The Covenant With Many – Daniel 9:27

If a peace treaty is signed in Israel soon, is that THE COVENANT that we are looking for to be fulfilled?  I believe the answer to this question is NO, and I will attempt to explain why!

And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed.
And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering.  And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.
  (Daniel 9:26-27 ESV)

Like many of you, I have studied that the “strong covenant with many” that will be made as per Daniel 9:27 involves the Antichrist making, or confirming, a peace or land (or land for peace) treaty with Israel.  This is the traditional pre-tribulation, dispensational teaching, and it goes something like this (from GraceThruFaith):

“The Bible says a false peace will precede war in the Middle East. Through a series of events such as preliminary battles (Psalm 83, Isaiah 17) and meaningless peace agreements the Israelis will come to believe the threats to their national security have been removed, and they’ll let down their guard. A that point a coalition of Moslem nations will attack with such force that nothing short of God’s direct intervention will save them. But He will intervene and Israel’s enemies will be defeated (Ezekiel 38).

That’s when a powerful man will come forward with the suggestion that it’s time to enforce a covenant that’s already been negotiated between the combatants. This time the world will be convinced that real and lasting peace has finally come, and this man will be hailed as a great peace maker, unlike any the world has ever seen (Daniel 8:25).

After presenting himself as their savior, he’ll turn out to be their destroyer and once again they’ll find themselves on the brink of utter defeat. That’s when the Lord will pour out His spirit of grace and supplication, Israel’s eyes will be opened to their true Messiah, and He will again intervene on their behalf to destroy their enemies (Zechariah 12:10, 14:3). This time the peace will be real and the remnant of Israel will be ushered into their glorious Kingdom Age. You can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah. 09-18-10″

SOURCE: Jack Kelley – GraceThruFaith- https://gracethrufaith.com/end-times-prophecy/confirming-the-covenant/

Is there any reason to doubt this view?


And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed.  Daniel 9:26 ESV

The Anointed One

First let’s discuss Daniel 9:26.  I’m going to assume you’re on the same page with me here and we both understand that the “anointed one” who was “cut off”, but not for Himself, was Jesus.

The People of the Prince Who Is to Come

The “people of the prince who is to come”, the Romans, literally destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD. Titus, the Roman prince who was “still to come” in Daniel’s time, opposed the destruction of the Temple and actively tried to stop it 3 times while his people (or mercenaries, as the case may be) destroyed it.

It was literally the “people” of the “prince who was to come” who destroyed the Temple. Daniel 9:26 may be specifically describing that it was the people, not the prince, who was acting because that would have been very unusual (normally armies follow the commands of their leaders).   The end of Jerusalem and the Second Temple did come very suddenly, “like a flood”.  For a detailed discussion of the destruction of Jerusalem, please see this post – The 70 Weeks of Daniel.

The intervening time would then involve wars and desolations for the Jewish people.  Dictionary.com defines desolation as “a state of complete emptiness or destruction; anguished misery or loneliness”.  It comes from the Latin desolare – ‘to abandon’ – and for all intents and purposes, it will seem that God has abandoned His chosen people for almost 2000 years.  This fulfilled their scattering among the nations, which was foretold repeatedly in scripture. 

Now on to Daniel 9:27.  Does the main character remain the same (the people of the prince who was to come), or does it change?  In the different prophecy views, there is a lot of discussion over that little word, “he”.


And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering.  And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.  Daniel 9:27 ESV

Who, Exactly, are the “he’s”?

And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. Daniel 9:27a

The First “he”:

The Antichrist – The futurist view of Biblical prophecy considers there to be a break (of about 2000 years) between Daniel 9:26 and 9:27.  All rapture timings within this view traditionally teach that the “he” who makes the covenant, causes sacrifices and offerings to cease, and makes desolate, is the antichrist.  This makes a lot of contextual sense, as Daniel’s visions are repeatedly of the end times and of the antichrist.  Until very recently I also agreed that the “he” was the antichrist.   I still think it’s a definite possibility.  Because this view is well described elsewhere, I won’t expand on it here.  However, a new twist on the traditional view is that the antichrist may try to confirm the MOSAIC covenant.

The False Prophet – Since we are told in Revelation 13 that the false prophet is the one who organizes the setting up of the image that will be worshiped (the abomination of desolation), it is possible that the “he” who makes the strong covenant with “many” is actually the false prophet on behalf of the antichrist.

Israel – Chris White, in his book “False Christ”, takes the futurist view but suggests that the covenant may be initiated by Israel herself instead of by the antichrist.  From memory, I think he suggests that the covenant Israel makes is with the antichrist and surrounding countries, but that she is the one in the powerful position to propose the terms and conditions.  Regardless of who initiates the covenant, this view still holds that the covenant is made with the antichrist or Israel’s enemies.  I think this is an interesting twist on the usual interpretation.  (Note that he holds a pre-wrath rapture view and we disagree on that).

Jesus – Those who believe the 70 weeks of Daniel were fulfilled historically (the historicist view), state that the “he” who confirmed the covenant was Jesus back in ~32AD.  These believe that there was no break between Daniel 9:26 and 9:27.  There are a number of problems with this view, but perhaps the greatest is the specific term “abomination of desolation”.  This view is well described by historicist scholars and I also won’t expand on this view here as I personally believe the covenant of Daniel 9:26-27 is future.  Jack Kelley explains the problem of the abomination of desolation this way:

“Some say this prophecy was fulfilled during the Roman destruction, but most believe it’s yet future, partly because of the term Abomination that causes Desolation. It’s a specific insult to God that has happened only once previously.  Antiochus Epiphanes, a powerful Syrian king, had attacked Jerusalem and entered the Temple area in 168BC. There he had sacrificed a pig on the Temple altar and erected a statue of the Greek god Zeus with his own face on it. He then required everyone to worship it on pain of death. This rendered the Temple unfit for worshiping God and so incensed the Jews that they revolted and defeated the Syrians. This is all recorded in Jewish history (1st Maccabees) where it’s called the Abomination of Desolation. The subsequent cleansing of the Temple is celebrated to this day in the Feast of Hanukkah.”

SOURCE: https://gracethrufaith.com/end-times-prophecy/the-70-weeks-of-daniel/

(Father) God – Another possibility that I have seen circulated recently (I apologize, I can’t find links), is that God Himself confirms the covenant.  This also takes the futurist stance, but states that there will be a “dueling of the covenants” in which God will confirm His covenant with Israel while the antichrist ALSO makes a covenant of his own.  Despite the confusing way this view was presented, is it possible that God Himself is confirming a covenant?  This is what I set out to explore.

There is no first “he” –  An interesting translation of Daniel 9:27 has been brought to the surface this week.  I became aware of it through Dan Matson at watchfortheday HERE.  On his website he posted (bolding mine):

And one week shall establish the covenant with many: and in the midst of the week my sacrifice and drink-offering shall be taken away: and on the temple shall be the abomination of desolations; and at the end of time an end shall be put to the desolation.”

(Daniel 9:27 LXX Interlinear Translation, Samuel Bagster and Sons, London, 1792)

I have this Septuagint translation in Appendix A of Israel: The Handwriting on the World. In most English translations, there is a “he” supplied that is not there because the Hebrew is ambiguous. This LXX translation fits the Rapture scenario at the start of the 70th Week since there is no requirement for some covenant signing or peace agreement to initiate it. And really this Covenant here is The Covenant between God and Israel. After these 7 years the 70 Weeks are fulfilled bringing to completion all of the promises in Daniel 9:24.

SOURCE: http://watchfortheday.org/same.html

What if the actual meaning of Daniel 9:27 goes something like this:  And the covenant with [the Hebrew people] shall be strengthened / reconfirmed for one week [7 years], and in the middle of the week [God’s] sacrifice and offering shall be taken away.  In the temple, the abomination that causes desolation shall be set up until the decreed end comes upon the desolator [i.e. the second coming of Jesus when He tosses the antichrist into the lake of fire].  Could this meaning fit?  I will explore this as well.

What Does the Second “he” Do?

And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering.  And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.  Daniel 9:27 ESV

If there is a “he” confirming the covenant, it would make sense that the “he” is also the one putting an end to sacrifice and offering, to be gramatically consistent.  This could be the antichrist OR the false prophet.  As mentioned previously, they are two of the members of the “unholy trinity”, who both bring worship to the third member – the dragon (satan).

In all the translations there seems to be an interesting divide between the “he” associated with the covenant and the sacrifice and offering, and the “one” who makes desolate.  Here is where the LXX interlinear translation proves interesting:

“And one week shall establish the covenant with many: and in the midst of the week my sacrifice and drink-offering shall be taken away: and on the temple shall be the abomination of desolations; and at the end of time an end shall be put to the desolation.”  Daniel 9:27 LXX Interlinear

Is there a second he?  It doesn’t specify in the LXX how the covenant is (re)established, or who is doing it.  However, it does state that it is God’s sacrifice and drink offering that will be taken away in the middle of the week.  This version also doesn’t spell out who is placing the abomination of desolation, and it suggests that an end comes to the desolation itself (not discussing the fate of the desolator).

