up a vile person…
21 …he shall come in peaceably, and
obtain the kingdom by flatteries.
cunning, and treachery were Antiochus’ trademark. And, so, the antichrist. He
makes political false promises of peace to win over the anti-war masses (he
comes in peaceably). His goal – political power by what ever means it takes to
get it. He won’t appear militaristic to start with, that comes later.
this verse, he is depicted as a shrewd
politician, he gains control of the masses. He comes on the scene conquering. Antiochus overwhelmed his nephew
in Egypt, Ptolomy Philometer, the king of the south, whom he was in political
alliance with (“the prince of the covenant” in this verse), with his large
military, and broke his power. He comes on the scene conquering, foreshadowing
the white horse rider of Rev.
23 he shall work deceitfully
Lying, deceit, and treachery were Antiochus’
trademark, He doublecrossed the king of the south. The antichrist will be a lying politician
and a double-crosser of the first magnitude.
Using peace and security deception, Antiochus
schemes how to defeat the strong opposition of the king of the south. In terms
of today, Islam. Taking the “spoil” - in
terms of today, oil, the life blood of the world economies. A major motivation
behind the antichrist’s military ventures.
detail Antiochus’ first military
campaign against the king of the south. In terms of the endtime, the
white horse rider rides forth to conquer militarily when the antichrist makes his
military debut… more on this in our section, “The White Horse Rider of
the First Seal.”
27 [Antiochus utilizes lying diplomacy
on the Egyptians, the king of the south - so the antichrist, more on this in our
section, "The Endtime Geo-political Alignment of nations] …for the end shall be
at the time appointed
In terms of the “near-far” principle,
Antiochus’ dealings here with the king of the south is the “near” event,
it is not the “end,” it is yet appointed. This points us to the “far”
section beginning in v. 36, the time of the end, during which the antichrist
fights the king of the south, v. 40.
persecutions and the Abomination of Desolation:
28 his heart shall be against the holy
As Antiochus secretly devised the destruction of the
Old Covenant, intending to replace it with pagan Hellenistic, hedonistic culture
and religion, so the antichrist. His heart shall be against the
covenant, in the precursory event, the Old Covenant, however, the man of sin
“opposeth and exalteth himself above ALL that is
called God, or that is worshipped,” 2 Thess. 2:4. He will be against ALL
Biblical, conservative, morality-based religion, whether among Christians, or
even among a remnant of Jews towards the end of the tribulation.
29 [another military campaign against the king of the south]
30 he shall be grieved, and return, AND
HAVE INDIGNATION AGAINST THE HOLY COVENANT…and have intelligence with them
that forsake the covenant.
While in Egypt, the influence of Rome caused
Antiochus, to back down. Enraged, he withdrew, turning his full attention on
Jews who kept the Old Covenant. He had “intelligence
with them that forsake the holy covenant.” In collaboration with Jewish
apostates, in other words.
31 And arms shall stand on his part, and they
shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily
sacrifice, and THEY SHALL PLACE THE ABOMINATION THAT MAKETH DESOLATE.
This is the main source passage
for the abomination of desolation, Matt. 24, 2 Thess. 2. Antiochus sent Apollinius with 22,000
soldiers (arms shall stand on his part). Jerusalem was pillaged, the abomination
was placed in the temple, thereby polluted or made desolate.
32 And such as do wickedly against the
covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries
Antiochus in collaboration with apostates who “do
wickedly against the covenant” carry out his designs, enticing the
faithful. The same will happen with the antichrist and apostates in
collaboration with him.
32 But the people who do know their God
shall be strong and do exploits
Faithful devout Jews, Maccabean freedom fighters,
did great exploits. As per the endtime, this is when the 2 witnesses will do
their “exploits,” with the rest of the “strong” who know their God
elsewhere in the world doing likewise.
33 And they that understand among the
people shall instruct many
The faithful, during Antiochus’ culture war and
persecutions, instructed others. As the faithful will do in the endtime
preaching the gospel of the kingdom. “Instruct many,” indeed, an innumerable
multitude, Rev. 7:9,14. The crying need of the hour, preachers that
understand the oneness of the Godhead, the mighty God in Christ – “they
that do know their God,” v. 32 - and endtime prophecy. With their
understanding opened BEFORE the tribulation, so they will be able to instruct
others during it.
33 yet they shall fall by the sword, and
by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days
Amidst massive martyrdom, the devout Jews
persevered. The same will happen during the great tribulation. Great endtime
revival in the midst of tremendous deception and persecution. Of these
Jesus said, “But he that shall endure until the end, the same shall be
saved,” Matt. 24:13.
34 Now when they shall fall, they shall be
holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.
persecution of the elect with enticements to forsake their faith: strong
delusion with no apparent relief from it. The antichrist’s main enticement:
the mark of the beast: why suffer, why starve, just take the mark and you can buy or sell.
all these persecutions are going on, a little help will arrive, though many who
join them will not be sincere."
when they fall they will be granted a little help, and many will join with them
in hypocrisy. "
35 And some of them of understanding shall
fall, to try them, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because
it is yet for a time appointed.
trying times of Antiochus’ persecutions were but precursory of the endtimes,
in other words. Near-far prophecy is depicted here. “To make them white:” robes will be made
white in the time of the end. A prime reason that the church must be present in
the tribulation. The everlasting gospel preached in order that “robes” be
made “white in the blood of the Lamb,” Rev. 7:14.
THE ANTICHRIST’S CHARACTER
v. 35, the historical time line of events sort of trails off, then, beginning
with the next verse, we have a dramatic change. We make a quantum leap all the
way to the time of the end. Like a
painter painting a masterpiece he paints a picture of the historical Antiochus,
and then dips his brush into some colors we haven’t seen before, and paints
for us a composite picture of someone based on the Antiochus of the last
section, yet in many ways very different.
section is itself divided into two distinct parts. The first, beginning with
verse 36, deals with the character of antichrist, the last, beginning with verse
40, geo-political events during his rule.
