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My Insights from the Bible
Daniel’s Vision of the Antichrist
Daniel declared, "I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea. And four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another. The first was like a lion and had eagles' wings. Then as I looked its wings were plucked off, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man, and the mind of a man was given to it. And behold, another beast, a second one, like a bear. It was raised up on one side. It had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth; and it was told, 'Arise, devour much flesh.' After this I looked, and behold, another, like a leopard, with four wings of a bird on its back. And the beast had four heads, and dominion was given to it. After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, terrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong. It had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things. (Daniel 7: 2 - 8 ESV)
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The man of sin is revealed
The New Testament has many verses describing the “man of sin” who will come at the end of the age, but to get a fuller description of the Antichrist the Old Testament has greater detail. This is particularly so in the book of Daniel.
Daniel writes about a number of visions he had in which this Antichrist plays a dominant part. The above passage is one such revelation. Fortunately for us Daniel, who didn’t understand the prophecy, was given an interpretation by the angel sent to show him. From this chapter and the following ones where this evil ruler is exposed and described we get a better understanding of the last days just before Christ returns for His people. And it will help us identify this man when he does make his appearance. So what can we learn from the above Bible passage?
The first thing we notice is that of a coming kingdom (political system or government); this will be worse than any world power that has come before it (Dan 7: 19). It should be mentioned here that the three preceding kingdoms are not identified. No empire or kingdom is mentioned by name; but this does not matter because the intended meaning of the prophecy has a more important purpose, that is, to show the emergence of the “man of sin”.
Ten kings or kingdoms rise from within this evil kingdom (Dan 7: 24). Another king rises after subduing or eliminating three of these kingdoms. This is the work of the Antichrist. We also see this clearly outlined in the book of Revelation (Rev 17: 12). We must realise here that three of ten kingdoms, be they political states, regions or systems, must be abolished or combined in some way before this “man of sin” is revealed and takes his place in history. Therefore we have a marker to help identify him since the order of events is clearly outlined.
Numerous Christian theologians, academics or preachers have speculated in past years claiming particular public figures may be the Antichrist. Of course there have been many antichrists all through history. Past rulers, despots and leaders of any number of countries have attracted this title, but the true Antichrist will be more deceptive, cunning and evil than any of them. Reading the prophecies of the Old Testament can give us a clearer picture of this man of sin and will help God’s people identify him at the right time.
PeterF
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