I’m not convinced that we can conclusively state that the “he” who confirms the covenant is also the desolator who places the abomination of desolation.

The Third he – The One Who Makes Desolate

Clearly, the one who makes desolate is the antichrist, regardless of who confirms the covenant and who stops the sacrifice and offerings.  We are told that he will place an abomination that makes desolate a number of times in scripture (Daniel 11:36; Matthew 24:15-16,21; Revelation 13:13-15; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).

 

A Covenant of Peace?

So… will the covenant in Daniel 9:27 be a new covenant or reconfirm an old one?

The traditional futurist interpretation of the covenant that is made, or strengthened, or confirmed, is that it involves peace.  If you re-read the verse, you will note that the word “peace” is not there.  Neither is land.  Let’s look again:

And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. (ESV)

And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease  (KJV)

What we know about the covenant:

  1. It will last for a week of years (7 years).  Whether this covenant is specifically made for 7 years, or if we are simply being told that it will last for 7 years, is not stated.  I have read that the covenant may be presented as open-ended or “eternal”, but that God is telling us that it will last for only “one week”.  This may be supported by the verse that the antichrist will “seek to change the times and the law” (Daniel 7:25), but we have been given the foreknowledge that God will cut short his days and he will come to his decreed end (Matthew 24:22, Daniel 9:27).
  2. The strong covenant must include the people of Israel (the 70 Weeks prophecy is about Daniel’s holy people – Jews, and his holy city – Jerusalem), but it might include others as well.

What we can surmise about the covenant:

  1. It may or may not be a “new” covenant.  It might be a new covenant made; it might be a strengthened or restored pre-existing covenant.
  2. It will likely include Old Testament-style Jewish worship and sacrifices in a rebuilt Third Temple in some fashion.  We can surmise this because in the same sentence, sacrifice and offering is ended – which means it likely started occurring as part of the “strong covenant”.
  3. The covenant seems to continue on for the full 7 years, even though sacrifices and offerings cease in the middle of it.  It only ends when the “decreed end is poured out on the desolator” (at the second coming of Jesus Christ).

Is the Covenant a Bad Thing?

Land / Peace Covenant:

We have been assuming that the covenant is a bad thing, and so it would be if made with the antichrist.  To understand why, we see that when leading Israel to their promised land for the first time, God repeatedly commands the Israelites not to enter into covenant with the nations or peoples around them:

 You shall make no covenant with them and their gods. (Exodus 23:32; Exodus 34:12; Deuteronomy 7:2 ESV).

God knew that if Israel made covenants with the peoples around them, they would fall into spiritual idolatry, which is exactly what ended up happening.  History often repeats itself, and any covenant made for peace/land will also lead to spiritual harlotry.  If the covenant is made with the Antichrist and the “many”, it may offer compromise on the Promised Land, which isn’t Israel’s to give.  The holy land belongs to God and is His alone to allot and possess.

Mosaic Covenant:

Chris White, in his book The False Christ, suggests that the “Jewish view of the phrase ‘new covenant’ is no more than a renewed national commitment to abide by God’s laws”.  In this view, the antichrist will re-confirm the Mosaic covenant by authorizing the starting of sacrifices and allowing the rebuilding of the Temple.  Not only may he confirm it, he may actively be involved in the process.  For more on this, please see:  Why Israel Rejected Jesus at His First Coming.  This would fulfill Jewish messianic expectation and also take focus off the true Messiah – and His “New Covenant”.

Three and a half years later he will stop the sacrifices and break the Mosaic covenant, possibly introducing a “new covenant”:

“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah”.  Jeremiah 31:31 ESV

If the covenant is a re-confirmation of the Old Testament Mosaic Sacrificial Law, by either the antichrist or Israel herself, it blatantly rejects Jesus Christ as Messiah and His atoning sacrifice. When Jesus came, He made a new covenant, a better covenant, in His blood.  Jesus fulfilled Jeremiah’s new covenant prophecy through His death and resurrection:

But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second. For he finds fault with them when he says:

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord,
    when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel
    and with the house of Judah,
 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers
    on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt.
For they did not continue in my covenant,
    and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord.
 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
    after those days, declares the Lord:
I will put my laws into their minds,
    and write them on their hearts,
and I will be their God,
    and they shall be my people.
And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor
    and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
for they shall all know me,
    from the least of them to the greatest.
 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities,
    and I will remember their sins no more.”

In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Hebrews 8:6-13 ESV

Alternately, Israel herself may try to return to the Mosaic covenant. God would not want the Mosaic Covenant re-instated, as it was a temporary covenant that has been replaced.  2 Corinthians 3 discusses this, as well as the passage in Hebrews above.

Abrahamic Covenant:

If the covenant spoken of in Daniel 9:27 is a re-confirmation of God’s Abrahamic Covenant, His eternal promise to Abraham for descendants and land – this would actually be a GOOD thing.  This is an eternal covenant, promised to Abraham, which has yet to see complete fulfillment.

What covenant are we talking about here?  

I am increasingly leaning towards the view that the covenant that is strengthened in Daniel 9:27 is the Abrahamic covenant God has with Israel.  This could also be a dual fulfillment of the “generation sign”, as some scholars state that “genea” can also refer to race, i.e. the Jewish race:

Assuredly, I say to you, this generation [genea] will by no means pass away till all these things take place.  Matthew 24:34 ESV

Let’s review what God’s covenants are all about!

 

God’s 7 Covenants

From Gotquestions: (bolding  mine)

Question: “What are the covenants in the Bible?”

Answer: The Bible speaks of seven different covenants, four of which (Abrahamic, Palestinian, Mosaic, Davidic) God made with the nation of Israel. Of those four, three are unconditional in nature; that is, regardless of Israel’s obedience or disobedience, God still will fulfill these covenants with Israel. One of the covenants, the Mosaic Covenant, is conditional in nature. That is, this covenant will bring either blessing or cursing depending on Israel’s obedience or disobedience. Three of the covenants (Adamic, Noahic, New) are made between God and mankind in general, and are not limited to the nation of Israel.

The Adamic Covenant can be thought of in two parts: the Edenic Covenant (innocence) and the Adamic Covenant (grace) (Genesis 3:16-19). The Edenic Covenant is found in Genesis 1:26-302:16-17. The Edenic Covenant outlined man’s responsibility toward creation and God’s directive regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The Adamic Covenant included the curses pronounced against mankind for the sin of Adam and Eve, as well as God’s provision for that sin (Genesis 3:15).

The Noahic Covenant was an unconditional covenant between God and Noah (specifically) and humanity (generally). After the Flood, God promised humanity that He would never again destroy all life on earth with a Flood (see Genesis chapter 9). God gave the rainbow as the sign of the covenant, a promise that the entire earth would never again flood and a reminder that God can and will judge sin (2 Peter 2:5).

Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12:1-36-713:14-171517:1-1422:15-18). In this covenant, God promised many things to Abraham. He personally promised that He would make Abraham’s name great (Genesis 12:2), that Abraham would have numerous physical descendants (Genesis 13:16), and that he would be the father of a multitude of nations (Genesis 17:4-5). God also made promises regarding a nation called Israel. In fact, the geographical boundaries of the Abrahamic Covenant are laid out on more than one occasion in the book of Genesis (12:7; 13:14-15; 15:18-21). Another provision in the Abrahamic Covenant is that the families of the world will be blessed through the physical line of Abraham (Genesis 12:322:18). This is a reference to the Messiah, who would come from the line of Abraham.

Palestinian Covenant (Deuteronomy 30:1-10). The Palestinian Covenant, or Land Covenant, amplifies the land aspect that was detailed in the Abrahamic Covenant. According to the terms of this covenant, if the people disobeyed, God would cause them to be scattered around the world (Deuteronomy 30:3-4), but He would eventually restore the nation (verse 5). When the nation is restored, then they will obey Him perfectly (verse 8), and God will cause them to prosper (verse 9).

Mosaic Covenant (Deuteronomy 11; et al.). The Mosaic Covenant was a conditional covenant that either brought God’s direct blessing for obedience or God’s direct cursing for disobedience upon the nation of Israel. Part of the Mosaic Covenant was the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) and the rest of the Law, which contained over 600 commands—roughly 300 positive and 300 negative. The history books of the Old Testament (Joshua–Esther) detail how Israel succeeded at obeying the Law or how Israel failed miserably at obeying the Law. Deuteronomy 11:26-28 details the blessing/cursing motif.

Davidic Covenant (2 Samuel 7:8-16). The Davidic Covenant amplifies the “seed” aspect of the Abrahamic Covenant. The promises to David in this passage are significant. God promised that David’s lineage would last forever and that his kingdom would never pass away permanently (verse 16). Obviously, the Davidic throne has not been in place at all times. There will be a time, however, when someone from the line of David will again sit on the throne and rule as king. This future king is Jesus (Luke 1:32-33).