36 And the king shall do according to his
will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall
speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the
indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.
37 Neither shall he regard the God of his
fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify
himself above all.
these verses, we telescope from King Antiochus, a willful king imposing his will
on the Jews, to the endtime willful king imposing his will, not only on Jews,
but the entire world. Paul knew perfectly well who and what these verses were prophetic
endtime abomination of desolation – as Antiochus “sat” in the temple via
the statue of Zeus–Dionysus, representative of himself, so the antichrist and
his image, the image of the beast. Paul draws from verses 36, 37 in 2 Thess. 2.
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there
come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called
God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God,
shewing himself that he is God.
Paul’s words, “Who
opposeth and exalteth himself
above all that is called God” to Dan. 11:37, he shall “not regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.” Clearly,
Paul was drawing from Daniel 11.
14:13 depicts the same thing, satanic prideful ambition to “sit upon the mount of the congregation in the sides of the north.”
An OT idiom for the temple on Mt. Zion, see Psalms 48:2. Conflating Dan. 11:36
and Isa. 14:13, we get a composite picture of the man of sin, full of satanic
pride, exalting himself above all that is called God, sitting in the temple of
God (the temple on Mt. Zion, the mount of the congregation in the sides of the
the phrase in v. 36, he “shall speak
marvellous things against the God of gods,” compare this to the
blasphemies of the antichrist in Rev. 13.
5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things
and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to
blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
36, he “shall prosper till the
indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.” Great
apostasy (indignation) under it’s leader, the antichrist. To fulfill
prophecy, it must happen - it is predetermined by God to
"prosper" until the 3 1/2 years of tribulation are accomplished.
37, “Neither shall he regard the God of
his fathers.” Antiochus’ “fathers,” or his ancestors, were Greeks,
and their gods were the pagan gods of the Greek pantheon. Antiochus was Greek,
however, antichrist will be of both Gentile and Jewish descent. “Christ”
means “Messiah.” Thus the term, “anti-Christ,” has a specifically Jewish
connotation. He, therefore, must be a Jewish counterfeit Messiah. Jews expect their promised
Messiah to be of Jewish descent, if he is not, they will not accept him as
Messiah (John 5:43). "God of his fathers,"is an idiom of the Jews.
we deduce that the term “neither shall
he regard the God of his fathers” has a special endtime-prophetic, Jewish
meaning. “His fathers” are Jewish “fathers,” the false Messiah will not
“regard” the distinctly monotheistic
God of the Old Testament, “the holy
one of Israel,” 2 Kings 19:22, Psalms 71:22, Isa. 1:4, 12:6, 30:12, 43:3 (the
term is used 19 times total in Isaiah), Jer. 51:5.
“regarded” Zeus. Obviously
so, the statue he placed in the temple was a statue of Zeus. Antiochus regarded
the “God of his fathers,” but the endtime “Antiochus,” will not. More on
this distinction later.
But, first, lets deal with this statue. The statue represented more than just Zeus, it was a composite deity representing two of Antiochus’ favorite gods, Zeus and DIONYSUS. Two in one, if you please. Dionysus is a clue to the next term, and a very enigmatic one, “the desire of women.” But first, let's deal with Dionysus.
have heard of Zeus, not so with “Dionysus.” The Greek “Dionysus” is
identical to the Babylonian “Tammuz,” the Egyptian “Osiris,” and the
Roman “Bacchus.” As the name of the Babylonian mother goddess, “Ishtar,”
had many aliases scattered throughout the ancient world, Ashtoreth, Isis,
Aphrodite, Diana, Venus, etc., so Tammuz. In ancient “mother and child”
worship, Dionysus was one of its variations.
Greek and Roman variation was particularly licentious. Nothing compares to the
gross immorality and debauchery of Greek-Roman Bacchanalian worship. Dionysus
was the god of drunkenness, fertility, orgiastic madness, and the focus of
various "mystery" religions. His worship involved transvetism and the blurring of
male female roles. He was the god of the theater. Dionysus worship was a
rebellion against all normality, considered an extremely subversive influence,
capable of undermining, or if not restrained, overturning the established order
of society. Nothing was as subversive or lawless.
was depicted in iconography with a wine glass in his hand, and with effeminate
long hair. His was a different kind of masculinity (equivalent to the modern
“metrosexual” male). He was the god of homosexuality. Of Dionysus’
followers, women were predominant. In fact, ancient society viewed Dionysus as
the god of women, or feminism. Here is what one Roman historian said about Dionysus worshp:
sort of crime, no kind of immorality, was left unattempted. There were more
obscenities practiced between men than between men and women. Anyone refusing to
submit was slaughtered as a sacrificial victim. To regard nothing as forbidden
was among these people the summit of religious achievement.”
Titus Livy, History of Rome, Book
see today the push for collectivist socialism, the enemy of individualist
freedom, and New Age “channeling” (in reality, demon possession),
In the following quote, we see it’s earliest manifestations:
of Dionysus’ attributes, loss of identity. The actors in the theater
symbolized the submersion of their identity into that of another. Dionysus made
a habit of stealing the identities of his worshippers; the bacchants dancing on
the mountainside have no separate personalities; they are mad, crazed, they have
been taken over by the god; and they are all alike. The individual is sublimated
by the mob. Dionysus induces mass hysteria, he is the god of mob fury. This loss
of individuality is demonstrated in the theater not only by the masks which the
actors wear, but also by the chorus. They dance and sing in unison, all chanting
the same words. The members of the chorus have no identity, each is merely an
insignificant part of the whole, with no separate will. All individuality and
will power must be given up to Dionysus, when the god chooses to take it.”
followers, as well as another god, Pan, have had the most influence
on the modern view of Satan as animal-like and with horns. The wearing of horns
was part of Dionysus worship.
