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Revelation 6:1-2 & Daniel 22:35-12:1 by Robert Dean
Series:Revelation (2004)
Duration:59 mins 32 secs

Anti-Christ; Conquering: The Wilful King Revelation 6:1-2; Daniel 11:35; 12:1


There is a shift of personages between the first 35 verses of Daniel 11 and the figure that comes to the forefront in verse 36. The first 35 verses are history. They were prophecy when they were written but they were fulfilled in the person of Antiochus IV (Antiochus Epiphanes) who was one of the rulers in the Seleucid empire. He was the most evil king in relation to Israel. He instigated a number of policies that were both anti-Semitic and anti-God. He eventually desecrated the temple just as the Antichrist will do at the end time and set himself up as a god to be worshipped. We have the rise some time in the future of this king who would do "according to his will." He is often referred to as the wilful king but this is the Antichrist, the prince who will come, the one who will enter into a peace treaty with Israel that will give them a sense of stability. This concept of will and volition takes us back to the initial claim of Satan in the fall in Isaiah 14 where it talks about what he will do. He will elevate himself above the stars of God, above the clouds, and ultimately above God. Those five "I wills" expressed there indicate his statement, his expression of his desire to set himself up above the authority of God and to be worshipped as God. The Antichrist, this end-time leader, is the culmination of Satan's attempt in human history to establish his kingdom on earth, the kingdom of man, and he is going to personally indwell and empower the Antichrist to give him the ability to bring in what he hopes to be the kingdom of peace and prosperity and happiness and solve all the problems of humanity. That is his goal, to bring in a perfect world order. So this end-time ruler is called the wilful king because he will embody that same autonomous wilfulness that Satan had to set himself up as the ultimate authority and determiner of reality.

A parallel passage to this is 2 Thessalonians 2:7 NASB "For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains {will do so} until he is taken out of the way." It is lawlessness not because the Antichrist is an anarchist but because it is a rebellion against the law of God, the rule of God over His creation. Because of that he is the wilful king. Daniel 11:36 NASB "Then the king will do as he pleases, and he will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will speak monstrous things against the God of gods; and he will prosper until the indignation is finished, for that which is decreed will be done." The word translated "monstrous" has been translated a couple of different ways. One is that he is going to make wondrous claims. The Hebrew root word is used in Scripture as "miracle," so it is very likely that he is going to make these exorbitant claims but then he backs them up with miracles, with various signs and wonders that give credence to his claims. These would be legitimate miracles—2 Thessalonians 2:9:10 NASB "{that is,} the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved." These wonders are false not because they are fraudulent but because they do not come from God. Some people have trouble with that. If we go back to Deuteronomy 13 where God gives one of the first tests in the Mosaic Law regarding identification of a true prophet he said if one comes and forms signs and wonders and people are healed there is a recognition that no matter how miraculous or legitimate the miracle appears to be don't believe it. It was a test. Were the people going to trust the empirical evidence or trust what the Word of God says? So Satan is going to empower the Antichrist to perform certain miracles. We are told that he will prosper until the indignation is finished, so God is going to allow him to continue to see a measure of success and victory until it all collapses in on him.

In 2 Thessalonians chapter two we are told that the restrainer is removed prior to the revelation of the Antichrist. The restrainer there is the Holy Spirit. Does that mean that the Holy Spirit leaves at the end with the Rapture or at the beginning of the Tribulation? The Holy Spirit is removed at the end of the church age at the Rapture. The primary presence of the Holy Spirit today (not exclusively) is in the indwelling of every believer. When the Rapture occurs the Holy Spirit and His church age ministry ends. The Holy Spirit's role in the church age is distinct from all previous dispensations. When the Rapture occurs the present ministry of the Holy Spirit ends and His presence is removed. There is this dispensational shift that goes back to a time similar to the Old Testament dispensation of Israel. Remember that this is the last seven years in God's plan for Israel. This is also indicated by the tremendous change that will occur at the end of the Tribulation when the Lord Jesus Christ returns and establishes His covenant with Israel and God's promises that He will put His Spirit in them. If they were already indwelt by the Spirit there would be a different terminology. That manifestation of the Spirit in the Millennial kingdom is going to be greater than the manifestation of the indwelling of the Spirit in the life of the believer in the church age. The indwelling is still there, it just has different characteristics. There is no presence of the Holy Spirit in the Tribulation period in terms of sanctification roles, indwelling roles; that aspect of His ministry is primarily restraining evil. So in the Tribulation God removes all restraints and allows man and Satan to go as far as they can go. This is all motivated by arrogance.