New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34). The New Covenant is a covenant made first with the nation of Israel and, ultimately, with all mankind. In the New Covenant, God promises to forgive sin, and there will be a universal knowledge of the Lord. Jesus Christ came to fulfill the Law of Moses (Matthew 5:17) and create a new covenant between God and His people. Now that we are under the New Covenant, both Jews and Gentiles can be free from the penalty of the Law. We are now given the opportunity to receive salvation as a free gift (Ephesians 2:8-9).

SOURCE: https://www.gotquestions.org/bible-covenants.html

So Which Covenant Are We Talking About?

God made 4 of these covenants specifically with the nation of Israel, and since Daniel’s prophecy is about his holy people (Hebrews) and holy city (Jerusalem), we can surmise that the covenant Daniel is talking about is also about Israel.

If Israel is the one re-confirming her covenant with God, the only one she is capable of initiating herself is the Mosaic Covenant.  The Law of Moses, the sacrificial system, is what defines Judaism.  It is clear that Israel will indeed re-start sacrifices and offerings.  Will that be an attempt to re-institute the Mosaic Covenant?   If Israel were to re-confirm the Mosaic covenant, it would be with “the One” – God – which doesn’t fit the verse, because the covenant is confirmed with the “many”.  However, from Zechariah we know that while many Hebrews will come to Christ (~1/3), many will not (~2/3).  It is highly probable that the Jews who are shaken into returning to God, but still continue reject Jesus, will desire to return to the Mosaic Covenant.  If it is the antichrist appearing to confirm the Mosaic Covenant with Israel, this would fit the verse.

If God is the one confirming His covenant with Israel (the many) in Daniel 9:27, which covenant would He confirm?  Well, we’ve already discussed that the Mosaic covenant has been replaced with the New Covenant.  The unconditional Davidic covenant will be fulfilled at the second coming of Christ, when Jesus comes to establish His millennial kingdom.  There are two left (and many scholars view them as one single covenant – Abrahamic).  What if the covenant mentioned in Daniel 9:27 is a re-confirmation of the unconditional, eternal covenants made with Abraham?  That he would have offspring more numerous than the stars in the sky, and that he would be given a specific plot of land:

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”  Genesis 12:1-3 ESV

On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates,  the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites,  the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim,  the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites.” Genesis 15:18-21 ESV

If this is the correct interpretation, and God confirms He Abrahamic covenant with Israel, what could possibly lead Him to do so?

What Rouses God out of His Silence?

I believe it is event-driven.

There is only one event in the Bible where God is described as rising out of His silence towards Israel.  Only one event that could drive Israel to finally rebuild their Temple, and restart sacrifices and offerings to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Ezekiel 38-39, the Gog-Magog War.

I have discussed the Gog-Magog war, and the possible encircling wars of Psalm 83 and Isaiah 17, before.  I believe there are strong connections between Seal 6, the beginning of birth pains (Olivet Discourse), Ezekiel 38-39, and the rapture of the church.

Basically, in the Gog-Magog war, God Himself will raise Israel’s enemies up against her in such a way as to appear that Israel is on the brink of annihilation.  He will then rise up out of His “silence” to protect her.  God will break His silence with Israel for the purpose of announcing to an unbelieving world – Israel herself and all the nations – that He is still here!  He intends to fulfill His covenant promises and reclaim Israel as His people and His land.  God mentions this purpose 70 times in the book of Ezekiel; four times in these two chapters alone, to ensure He gets His point across.  However, He has one final test for Israel.  When God intervenes, what will Israel do?  God will send His 2 Witnesses to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ.  Will Israel finally accept Jesus as her true Messiah?

Sacrifices and Offerings

Israel appears to rebuild the Temple (it’s basically ready to go already).  She then appears to restart sacrifices and offerings in that Temple.  Are these an abomination to God?

As one of my fellow watchmen reminded me, Israel is going to be a real “mixed bag” in the latter days.  About 1/3 of the Hebrews, starting with the 144,000, will come to Christ, and may offer pleasing sacrifices in worship to God.  Or, maybe they won’t participate in the Temple and Sacrifices.  I’m not sure, but it is likely that the 2 Witnesses will guide this process.  It seems that the other 2/3 of Israel attempt to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob while continuing to reject the New Covenant of Jesus Christ.  Their sacrifices, in an attempt to atone for sin in an Old Covenant way, would be unacceptable to God.

The sacrifices and offerings in and of themselves aren’t necessarily bad, as these will be re-instituted in the Millennial Kingdom by God Himself as a memorial of what Jesus has done.  It will be the heart of why the sacrifices are being done that will make them either pleasing or an abomination to God.

The Holy Covenant

While I believe that Daniel 11:29-35 was fulfilled by Antiochus Ephiphanes historically, it seems possible that the antichrist may also be in view as a type of dual fulfillment in this passage.  Starting in verse 36 there is really no debate that the antichrist himself is in view.  What may be happening here is a type of dramatic fade from one character to the next (as occurs when describing a literal king fading into a description of satan in both Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28):

At the time appointed he shall return and come into the south, but it shall not be this time as it was before.  For ships of Kittim shall come against him, and he shall be afraid and withdraw, and shall turn back and be enraged and take action against the holy covenant. He shall turn back and pay attention to those who forsake the holy covenant.  Forces from him shall appear and profane the temple and fortress, and shall take away the regular burnt offering. And they shall set up the abomination that makes desolate.  He shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant, but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action.  And the wise among the people shall make many understand, though for some days they shall stumble by sword and flame, by captivity and plunder. When they stumble, they shall receive a little help. And many shall join themselves to them with flattery,  and some of the wise shall stumble, so that they may be refined, purified, and made white, until the time of the end, for it still awaits the appointed time. “And the king shall do as he wills. He shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak astonishing things against the God of gods.  He shall prosper till the indignation is accomplished; for what is decreed shall be done.  Daniel 11:29-36 ESV

If this passage describes the antichrist, it would seem to support the view that the covenant that is confirmed with Daniel’s holy people in 9:27 is indeed a “holy covenant” with God.  This passage describes those who know their God as standing firm, while those who rebel against God would seem to violate or forsake the covenant.

Types and Shadows

Update Mar 2/18:  Tonight as I was reading my children’s Bible to my kids, we read the passage where John the Baptist was born.  Remember that John came “in the spirit of Elijah”.  John proclaimed that the kingdom of heaven was near, and prepared the way for the Lord at His first coming.  The relevant passage is in Luke chapter 1:

 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
    for he has visited and redeemed his people
 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
    in the house of his servant David,
 as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
 that we should be saved from our enemies
    and from the hand of all who hate us;
 to show the mercy promised to our fathers
    and to remember his holy covenant,
 the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
     that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,
     in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
    for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
 to give knowledge of salvation to his people
    in the forgiveness of their sins,
 because of the tender mercy of our God,
    whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
    to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

Luke 1:68-79 ESV

Reading this just struck me with the mention of Jesus coming to redeem his people and to be salvation for them, tied together with God remembering his holy covenant that he swore to Abraham.  We know that in the latter days, God will again send 2 witnesses – one of them who is expected to be Elijah – to prepare the way for the Lord and to announce that the kingdom of heaven is at hand.  These will give knowledge of salvation to His people.  Is this again tied to God “remembering” His holy covenant with Abraham’s bloodline descendants?

Summary

I have come to believe that the covenant that is confirmed with the “many” in Daniel 9:27 quite possibly refers to God re-establishing His Abrahamic (lineage and land) Covenant with the people of Israel.  God, in His own perfect timing, will “hook the jaws” of Gog and make it appear that Israel is on the verge of annihilation.  He will do this specifically so that He can intervene and prevent her destruction – thus re-confirming His covenant with her.

I believe that the event that causes the impending destruction upon Israel, and results in the strengthening of the Abrahamic Covenant, is most likely to be the Ezekiel 38-39 War (likely coincident with the rapture of the church).  This will mark the fullness of the gentiles having come into the New Covenant and release the partial hardening that has been on Israel for the last 2000 years (Romans 11:25).  This will begin her national restoration (Romans 11:26).

I believe that Israel’s response to God’s miraculous intervention will involve rebuilding the Third Temple and restarting sacrifices and offerings to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  The Two Witnesses may guide or oppose this process, I’m not sure.  It depends on the heart of why the sacrifices are being done that will make them either pleasing or offensive to God.  Daniel 11 seems to indicate that the sacrifices and offerings might be a pleasing thing to God, as an act of worship (not to atone for sin, as that has been completed once and for all through Jesus Christ).

Following this, it seems that the majority of Israel will continue to look for a “new” messiah… and that they will find and embrace one who comes “in his own name”.

And one week shall establish the covenant with many: and in the midst of the week my sacrifice and drink-offering shall be taken away: and on the temple shall be the abomination of desolations; and at the end of time an end shall be put to the desolation.”  (Daniel 9:27 LXX Interlinear Translation, Samuel Bagster and Sons, London, 1792)

In the middle of the week of years, the antichrist will claim to be “god”, stop sacrifices and offerings to God, and set up the abomination of desolation.  When Jesus Christ appears at the Second Coming, 1260 days later, He will put an end to the desolation and the Desolator.


