Summary: As the vision unfolds, a series of future conflicts involving nations is described between the Persians and the Greeks. Between kings of the South (Egypt) and kings of the North (Syria). In this conflict, Israel would be caught in the middle.
AAre We in the End Times?@
We will be studying the final vision recorded in the book of Daniel. This vision pictures
what will affect Daniel’s people? Describing the events in the last days, for this vision refers to many days that are to come. In the introduction of the opening of this vision, there is a glimpse of spiritual warfare. Angelic forces standing together, Angelic forces helping each other, such forces affecting the nations of Persia and Greece. As the vision unfolds, a series of future conflicts involving nations is described between the Persians and the Greeks. Between kings of the South (Egypt) and kings of the North (Syria). In this conflict, Israel would be caught in the middle. Israel would suffer extreme blasphemies by one Syrian king (Antiochus Epiphanes).
Beginning with Dan 11:36, there is a large diversity of opinion. Regarding the identity of the king described in Dan 11:36-45. The time in which events described in Dan 11:36 12:13 would be fulfilled. In this study, on the Book of Daniel, I will offer what I believe is a good explanation of the text.
I. THE KING WILL EXALT HIMSELF (vs. 11:36-39)
The time of the end leaps forward in the prophecy from Antiochus Epiphanes to the Antichrist. We move now from the history of that day into that which is yet in the future. The entire prophecy was in the future when Daniel gave it. Some of it lies now in history and some lies yet in the future.
At this point history ends and prophecies begin. The text passes from a vile person to a vicious character, moving over a bridge of unmeasured time. Antiochus Epiphanes was certainly a contemptible person, but he could not measure up to the king described in verses 36-39. Antiochus was a foreshadowing of Antichrist.
There will be a political Antichrist, the one who is mentioned here, a Gentile raised out of the Roman Empire. There will also be a religious Antichrist who will pretend to be Christ and who will arise out of the land of Israel. He will be like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Antichrist is given many names in Scripture. He is also portrayed in a number of different ways.
This king will do whatever he wants. Antichrist is self-willed. This is the exact opposite of our Loving Jesus Christ who said, ABy myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me@ (John 5:30). This king will lift himself up above all others. The little horn (the name given to Antichrist in ch. 7) tries to be a big horn. Again, how unlike our Loving Jesus this is! Paul wrote of him: AYour attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!@ (Phil. 2:5-8). This king will think he is the king of kings and the lord of lords. In 2 Thessalonians 2:4 Paul wrote of the Antichrist: AHe will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.@
It is blasphemous rebellion against God which marks the willful king as the final and logical expression of humanism. He is the typical representative of that which is against God and that which is our old nature: Athe sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.@ (Rom. 8:7-8). The carnal mind of men will turn to the Antichrist. When men choose their own rulers and leaders, what kind of man do they choose? Generally it is one who is like they are, and that is the reason we are getting such sorry leaders in the world today. The leadership of the world is frightful it is the kind of leadership we picked out. God told us early on that he would give us what we wanted when it came to those whom we wanted to govern our earthly affairs.
This king will not worship the gods of his fathers. It has been assumed from this statement that Antichrist would have to be an Israelite. However, this statement could refer to a Protestant, a Roman Catholic, or a pagan. Wherever he comes from, he will not regard the God of his fathers. We have examples of this in history. A man named Smith. The head of the now defunct organization, the American Association for the Advancement of Atheism, was the son of a Methodist minister, and Stalin at one time studied in a theological seminary.