Characteristics of the Antichrist

1.  First of all, he is going to vindicate his message, his methods and his empire with miracles and signs and wonders. He is going to vindicate his political platform, the organisation of his kingdom, and somehow wrap everything that he does in a religious justification. He is going to validate it through performing signs and wonders, and so people who don't know the Word of God are going to be deceived because they have prepared by trends in the church age to think that of somebody can heal somebody without benefit of surgery then they must be from God. Many people will be deceived and will get on the emotional bandwagons of the Antichrist simply because he is able to perform these miracles.

2.  As a pseudo messiah he is going to promise the kinds of things that only the Messiah can provide. He will promise solutions to poverty, to health care, to diseases, to natural catastrophes. That is the kind of mentality that is going to be present in the Tribulation period. We can already see the preparation for that. We no longer emphasise the fact that when bad things happen in life, when we go through crises, that it is up to us as individuals to take responsibility and ownership for handling our own lives and solving our problems. We wait for a handout.

3.  The Antichrist will not begin as an overt opponent to religion. He wraps himself up in a religious garment to justify what he is doing. He will foster and ecumenical or tolerance-based religious system. Anyone who holds to absolutes will become a criminal just because they hold to absolutes and moral ethics.

4.  He is going to have a worldview that is based on evolution—there is no creator, no God, everything just happens by chance. Evolution will be used as a way of arguing for man moving to his next stage of cultural development. Hitler used social Darwinism in order to justify his persecution of Jews and any other racial ethnic groups that he didn't like. Socialism will be a vital part of his mentality, the idea of collectivism, that all wealth and property is ultimately to be controlled and determined by government. Secularism, being a distinction from traditional Christianity. He will borrow and redefine traditional religious terms such as "kingdom of God, optimism, hope, change, liberty, security, freedom." These are all words that are loaded with biblical, divine viewpoint significance, but we have been seeing for years politicians who use these terms, rip them out of context, and use them to support their own political agenda. The Antichrist will take this to a totally new level.

5.  Personally he is going to be very attractive, physically charismatic, his personality is going to be attractive to very many people. He will be glib and articulate and able to sway the masses to his position. He will be looked on as the promised saviour who will bring in a utopian kingdom.

6.  He will be an angel of light, not of darkness.

Daniel 11:37 NASB "He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the desire of women, nor will he show regard for any {other} god; for he will magnify himself above {them} all." From whatever background he comes he is going to disregard his own religious heritage. The desire of women is really an interesting phrase that is found in the Scriptures. Similar phrases are used in 1 Samuel 9:20; Haggai 2:7. The word for desire is used in a context related to the desire of Israel. It is a messianic term. Women in Israel hoped that they would be the mother of the Messiah. What this is saying is that he is talking about his rejection of other gods. He will magnify himself above them all.

Daniel 11:38 NASB "But instead he will honor a god of fortresses, a god whom his fathers did not know; he will honor {him} with gold, silver, costly stones and treasures." The idea here behind the word "fortress" is the idea of a place of safety, security, a fortification, a place of refuge. His emphasis is that he can provide security for people. People are either going to have freedom or security, you cannot have both. The gold, silver, etc., emphasises the raising of taxes and his accumulation of wealth.

Daniel 11:39 NASB "He will take action against the strongest of fortresses with {the help of} a foreign god; he will give great honor to those who acknowledge {him} and will cause them to rule over the many, and will parcel out land for a price." The help of a foreign god is the idea that he will use his religion and, of course, the indwelling of Satan, to take action against whatever is set up against him. He owns all the land, he takes it all for himself and gives it out as a reward.

Daniel 11:40 NASB "At the end time the king of the South will collide with him, and the king of the North will storm against him with chariots, with horsemen and with many ships; and he will enter countries, overflow {them} and pass through." This has to do with events at the end of the Tribulation period. Here we see something very similar to the Ezekiel 38-39 setup that occurs at the end tome, the second half of the Tribulation when there is a southern coalition. The king of the south is Egypt, the king of the north is Syria, even Russia.  

Daniel 12:1 NASB "Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands {guard} over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued."

What do we understand about what the Holy Spirit wants us to know about these things? We see the same trends, politicians and leaders and philosophers setting forth the same thought agenda that must be present for the Antichrist at the end to establish his kingdom. He is not just going to come out by himself, there will be a whole system, a political system, a philosophical system that is virtually in place, and he is going to come up within the midst of that. He is not going to be inventing or generating a whole new system when he moves into location. It prepares us by understanding the trends of today because they mirror what will be going on then. Another thing that we see here is that apart from the doctrine that we have in our soul we would be prone to worship the Antichrist just like those people will because that is the basic orientation of the fallen heart. That should cause us to have great humility. It is only the Word of God that really gives us the discernment to see past the facade and to understand what the real issues are. That is part of why God the Holy Spirit wants us to know about these things. We can be very easily deceived and led astray just as they will be in the end times.