Summary: Antichrist can mean against for in place of. Looking at Alexander and Antiochus we see examples of how Satan wants to replace God with himself. We also learn that anything raised above Christ is Antichrist or in place of.
Intro: Our world is fast becoming a madhouse and the inmates are trying to run the asylum. It is a strange time when the patients are writing the prescriptions, the students are threatening to run the schools, the children to manage the homes, and church members not the Holy Spirit to direct the churches. Such lawlessness always brings a dictator and the last of the line will be the Antichrist, now in the offing awaiting his cue. (Vance Havner - Who Said That, p. 46 by George Sweeting).
I. The power of the Antichrist
Last week we examined the goat with the conspicuous horn that is clearly revealed in Daniel 8:21 to be Alexander the Great.
He was a genius strategist militarily, economically and socially. Alexander did not overcome Persia by sheer force but by outmaneuvering and the discipline and dedication of his troops. The anti-Christ will come in the same way empowered by the demonic power of Satan in fact Jesus says this clearly in Matthew 24:24 “For false Christ’s and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.”
2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 “The coming of the lawless one by the activity of Satan will be with all power and with pretended signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.”
The strategy of the Devil, Satan, and Anti-Christ hasn’t changed. In the picture and power of Alexander the Anti-Christ will come and attack the minds of people so that they might not believe. How does the anit-Christ go about this? He will have an engaging personality, he will be able to do what seems like miracles. The world will trust him because he is able to temporarily put the world out of its misery and solve its problems with his genius. The world will be willing to follow and even worship him as God just as many worshipped Alexander.
Even saying all of this about Alexander I want you to notice something. Daniel 8:5-8, 4 small verses to speak of the Alexander the Great. Any good historian would include him in a who’s who of great leaders and many could write volumes about him. Why only 4 verses? Worldly success means nothing in eternity.
1 Kings 2:3 “and keep your obligation to the Lord your God to walk in His ways and to keep His statutes, commands, ordinances, and decrees. This is written in the Law of Moses, so that you will have success in everything you do and wherever you turn” (HCSB)
1 Kings 2:3 “Do what the Lord your God commands and follow his teachings. Obey everything written in the Law of Moses. Then you will be a success, no matter what you do or where you go.” (CEV)
II. The pure evil of the anti-Christ
Daniel 8:9 tells from one rises another horn. The word horn in the Bible represents authority and power. This “little” horn starts small but becomes great. He does things that seem to be superhuman. The prophecy of this little horn is fulfilled in Antiochus IV Epiphanes. He is a clear picture and profile of the evil of the one to come. His name reveals his arrogance it means, the great and glorious or God manifest.
A) He hated God’s people
He was violent, evil and mad. According to the book of Maccabees 5:11-14 the Jews were on the receiving end of His anger at being defeated by the Romans “When these happenings were reported to the king, he thought that Judea was in revolt. Raging like a wild animal, he set out from Egypt and took Jerusalem by storm. He ordered his soldiers to cut down without mercy those whom they met and to slay those who took refuge in their houses. There was a massacre of young and old, a killing of women and children, a slaughter of virgins and infants. In the space of three days, eighty thousand were lost, forty thousand meeting a violent death, and the same number being sold into slavery.”
They circumcised their boys in obedience to God and defiance to Antiochus. As a punishment he murdered their children and made them wear them around their necks while they marched to the highest wall and were pushed to their deaths. The Jews called him Epimanes, Antiochus the Madman.
B) He hated God’s truth
Antiochus hated the truth of God; he threw it to the ground. Daniel 8:12 He banned the reading or possession of scripture. He made it illegal to circumcise their children or observe their holy days. Antiochus sacrificed and boiled pigs or swine and poured it on the sacred items of the temple. He had soldiers stuff pork down the priest’s mouths. He took a sow and had it slaughtered, ripped down the curtain to the holy of holies in the temple, marched in with the sow, and spread its blood all over the holiest place where God would be worshiped. This was called the abomination of desolation. He laughed at the agony of the Jews and trampled on their leaders. He proclaimed Zeus to be God and Yahweh to be foolish.