we want to understand this man, Antiochus, then understand this section. He
worshipped Dionysus, THIS IS
THE CULTURE he was trying to force on the Jews. Do we not see what was behind
the tremendous clash of culture? With these things as the prophetic
projection of today, do we not see all of the above going on today, howbeit in a
different guise? But there is more. In the following quotation, we gain even more insight
to the character of Antiochus:
was a strange, enigmatic, mysterious deity. A god of sudden metamorphoses and
unexpected EPIPHANIES. He was often seen as the “GOD OF EPIPHANY,” the god
who appears, suddenly and dramatically and bodily, not only to his followers but
also to those misfortunate enough to oppose him.”
thought of himself as the personification of his god Dionysus. Acting out an
enigmatic and mysterious role. He saw himself as the metamorphoses and epiphany
of Dionysus. They thought him dead back in Jerusalem, but he
made his “epiphany,” he appeared suddenly and dramatically, apparently risen
from the dead, "to his followers but also to those misfortunate to oppose
him.” Previews of the antichrist.
Dionysus, the god of epiphany, being his god, it is no wonder that he took the
name Antiochus “Epiphanes.” He thought of himself as the embodiment of
everything represented in Dionysus. The statue of Zeus-Dionysus he erected in
the temple represented himself as the embodiment of this system of worship. The
statue was the symbol of it. In Greek mystic imagery, the statue was
representative of Antiochus himself.
Behold the man of SIN.
Behold the man of SIN.
features have been noted about Dionysus, such as he was supposedly killed but
then revived, which has caused many modern day neo-pagan, occultic groups, believers
the “ancient mysteries,” to claim that Christianity is based on Dionysus
worship. (Groups such as Freemasonry, New Age, and witchcraft groups.) We
won’t waste time refuting such nonsense, except to say that the similarities they
find have nothing to do with Jesus Christ, but are previews of the antichrist. Dionysus worship
satanic to the core.
THE DESIRE OF WOMEN
37 Neither shall he regard the God of his
fathers, nor the desire of women
Antiochus Epiphanes’ belief system, he “regarded” Zeus-Dionysus. Zeus
represented the former (God of his fathers), Dionysus the latter (the desire of
women). Dionysus was the “god of
women,” his chief followers were hordes of crazed, half naked, drunken and demon possessed
women. No Greek god fits the “desire of women” description so poignantly as Dionysus.
to fully exegete this, we have to factor more into this than just Antiochus’
beliefs. As we have pointed out, the antichrist will have to be Jewish. As such,
“the God of his fathers” has to have also a Jewish meaning. And, not only so, but
“”the desire of women” also.
view is that this means the antichrist will be a homosexual. This he may very
well be considering the tie-in with Bacchanalian homosexual
immorality. Considering the homosexual
trend of today, the sissy “metrosexual” effeminate men of today. But,
looking at this phrase within the context of Jewish beliefs, it speaks of deity.
“God of our fathers,” we saw it
having a Jewish meaning. “The desire of
women” presumably would have been understood by Daniel as referring to a
prophecy well known to Jews, the seed of the woman prophecy of Gen. 3:15.
Messiah was to be born of a woman. Jewish women desired (the desire of women) to
be the one to have the honor of giving birth to the Messiah.
name Antiochus took to himself, “Epiphanes,” means
“God made manifest.” Clearly then, “the desire of women” might be taken
as prophetic-speak for Messiah, born of a woman, who is “God made
manifest.” This is what Jesus is, God manifest in the flesh. The false
Messiah, like Antiochus Epiphanes before him, will make this blasphemous
claim, “God made manifest,” for himself.
root of the Greek word “Epiphanes” is “epiphany,” meaning the arrival, or coming
of a king. Which is what Jesus’ first coming was. He came preaching “the
kingdom of heaven was at hand,” Matt. 4:17, i.e. the gospel of the kingdom,
Matt. 24:14. The king had arrived. The endtime Antiochus is the antithesis of this. He will claim that
Jesus was not the true Messiah-King, he is. Jesus’ kingdom is not the true
kingdom, the one he will preside over is. Jesus is not the true “seed of the
woman,” he is. Jesus was not the true “God made manifest,” he is. The
“epiphany” of Jesus at his first coming was false, his is the true
“epiphany.” Important key words here.
Important key words here.
the counterfeit “desire of women,” or Messiah, in order to deceive the Jews,
he will have to be born of a Jewish mother. Yet, according to Rev. 13, he rises from the
sea, symbolic of the Gentiles. The "sea" in Dan. 7 refers to the
Gentiles, and has always been understood so by
Jewish interpreters. Hence, our sense on this, is the “Gentile” beast of
Revelation will have a Gentile father and a Gentile name. To the Gentile world,
ostensibly a Gentile. But to Jews, having a Jewish mother makes one a Jew
according to Jewish reckoning, even if his father is not Jewish. This
treacherous individual will be all things to all men. Jews, Gentiles,
Christians, Muslims, pagans, Hindus, etc. And will play it to the max.
Thus, we might paraphrase, “Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women,
nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all,” as:
"Neither shall he regard Jewish monotheism (the God of his fathers), nor Christian Monotheism/Messianism (God manifest in the flesh), nor any god: for he shall magnify himself about all."
He uses a false form of Monotheism and Messianism in
order to deceive both Jews and Christians, but his inspiration comes from
claims to deity derive from Kabbalah, superior to both monotheisms, Kabbalists claim. Alien to both, since
neither Jewish Monotheism, nor Christian Monotheism are pantheistic, nor
humanist. Since, at its base, Kabbalah is pantheistic humanism, his claims to
deity will be readily accepted by the eastern religions, Freemasonry, etc., who
hold in common the same basic pantheism.
pagan (Zeus-Dionysus) and Jewish interpretations of “God
of our fathers," and "the desire of women” we have outlined here, may seem totally
contradictory. Only one could be right. Not if one understands
Kabbalah. Though Jewish, it holds in common the same pagan concepts and
mysticism. The antichrist will probably be a conflation of all of the above.
Kabbalah is an important key.