For Further Reading:

Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

Bible Covenants

Why Israel Rejected Jesus at His First Coming

Discussion of the Antichrist

Discussion of Mystery Babylon

Overview of Coming Prophetic Wars

Nation Rising Against Nation, Kingdom Rising Against Kingdom – WW3

Target Israel: The Destruction of Damascus – Isaiah 17

Target Israel: Arab-Israeli Promised Land War of Psalm 83

Target Israel: Gog and Magog War of Ezekiel 38 & 39

Triumph: The Beast Rises to Power

Daniel’s 70 Weeks

God’s Mosaic – A Whole Scripture Overview of Things To Come

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture.  I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

Who is the Antichrist and What Will He Do?

Expectations of a Future Savior

Almost all world religions point to some type of climactic event occurring in the future.  This event ranges from either enlightenment, a time of peace, or a cataclysmic ending.  These teachings often feature a “savior” or “messiah” figure in coordination with the climactic event.

Orthodox Jews (those who reject Jesus Christ as Messiah) are also anticipating a time of chaos, out of which will arise one or two messianic-type figures:

When one studies rabbinic views of the Messiah one finds something very interesting. Many ancient rabbis spoke of two Messiahs, one who was the “Son of David” and another who was the “Son of Joseph.” Though one can find the sufferings of Messiah attributed to the sufferings of the Davidic Messiah in many rabbinic writings, often a second Messiah is posited, the “Son of Joseph” or “Son of Ephraim,” who is the one who suffers while the Davidic Messiah conquers. The rabbis struggled with Biblical portraits of a suffering Messiah, as found in Isaiah 53 and other places, and portraits of a conquering Messiah, also found in the Hebrew Bible. They posited two Messiahs, but could it not also be reasonable to believe there is just one Messiah but two aspects of his mission, a suffering aspect and a conquering aspect?

The eminent scholar Raphael Patai, who “taught Hebrew at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem” and served as Professor of Anthropology at Dropsie University,1said this of the two-messiah theory:

“When the death of the Messiah became an established tenet in Talmudic times, this was felt to be irreconcilable with the belief in the Messiah as Redeemer who would usher in the blissful millennium of the Messianic Age. The dilemma was solved by splitting the person of the Messiah in two: one of them, called Messiah ben Joseph, was to raise the armies of Israel against their enemies, and, after many victories and miracles, would fall victim Gog and Magog. The other, Messiah ben David, will come after him (in some legends will bring him back to life, which psychologically hints at the identity of the two), and will lead Israel to the ultimate victory, the triumph, and the Messianic era of bliss.”

Source: The Two-Messiah Theory  https://www.chaim.org/2messiah.htm

Take note of the expectation:  One Messiah, Messiah ben Joseph, will fight and win wars for Israel and then be killed.  The second Messiah (perhaps the resurrected Messiah ben Joseph), Messiah ben David, will then lead Israel into the Messianic Kingdom.  This is exactly what we find in the description of the ANTICHRIST in scripture.

Jewish Messianic Expectations

As Christians, we believe that Jesus fulfilled the Suffering Servant role in His first coming, and will fulfill the Conquering King role in His second coming.  However, the Jews who rejected Jesus are still anticipating the coming of a Messiah.  For an analysis of why they rejected Jesus but will accept the antichrist, see this post: Why Israel Rejected Jesus at His First Coming.

The Jews are expecting the coming messiah to:

  • be descended from King David on his father’s side (see Genesis 49:10, Isaiah 11:1, Jeremiah 23:5, 33:17; Ezekiel 34:23-24).  According to Jewish sources, the Messiah will be born of human parents and possess normal physical attributes like other people. He will not be a demi-god, (2) nor will he possess supernatural qualities.
  • promise a future age of perfection characterized by universal peace and recognition of “God” (Isaiah 2:1-4, 32:15-18, 60:15-18; Zephaniah 3:9; Hosea 2:20-22; Amos 9:13-15; Micah 4:1-4; Zechariah 8:23, 14:9; Jeremiah 31:33-34)
  • build, or allow the building of, the third temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).
  • gather all Hebrew tribes back to the land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).
  • lead the Jewish people to full Torah observance (Old Testament sacrificial system). (Deut. 13:1-4)
  • reveal himself to the Jews at a national (not individual) level (Foundations of Torah, ch. 8; Deut. 5:3)

One Who Comes in His Own Name

Jesus foretold that while Israel nationally rejected Him, at some point in the future they will receive one who comes in his own name:

I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him.  (John 5:43 ESV)

Jesus came in His Father’s name to do his Father’s will, but was rejected.  God is about to present to them an alternative – the anti-messiah.  Whom will they accept?

Jesus warned that many would come claiming to be the Christ. These numerous lesser antichrists who were already in the world, as the Apostle John explained in 1 John:2:18, would prepare the way for the real Antichrist who would appear in the last of the “last days.” Behold the ultimate deception: Satan posing as God, Antichrist masquerading as the true Christ, and not just the world but an apostate church as well totally taken in by the bold fraud. Instead of a frontal assault on Christianity, the evil one will pervert the church from within by posing as its founder. He will cunningly misrepresent Christ while pretending to be Christ. And by that process of substitution, he will undermine and pervert all that Christ truly is. Anything less than such a diabolically malevolent strategy would be unworthy of Satan’s foul genius.

—Excerpt taken from Countdown to the Second Coming by Dave Hunt

Source: http://thebereancall.com/search?q=countdown-to-the-second-coming 

The anti-christ (anti-messiah) is going to try to parallel what Jesus did at His first coming, in addition to appearing to fulfill what Jesus will do at His second coming.  The Jews did not foresee the two-part role of the messiah, and were legitimately baffled when the Messianic Kingdom wasn’t inaugurated at Jesus’ first coming.  In this way, the anti-messiah will appear to clear up all confusion and will be received.

The God of His Fathers

The earliest view of the church was that the antichrist, when he appeared, would try to convince the Jews that he was their messiah.  This makes sense, and is well supported in scripture.

Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.  (Daniel 11:37 ESV)

While some translations state that the antichrist will not regard the “gods of his fathers”, the phrase “God of his fathers” is commonly used to refer to God, Yahweh (Genesis 31:29, 46:1,3; Exodus 3:16; 2 Kings 21:22; 1 Chronicles 28:9; Jeremiah 19:4; 2 Chronicles 33:12; Daniel 2:23).  The “fathers” referenced are very specifically Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and this would be perfectly understood by the Jewish audience.  Thus, if the antichrist is not regarding the “God of his fathers”, he must be Jewish.  Note that it also states he won’t regard any other god, either, besides the God of his fathers.  Instead, he will claim to be god himself.

The Identity of the Antichrist

There is much speculation on the identity of the antichrist.  You may be hoping that I will spill the beans and let you in on a little secret.  While I am certain that the man who will become the antichrist is currently alive and being primed for his position, we cannot know who he is.  He will not be revealed until the Restrainer has been removed, which I believe is the Holy Spirit dwelling within the body of Christ.  Thus, speculation into who he could be is probably a waste of time.  He might be someone of importance and power now, or he could be hidden and unknown.

What does seem abundantly clear to me is that the antichrist will be (or claim to be) a bloodline Jew, in order to fulfill Jewish messianic expectations.  He will not be of Roman, Islamic, or Assyrian descent, although he may arise out of one of those countries.

Some teach that the antichrist will come from a revived Roman Empire, based on the belief that the “he” refers back to the “people of the prince who is to come” in Daniel 9:26.  The Romans were indeed the ones who defeated Jerusalem and sacked the Temple in 70 AD.  Since the people who destroyed Jerusalem were the Romans, many see the prince as being from a revived Roman empire of sorts.  But does it have to be so?  When the Romans destroyed the second temple, it was truly the “people of the prince” who destroyed it.  This was despite the “prince”, Titus, issuing a command 3 times for them to specifically NOT destroy the temple.  Titus and his people fulfilled that role so accurately, that it seems that we will be looking at an entirely new and separately identified figure.  While the Roman Catholic church has many false teachings that are “anti-christ”, I do not believe that it, nor the pope, will fulfill the role of the actual “Antichrist”.   I have studied this more completely in The Covenant With Many – Daniel 9:27.

The claim that the antichrist will be Islamic is based on Islamic prophecies of the coming “Imam Mahdi”. This should tip you off right off the bat, that we should be studying Biblical prophecies, not ones from false religions.  Satan has had 6000 years to read the Bible.  He is fully aware of what is to come, and has had plenty of time to weave his “partial truths” in with actual truth and blatant lies.  This has been his strategy since Eden.  I fully believe that the Islamic religion and nations will cease to be a concern for Israel after the prophesied wars of Psalm 83, Ezekiel 38-39, and the Antichrist’s rise to power.

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Nor do I believe that the antichrist will be Assyrian.  Assyria was an ancient empire, whom God used to judge Israel in the past.  The present-day location of this empire is in Iraq.  Proponents of this view mention Isaiah 10 and Micah 5, which both reference Assyria and an Assyrian king.  Micah 5 states:

When the Assyrian comes into our land
    and treads in our palaces,
then we will raise against him seven shepherds
    and eight princes of men;
they shall shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword,
    and the land of Nimrod at its entrances;
and he shall deliver us from the Assyrian
    when he comes into our land
    and treads within our border.  (Micah 5:5-6 ESV)

I do not believe that the antichrist will come AGAINST Israel, but will try to WOO her as her messiah. She won’t believe that she is being attacked, but rather protected by this man.  Israel won’t raise shepherds and princes against him, but will follow him in the ultimate act of harlotry.  They will entice the world to follow him as well.  I detail that in Who is Mystery Babylon, and What Does She Do?

