Profile of Antichrist - Man and Beast

The Antichrist –

Man and Beast

     What would you think if someone told you that a teenager, younger than the Beatles when they took the world by storm with their music, or a person just one year out of high school, or someone not even half the age of President Obama, would appear on the world scene, rise to world prominence, and within five years be the supreme dictator of the civilized world? You'd probably think the person that made such a prediction was, well to put it nicely, out of touch with reality.Alexander Card

And, what would your response be if that person went on to say that this upstart would be enthusiastically embraced by working people, wealthy businessmen, powerful politicians, the entire military establishment and religious leaders alike? You'd probably say, "Impossible! How could such a preposterous thing ever happen in a sane world?" But that's just it, brothers and sisters; it happened already and something even more fantastic than that looms in our future. This is the reason why many Evangelicals began looking at President Obama as the Antichrist; his rise to power was so sudden and improbable. The historical instance of this unbelievable story of Alexander The Great was prophesied in a vision by Daniel, and duly recorded for all eyes to see in the Holy Scriptures. You can look it up. The young prodigy began as a king over a small but fierce army in Macedonia and by the time he was in his late twenties the earth was swooning at his feet and his word ruled supreme over all nations and peoples of the known ‘western’ world.
     It is because of the fulfillment of this prophecy (and other Bible prophecies) that we can know that what prophecy describes in the future is absolutely sure to happen, that the force of Proph-history (Prophistory) is mainly to reassure believers that that which lies in the future has been foretold by God and will surely come to pass. The prophet Daniel saw the end-times, saw the history of the nations of the Antichrist Kingdom, what one historian philosopher has called, the World-Spirit . He saw the one who would finally come again to fulfill Alexander the Great's evil boots. The one Daniel saw could rightly be called, Alexander the Greater, because the vision describes an even more incredible leader, one that would dominate the world in the final days just before the return of the Messiah and the establishment of his 1,000 year reign on earth. As we shall discover in chapter eight of Daniel, Alexander is important because in the 6,000 years of man's existence his rise to power is one of the most implausible occurrences of all history, and therefore is one of the greatest prophecies of all time. There is no way in which it could have emerged from the mind of man.  The career of Alexander the Great is among the most poignant proofs given by an omnipotent God that tells us God is in control of all things and that no government or ruler sits in power without His providence or consent.
    Alexander is important for a second reason. As we shall discover, also in chapter eight, Alexander stands alone as the truest Biblical archetype of the man "Antichrist", taking up the reins of the "Antichrist" kingdom. In Daniel chapter eight we see for the first time that the man and the system are dependent on one another. In Daniel (ch. 8) “the” man merges with “the” Beast.

What is the truth
about the Antichrist?

People always want to know about the Antichrist. The topic never fails to sell books or make money in Hollywood. Who is he? What is he? Where will he come from? What's his purpose? Is the Antichrist just a system, or is it a man, or both? Rumors and half-baked interpretations of Bible prophecy abound like stupid ideas at a Darwinian convention. But if we will earnestly study and take to heart God's prophetic word we can stop stumbling around in a stupor, drunk on silly rumors and gossip, and get a clear understanding of the Antichrist, its system, its leader, its goals and its purposes. To start with, we can get clear and substantial answers to our questions about the Antichrist by looking no further than the prophecies of Daniel. In this part of our study of Daniel we can see, for the first time, that the ultimate expression of the Antichrist is both a leader and a group of nations, or as the Bible calls them, a king and a kingdom. It has religious and economic legal organization under a centralized government of established institutions, with a despot demanding total loyalty and subjecting the mass of people to obedience, and ultimately worship. The Antichrist Empire is both a man and a government. To this point in Daniel we have only had small clues that this could be. The visions and dreams of Daniel have shown primarily that the Antichrist is a kingdom, a secular power with spiritual princes and authorities dominating it and determined to utterly influence the nations of the earth with its anti-Christ type gospel. As we have seen in our analysis of chapters two and seven of Daniel (and see even more clearly in a study of Revelation 13,17 & 18), the ultimate antichrist kingdom of the end-times is a composite of the four prominent "beastly" empires of Western Civilization. These empires (Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome) were engulfed, like one large fish engulfing another; so that finally the last kingdom, Rome, had the antichrist properties of all four empires integrated into one large monster. This antichrist beast has defined and shaped the spirit of the antichrist throughout the course of world history. By its immense power it has so controlled and influenced the world that it has infested the fabric of every society. Together with Mystery Babylon (false religion of Rev. 17 & 18) the antichrist kingdom has worked its deception on every continent and nation on earth.