VERSES 38 AND 39
But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his
fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious
stones, and pleasant things.
Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall
acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many,
and shall divide the land for gain.
God of forces?
a god whom his fathers knew not? We
understand this to refer to the “dark side” of the antichrist’s system of
belief, his occultism and Kabbalism (we refer you back to the "dark sentences" commentary on Dan. 8: 23 in the
section on Dan. 8). The “force be with you," a theme from the Star Wars movie
series, illustrates the pantheistic “God of forces.”
strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall
cause them to rule over many.
Antiochus enforced his rule by building shrines all over Palestine to Zeus–Dionysus. The endtime beast will force his rule over many,
the entire world, by replicating the image of himself, the image of the beast, “he shall cause THEM (many duplicates of the image of the beast) to
rule over many.” "Them" might also be taken as the composite,
"two in one," Zeus-Dionysus. Which idolatry will be honored “with
gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.” The
pantheistic, polytheistic, humanistic “god” of the Kabbalah, once openly
revealed, will be “a
strange god” indeed. Antichrist will believe
in a Kabbalist “god” whom his fathers knew not.
“shall divide the land for gain.”
Antiochus did this in miniature (Palestine), the antichrist, on a grand scale.
The endtime beast’s kingdom is a ten horn kingdom. Not just Palestine, but the world divided and
ruled by the antichrist’s ten underlings.
THE ENDTIME GEO-POLITICAL ALIGNMENT OF NATIONS
40 And at the time of the end shall the
king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him
like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he
shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.
v. 36-39, we had the picture drawn for us of this man’s character during the
time of the end, the great tribulation, and now, beginning with this verse, we
have geo-political events sketched for us - during the same time of the end, v. 40-45.
are many different ideas about the geo-political peoples mentioned here. Some
interpret the two directions north and south as an exact endtime duplicate of the
Syrian and Egyptian kingdoms in the times of Antiochus. We disagree. In
the "near" section of Dan. 11, Antiochus is THE king of the north, but in
the "far" section he is not. In v. 40 he is set in clear contradistinction to both
the kings of the north and south.
prophetic key to understanding this is related to what we see in Revelation. In
Revelation, OT prophecy is brought up to date, and even modified. Since this
section of Daniel deals with the same time frame that Revelation does, we do likewise.
We factor in events that have happened in the interim since the days of Antiochus. The Greek Syrian kingdom of Antiochus, the king of the north, was defeated and absorbed into the ROMAN EMPIRE. Rome defeated the Greek empire in the succession of beasts in Dan. 7.
getting too technical, here is what we are getting at. The “king of
fierce countenance” of Dan. 8, the “little horn” of Dan. 7, the “willful
king” of Dan. 11, the “man of sin” of 2 Thess. 2, and the beast of
Revelation, the antichrist, are prophetic of the same individual. The Greek
element in these prophecies morphs into Rome. And, as Rome was the geo-political
power of the west in Dan. 11, which conquered and absorbed the Greek empire, it
is the direction, west, not north, that is indicated in the willful king of the
time of the end in v. 40.
we understand the antichrist to be of the “west” in our present day
alignment of nations, then what about the other three directions of the compass?
The historical context of Dan. 11 had the kings of the north and south with
Jerusalem in the middle. We see the main geo-political alignment today aligned
north, south, west, and east, with Jerusalem as the central reference point.
old Greek Ptolemaic kingdom of Egypt, the king of the south in Daniel, is long
gone. Egypt today is Muslim, thus we see the king of the South as geopolitically
representative of the Arab community of the middle east and Africa.
Geographically south in this prophecy, however, as representative of Islam, we
see it as representative of all Islamic nations.
old Greek Selucid kingdom of Syria, the king of the north, of course, is long
gone. What we have today is Russia, and those in alignment with her, to
the north of Jerusalem.
power to the west in Antiochus’ time was Rome. Easily represented by what is
called today simply “the West.” Inclusive of Europe, North and South
America, and other nations aligned with the West such as Australia. Which have
in common such western, "Roman" underpinnings as Roman law and the
Roman Catholic Church.
leaves only the east. Nations, no doubt, with China as it’s geopolitical
center of gravity.
might add that during Antiochus’ career, though a Syrian King, he was
subservient to, and a vassal of Rome. Projecting this, we see the antichrist
arising in that capacity, subservient to certain long established secret
conspiratorial powers ensconced in the west (Illuminati, Freemasonry, Bnai Brith,
the CFR, and the UN. Note, the UN headquarters is in the "west," New York).
In view of the considerations we have outlined, we see the antichrist arising in a western nation. The democratic process of the west being well suited to this political "animal.” Aptly called the “beast” in Rev. We, therefore, deduce that the antichrist will arise out of the western geo-political alignment of nations. As it stands now, the U. S. A. stands as the military power of the west, second to none in the world. Well suited to the militaristic aims of what these prophecies predict. Unless the U. S. A. were to give place to some other western nation having greater military power, say some European nation, it looks entirely probable that the liberal left of the US will someday elect the one who will fulfill these prophecies. Liberal left, you say? Read on...
THE CONSERVATIVE – LIBERAL POLARIZATION
we hate to offend, but we have to get a little political here. Nations, their type of government and
politics, have a lot to do with prophecy. The endtime beast and his government,
for instance, are quite political.
to myself, I
am a “Christo-crat,” political labels mean nothing to me. The Christian and
conservative principles of candidates, if they have any, determines who I vote
for. People speak of the conservative “right” and the liberal “left.”
The way we see it, the “right” is the path to take. It has a good
connotation in the Bible, Matt. 25:34, for instance. "Conservative - Liberal
polarization," just what do we mean by
“conservative”…or “liberal?” Someone gave a short, simple definition:
have principles, believe in a Creator, and the rule of law. When in doubt on an
issue, they check both the Bible and the Constitution, which they use as a
constant reference in a changing world. They believe in the concept of truth.