Scripture, and Bible prophecy in particular, is about Israel and its’ physical and spiritual descendants.  The consummation of scripture will include the fulfillment of all Old Testament prophecies and covenants.  Daniel specifically states that the prophecy he received was for his holy people and holy city (Israelites and Jerusalem).  God’s covenant relationship is with Israel alone, and the books of Daniel and Revelation (Ezekiel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Zechariah…) tell the story of how their relationship concludes.

The Sidekick – “Elijah”

This messiah figure will be accompanied, or preceded, by a prophet.  The Jews are expecting this to be Elijah.  For further discussion on the false prophet that will announce and accompany the antichrist, see Who is the False Prophet and What Does He Do?.

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.  And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”  (Malachi 4:5-6 ESV)

Note that God will send His own 2 Witnesses to preach truth during the antichrist’s rise to power (the Messiah ben Joseph phase), although this truth will be rejected by the majority in favor of satan’s lies.  Note that God will send TWO witnesses, whereas satan will only have one.

Every charge must be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.  (2 Corinthians 13:1; Deut 17:6, 19:15).

The false prophet will point to the false christ.  God’s Two Witnesses will point to Jesus Christ.  Who will Israel choose to believe, the false prophet, or God’s Two Witnesses?

The Covenant With Many

There is an upcoming covenant of interest, in which someone will “make (confirm, strengthen) a strong covenant with many for one week” (Daniel 9:27). The covenant would involve Israel, Jerusalem, and its people, but more nations may be involved.  The covenant(s) may be presented of open-ended length, but we are made aware that it will only last 7 years.  I have more fully discussed that in The Covenant With Many, but will summarize here!

Traditional interpretation suggests that the covenant will be confirmed, or made, by the man who will become the antichrist.  The covenant may be one of peace (at least for Israel), as the antichrist attempts to fulfill the messianic expectations of the Jews (Ezekiel 34:25; Isaiah 54:10).  Notably, the word “peace” is not mentioned in the description of the covenant in Daniel.

Thus, the covenant may not specifically be a “peace treaty”.  The Jews believe that the coming messiah will renew the covenant they already havethe Sinai covenant of the Law.  Chris White, in his book The False Christ, suggests that the “Jewish view of the phrase ‘new covenant’ is no more than a renewed national commitment to abide by God’s laws”.  The covenant might be renewed through the rebuilding of the altar of sacrifice, the establishment of the sacrificial system, and the rebuilding of the Temple.

Alternately, it may be God that re-affirms His Abrahamic (lineage and land) covenant with Israel at this time.  God, in His own perfect timing, will “hook the jaws” of Gog and make it appear that Israel is on the verge of annihilation.  He will do this specifically so that He can intervene and prevent her destruction – thus re-confirming His covenant with her.  I believe that Israel’s response to God’s miraculous intervention will involve rebuilding the Third Temple and restarting sacrifices and offerings to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  The Two Witnesses may guide or oppose this process, I’m not sure.  It depends on the heart of why the sacrifices are being done that will make them either pleasing or offensive to God.

The antichrist would also perhaps be involved in negotiating additional peace or land treaties during this same timeframe.  Regardless of how the covenant plays out, when it is made, it will restart the clock on Daniel’s 70th Week.

 

The Antichrist Rises to Power

Following the rapture of the invisible body of Christ, the restraint on the antichrist’s rise to power will be released.

For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.  And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.  (2 Thessalonians 2:7-8 ESV)

For further discussion on the restraint being lifted, please see:  The Restrainer and the Restrained, That Day Will Not Come Until, and The Four Horsemen.  This initial rise to power will occur over a period of approximately 3.5 years (possibly up to 6.5 years), and will represent “Mashiach ben Yosef.  During this time period, the false messiah will fight, and win, wars for Israel.  This will seem to fulfill Jewish expectations of the messiah – destruction of the enemies of Israel.

Following a major power vacuum, the world will be divided into four parts.  These four kingdoms will have specific characteristics.  The one the antichrist will arise in is called “The Beast”.

After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, terrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong. It had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.  I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things. (Daniel 7:7-8 ESV)

The fourth “beast” kingdom is described as exceedingly strong; no hint of weakness is mentioned.  It takes over the rest of the world that isn’t encompassed by the other three kingdoms.  That it has 10 horns suggests that it will arise with a coalition of 10 leaders.   An eleventh leader will rise up and replace 3 of these leaders, resulting in (presumably) an 8-leader kingdom.  This eleventh leader is identified as the antichrist, or false messiah.  This strong leader speaks “great things” and is “greater than his companions” (Daniel 7:19-20).  The antichrist’s rise to power is further detailed here:  Triumph: The Beast Rises to Power.

 

The Antichrist’s Death and Resurrection

So far we have gone through an overview of the first half of Daniel’s 70th week, where some type of covenant was confirmed with Israel and the antichrist has risen to power.  This is likely done under Jewish messianic expectations of the anti-messiah (Messiah ben Joseph) fighting and winning wars for them.  Around the 3.5 year mark, this messiah figure will set up his headquarters (“palatial tents”) in Jerusalem and declare it to be the capital city of the world.  This is again what Jews are expecting from the “messianic kingdom age”.  But first, just as all prophecies indicate, this messiah figure is about to die:

“And he shall pitch his palatial tents between the sea and the glorious holy mountain. Yet he shall come to his end, with none to help him.  At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time.”  Daniel 11:45-12:1 ESV

Israel will mourn over his death (seemingly in fulfillment of Zechariah 12:10, which won’t come to TRUE fulfillment until the second coming of Christ).  Then, the anti-messiah will be miraculously resurrected from the dead:

One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast.  And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?”  Revelation 13:3-4 ESV

The resurrection will be through God’s power (only God has the power to give and take life), to fulfill His plans and purposes.  Basically, the antichrist is the final test for God’s people.  Will they pass and choose Jesus Christ, or will they fail and choose the anti-messiah?  It is at this point, right before, during, and after his death and resurrection, that the antichrist will set up his headquarters in Jerusalem (Dan 11:45), kill God’s two Witnesses (Rev 11:7), claim to be “god” (2 Thess 2:3-4), and set up the abomination of desolation.  Through this, the anti-messiah will be trying to fake the millennial reign of Jesus Christ.  It is at this point that the “Messiah ben David” role will take over (in Jewish expectation).

 

The Antichrist’s World Rule

When I was studying the prewrath rapture models, I came across the studies of Chris White, and it is through him that I first encountered the “contemporous beast theory”.  I encourage you to consider his teachings if you want to understand it further.  To introduce it to you, I want you to note that if you take the beasts in Daniel 7 – a lion with wings, a bear, a four-headed leopard, and a ten-horned beast – and combine them all together, you get a seven-headed, ten-horned beast with lion, bear, and leopard characteristics.  And, this just happens to be exactly what we see when the antichrist declares to be “god”:

And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads.  And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth.  (Revelation 13:1-2 ESV)

The antichrist’s power will come from satan:

And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority.  One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast.  And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?” (Rev 13:2-4 ESV) 

It seems that the world will marvel after and follow the beast because of his apparent resurrection from the dead as well as his miltary prowess.  The antichrist’s 1260 days of rule (the last half of Daniel’s 70th week, or the last half of the covenant with many) is described further in Revelation 13:

And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven.  Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.  If anyone has an ear, let him hear: If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.  (Revelation 13:5-10 ESV)

The antichrist’s rule will now be worldwide.  The antichrist-beast’s rule is also described in the book of Daniel:

“As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them,  until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom.  “Thus he said: ‘As for the fourth beast, there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all the kingdoms, and it shall devour the whole earth, and trample it down, and break it to pieces.  As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise, and another shall arise after them; he shall be different from the former ones, and shall put down three kings. He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.”  (Daniel 7:21-25 ESV)

Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.  (Revelation 12:17 ESV)

Daniel 7:21-25 and 12:1 describe the turning point where the Antichrist’s Kingdom has taken over the entire world.  This is the time of “greatest tribulation” for followers of Jesus Christ.  (Matthew 24:15-16, 21-22)  It will be a period of intense persecution and martyrdom for Christians (tribulation saints).

In Jewish end times study, once the Millennial Kingdom is established, they expect that unrepentant gentiles will be killed.  All will be expected to submit to their messiah as “god”.  I believe that this period of “greatest tribulation” starts from within the Jewish community that has embraced the antichrist, based on what Jesus says here:

But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. Mark 13:9 ESV

It seems that the beating of followers of Jesus Christ will be in synagogues, the Jewish places of worship, among other places I’m sure.

