THE PRINCE THAT SHALL COME A STUDY OF THE END-TIME ‘ANTI-CHRIST.’ (part one)


by: Bob Fisher  (2011)  Used by permission.

This guest post explains the character of the Antichrist and why every Christian needs to be aware of this information.  I have divided it into two parts.  It is a little long, but well worth the time to read it. – Chris

‘INTRODUCTION’

            For some time now, we have felt obligated to communicate our thoughts and beliefs concerning this very intriguing and thought provoking subject, having hesitated until now for a variety of reasons. Primarily because, we do not wish to appear alarmist, nor do we want to be divisive, or seem argumentative in our presentation of prophetic biblical truth. It is however our earnest prayer that God will use this writing to instruct, teach, and correct erroneous viewpoints.

Revelation describes Satan, who gives the beast his power, as a fiery red dragon.

Howbeit, any discussion of a topic, involving the eventual evacuation and deliverance of the Church of Jesus Christ from the earth by ‘rapture,’ to escape the oppressions and persecutions of the end-time ‘man of sin’ the ‘antichrist,’ must inevitably lead to discussion of the timing or chronology for such an event. Those who hold tenaciously to ‘pretribulational’ views, must be challenged directly from the Scriptures, by a careful systematic presentation of biblical truth, apart from human emotions. If there be any residual argument following such presentation, then the argument is not against any individual but against the Word of God itself.

It would appear clearly evident, that present world conditions and current events, seem to be setting the world stage in preparation for the end-time ‘man of sin’ the ‘antichrist,’ to make his entrance upon the global political scene, if indeed he has not already done so.

It is our belief therefore that now is the time to commit to writing, that which we have gleaned from scripture concerning this abominable individual and his future activities. This will enable some who may be sparsely taught in the prophetic Scriptures, to become more knowledgeable concerning these ‘end-time’ world events which have been foretold in bible prophecy, and which may commence shortly. Therefore the Lord has burdened my heart to forewarn fellow believers generally of what lies ahead.           

The prominence of teachings concerning Satan and his false messiah ‘antichrist’ in the Scriptures, has not been greatly emphasized in Christian teachings and writings. Believers have been quite rightly exhorted to keep their gaze and contemplation on the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the ministry of God the Holy Spirit in their lives. Consequently the teaching of the Word of God concerning Satan and his human minions has been somewhat neglected, and there is considerable lack of genuine understanding about ‘antichrist’ and his future role in end-time events. he entry upon the world political scene of this ‘man of lawlessness’ is a most serious and horrifying subject. His long expected coming has been foreshadowed in history by several others who also have appeared in similar ominous, anti-Semitic roles in the past. One could name Nebuchadnezzar, Antiochus Epiphanes, Nero, Napoleon and Adolf Hitler as prime examples.

This final end-time ‘antichrist’ will be Satan’s ‘masterpiece of deception,’ his counterfeit substitute for the true Christ of God. He will be a human puppet serving his own master Satan, whilst deceiving the entire world of unbelieving mankind. It is therefore in Satan’s best interest, to keep much of mankind in complete ignorance and unawareness concerning this coming ‘lawless one.’ Any confusion, apathy or neglect of this particular subject he can generate or sponsor, will assist his constant and ongoing purpose, to oppose and thwart the plan of God for this planet and the world of mankind, particularly the nation of Israel and the true Church of Jesus Christ.

Consequently, we believe that as the tidal wave of world history sweeps us ever closer to God’s time for his personal appearance on the world political scene, this entire subject should be intensely studied by God’s people to forewarn and forearm ourselves for the coming conflict. The enmity which began when Satan first rebelled against the sovereignty of God almighty, will reach its terrible climax during the ‘time of the end,’ in the monstrous and diabolical activities of the ‘man of sin.’ This will eventually lead to his own inevitable doom at the hands of our Lord Jesus Christ, upon His personal return in glory! (Greek: parousia – coming with continuing presence)

 

‘EXAMINING THE MAN BY HIS TITLES’

Throughout the sacred pages of the Holy Scriptures there looms a vile and loathsome character, a man who is the sinister manifestation and personification of all that is wicked and evil, he is known as the ‘antichrist,’ and is consistently presented as being the exact opposite and contrast to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who Himself is the blessed manifestation and embodiment of all that is holy and righteous.

