An Alternate View on the Nature and Origin of Anti-Christ

You recently said alot of people will say the “he” described in dan.9:26-27 is Christ. Absolute solid proof that it cant be Christ is that it says “the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city” the people described here is the Romans when they destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and it says right after that THE PRINCE WILL COME FROM THE PEOPLE. IN OTHER WORDS HE WILL BE MOST LIKELY OF ROMAN DECENT. And we know were Jesus came from and it was not from Rome!! And besides where is the 7 year confirmation of the covanent that Jesus signed??

The question to be settled is: Who are “the people of the prince that shall come?” Are we to understand this to be the Romans that destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD? If so, does this mean  that we are to trace the coming prince to Roman descent and ancestry? Or, could this refer more particularly to the immediately related people of a yet future Antichrist, who will once more destroy the city and a yet-future sanctuary? I take the latter view.

Of course, the strength of the former view is that in Dan 2 and 7, the fourth kingdom is clearly Rome. For this cause, many expositors believe they must locate the rise of the Antichrist out of a revived Roman empire, and therefore expect the Antichrist and his ten nation confederacy to originate in Western Europe among the common market countries.

I do not believe this view is necessary for the following reasons:

1. At the top of the list, it should be mentioned that the regions over which the Antichrist wields direct power are clearly named in Ezek 38:17 and Dan 8:9. In the Ezekiel passage the person (I believe Gog is Satan represented as the chief principality over the nations hostile to the covenant) is clearly declared to be the one that ALL the former prophets of Israel identified as the final antagonist. The language is too clear to dissociate the final Antichrist from being in some special command or authority over this select band of nations that form the alliance (10?) of nations that initially descend on Israel at a time of security (whether true or false).

Dan 8:9 is the other passage that bears directly and unequivocally on the location of the nation or region from which Antichrist originates in his descent against Israel. There, it is seen that the self-exalting “little horn” (a definite epithet for Antichrist – see Dan 7:8, 21) is shown to arise from one of the four divisions of Alexander’s collapsed Grecian empire. The ‘little horn’ is described as emerging from a place of apparent obscurity. “He shall work deceitfully, and shall come up (destroy many by peace – Dan 8:25) and become strong with a small people (Dan 11:23).

Furthermore, he is shown in Dan 7 to come up from “among the other ten, and appears AFTER them in point of time (see Dan 7:8, 20, 24). From this apparently obscure origin, the “vile person” comes into this kingdom by flatteries and deceit. He is not accorded the throne by right of succession, but obtains it through intrigue and stealth (Dan 11:21).

Wherever this kingdom is located, it is clearly north of Israel, and appears to be more regionally proximate than some candidates to the more distant north. In antiquity,  this was the Seleucid kingdom situated in the area of modern Syria. The tyrannical Syrian, Antiochus Epiphanes, of the 2nd century B.C. was the historical prototype of the final Antichrist.  Many scholars lose valuable prophetic light on the future Antichrist by ascribing final fulfillment to Antiochus, thus confusing type with antitype.

2. To tie the future fulfillment to territorial boundaries is not as important as relating it to the generic, organic, and spiritual succession of worldly kingdoms. Let me explain. In both chapters 2 and 7 of Daniel, these beast kingdoms are represented as existing simultaneously. It is true that they rise successively, but critically, the former lives on in its successor. They continue to stand together in a unified relationship of continuity until their thrones are removed at once, at the shattering of the image by the “stone cut out without hands” of Dan 2, and by the removal of their corporate dominions at the coming of the Son of Man in Dan 7 (see especially vs 12).

That’s the picture. The beast kingdoms don’t cancel one another out, but are seen as existing as the corporate kingdom of man till the end of the age (note: in Dan 7:12, their dominion (a corporate singular) is removed, but their lives (ie. the lives of the four kingdoms) are prolonged, an argument for the millennial view, which envisions nations surviving beyond the judgment. This is shown in Revelation as well, where the great dominions that stood in special relation to Israel (particularly in a persecuting relationship) are depicted as beast-usurpers of the kingdom of God.

But even if the succession of kingdoms is regarded as primarily territorial, nonetheless, it is not necessary to look to modern Europe for the origin of the final Antichrist, since the neighboring nations of Arabia (that are specially described in Israel; see Ezek 35, 36, 38, and Obadiah, Ps 83) were certainly within the boundaries of Rome’s first-century dominion. Furthermore, the nations that participate in the Antichrist’s initial invasion of Israel are described in Dan 11 as being particularly hostile against the “holy covenant”, which is a tremendously suggestive clue.