Protection for the Elect Remnant of Israel

We have spent much time on the antichrist and his rise to power, but we also need to discuss God’s remarkable escape plan for the elect remnant of Israel which He has called unto Himself.  Right after the antichrist’s mortal wound and “miraculous” resurrection (at which point he is likely possessed by satan), he will seat himself in the Jewish Temple and proclaim himself to be “god”.  He will cause all sacrifices to cease.  This is the trigger for those in Israel to flee to the wilderness/mountains:

So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.  For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.  And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.   (Matthew 24:15-16, 21-22 ESV)

And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.  But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.  The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood.  But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth.  (Revelation 12:13-16 ESV)

 …and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.  (Revelation 12:6 ESV)

Those who obediently flee to the place prepared for them will be sheltered under the wings of God Almighty.  This will likely be done through the leading and the protection of the archangel Michael:

Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. (Exodus 23:20 ESV)

At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book.  (Daniel 12:1 ESV)

Michael is the angel assigned to protect Israel (Jude 1:9).  It appears that Michael will stand for the obedient elect Israel who flee to the wilderness.  He will stand guard over them for the 1260 days of the antichrist’s rule – this is why Edom (Jordan) escapes out of the antichrist’s hand.  This leading to, and protection in, the wilderness is a similar parallel to the first exodus.  Perhaps God will even supply His people with manna once again 🙂

After the time of trouble, God’s people shall be delivered.  After 1260 days of Beast-Rule, the Beast Kingdom is destroyed – but not by human hands.

The Antichrist’s End

The antichrist is granted 1260 days of authority by God.  After this, his reign will come to an end at the appointed time  – at the second coming of Jesus Christ.  The antichrist will be judged in the court of the Ancient of Days, will be found guilty, and will be thrown into the Lake of Fire.  Daniel sees a vision of this:

“As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames;  its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and came out from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened. “I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire.  As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion  and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.”  Daniel 7:9-14 ESV

But the court shall sit in judgment, and his dominion shall be taken away, to be consumed and destroyed to the end. And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; his kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.’  Daniel 7:26-27 ESV

John also saw a vision of this:

And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.  Revelation 19:20 ESV

Both Daniel’s and John’s visions confirm that this judgment of the Beast occurs at the end of his rule, right before the Millennial Kingdom begins.  Jesus will come and destroy the antichrist and his false prophet, and chain satan and his fallen horde for 1000 years in the abyss.  After the Antichrist is destroyed at Armageddon, living humans will survive and continue into the Millennial Kingdom after the Sheep and Goats judgment. This is what is meant by the rest of the beasts (the lion, bear, and leopard) have their dominion taken away but their lives are prolonged for a time – some of these nations are specifically identified in the Bible as existing during the Millennial Kingdom.  One example of this is Egypt (Zechariah 14:16-19).

A Kingdom That Cannot Be Shaken

The ultimate endpoint is that Jesus will overthrow all the kingdoms of the world and set up His kingdom that can never be shaken:

For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest  and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them.  For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.”  Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.”  But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,  and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

 See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven.  At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.”  This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain.  Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe,  for our God is a consuming fire.  

Hebrews 12:18-29 ESV

God will use all things for the good, for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.  Even the antichrist, his false religion, and the time of tribulation.  Jesus Christ will reign victorious!

Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus!


Further Resources:

Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

Triumph:  The Beast Rises to Power

Chris White – False Christ (book);  False Christ (YouTube)

The Religion of the AntichristMatt Walker 

Wounded Warriors – The Lamb Above and the Beast Below

The Second Coming of the Antichrist – Peter D. Goodgame (book); (YouTube)

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  Be a Berean – examine the scriptures for yourself to see if these things are so!

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Who is the False Prophet and What Will He Do?

Then I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon.  It exercised all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed.  And it performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of the people.  Because of the signs it was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived the inhabitants of the earth. It ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived.  The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed.  It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666.

Revelation 13:11-18 ESV

While I believe that the person (being?) who will become the false prophet is alive today, I feel that there is no point in speculating who he might be at this time.  I believe he is currently being restrained by the Restrainer, along with the antichrist.  Once this restraint has been lifted, the false prophet’s identity will become extremely obvious to those who are paying attention.

One Witness, in the Name of Elijah?

The false prophet functions as the third member of the “unholy trinity”, along with the antichrist (false messiah) and satan (the dragon) (Revelation 16:13).  He may claim to be “Elijah”, whom the Jews are expecting to come before the “Day of the Lord”:

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.  And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”  (Malachi 4:5-6 ESV)

This Jewish expectation of Elijah is played out every Passover, where a cup of wine is placed for him at the Passover meal.  A chair is also set out for Elijah at circumcision ceremonies.  The Passover Haggadah hymn also references Elijah – “Elijah the Prophet, Elijah the Tishbite, Elijah the Giladite, May he soon (in our days) come to us, with the messiah son of David”.

Note that God will send His own 2 Witnesses to preach truth (Revelation 11), although it will be rejected by the majority in favor of satan’s lies.  Note that God will send TWO witnesses, whereas satan will only have one.

Every charge must be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.  (2 Corinthians 13:1; Deut 17:6, 19:15).

The false prophet will arise “out of the earth” as opposed to the antichrist arising “out of the sea”.  While the sea depicts humanity, the earth is less clear.  Perhaps he arises out of the pit of the earth (hell/abyss).  He is depicted as having horns like a lamb but speaking like a dragon.  He will appear gentle, docile, and persuasive; however, his words will come straight from satan (the dragon).

Signs and Wonders

The false prophet is empowered by satan in action and speech:

The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders,  and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 ESV)

And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority.  (Revelation 13:2 ESV)

And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. (Revelation 12:9 ESV)

The false prophet is permitted by God, and empowered by satan, to perform “great signs”.  These signs and wonders might include a number of things, but it will certainly include calling “fire to come down from heaven to earth” (Revelation 13:13).  Fire coming down from heaven could include asteroids, meteors, volcanic activity, or possibly even supernatural fire and brimstone.  Chris White, in his book “False Christ”, notes that to the Jews, this calling down fire from heaven is almost the same as declaring himself to be Elijah.  Elijah is the only prophet in the Bible who performed such a feat, which he did three times.  These signs and wonders will deceive humanity, through the “wow” factor, into following the false prophet’s teachings.

Worship Director

The primary function of the false prophet is to bring worship to the antichrist.  He will set up an image of the antichrist, likely in the Jewish Temple, and will be given power to bring it to life.  Whether it has actual LIFE or is something like a hologram (statue?  android? hybrid creature? clone?) remains to be seen.  The image of the antichrist will proclaim the message of the antichrist.  It will “kill” all who refuse to worship it.  This “living” image, which “speaks” and demands worship, is likely to be the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel:

So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.  Matthew 24:15-16 ESV

And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.  Daniel 9:27 ESV

Israel is to worship the Lord God and serve Him only (Deut 6:13, 10:20; Luke 4:8).  Thus, setting up an idol of another god for the prime purpose of receiving worship in the Holy of Holies in the Jewish Temple is the ultimate abomination against Yahweh.

Since we are told in Revelation 13 that the false prophet is the one who organizes the setting up of the image that will be worshiped, it is possible that the “he” who makes the strong covenant with “many” and then later stops the sacrifice and offering is actually the false prophet:

And he [no antecedant; it is perfectly natural that following such a time gap a new character might be introduced.] shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”  Daniel 9:26-27 ESV

The one who comes on the “wing of abominations” is the one who makes desolate until he meets his appointed end – this is clearly the antichrist.  However, the “he” who makes the strong covenant may or may not be the one who comes on the wing of abominations.  That is, this verse could be talking about the false prophet THEN the antichrist; the antichrist could be in view both times; there may be no first “he”; or God might confirm His Abrahamic covenant with Israel, followed by the antichrist making stopping sacrifice and making desolate.  It will become very clear as the events unfold in real time.

Mark of the Beast System

Once the antichrist’s world rule has been established, the False Prophet will set up the Mark of the Beast system.  Despite rumors that it is already in existence, it is not.  No one will be able to take the Mark accidentally or unknowingly.  The Mark will be related to the worship of the antichrist, and will declare allegiance to him.  It will be required for all economic transactions.  Unfortunately, taking the antichrist’s Mark seals each person’s fate with the wrath of God:

And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand,  he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.  And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”  (Revelation 14:9-11 ESV)

At the end of the antichrist’s world rule (1260 days), the False Prophet will face the same fate as the antichrist – being tossed into the Lake of Fire by Jesus Christ.

And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.  (Revelation 19:20 ESV)

They will later be joined in the Lake of Fire by satan:

…and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.  (Revelation 20:10 ESV)

God’s purposes and plans will be carried out exactly as He has foretold.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV

Further Resources:

Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

The Covenant With Many

Who is the Antichrist and What Does He Do?

God’s Mosaic – A Whole Scripture Overview of Things To Come

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture.  I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details, some of which I think might need to be adjusted slightly.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

wolf-sheep1_000

Triumph: The Beast (Antichrist) Rises to Power

The Book of Daniel clearly describes the future Antichrist’s rise to power.  This man will likely claim to be the Jewish “messiah”.  The Jews are expecting their “messiah” to fight wars for them and win… and that is exactly what the antichrist will do.  God will allow this for the specific purpose of testing Israel.  Will they follow the true Messiah – Jesus Christ – or the false messiah who comes in his own name?