Both ‘Christ’ and ‘antichrist’ are first mentioned in the earliest prophecy of the Scriptures: Genesis 3:15

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” Genesis 3:15

God spoke these words to the serpent (Satan) when he was exposed in his role as the ‘seductive deceiver’ in the garden of Eden. The future ‘antichrist’ is referred to as the ‘seed’ of the serpent. Similarly the future Savior of mankind is referred to as the ‘seed’ of the woman. Thereafter throughout Scripture ‘antichrist’ is given many different names, titles, and appellations by various writers, all of which describe various aspects of his ungodly character.

In the book of Job he is ‘the Crooked Serpent’ (Job 26:13 c.f. Isaiah 27:1). Numerous references are found in the Psalms; he is ‘the Bloody and Deceitful Man’ (Psalm 5:6), the ‘Wicked (one)’ (Psalm 9:17; and 10:3,4), the ‘Man of the Earth’ (Psalm 10:18), the ‘Mighty Man’ (Psalm 52:1), the ‘Adversary’ (Psalm 74:10), the ‘Head over many Countries’ (Psalm 110:6) the ‘Evil Man’ and the ‘Violent Man’ (Psalm 140:1)

Three psalms in particular bear our thorough spiritual digestion, Psalms 10, 52  and 55.

In the books of the prophets the list of names continues, Isaiah calls him the ‘Assyrian’, the ‘Rod of God’s Anger’ (Isa 10:5), the ‘Wicked (one)’ (Isa. 11:4) the  ‘King of Babylon’ (Isa. 14:11-20 c.f. 30:31-33), the ‘Spoiler’(destroyer) (Isa. 16:4).  Jeremiah calls him the ‘Destroyer of the Gentiles’ (Jer. 4:7), the ‘Enemy’, the ‘Cruel One,’ the ‘Wicked’ (Jer. 30:14,23). Ezekiel calls him the ‘Profane, Wicked Prince of Israel’ (Ezek. 21:25), the ‘Prince of Tyre’ (Ezek. 28:2-10).

Daniel gives a complete portrait of his proud and self-exalted character as typified by his predecessor and archetype King Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, with a complete outline of his ignoble career during the end-times. He is the Roman ‘Little Horn’ of chapter 7, also the Grecian ‘Little Horn of chapter 8 as typified historically by Antiochus Epiphanes. He is the ‘Prince who is to come’ of chapter 9, and the ‘Vile Person’ and ‘Willful King’ of chapter 11.

Hosea refers to him as the ‘King of Princes’ (Hos. 8:10), and as the ‘Merchant’ in whose hand are ‘the balances of deceit’ and ‘who loves to oppress’ (Hos. 12:7). Amos calls him the ‘Adversary’ (Amos 3:11), Micah calls him the ‘Assyrian’ (Mic. 5:6), Nahum refers to him as ‘Belial’ (Nah. 1:15), Habakkuk calls him the ‘Proud Man’ (Hab. 2:5) Zechariah calls him the ‘Idol Shepherd’ (Zech. 11:17).

In the New Testament scriptures our Lord referred to him as “the one who would come in his own name,” and would be received by apostate Israel (John 5:43). Paul describes him fully in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12, where he is described as the ‘Lawless One,’ the ‘Man of Sin,’ the ‘Son of Perdition.’ The apostle John describes and calls him by the name ‘antichrist,’ (1 John 2:22) In the book of Revelation, the final book of the bible, all lines of prophecy concerning this ‘man’ who would be ‘god’ converge in the end-time ‘beast’ of humanity who will eventually meet his consummate doom at the hands of the King of Glory.

‘THE PRINCE THAT SHALL COME.’

The title which most adequately describes this ‘man of lawlessness,’ is the term ‘antichrist.’ This title is quite significant, in that it has a double meaning. First he comes instead of Christ, a ‘man’ who brazenly and blasphemously assumes the role of ‘World Savior,’ and ‘Peace-Maker.’ Secondly he is against or opposed to Christ, a satanically inspired and indwelled ‘beast’ of humanity. These two meanings describe his differing and contrasting roles, during the two phases of his ungodly career within ‘Daniel’s 70th. week.’ The final week of seven years (Heptad) during which God intends to resume His dealings with Israel on a national basis, terminate mankind’s self-determination and bring an end to human government as we know it, which will conclude this present age. Thereafter to establish and rule His own theocratic millennial kingdom. (Psalm 2.)