Liberals... have no such standard of reference.”
rule of law and the Constitution is mentioned. Does this have anything to do
with prophecy? Or with the apostasy and culture war we have been talking about?
You bet. It forms the backdrop to 2 Thess. 2:3-8, the apostate liberal left side
of the culture war coming under the general heading, “the mystery of
the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who
now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall
consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of
in v. 7, is the Greek “anomia,” meaning “lawlessness.” Already at
work…and will culminate in “that wicked.” Will culminate in the revelation
of the endtime Antiochus, in other words.
who now letteth” (restrains),
restrains, or resists, the rising tide of apostate lawlessness. We refer back to
the historical precedent. Who was the leader figure blocking the way of
Antiochus’ agenda? The leader of the opposition, restraining and resisting his
apostate schemes was Onias the high priest. As high priest, he was representative
of all devout Jews.
to “taken out of the way,” the Greek is ek
mesou genesthai, literally “arises out of the midst.” Which is what
happened in the original precedent. Out of the midst of the apostasy arose
Menelaus, the high priest, in collaboration with Antiochus. When he took Onias’
place, it became the key event which caused Antiochus to believe he had finally
gained the upper hand over his opponents, the conservatives, in the culture war.
With Menelaus in place, the abomination of desolation followed soon thereafter.
the king and Menelaus the high priest. We see the same parallel in the endtime.
Not many are aware of this, but Jews expect TWO Messiahs, a political
king, and a religious high priest. This is precisely what we have in
the two beasts of Rev. 13.
key event is the 2nd beast who arises from the “earth” - per 2
Thess. 2:3-8, arising from the midst of the apostasy. He is the endtime “Menelaus.” It is not until the first beast
has his collaborator, his front man, and believes he has majority opinion over
the Christian conservatives in the culture war, believing he has deposed his
chief obstacle (Jesus, high priest), the restrainer, that worship of the image of the
beast and the endtime abomination of desolation, can begin. Jesus, he who restrains,
is representative of all restrainers, resisters, and opponents of antichrist
offer a paraphrase of 2 Thess. 2:7,8: "The mystery of lawlessness is at work in the
culture war: Only he who now restrains (Jesus, high priest, and true
Christians everywhere) will restrain until Jesus, high priest, and the beliefs
of his true followers are believed to be deposed, then out of the midst of apostate
lawlessness arises it’s leader, the antichrist high priest. And then shall
that wicked one be revealed, the kingly messiah, in collaboration with the
antichrist high priest, revealed in self-exaltation in
the temple at Jerusalem, causing an image of himself to be worshipped, the
image of the beast, the abomination of desolation."
view of all this, need we say how vital it is, which side of this culture
war we find ourselves on?
should not leave 2 Thess. 2 without saying a few words about the pretrib rapture
interpretation of “taken out of the way.” We have dealt with the Greek on it
above. The Antiochan historical precedent must be taken in context with it.
When we put these two together, there is no pretrib rapture in view here, rather
the picture of an endtime “Menelaus” rising from the midst of endtime
apostasy. Arising from midst of the apostasy, the mystery of lawlessness.
course, the pretrib “until he be taken out of the way” is a very fond thing,
however, it doesn’t affect the endtime scenario we have outlined. For Onias,
the restrainer, foreshadowing Jesus, had to be “taken
out of the way” first before Antiochus could get on with his program. Onias
was the main obstacle. We believe “until one arise from the midst” is the
correct Greek translation, however, either way, they both fit the historical
We hasten to say that Antiochus only thought he had won, he only thought he had gotten rid of his opponents. He did not, nor will the antichrist eradicate faith. Onias lived on in the faithful. They that know their God are strong in their faith, and do exploits. Antiochus did not prevail, neither will the antichrist, Jesus said,
this rock will I build my church; and the gates of hell SHALL NOT PREVAIL
AGAINST IT,” Matt. 16:18
to the political. Seleucus III, the eldest son of Antiochus III is the one in
Dan. 11:20 who sought to tax his domains to increase revenues. Antiochus IV
Epiphanes was of that tradition. Such considerations causes us to expect the
endtime antichrist to arise in the same sort of environment, the “tax and
spend” socialist policies of the political left.
to President Bush’s forays in Iraq, some are thinking that the conservative right is the
bad guys and the liberal left the good guys. We disagree (we’re not promoting Bush
as a good representative of conservative principles.) We are warned against confusing good and evil, Isa. 5:20. As per the Antiochus paradigm,
we see the antichrist arising in the tax and spend tradition of the liberal left…and the
immoral (pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, pro-same sex marriage, etc.)
antichristian tradition of the liberal left. Made to order for the man of SIN
when he appears.
who are Bush’s opponents, the powerful worldwide anti-war “peace” movement.
And how the left uses it to their advantage. The same device we see predicted of
the antichrist. Dan.8:25 indicates it is a form of deception, “by
peace shall destroy many.” We should not forget that the left has a long
tradition of being at the helm in most of our major wars.
doesn’t take much imagination to see someone seeing the political advantage of
being able to solve the increasing problem of worldwide Islamic terrorism, to
easily fall into the role we see predicted in these prophesies. Especially if he
believes it will get him elected. We see him arising in the anti-war tradition
of the hippy left, a man of “peace,” switching sides once he gets in power,
going forth to conquer Islam militarily. The political chameleon that he is.
In doing so, practicing political one-upmanship, upstaging Bush, upstaging what
Bush has started in the middle east region.
In doing so, practicing political one-upmanship, upstaging Bush, upstaging what Bush has started in the middle east region.
key word we see in all this is INDIGNATION, see Dan. 8:19, 11:36. The term,
“conservative,” denotes belief in traditional values. True conservatives are
downright indignant due to all traditional standards of morality, decency, and
righteousness being cast down, and rightly so. Indignant of the broadside attack against
religion in general, and Christian beliefs in particular. These things arouse
indignation, or should! Meanwhile, the liberal left takes the exact opposite
position. Such left-right polarization is NOT the bad thing the spin meisters of
the media claim it is.
key thing to look for: “when the transgressors are come to the full,” Dan. 8:23.