Chapter seven had briefly mentioned a man at the end of it and given a few details about him but now in chapter eight we leap ahead from the transition of power between Persia and Greece right to the man. This is because God wants to draw attention to the relationship of man and kingdom; and the quantum leap from Greece (past a discussion for now, of Rome) directly to the "Antichrist" emphasizes the connection. The leader and the kingdom are inseparable. One cannot fulfill the destiny of the Antichrist without the other. The Antichrist spirit, with its one world system and ungodly spirit must have a supreme leader who can not only dictate in personal terms, but also can command the personal worship as a personal god of all mankind. On the other hand, this "evil one", as the Bible calls him, must have a system, military force, and a government behind him in order to impose his blasphemous rule on the world. Suddenly, in chapter eight we see God's Word making a definitive statement about the "Antichrist". But before getting too deeply into the evil one's character God wants us to know the leader and the kingdom are one inseparable "BEAST".

Daniel has Vision of Warring Beasts

Chapter eight opens by relating the vision Daniel had during the reign of the last Babylonian king, Belshazzar. In the dream Daniel sees a ram and a goat engaged in a violent battle. The goat, which has a single great horn between its eyes like a unicorn, beats the ram, but in the height of its power the goat loses its great horn. Immediately it grows four horns in its place, but then, out of nowhere a "little horn" comes up in their midst. This "little horn" is stronger than either of the animals or any of the horns that came before it. This "little horn" does fantastic things, he tramples on heavenly forces, beats God's people, takes away the daily sacrifice for the people (the avenue for forgiveness of sin) and defiles God's holy sanctuary by some transgression that is described as a "transgression of desolation". Then the dream closes as Daniel hears an angel tell a man that the "little horn" would prosper for a certain prescribed period and then at the designated time he would be defeated, things would be set right and the sanctuary would be cleansed of this evil one's presence and works.

Ram and Goat

Each of the visions and dreams which God gave personally to Daniel were impossible to understand without supernatural help ministered from heaven. In each instance God was faithful to give the prophet an angel or a revelation that interpreted certain key symbols of the vision so that there would be no need or doubt as to the proper interpretation.

''And it came to pass, when I even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man, and I heard a man’s voice ... which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision, " (verse 15 & 16)

Even with the angel interpreter, however, Daniel was not able, in most instances, to understand the full intent and impact, or the full implication of a given vision, because they were for the end-times and not for meant to be understood in his time. It is no coincidence that these heavenly interpretations always serve to unlock the meaning of the vision for the end-times generation of saints. Left to our own understanding the dreams and visions might also remain a mystery, but since we are in the end-times their meaning is revealed, the understanding of them unlocked. Gabriel gave Daniel the basic information needed to understand the vision; time and history has supplied the key to unlocking their meaning.