During the first half of ‘Daniel’s 70th. week,’ ‘antichrist’ may probably act incognito, not revealing his true character, identity or purpose. He will come ‘in his own name’ posing as a benign and beneficent ‘World Savior,’ and supreme ‘Peace-maker,’ thereby mimicking the future role of the ‘King of Glory.’ Men will probably award him a ‘Nobel Peace Prize,’ for apparently solving many of the world’s problems and conflicts, especially those having to do with Israel and her neighbors. Our Lord Jesus, the true ‘King of Glory’ commented: “I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive.” John 5:43.  Israel’s unbelieving religious leaders refused to accept him as their true Messiah on ‘Palm Sunday’ following His triumphal entry into Jerusalem and sadly they still do, even to this day.

During the second half of ‘Daniel’s 70th. week,’ and shortly after his own failed assassination from which he is to be miraculously restored by the power of Satan, ‘antichrist’ will become resolutely and violently opposed to God, to Israel, to Christ and to Christians (Rev. 13:5-7). Thereafter his true satanic nature, character, identity, and fearful purpose will be fully revealed for all to witness.

It has been stated that, “power corrupts, and absolute power, corrupts absolutely.” Such will be the case with the end-time ‘man of lawlessness,’ in God’s own time, when God finally removes the restraints to his activities and goals. Starting from a rather obscure beginning, he will rapidly rise to a position of world-dictatorship consolidating his ten kingdom world empire, by annexing three of the original 10, finally making eight in all, with the willing consent and cooperation of the great mass of sinful unbelieving humanity. Few will oppose his ambitions since God will blind them to the truth of what is actually going on. (2 Thessalonians 2: 9-12)

His methods of ‘peace-enforcement’ imposed world-wide on warring ethnic and racial factions, will achieve some degree of success, yielding temporary peace and prosperity for a war-weary world. He will be honored, revered, indeed worshipped, by the great masses of humanity, they being totally unaware of his true purposes, his deception and where all this is leading. The dream of World Government and a New World Order, with himself as World ‘President’ (Dictator) will be seized upon universally as being most desirable, for solving this world’s problems.

In reality, his totalitarian system of world domination, will deceitfully erode most freedoms and liberties now enjoyed and taken for granted by most of us. Then by his dictatorial system, he will quickly assume complete control not only of many of the western world’s armed forces and nuclear arsenals, he will also be able to control much of the world’s resources, trade and commerce, economy and finances, oil and food supplies. He will be in a position to completely regulate all things pertaining to the physical well being, and necessities of life for millions and millions of people, who will only be able to buy or sell these essential commodities by receiving and bearing his ‘mark,’ as their pledge of allegiance and submission to him, and his authoritarian system.(Revelation 13:16-17)

As he attempts to implement his ‘New World Order’ plans and agenda, he will be opposed and frustrated by many conservative elements, both political and religious, which he spurns and disdainfully considers left-over relics from the past. Possibly due to a vengeful spirit because of his own attempted but failed assassination, and being now possessed and indwelled by the spirit of a former ‘anti-Semitic’ head of a former world-empire, raised from the bottomless pit (Rev 17:10-11). He will be satanically prompted to commence a ‘final holocaust’ program of both Jewish and Christian persecution and great tribulation unequaled in history. (Rev.12:17, Rev.13:15)

Some who refuse to pledge absolute loyalty and obedience to him by receiving his ‘mark,’ will be killed without mercy or compassion. The ultimate goal of this terrible program of human butchery, is the purging from his regime, of every last vestige of faith and worship in the God of the Bible, and the complete eradication of all dissenting and opposing factions to his ‘New World Order.’ He will also attempt to redirect the innate religious fervor of the remainder of humanity to himself, and from thence towards his own lord and master Satan. This anti-Jewish, anti-Christian purge will be on such a vast world-wide scale however, that it may make Adolph Hitler’s Nazi anti-Semitic ‘holocaust’ of  W.W.II  appear like a Sunday school picnic by comparison.