Transgression implies lawlessness (2 Thess. 2:7). Antichrist shall “think
to change times and laws,” Dan. 7:25. Conservatives, as traditionalists,
are opposed to the evil changes going on everywhere. Laws being enacted that
encourage rather than deter sin. No fault Divorce. Same sex marriage. Bacchanalian-like lawlessness (to get the
full flavor of this, we refer you back to the
section on Dyonysus). God being openly
spoken against, even blasphemed. Hollywood’s openly blasphemous and antichrist
Last Temptation of Christ, The Da Vinci Code. Witchcraft (Harry Potter, etc.)
being openly promoted. The ACLU (Anti Christ Lawyers
Union) being the chief instigators of anti-christian “change.”
per Dan.8:23, it is not until transgressors are come to the full that antichrist
“stands up.” Antiochus pressured the Jews to conform to his Hellenization,
eventually the pressure became force. What we are now seeing will culminate in
the person of antichrist himself. He is the epitome of it. We see the seeds of
it now, but not the fullness of it. So far, it is only subversive pressure to
conform, in the near future force will be used to make opponents conform. “It
just can’t get any worse,” we hear, oh, yes, but it can!
As Antiochus’ Hellenization aroused indignation and resistance, so today in our increasingly apostate culture war. We say, let there be righteous indignation!
enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a
standard against him, Isa. 59:19b.
THE WHITE HORSE RIDER OF THE FIRST SEAL
Certain events in the career of Antiochus shed light
on a critical event in the book of Revelation. The first white horse rider of
the first seal.
Certain events in the career of Antiochus shed light
on a critical event in the book of Revelation. The first white horse rider of
the first seal.
1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the
seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts
saying, Come and see.
I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown
was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
Who is this white horse rider? Whoever he is, he is
most critical, FOR THE ENDTIME BEGINS WITH HIM.
Books, and even songs, have been written about the
“pale horse” of seal four. But not that much on the white
horse. Some prophecy preachers teach that we are already way into the seals,
some say seal six, and into the trumpets and vials. Well, if we are, where is
this king (symbolized by his crown) who goes forth to conquer militarily (symbolized by the
bow in his hand)? And what about the Lamb who opens this seal? What does the
Lamb have to do with the opening of these seals? Plenty, as we shall see.
It becomes imperative for us to understand who this
white horse rider is, as it will prevent us from falling for such preterist interpretations. All too common, the tendency is to interpret things as already
happened when they HAVE NOT HAPPENED YET (preterist notions), such as the white
horse rider. Plus, even more importantly, it gives us
a point of prophecy to focus on. If this white horse rider kicks off the
endtimes, it only makes sense that we make it our business to find out who, or
what, this means.
We don’t see just
a white horse rider going forth to conquer, we see he is part of a prophetic
unit, the famous “four horsemen of the Apocalypse.” Obviously, a composite
picture of military conquest…the first horseman goes forth to conquer, with
war, famine, and pestilence following in his wake.
This sequence is not
without precedent. It occurs very often in the OT prophets as a judgmental
sequence, and is most prominent, for instance: Jer. 24:10, 27:13, 44:13, Ezek.
6:11, 12:16. And with a conquering king preceding it, as in Jer. 27:8:
it shall come to pass, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve the same
the king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under
the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith the Lord, with
the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence,
until I have consumed them by his hand.
the king of Babylon goes “forth to conquer” in military conquest, with
sword, famine, and pestilence in its wake. This is what we have in Revelation.
The same sequence. Thus, the interpretation of the four horsemen should not be
something left to conjecture. Rev. 10:7 says the key to the prophetic imagery
(mysteries) in Revelation – which would include the conquering king, war,
famine, pestilence sequence – is to be found in the prophets:
in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the
mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants
As to the horse sequence, we see the basis for it in
the prophet Zechariah, his was a horse and chariot sequence of red, black,
white, and grizzled horses, Zech. 6:1-8. Revelation has “horses of a different
color,” but the principle is the same.
Jesus, the greatest prophet of all, used the same
sequence in Matt. 24:4-8, which he termed “the beginning of sorrows” (birthpains).
deception and false Christs preceding the familiar sequence of the prophets.
In ancient history, conquering kings are usually
pictured on white horses. As Jesus is in Rev. 19 at the second coming. The focus
of the entire book of Revelation is Jesus, the king, riding forth to conquer in
chapter 19. Thus the meaning of the white horse rider of the first seal. Only
two white horse riders in Rev. One starts the tribulation, the other concludes
it. The first one rides forth to conquer, so the second. The first one,
however, is the false imitator of the second. The first white horse rider, the
false king, the false Christ. The antichrist, in other words.
Matt. 24 follows
the precedent laid down in Daniel. As King Antiochus, the precursory
antichrist, went forth in deception and military conquest, so the endtime one.
False Christ deception precedes the sword, famine, and pestilence sequence. The
seals in Rev. follow Jesus’ sequence.
Revelation is polyvalent.
That is, it conflates. In the book of Revelation we have the summarization of
all prophecy that precedes it, it conflates all lines of prophecy. Not as
Dispensationalists have it: OT lines of prophecy brought straight through
unmodified into the book of Revelation. Not so, they are merged or conflated,
and modified in accordance with progressive revelation. Thus, what we see in the first
four seals is a conflation of these lines of prophecy:
What we see in summation, is the first white
horse rider of the first seal as the antichrist riding forth in the spirit of
false Christ deception with the sword of war, famine, and pestilence following
in his wake.
It is Jesus the Lamb in Matt.