Angelic Interpretation

The angel told Daniel that the ram with two horns represented the kings of Media and Persia. The rough goat was the king of Grecia and the great horn between his eyes was the first king of the empire. When transgressors are come into their full, a fierce king would stand up who would be mighty and have understanding of dark sentences. The Antichrist would understand how to manipulate evil for evil’s gain like no other man who has ever come before. Daniel was given some specific insights into this king's tactics and character and was told that the vision was to be "shut up", for its fulfillment would be far off in the future. And that far off future date, projected more than 2,500 years ago, is now…

Thanks to the ministering angel there is no guess work involved for us. We know what the animals (beasts) represent and what the horns symbolize; we are given certain factual details about the Antichrist, and the kind of power he will wield. Many of these statements about the Antichrist have to be mulled over, however. What are their implications? Who will they affect? Why will he do such evil things? We must discern what God is telling the end-times saint about the "Beast's" purpose. Alexander and his career can be of help in studying these questions. He is the forerunner to the Antichrist and therefore exhibited similar spiritual powers as the "evil one" of the end. Also, to gather all the benefits of Daniel's prophecies we need to look at the vision of chapter eight, carefully comparing its verses with its angelic interpretations so we can discover all we can about its full and important meaning to the end-times saint. When we do this we shall see how history has proven the word in Daniel to be 100% correct.

Fulfilled Parts of Chapter Eight's Vision

"The ram which thou sawest having two horns are
        the kings of Media and Persia.
" Vs 20

Remember, Daniel saw this vision during the reign of Belshazzar, king of Babylon. Before the Media-Persia Empire overtook Babylon, Daniel had seen it coming. The kings of Media-Persia had brought a mighty army to the outskirts of the great walled city of Babylon, but as we saw in an earlier part of our study they were unable to breech the 350 foot high and 87 foot thick walls that surrounded the 15 mile square city-state. No one in their right mind would have figured that this self-sufficient city state would or could ever fall into the hands of an enemy no matter how imposing their army. But that didn't stop Daniel from proclaiming his vision and recording its prophecy. Sure enough at the prescribed time the unthinkable, the impossible did happen. In the year 538 B.C., sixty years after Nebuchadnezzar's siege and destruction of Jerusalem, the armies of Media-Persia conspired with some traitors inside the city walls in a clever plan to breech Babylon's security. While the armies outside dammed up the Euphrates River which ran through the center of Babylon and dried up the river bed, the conspirators inside the city opened the massive river bed gates and the armies marched unchallenged into the leisurely city. Once inside, they encountered no resistance from the indulgent, fat, self-secure populace. With control of the mighty city the Media-Persian kings had won possession of the whole kingdom and all its wealth. And so began a 200 year rule of the Persian Empire just as Daniel had foreseen in his earlier visions and part one of the prophecy of eight was fulfilled.

"And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that
        is between his eyes is the first king.
Vs 21

       Three hundred and fifty years before the coming of the true Messiah, a fair-haired young man, barely past adolescence launched a miraculous attempt to become the savior of the world. At nineteen this unlikely youth took control of the army of his assassinated father's tiny kingdom and within 12 years had subdued the world and built an empire that stretched from Greece to Egypt, through the entire Middle East, and all the way to India. This dynamic figure, as any school child knows, was Alexander the Great of Macedonia, the Greek warrior and king who in 341 B.C. crossed the shallow waters of the Hellespont which separate Europe from Asia and within two years had conquered the mighty Persian Empire and set off to unite the world in what he called a "brotherhood of man". It was the first ecumenical movement since Nimrod’s conspiracy of antiquity at the Tower of Babel. Alexander's meteoric rise to power was unthinkable at the time and was aided by supernatural intelligences. Though his methods have since been applied and his hopes rekindled by a succession of European dictators like Julius Caesar, Charlemagne, Napoleon and Hitler (also Antichrist figures), Alexander's feats have never been duplicated. His vision of a “brotherhood of man” and a one world integrated society under a common government still remains the dream of a misguided, rebellious world.

Map of Alexander's Empire

Alexander's kingdom took him less than 12 years to build. it covered the world to India and the very gates of the great wall of China. He had plans underway to sail around the Cape of Good Hope and venture to the West in search of the ends of the earth when he suddenly died by poison or fever at, of all places, Babylon, putting an abrupt end to his conquest of the earth. Just as Daniel had said, his magnificent empire was scattered to the winds.