We reiterate that we do not wish to be alarmist, however all of the foregoing is predicted and fully backed up from the scriptures themselves, many of those hitherto overlooked or misunderstood verses become crystal clear in their import and meaning when considered in proper contextual setting and a full knowledge of God’s future plans for Israel, the Church and mankind in general. So now is an opportune time to examine some of those Scriptures, which specifically predict, teach and confirm the biblical truth of all this:

‘ANTICHRIST IN THE SCRIPTURES’

Then I wished to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its nails of bronze, which devoured, broke in pieces, and trampled the residue with its feet; [20] “and the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, before which three fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words, whose appearance was greater than his fellows. [21] “I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, [22] “until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom. [23] “Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast shall be A fourth kingdom on earth, Which shall be different from all other kingdoms, And shall devour the whole earth, Trample it and break it in pieces. [24] The ten horns are ten kings Who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; He shall be different from the first ones, And shall subdue three kings. [25] He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time. [26] ‘But the court shall be seated, And they shall take away his dominion, To consume and destroy it forever. [27] Then the kingdom and dominion, And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And all dominions shall serve and obey Him.”  Daniel 7:19-27

And in the latter time of their kingdom, When the transgressors have reached their fullness, A king shall arise, Having fierce features, Who understands sinister schemes. [24] His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; He shall destroy fearfully, And shall prosper and thrive; He shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people. [25] “Through his cunning He shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule; And he shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity. He shall even rise against the Prince of princes; But he shall be broken without human means. [26] “And the vision of the evenings and mornings Which was told is true; Therefore seal up the vision, For it refers to many days in the future.”  Daniel 8:23-26

Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy. [25] “Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times. [26] “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined. [27] Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week (Daniel’s 70th. week); But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.(desolator)”  Daniel 9:24-27

Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done. [37] “He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all. [38] “But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things. [39] “Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain. [40] “At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through. [41] “He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon. [42] “He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. [43] “He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels. [44] “But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many. [45] “And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him.”  Daniel 11:36-45

At that time Michael shall stand up (aside), The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble (Great Tribulation), Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, Every one who is found written in the book. [2] And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some (these) to everlasting life, Some (others) to shame and everlasting contempt. [3] Those who are wise (saved) shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever.”  Daniel 12:1-12:3

….And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. [2] Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. [3] And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. [4] So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” [5] And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. [6] Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. [7] It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. [8] All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. [9] If anyone has an ear, let him hear. [10] He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

[11] Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon (the false prophet). [12] And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. [13] He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. [14] And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. [15] He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. [16] He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, [17] and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. [18] Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.”  Revelation 13:1-18

And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. [5] “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. [6] “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. [7] “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. [8] “All these are the beginning of sorrows. [9] “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. [10] “And then many will be offended (enticed to sin, recant or apostatize), will betray one another, and will hate one another. [11] “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. [12] “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. [13] “But he who endures to the end shall be saved (delivered). [14] “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. [15] “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), [16] “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. [17] “Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. [18] “And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. [19] “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! [20] “And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. [21] “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. [22] “And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. [23] “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. [24] “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. [25] “See, I have told you beforehand. [26] “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. [27] “For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. [28] “For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together. [29] “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. [30] “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. [31] “And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. [32] “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. [33] “So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near–at the doors! [34] “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. [35] “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”  Matthew 24:4-35

These major portions of prophetic Scripture quoted here in full context foretell the ungodly career and activities of the end-time ‘antichrist’ and spell out the exact chronology for latter-day events pertaining to his two-stage autocratic career.

In order to fully comprehend his personal motives, one must go back and examine the life and motivation of one of those men in history who was his forerunner and archetype, we are referring to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, an anti-Semitic king who invaded Israel in 604 B.C. taking many Hebrews captive to Babylon, among them the prophet Daniel.

‘MOTIVATION FOR SELF-EXULTATION’

In the second chapter of the book of Daniel’s prophecies, a great and mighty gentile monarch, Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon (present Iraq), who had never lost a military battle in his entire lifetime, was granted a mighty vision in a dream. In this dream the God of Heaven showed him the future course of gentile world government, from his own time until the eventual consummation of this age. God revealed this to Nebuchadnezzar by means of a dream vision of a great and awesome statue of a man with a head of gold (Daniel 2:31-35). The explanation of this colossal dream effigy was subsequently given to Nebuchadnezzar by Daniel in the following words:

This is the dream. Now we will tell the interpretation of it before the king. [37] “You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory; [38] “and wherever the children of men dwell, or the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given them into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all–you are this head of gold. [39] “But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth.” Daniel 2:36-39

It is quite obvious that Nebuchadnezzar was not a very good listener, because twice Daniel told him that his kingdom and power to rule had been granted him by the God of Heaven. Even though he had been personally instrumental in winning battles and conquering peoples and now ruled the whole inhabited world, it was only by the official sanction and permissive will of God that he had been enabled to do so.