24:5, the greatest
prophet of all, who adds the all important antichrist ingredient. It is Jesus,
the Lamb, in the Olivet Discourse, that opens the seals. Rev. 6:1 says, “And
I saw, when the Lamb opened one of the seals…”
In other words, Daniel’s prophecies provide the
basic fabric that this story is sketched on, but without Jesus’ all important
input, Daniel’s prophecies would have application only to Old Covenant
lawlessness. This is, in fact, the way Dispensationalists interpret Daniel. Jesus,
however, in the Olivet Discourse, places the Apostolic New Covenant Church (he
addressed the discourse to the Apostles, the founders of the Church), not Old
Covenant Judaism, as the focus of these prophecies. As He taught no such thing as a pretrib rapture in this discourse,
He has the Apostolic Church, not Judaism, playing the central prophetic role in
We have spoken much about
Daniel, a truly great prophet, however, it is fitting we close this study with
one that takes preeminence to Daniel: Jesus Christ. Jesus “Christianized”
Daniel, he made Daniel’s prophecies relevant to the NT
church by giving them Christian application.
King Antiochus, the abomination of
desolation and the great tribulation have a distinct historical and Old Covenant
flavor to them – how Dispensationalists see it. However, Jesus made
Daniel, and all prophecy that preceded him, relevant…while the rest of NT
prophecy, including Revelation, follow HIS lead. Jesus the Lamb is the one we
should look to, and no other, to open the first seal.
ANTIOCHAN TIME LINE
the following, we compare the historical events above with their prophetic
the following, we compare the historical events above with their prophetic
Culture war and the falling away.
Culture war and the falling away.
Historic. The agenda to subvert the Biblical beliefs of the Jews by Hellenization. The
backdrop to Antiochus’ eventual persecution of the Jews. Which fomented a deep
polarization among the people, conservative vs liberal, on both political and
religious levels. Apostates vs the faithful. Sin vs righteousness.
Prophetic projection. The present day agenda to subvert Biblical values
and beliefs, in particular true Christian beliefs. The backdrop to the eventual
persecutions of the great tribulation. Our present day culture war and the deep
polarization of people along conservative and liberal lines, polarized both
politically and religiously. Those who are part of the apostasy of 2 Thess. 2:3
(the “falling away”) vs the faithful. Sin (ultimately to be manifested in
its standard bearer, the man of SIN, 2 Thess. 2:3) vs righteousness and
The succession of truth
Historic. Onias of the line of Zadok represented a succession back to the original beliefs
of the Jews and the true monotheistic worship of God. To the faithful Jews,
Menelaus, Antiochus’ main instrument of Hellenistic subversion, was the very
emblem of apostasy. This further polarized the people. Those who sided with
Onias, on the one hand, and those who sided with Menelaus, on the other.
The true line of succession back to original faith. In Christianity, the “line
of Zadok” is the spiritual succession back to the doctrinal and holiness
beliefs of the early Apostolic Church; Christianity’s “Menelaus” is the
false line of succession claimed back to the Roman Catholic Trinitarian
councils of the fourth century AD. Amongst Jews, the
“line of Zadok” is present day strictly Biblical Jews (such as the Karaites);
their “Menelaus” is the false line of succession claimed by the Talmudic-Kabbalistic
Original Christianity was not Roman Catholic;
original Judaism was not Talmudic. In Christianity, the original and true
monotheistic worship of God was not Trinitarian; In Judaism, the original and
true monotheistic worship of God was not Kabbalistic.
The endtime Antiochan-like events at Jerusalem will
be the means by which devout Biblical Jews will convert to Christ, to Christian
monotheism, the Apostolic faith, and obey Acts 2:38.
Antiochus made military campaigns into the Egypt, the kingdom of Ptolomy, called
“the king of the south” in Daniel.
The antichrist will do the same, he goes forth to conquer, this is where he
gains notoriety, however, his military campaigns are in relation to the present day geo-political “king of the south,
modern day Islam.
The counterfeit Messiah
The devout Jews heard rumors (and believed them) that Antiochus had gotten
killed, which prompted an uprising in Jerusalem. Their hopes were dashed,
however, when he appeared (epiphany), a warrior returning from his military campaigns, and
very much alive.. and able to wage war.
similar takes place, the beast "...as it were wounded to death; and his
deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast,"
Rev. 13:3, 4. A counterfeit satanic resurrection, probably used to convince the
world that his phony resurrection, and not Jesus', is the one the world should
believe in. This, in immediate connection with his return from his military
campaign, will be used to prove that he is the true Messiah. According to Jewish
prophetic interpretation, Messiah is supposed to be invincible in military
power. "And they worshipped they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is able to make war with him."
The Abomination of Desolation
a. Historic. Here is where Antiochus revealed his true intentions, his true nature. In collaboration with his high priest, he determined to rid the world of those who resisted his Hellenist agenda once and for all. He was despicable to the devout, and he despised them and their "fundamentalist" devout beliefs. In response to them and their beliefs, he erected a statue of Zeus-Dionysus (a mystic representation of Antiochus himself), an altar for pagan worship in the temple, and sacrificed a pig on the altar. Which events, to devout Jews, amounted to the ultimate blasphemy, an abomination and a desolation of the temple.
b. Prophetic projection. The counterfeit resurrection of the beast as the counterfeit Messiah will occasion the blasphemies of the beast, Rev. 13:5, 6, and the worship of himself in an image of himself, the image of the beast, Rev. 13:14, 15. Which is the open revelation of the man of sin sitting "in the temple of God shewing himself that he is God," 2 Thess. 2:4. The image of the beast standing in the Jerusalem temple "holy place," Matt. 24:15. All of which is done in collaboration with the 2nd beast, who is the false prophet, the endtime high priest, the 1st beast's PR man. All of which is done to rid the world of the beast's opponents, to rid the world of true faith in Christ...at Jerusalem and throughout the world.
Great Tribulation, martyrdom and persecution
Antiochus ordered shrines to be built throughout Palestine to pagan gods,
forcing Jews to comply or die. Jews were forbidden to keep the Old Covenant upon
pain of death, particularly the observance of circumcision and the Sabbath - the
identifying marks of the Old Covenant. Great persecution of devout Jews
continued for 3 ½ years. Many died, yet Antiochus’ persecutions did not
exterminate them. Though heavily persecuted, devout Jews persevered.