Though freedom is cherished on an individual basis the revival of the spirit of Alexander the Great and his leadership is always crouching just around the corner waiting to rebuild "The Tower of Babel" in spirit. Men are ever ready to accept a Messiah from their own ranks, one who comes in his own name and is benevolent, magnanimous, and righteous and promises to correct all of the world's ills. Whether it is the motto of the Caesars "In essentials unity: in non essentials liberty: in all things charity", Charlemagne's promise to restore the security and majesty of the Roman Empire, Napoleon's quest to carry the banner of the French Revolution around the world, "Fraternity, Liberty, Equality", or Hitler's promise to rid the world of impurity and institute the thousand year reign of the Third Reich (fake millennium), or the attempt to bring world peace by establishing a United Nations; Alexander was the first. Alexander was the great visionary and forerunner of these pretenders with their pretensions. The only one he takes a back seat to is the real Antichrist, who today waits in the wings ready to take the world's stage when the time is right. No one could have anticipated Alexander's incredible career, his military victories, his world vision, his worldly wisdom and the empire he built against all the odds. That's because the great empire of Greece was the empire of one man, built upon his vision and his father, Phillip of Macedonia, and with the help of the “prince of darkness”. No one could have foreseen these unbelievable things, no one that is, except God. God not only saw them and knew they were coming, He showed them to His prophet Daniel 250 years before they ever happened and had Daniel record them for posterity so we of the last generation could know and understand that they only foreshadowed the wickedness and true nature and scope of the real Antichrist of the end-times.

"Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation,  but not in his power.

Death of Alexander

      This prophecy was fulfilled after Alexander's death. His united world kingdom was short-lived as was his "brotherhood of man". All he had so miraculously achieved in so few years was divided by his four generals into four separate kingdoms just as the prophecy said would happen. Ptolemy took Egypt and began a dynasty that lasted for 300 years and 14 generations all the way to Cleopatra in 41 B.C. Three other generals took three other sectors of the sprawling empire and made sub kingdoms which all lasted until the coming of the Roman "beast". Then the vision leap-frogs to "The Beast"; that is, “the” Antichrist of whom Alexander is the greatest archetype.

"And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.Vs 23

Now the scene and tone shift entirely to a man and his kingdom in the end-times. The connection of man with the empire, leader with the kingdom, has been made in the career and destiny of Alexander. When the leader is gone, however, and his kingdom blown to the four winds the power of the "Antichrist" is dissipated, until the "Beast" once again becomes complete with the appearance of the "evil one" who can lead the cause of rebellion. Having made that point, the vision now goes directly to the end and to the antichrist himself, the leader of the "beast" in the final days. This man, vile person, understanding dark sentences emerges. The time is established as the very end of the Antichrist Kingdom, by the phrase "in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full". By the interpretation we are told something more about the character of the Antichrist person. For the first time we are given a glimpse into his personal character and career. Before, Daniel's visions were about the system, the government, the kingdom and its influence and place in history. Now it's about the man, his personality and evil character; the one who will lead it the campaign against God in the world. Verses 24 and 25 give us further information.

"And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand".

No longer is God's Word talking about a kingdom as it did in exposing the antichrist in chapters two and seven. God is not talking about beasts that stomp the whole earth and overtake kingdoms and make empires to impose its government, order and religion on the nations of the earth. Now God's Word turns to a discussion of the heart of the man who is at the helm of the antichrist spirit. Much of the revelation about this man is an expose of our own hearts, as much as it is an expose of world government, politics, religion and idolatry. He gains power and control and exercises them with unbridled ambition. In the Antichrist person we see all that our flesh is capable of in this present evil world.

He will have a fierce countenance and understand dark sentences. Among other things he will be ruthless and wise in the occult and in manipulating men.