Certainly Daniel’s message did not sink in because the very first act of King Nebuchadnezzar related in chapter 3, was to build a golden image, 90 feet high, and 9 feet wide. That’s about the height of a ten storey building. Probably a replica of the ‘colossus’ he had envisioned in his dream, although we are not specifically told this, we can however assume that the dream vision and Daniel’s interpretation was having a strong influence upon his thoughts and actions.

One gains insight into the character of Nebuchadnezzar, when one considers that his response should have been one of humble thankfulness to the God who had given him his exalted position. It is obvious however that his own human pride and ego-mania took over, and after being addressed as a ‘king of kings,’ the man’s ego and pride of personal accomplishment made him blind to the reality of God’s gracious will, and quite deaf to the truth of Daniel’s words.

Therefore pride in his own importance and personal accomplishments were at the root of his problem, and so motivated his responses. He failed to learn a lesson concerning his lacking humility until later, until after his seven years of temporary insanity, as recorded in Daniel chapter 4. Concerning the innermost attitudes of the coming end-time ‘antichrist’ Daniel tells us:

He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all.”  Daniel 11:37

This refers to his unimpeded pride in his own accomplishments, truly a megalomaniac.

‘THE GREAT IMAGE OF GOLD’

 

Following in the narrative closely after the account of his dream of chapter 2, one must assume that Nebuchadnezzar was just plain carried away and utterly consumed by the grandiose knowledge that ‘He was the head of gold.’ That all future kingdoms would be ‘inferior’ to his own. Thus, he caused a great statue to be constructed, overlaid with gold and set up on the plain of Dura just outside the city of Babylon.

The city and all its wonders, such as the magnificent hanging gardens, were also among his personal accomplishments. The appearance of this great glittering golden statue 90 feet tall must have been both breath-taking and awe-inspiring. With the great city of Babylon as a back drop, the whole majestic scene demanded worship and adulation of the man whose remarkable achievements and power had made it all possible.

But wait! There is to be a complete future re-enactment of this event by the end-time ‘antichrist’ for exactly the same reasons! Here is what the apostles Paul and John recorded:

Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day (In context: The Day of the Lord.) will not come unless the falling away (apostasy) comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, [4] who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”  2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. [15] He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.”  Revelation 13:14-15

Our Lord referred to the setting up of this end-time image as “The abomination of desolation” (Matthew 24:15). The word ‘abomination’ in Old Testament usage generally meant or referred to ‘idolatry.’ Thus the term could be correctly understood ‘the idol of desolation.’

When this image, statue, or likeness of ‘antichrist’ is set up ‘where it should not be,’ most probably desecrating a newly rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, it will be cause for very much concern and bitter resentment on the part of godly faithful Jews.

Antiochus Epiphanes, another predecessor or ‘archetype’ of the final ‘antichrist’ whose exploits are prophetically foretold in Daniel 8:9-14, historically did exactly the same thing back in 165 B.C. when he desecrated the Jewish temple in Jerusalem, and sacrificed a pig, a ceremonially unclean animal on the brazen altar, also setting up a statue of the pagan god Zeus Olympus in the temple ‘Holy of Holies,’ in blatant mocking defiance of the God of heaven.

That this should all be predicted to happen again during the end-times should be no surprise to the student of prophecy, almost all end-time events have been foreshadowed by historic events of record. Hence the term, ‘history repeats itself!’

            When King Nebuchadnezzar demanded the worship of the golden image he had set up, he was in fact demanding that his subjects worship himself. The image symbolized his power, his glory, his accomplishments, and exalted position.

When ‘antichrist’s’ cohort the ‘false prophet’ sets up an image of the ‘beast,’ and the command is given that all men must worship it, ‘antichrist’ will be demanding that all men worship himself, because of his absolute power, his accomplishments, his self-exalted position and human glory. Yet he is only a man!

‘PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE – OR ELSE!’