The abomination of desolation marks the beginning point of
the great tribulation, Matt. 24:15-21. Which continues for 3 ½ years,
The image of the beast is replicated throughout the world, and worship of it, Rev. 13:14,15. The mark of the beast is imposed upon the world, a mark identifying the apostates, Rev. 13:16-18. This in contradistinction to the identifying mark of the faithful, cp Rev. 13:16-18, 14:1. Both are marks of servitude: a common practice was for slaves to be branded in their foreheads.
The beast seeks to rid the world of New Covenant
belief. The New Covenant is the only valid covenant…both now and in the
endtime. Water and spirit baptism are it’s identifying marks (or signs), they
equate to the circumcision and Sabbath of the Old Covenant, Acts 2:38, Col.
2:11,12, cp Isa. 28:11-18 to 1 Cor. 14:21, 22.
Many will be persecuted, many will become martyrs,
but the faithful will persevere. “But
the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits,” Dan.
11:32b. In the midst of it all will be the greatest revival of all time, MANY
will be instructed in the truth and be converted, Dan. 11:33, 12:10, Rev.
Historic. The Hasmonean family wrought deliverance. Chief among them: Judah Maccabee, and
King Alexander Yanni.
Equivalent to the faithful Hasmonean family is the true church, persevering in
their faith, persecuted by antichrist, yet some survive, as did the Hasmoneans.
As the Hasmoneans were delivered by one of their own, so the church: Jesus
Christ! Who defeats militarily the beast and his armies and the false prophet at
Armageddon. Bringing deliverance to the persecuted (as did Judah Maccabee).
Bringing in (via the resurrection) the millennial kingdom - prefigured by the
Hasmonean king, Alexander Yanni.
precedes what" is very important:
precedes what" is very important:
war between devout and apostate Jews preceded Antiochus’ military campaigns
and his subsequent “revelation” in the Jerusalem temple.
“falling away” (apostasy), our present day culture war, must precede the
revelation of the man of sin in the temple of God, 2 Thess. 2:3,4.
usage of “temple of God,” we understand, simply defines the place where the
historical precedent took place, and where the prophetic event will take place.
Since Jews are the main players in this, Paul uses their term. Which they use to
differentiate the temple at Jerusalem from all other temples in the world.]
Antiochus’ military conquests precedes his “revelation” and abomination of
The beast’s military conquest (whom shall make war with the beast) precedes
his apparent resurrection and messianic revelation, and the imposition of the
image of the beast. His apparent resurrection is an event with clear messianic
implications. Hence a progression of first, military conquest, then, an apparent resurrection, then, messianic “revelation,” then, the abomination
Antiochus’ military conquests preceded the abomination of desolation and
period of great persecution.
The antichrist’s military conquests, the beginning of sorrows of Matt. 24, the
first four seals of Revelation, precede the martyrdom of the fifth seal
(inclusive of the abomination of desolation and the great tribulation).
note that the culture war and military conquest are before the messianic
revelation. It denotes the antichrist will not be “revealed” openly as
messiah during his military campaigns. The elect should recognize him even in
the military conquest phase of his career.]
abomination of desolation was the event that marked the beginning of his 3 ½
year period of great persecution.
to Jesus, the abomination of desolation marks the beginning of the great
tribulation, Matt. 24:15-21. Which we know from many passages in Revelation is a
period of 3 ½ years.
deliverance wrought by the Maccabees closed out Antiochus’ persecutions.
second coming of Jesus Christ, a great deliverance! closes out the great
kingdom was brought in by the Maccabees after Antiochus’ persecutions.
millennial kingdom will be brought in by Jesus Christ after the great
based on Daniel, we deduce a general time line of prophetic events: apostasy,
military conquest, messianic revelation, abomination of desolation, great
tribulation, second coming, and the millennial.
deduce the same in Matt. 24: the beginning of sorrows, abomination of
desolation, great tribulation, the second coming.
the same in the imagery of the book of Revelation: the first four seals
(apostasy and military conquest), the fifth seal (the great tribulation,
inclusive of the abomination of desolation), the sixth seal (astronomical
calamities that close out the tribulation), the seventh seal (which has to be
the second coming itself).
is most critical, with so many prophetic “winds of doctrine” blowing, this
charts for us a clear course ahead. It keeps us from being “tossed
to and fro, carried about by every wind of doctrine,” Eph. 4:14.
tells us precisely where we are. We are in the apostasy/culture war phase
(obviously, very far along in it), with the stage being set for the man of the
apostasy to make his appearance. Appearing first in his preliminary “riding
forth” in military conquest – which will be recognized only by the elect, in
this phase, the world will not recognize him as such. This occurs before his
apparent resurrection and outward revelation as the Jewish Messiah, and before
the abomination of desolation which starts the great tribulation.
As with the historical Antiochus, the geo-political center was Palestine, so, the prophetic projection. This has direct implications to the present day Islamic conflict, and the Temple Mount Faithful movement in Israel, a group hoping to capitalize on middle east conflict in order to get the Jerusalem temple rebuilt. These considerations, plus the ongoing culture war and conservative vs liberal polarization, tell us that the stage is indeed being set.
As we write this, the stock market and general economic conditions are at their max. One thing this writer keeps an eye on is economics. If history is any guide, which I believe it is, we will see the antichrist arise in the exact opposite conditions we see now. As Hitler and all other despots did in times of deep economic depression, I expect the same. Hence, the current hoopla about President Bush is premature in my estimation.
Berra, famous for his witticisms ("its deja vu all over again," "when
you come to a fork in the road take it"), said "you can observe a lot
just by watching." Jesus said: "And what I say unto you I say
unto all, Watch," Mark 13:37.
K. Kirkland, Pastor - This article is Copyright © 2006, All rights reserved.
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