I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him.  (John 5:43 ESV)

The book of Daniel contains a number of prophecies.  Some were fulfilled so accurately in the 600 years or so after it was written, that the book uniquely and clearly demonstrates the omniscience of God.  Some of Daniel’s prophecies are reserved for the “time of the end”.  I have no doubt that these will be fulfilled just as literally.

An overview of the Antichrist, as well as the 70 Weeks Prophecy of Daniel, will be discussed separately.  Here, we will examine Daniel’s prophecies of the false messiah (antichrist)’s rise to power.  Much of my understanding in this initially came from researching Chris White’s teachings in his book The False Christ, so I refer you there for further study (although we disagree on rapture timing and a number of other end times prophetic details).

I tend to see the antichrist’s rise to power as occurring AFTER the wars detailed in “nation rising against nation”, Isaiah 17, Psalm 83, and Ezekiel 38-39.  However, it’s possible that these wars are part of this rise to power.  I’m confident that it will become apparent as it unfolds.  I’m certain that the antichrist’s rise to power begins after the rapture of the church.

Details of the Antichrist’s rise to power is given in Daniel Chapters 7 through 12.

Daniel 7 – The Vision of the Four Beasts

In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel saw a dream and visions of his head as he lay in his bed. Then he wrote down the dream and told the sum of the matter. (Daniel 7:1 ESV)

In Daniel chapter 7, Daniel is given a vision of 4 beasts.  While the beasts are similar in some ways to his previous vision of the statue in Chapter 2, these visions are not describing the same kingdoms.  Daniel is told that these four great beasts are four kings (kingdoms) who shall arise out of the earth (v17).

The vision of the beasts is a picture of the four kingdoms that will be on the earth at the same time as one another, when the Antichrist begins his rise to power.  We know this, because at the end of the “little horn” (antichrist)’s rule, he is slain and thrown in the lake of fire (also detailed in Revelation 19).  Then the other beasts (kingdoms) are stripped of their authority, but are allowed to live for a time.  This could not be true if the kingdoms were successive in nature, rather than co-existing.  It is true that the antichrist beast does overwhelm and overtake these other kingdoms, and assimilate them into his own, but from this vision we see that they retain some semblance of existence at the Second Coming of Christ.

Despite the alarming vision, Daniel is reassured not to worry, because the Saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever and ever (V18; Revelation 2:26-27; Revelation 20:4).

There is no point in trying to identify these kingdoms in our current age, as they will not be revealed until the church age has closed.   The connections will be obvious when the time comes.  I understand that it’s interesting to speculate, but I feel that for the most part it is a very subjective and useless venture.  The world’s political climate, as well as its’ social and economic one, will MARKEDLY change with the opening of the seals and the rapture of the church.

The Four Kingdoms

In the near future, the world will be divided into four political kingdoms.  My anticipation is that the events surrounding the opening of the 7-Sealed Scroll of Revelation 6, including the rapture of the church, will unleash such catastrophe upon the world that a major power vacuum will result. It is impossible to overstate what a mess of devastation the world will be in at this time.

The establishment of these 4 Kingdoms will come after wars (WW3?  Isaiah 17?  Psalm 83?  Ezekiel 38-39?), natural disasters on a global scale, and economic collapse.

And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.  (Revelation 7:1 ESV)

THEN…

Daniel declared, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea. And four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another. (Daniel 7:2-3 ESV) 

Once the body of Christ is safely tucked up in heaven and the 144,000 elect Israelites have been sealed, the four winds are released by the four angels.  The winds immediately move to churn up the great sea.  The great sea is a reference to sinful humanity (Isaiah 17:12-13; Revelation 13:1,11; Revelation 17:1,15), and the four winds are used to represent the known world – which in our case, is global (Jeremiah 49:36; Daniel 8:8; Matthew 24:31).  This is when we will see four kingdoms burst forth suddenly upon the world, at the same time.  They should be identifiable by the specific characteristics given in the book of Daniel.

Interestingly, there is one passage in the Bible in which God describes Himself as having the characteristics of the animals in the kingdoms:

So I am to them like a lion; like a leopard I will lurk beside the way.  I will fall upon them like a bear robbed of her cubs; I will tear open their breast, and there I will devour them like a lion, as a wild beast would rip them open.

Hosea 13:7-8 ESV

I would anticipate that this reference confirms that God is fully in charge of the kings and kingdoms of this world.

Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
    to whom belong wisdom and might.
He changes times and seasons;
    he removes kings and sets up kings;
he gives wisdom to the wise
    and knowledge to those who have understanding.

Daniel 2:20-21 ESV

Despite their evil intentions and actions, God will use these latter-days kingdoms to refine His people and draw them to Himself.

 

Kingdom 1 – The Lion

The first was like a lion and had eagles’ wings. Then as I looked its wings were plucked off, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man, and the mind of a man was given to it. (Daniel 7:4 ESV)

Chris White notes that a kingdom that is like a lion with the wings of an eagle would be brave, strong, and swift (2 Samuel 1:23 mentions that David and Jonathan were “swifter than eagles, stronger than lions”).  A kingdom acting swiftly, then getting its’ wings plucked off and being reduced to two feet, would symbolize it being slowed down quite considerably.  Likewise, having a lion’s “heart” of bravery and boldness transformed into a man’s mind, would actually be a downgrade for the beast (kingdom).  2 Samuel 17:10 and Proverbs 28:1 both refer to the heart of a lion indicating boldness.

To identify the Lion, look for a kingdom that rises up swiftly and boldly, then is reduced in speed and bravery.  It’s possible that this kingdom is tied in to the King of the South, who attacks the antichrist but will be subdued by him (Daniel 11:40).

Kingdom 2 – The Bear

And behold, another beast, a second one, like a bear. It was raised up on one side. It had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth; and it was told, ‘Arise, devour much flesh.’ (Daniel 7:5 ESV)

Chris White notes that a kingdom that is like a bear would be ferocious.  A bear is most ferocious when deprived of her cubs (Hosea 13:7-8), or when someone comes between her and her cubs.  Perhaps the bear-kingdom will arise or act out of a perceived sense of threat to itself or its inhabitants.  That the kingdom is raised up on its side is passive, suggesting someone or something else is doing the raising.  Who raises it up?  Is it the winds of God? This kingdom is commanded to devour much flesh.  Who is doing the commanding?  Perhaps  the winds that stirred it up?  The three ribs likely represent three initial conquests by this kingdom.

To identify the Bear, look for a kingdom has three identifiable conquests.  Look for a ferocious kingdom that may be acting in self-defense, and that may be raised up with assistance from another kingdom or source.  It’s possible that this kingdom is tied in to the King of the North, who attacks the antichrist but will be overwhelmed by him (Daniel 11:40).

Kingdom 3 – The Leopard

 After this I looked, and behold, another, like a leopard, with four wings of a bird on its back. And the beast had four heads, and dominion was given to it. (Daniel 7:6 ESV)

Again referring to Chris White’s research, a kingdom that is like a leopard with wings would be very swift indeed.  Scripture describes leopards as tearing into pieces (Jeremiah 5:6), swift (Habakkuk 1:8), and lying in wait for prey (Jeremiah 5:6, Hosea 13:7).  Note that this leopard has four heads.

To identify the Leopard, look for a kingdom that rises very quickly to power in a calculated and opportune way.  Look for a connection with 4 leaders or 4 main nations.  It may “lay in wait” patiently before suddenly rising up extremely quickly.  Perhaps this kingdom is associated with the King of the East, or “news” from the east that troubles the antichrist (Daniel 11:44).  It may make an agreement with the “King of the North”.

Kingdom 4 – The Beast

After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, terrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong. It had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.  I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things. (Daniel 7:7-8 ESV)

The fourth kingdom is described as exceedingly strong; no hint of weakness is mentioned.  It takes over the rest of the world that isn’t encompassed by the other three kingdoms.  It is different in some way than the other beasts that are in front of it.  (Chris White notes that the word used for “before” here is always used in a spatial sense, never a time sense).  That it has 10 horns suggests that it will arise with a coalition of 10 leaders.   An eleventh leader will rise up and replace 3 of these leaders, resulting in (presumably) an 8-leader kingdom.  This eleventh leader is identified as the Antichrist, or false messiah.

To identify the Fourth Beast, look for an invincibly strong kingdom.  It will initially be a coalition of 10 leaders/nations.  An eleventh leader will rise up, replacing three of the original members.   It would appear that this eleventh leader might be the one who will “make a strong covenant with many for one week” (Daniel 9:27).  I have devoted an entire post on the covenant: The Covenant With Israel – Who Confirms It?

This coalition of nations may involve the west, plus a scattering of remnant nations not incorporated into the other 3 Kingdoms.

“Then I desired to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the rest, exceedingly terrifying, with its teeth of iron and claws of bronze, and which devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet,  and about the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn that came up and before which three of them fell, the horn that had eyes and a mouth that spoke great things, and that seemed greater than its companions.”