And King Nebuchadnezzar sent word to gather together the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. [3] So the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered together for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. [4] Then a herald cried aloud: “To you it is commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, [5] “that at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up; [6] “and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.”  Daniel 3:2-6

There is nothing like a little intimidation to have people obey your whims, especially when you are a ‘king of kings’ and hold absolute power and authority over your subjects. The end-time ‘antichrist’ having come to world-dictatorship by the practice of guile, deceit, and flattery, and having absolute power and control over the whole world of mankind, will invoke a similar edict through his cohort the ‘false prophet:’

Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. [12] And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. [13] He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. [14] And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. [15] He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.”  Revelation 13:11-15 

No doubt every resource of modern technology will be utilized by the ‘false prophet’ to coerce and seduce humanity into a personal pledge of homage and allegiance to the ‘beast.’ His efforts will be somewhat successful according to Paul:

The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, [10] and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. [11] And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, [12] that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 )

The apostle Paul writing to the Roman Christians explains the ‘lie:’

Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, [25] who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”  Romans 1:24-25

In short, secular humanism says that ‘Man is God,’ and that no universal God exists. This is ‘the Lie.’ That we are not ‘created’ beings, we are merely the product of evolution. That since there is no God, neither are there any absolute moral values. Since there are no absolute moral values, there are no restraints to human behavior, so go ahead people, do your own thing! This attitude explains the excessive behaviors in all aspects of modern human society. Movies and TV shows make their impressions upon us daily, reinforcing these attitudes.

This manner of thinking is one of deliberate, willful blindness to the truth about God’s existence. This willful rejection of His moral codes and His standards of conduct, can and will eventually bring down His retributive wrath and judgment on a world of sinful men.

‘Antichrist,’ taking advantage of modern liberal attitudes, uses men’s innate religious instinct to focus their worship and adoration on himself – a man, puffed up and inflated by his own pride and absolute power, like his forerunner King Nebuchadnezzar, a mere man blasphemously masquerading as god!

‘DISSENSION IN THE RANKS’

Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and accused the Jews. [9] They spoke and said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever! [10] “You, O king, have made a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the gold image; [11] “and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. [12] “There are certain Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego; these men, O king, have not paid due regard to you. They do not serve your gods or worship the gold image which you have set up.”  Daniel 3:8-12

Three Hebrew youths, living as captives in a foreign land, dared to have the courage of their religious convictions, and in obedience to the law of their God they had learned as children, refused to obey the king’s edict. To do so, would have caused them to break the first two commandments. “Thou shalt have no other God’s before me.” “Thou shalt not worship any graven image or bow down to it.”

Nebuchadnezzar was more than a little annoyed by their steadfast refusal to obey his decree, he was livid, he literally blew his cool:

Then Nebuchadnezzar, in rage and fury, gave the command to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. So they brought these men before the king. [14] Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the gold image which I have set up? [15] “Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, and you fall down and worship the image which I have made, good! But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?” [16] Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. [17] “If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. [18] “But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”  Daniel 3:13-18

Nebuchadnezzar even tried a second time to coerce them into obedience of his demands, but the three Hebrew youths were resolute in their refusal, and were of a mind to suffer death rather than recant or apostatize, and break with their faith.

During the end-times we also will be put to a similar test:

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. [10] “And then many will be offended (enticed to sin, recant or apostatize), will betray one another, and will hate one another. [11] “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. [12] “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.”  Matthew 24:9-12

But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake. [13] “But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony. [14] “Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; [15] “for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist. [16] “You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. [17] “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. [18] “But not a hair of your head shall be lost. [19] “By your patience (endurance in the face of adversity) possess your souls.”  Luke 21:12-19

Just as the three Hebrew youths, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego steadfastly resisted Nebuchadnezzar’s attempt to have them apostatize and recant their faith, we will also be subjected to similar pressures by ‘antichrist’s’ underlings. We will be sought out by his ‘secret police,’ some of us will be murdered in his ‘secret places’ and we will be under the constant watch of video surveillance cameras. (Psalm 10:8-11)

In considering these possibilities we are reminded of Paul’s words in his Roman epistle:

For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”  Romans 15:4

Nebuchadnezzar’s rage and fury because of his failure to exercise absolute control over the minds and consciences of these three Hebrew youths, will be replicated in full by ‘antichrist,’ when his inability to control men’s minds and force men to obey his commands is thwarted and frustrated by their enduring faith. So like his forerunner Nebuchadnezzar, he will order the death of anyone refusing his decree.

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One Response to THE PRINCE THAT SHALL COME A STUDY OF THE END-TIME ‘ANTI-CHRIST.’ (part one)

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