His power shall be mighty, it says, but not in his own power. He will be helped by the princes of darkness and made a powerful genius by Satan's help. He shall destroy wonderfully and prosper and practice and destroy the mighty and holy people. These words start to give us the idea that the antichrist will be about as formidable a man as the world has ever seen or dealt with. His inventions to destroy and conquer will be captivating and awesome. He will have victory after victory and everything he tries will be successful and he will be able to overcome even God's anointed people and it will look as though nothing can stop him, not even God Himself.
       And through his policy he will cause craft to prosper. Deceit of a high spiritual nature will take place and lies and half truths will rule by his slick ways and velvet tongue. In his heart he will come to magnify himself in that he will truly think he is God and by using "peace" he will somehow destroy many. He will even think he can stand up against the Prince of princes, Jesus Christ and His kingdom. He will be a charming, persuasive, believable man. He will be charismatic and a bright shining star that people will cling to with hope and put all their faith in. But he will be thoroughly deceitful and evil in every intent. This is the picture that Daniel chapter eight starts to paint for us. It is to make sure that God's faithful believers, those who trust in His spirit and Word, will not be deceived because, as Jesus Himself said,”the deception at the end would be great”.
(See table profiling Antichrist character from prophecies of Daniel.)

The last phrase of verse 25, however, concludes saying, "but he shall be broken without hand.", even though it will seem as if nothing can stop him, no man or peoples can resist his will or, see through his charismatic exterior to understand his evil intentions and hateful obsessions. We are prophetically informed that he will be broken ‘without hand’ (by God). Man will not be able to do it, but God will do it. The chapter ends by reassuring us that the vision is true but it would be shut up and not come to pass for a long time,

"And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days. And I Daniel fainted, and was sick [certain] days; afterward I rose up, and did the kings business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.

       Daniel is not only a great man of faith and God's end-time prophet, he is God's historian. Though Daniel did not understand what his visions meant and all that they implied, because they were meant for a generation of believers far off in the distance of time, he always remained God's faithful reporter. That's how we should view him, as God's faithful reporter and historian. As God's historian Daniel has written history in a miraculous way, in a way which only God who knows the beginning from the end, could give it. Daniel wrote the history of Western Civilization before it happened. By accomplishing this great miracle through Daniel, God has inspired us to believe the incredible, otherwise unbelievable things prophesied about the last hours of judgment on earth so we are not deceived by the amazing deceptions of antichrist and his system, which includes false religion. Daniel's vision of the evolution of Western Civilization and its unarguable dominance over the entire earth is a beacon of God's enormity and sovereignty over all things, including the kingdoms and powers of the earth. Daniel saw the metamorphosis of the antichrist kingdom but, understandably, was unable to interpret the symbolism of the visions as we, too, would be unable to grasp the meaning, except in each case God sends a messenger to interpret the meaning for us so that we are not left wondering what the symbolism really signifies or means. Chapter eight lays the groundwork for future visions more detailed in nature, concerning the antichrist and his mission. Daniel is told that the vision of the "little horn" (or antichrist himself) is not to be for many days but for an appointed time at the end. Daniel's prophecies encourage us to realize that God has a plan, that He has always had a plan, and that His plan has a beginning, middle and end. And, while it may seem like a long time in coming to us, it is and will continue to move at God's pace, and perfectly on schedule. Daniel proves that church saying: "God ain't never late. He's always on time". Consider these incredible prophecies in chapter eight that are now historical fact, but hundreds of years before their fulfillment could never have been foreseen by the most imaginative human mind. Daniel saw the rise of the Median kings and the prominence of the Persians over them. He saw the swift destruction of the rock solid Persian Empire by the lightening quick attacks of the Greek youth, Alexander the Great, and he saw the sudden breaking up of that kingdom into four parts. Each event, each twist of fate and turn of earth's destiny was supernatural, unlikely and unthinkable. At these events historians still marvel at to this very day. Can the future Daniel saw, the one of an Antichrist Beast, a kingdom led by a Satanic man, be that far away?!

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Friedrich Hegel, The Philosophy of History.