This common hostility against the covenant is shown to be precisely what unifies Israel’s mortal enemies, a context which befits a more regional figure who could unite the Islamic world against Israel. And who more than the Arabs, as most representative of the descendants of Ishmael and Esau, has such a deep and longstanding quarrel (everlasting hatred; Ezek 35:5) with Jewish covenantal possession of the Land (“the holy covenant” – Dan 11:28, 30, 32)?

3. If it is objected that the gap exists between Rome and the Antichrist in Dan 2 and 7, then it no less exists between Greece and the final Antichrist in chapters 8 and 11, where Rome is completely passed over in silence. So, the final Antichrist originates no less out of the four-horned division of Greece than of the final ten-toed extension of the fourth beast, Rome.

The identity of the final ten kings awaits the time of fulfillment. Precisely which of the existing nations will come into Antichrist’s orbit (seven voluntarily and three as forced conscripts through conquest) remains to be seen. I cannot conceive that the enemies surrounding Israel today that still carry the blood oath of Esau deep in their collective spirit will not be part of the ten nation confederacy that descends unsuspectingly on Israel.

As Daniel shows, it is during a time of security (Dan 11:24), AFTER the LEAGUE made with him (Dan 11:23), that the “vile person” (“little horn”) plots his conspiracy against the holy covenant, hatching plans to suddenly invade the Land. This moment I equate with the time that Israel is saying “Peace and safety!”,  precisely because of their delusional peace pact with Antichrist, labeled by Isaiah  as a “covenant with death and hell”.  Ezekiel says Israel’s final invasion by their greatest historical antagonists, prophesied by all the prophets of Israel (38:17), would come at a time when the nation is “dwelling safely” (38:8,11,14). I believe this is precisely what Paul had in mind when referring to the conditions that precede the day of the Lord: he certainly wasn’t referring to the terrors of the tribulation, but to pre-tribulational conditions just before the outbreak of Jacob’s trouble and the final treading down of Jerusalem.

This is not the safe dwelling of the millennium (for more reasons than time permits enumerating), but suffice it to say that this time of ‘secure dwelling’ is described in chapter 39 as a time when Israel’s sins actually increase (Ezek 39:26), in contrast to the millennial period. So this period clearly comes before the millennium. But this ‘safe dwelling’ is the deadly prelude to the sudden, pre-millennial invasion by the Antichrist, of which the post-millennial invasion of Gog (recorded in Revelation) is only the parallel or anti-type in apocalyptic symbolism.

In sum, the evidence implies that a presumptuously secure Israel has been brought into a false alliance with the Antichrist by reason of Israel’s historical tendency to trust in the arm of the flesh. In other words, this means that Israel’s inveterate humanism will once again be the source and cause of its last and greatest historical judgment. As God uses the rage of the nations to bring His apostate son back under the bond of the covenant, the nations seal their own judgement through their presumption in assaulting the people and land of the covenant. For mercy to be seen as undeserved mercy, severity must be seen as righteous and just.

Well, those are some starter thoughts for an alternative view to the prevailing and more popular theory of a revived Roman empire from among the common market countries of western Europe. Note also that the view I commend here keeps the prophesied destruction of Jerusalem by the final Antichrist within the boundaries of the seventy weeks, since the first-century destruction was approximately 40 years after the cutting off of Messiah. The “people of the prince” are therefore the immediate contemporaries of the Antichrist under his authority.

Of course, the first-century destruction does count as actual fulfillment, but only typical and not final. Note also that the view I suggest here relieves us of the necessity to trace the lineage of “the prince that shall come” (Antichrist) to Roman descent. So, this is the only point where I take some exception to Derrick. Otherwise, I rejoice that he is so firm in his persuasion of the futurity of the seventieth week. His understanding will prove priceless to him, particularly if that time is soon.

In the words of the godly G.H. Lang, “When this agreement shall have been confirmed, the wise will know that the final seven of years has commenced, that the end days are present, that the consummation of the age has arrived. They will expect the violation of the covenant after three years and a half, and will not be overwhelmed with surprise, having been told beforehand by this prophecy. Then will it be seen in fullness that the knowledge of prophetic Scripture is simply priceless.”

Yours in the Beloved, Reggie

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