(Daniel 7:19-20 ESV)  

Daniel is horrified by the fourth “Beast” Kingdom, and asks for further clarification about it.  We are given a review of the fourth kingdom, and how it will be exceedingly strong.  So far, we have been given a description of four kingdoms that arise out of a sudden power vacuum.  One of these kingdoms is seemingly invincible, and out of it arises a strong leader.  This strong leader speaks “great things” and is “greater than his companions”.

The Fourth Kingdom Devours the Other Three Kingdoms

In Daniel chapter 11, we are given a description of how this fourth Beast kingdom devours the other three kingdoms until ultimately the antichrist rules the entire world.  This occurs leading up to the time when he will declare himself to be “god” at the “abomination of desolation” event.

“And the king shall do as he wills. He shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak astonishing things against the God of gods. He shall prosper till the indignation is accomplished; for what is decreed shall be done.  He shall pay no attention to the gods of his fathers, or to the one beloved by women. He shall not pay attention to any other god, for he shall magnify himself above all.  He shall honor the god of fortresses instead of these. A god whom his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly gifts.  He shall deal with the strongest fortresses with the help of a foreign god. Those who acknowledge him he shall load with honor. He shall make them rulers over many and shall divide the land for a price. “At the time of the end, the king of the south shall attack him, but the king of the north shall rush upon him like a whirlwind, with chariots and horsemen, and with many ships. And he shall come into countries and shall overflow and pass through.  He shall come into the glorious land. And tens of thousands shall fall, but these shall be delivered out of his hand: Edom and Moab and the main part of the Ammonites.  He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape.  He shall become ruler of the treasures of gold and of silver, and all the precious things of Egypt, and the Libyans and the Cushites shall follow in his train.  But news from the east and the north shall alarm him, and he shall go out with great fury to destroy and devote many to destruction.  And he shall pitch his palatial tents between the sea and the glorious holy mountain. Yet he shall come to his end, with none to help him.

Daniel 11:36-45 ESV

In Daniel chapter 11, Daniel is given a vision which encompasses a broad period of time once again.  For our purposes, the verses prior to 11:36 in this chapter are now historical.  (The fulfillment of these was very specific and fascinating, and if you are interested in learning more see the Further Reading section at the bottom of this post).  Verses 36-45 describe the Antichrist and his conquests as he moves to world domination.

From this vision we learn that the antichrist will have unprecedented military success.  The ultimate endpoint in this success is that he will have global control and will declare himself to be “god”.  At that point he will prosper until God’s wrath has been completed, through the bowl judgments and the Battle of Armageddon.  We will discuss his “religion” in another post, but summarize here by saying that his accomplishments are done through the “god of fortresses”.  We are told in Revelation 13:2-4 that the beast (antichrist) gets his power from the dragon (satan):

And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority.  One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?” (ESV)

This is confirmed in 2 Thessalonians 2:9:

The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders (ESV)

The antichrist, through the power of Satan, will succeed in conquering the world.  His wars are detailed in verses 40-45; he may use generous diplomacy, such as peace and land treaties or rewards, in addition to actual fighting.

  1. The King of the South (v40) – The King of the South, often seen as Egypt but may include other countries as well, will be the aggressor and attack the Antichrist.  Look for Egypt and possibly its neighbors to be an aggressor against the antichrist beast kingdom.  The antichrist will overwhelm and defeat the King of the South coalition.  It is possible that the antichrist will provoke these nations in some way so that they will attack, specifically so he can appear to deliver Israel from her enemies.  He would do this because this is what Judaism is expecting the Messiah to do.
  2. The King of the North (v40) – The King of the North, unknown identity – but possibly a coalition of northern Arab countries, will also be an aggressor and attack the Antichrist.  The King of the South and the King of the North may or may not coordinate their attacks.  The antichrist will overwhelm and defeat the King of the North coalition.  It is possible that the antichrist will provoke these nations in some way so that they will attack, specifically so he can appear to deliver Israel from her enemies.  Again, this would be part of the messianic expectation of Judaism.
  3. Many Countries Shall be Overthrown (v41) – The antichrist will enter Israel (the Glorious Land) and overthrow many countries along the way.  He seems to be the aggressor in this case.  It is highly likely that the antichrist is NOT attacking Israel, but appearing to defend her.  Notably, several countries escape his clutches – Edom, Moah, and Ammon (modern day Jordan).  This is interesting because many scholars see Petra, in Jordan, as the place where the elect remnant of Israel will flee to and be protected from the antichrist after he declares to be “god”.
  4. Egypt Shall Not Escape (v42) – The “countries” mention here is very general  and indicates that the antichrist will have further military victories.  Egypt is singled out as a nation that will NOT escape his grasp (unlike Jordan).
  5. Egypt, Libya, Ethiopia (v43) – It appears that the antichrist will control the wealth of these three nations, among others.  Libya and Ethiopia have been Egypt’s southern allies in the past (Ezekiel 30:5, Nahum 3:9).
  6. Troubling News from the East and the North (v44) – This is vague, but likely refers to eastern and northern nations that have not been involved in conflict with the antichrist yet.  We are not told what the “news” is, only that it “troubles” the antichrist.  It’s possible that these threats include Muslim groups who likely hate the antichrist (who is quite possibly fighting against them, for Israel).
  7. The Antichrist Plants His Palace – Then Dies (v45) – Chris White states that this seems to be a reference to Jerusalem, because the holy mountain is Mount Zion and the seas refer to the Mediterranean sea.  This verse forecasts the antichrist’s death, right after he has established his rule in Jerusalem.  The antichrist will be killed by a “mortal wound”, likely to his head (Revelation 13:3, 12, 14).
  8. The Antichrist is Raised from the Dead – Revelation 13:3-4 “One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?” (ESV)

We have now arrived at the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week – halfway through the “Tribulation”.  The Antichrist is about to proclaim himself to be “god”.

 The Lion-Bear-Leopard-Beast Kingdom

I want you to note that if you take the beasts in Daniel 7 – a lion with wings, a bear, a four-headed leopard, and a ten-horned beast – and combine them all together, you get a seven-headed, ten-horned beast with lion, bear, and leopard characteristics.  And, this just happens to be exactly what we see when the antichrist declares himeslf to be “god”:

And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads.  And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth.  (Revelation 13:1-2 ESV)

The antichrist’s power will come from satan:

And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority.  One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast.  And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?” (Rev 13:2-4 ESV) 

It seems that the world will marvel after and follow the beast because of his apparent resurrection from the dead as well as his miltary prowess.  The antichrist’s 1260 days of rule (the last half of Daniel’s 70th week, or the last half of the covenant with many) is described further in Revelation 13:

And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven.  Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.  If anyone has an ear, let him hear: If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword,    with the sword must he be slain.Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.  (Revelation 13:5-10 ESV)

The antichrist’s rule will now be worldwide.  This is so critical that it is mentioned in other passages as well:

 Out of one of them came a little horn, which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the glorious land.  It grew great, even to the host of heaven. And some of the host and some of the stars it threw down to the ground and trampled on them.  It became great, even as great as the Prince of the host. And the regular burnt offering was taken away from him, and the place of his sanctuary was overthrown.  And a host will be given over to it together with the regular burnt offering because of transgression, and it will throw truth to the ground, and it will act and prosper.” (Daniel 8:9-12 ESV)

This passage in Daniel 8 details a new vision.  The vision contains elements in the near future as well as the far future.  Verse 9 begins to transition into a description of the antichrist.  Often in prophetic passages there is a transitional period between the near and far fulfillments that could apply possibly to both.  We see this in Daniel 8.  The reference of the little horn throwing some of the stars, or host of heaven, to the ground with it is seen in Revelation 12:

And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.  (Revelation 12:3-4, 9 ESV)

The angel interprets the vision for Daniel and describes the antichrist in this way:

 …a king of bold face, one who understands riddles, shall arise.  His power shall be great—but not by his own power; and he shall cause fearful destruction and shall succeed in what he does, and destroy mighty men and the people who are the saints. By his cunning he shall make deceit prosper under his hand, and in his own mind he shall become great. Without warning he shall destroy many. And he shall even rise up against the Prince of princes, and he shall be broken—but by no human hand.  (Daniel 8:23-25)

The antichrist will try to change the “times and seasons”, but his end is decreed.  He will rule for no more than 1260 days.  The time count starts when he declares himself to be god in the temple in Jerusalem.

The Time of Greatest Trouble

Daniel 7:21-25 and 12:1 describe the turning point where the Antichrist’s Kingdom has now taken over the entire world.  He will declare himself to be “god” at this point, which begins the time of “greatest tribulation” for followers of Jesus Christ:

“As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them,  until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom.  “Thus he said: ‘As for the fourth beast, there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all the kingdoms, and it shall devour the whole earth, and trample it down, and break it to pieces.  As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise,  and another shall arise after them; he shall be different from the former ones, and shall put down three kings. He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.”  (Daniel 7:21-25 ESV)

“At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time.”  (Daniel 12:1 ESV)

So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.  For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.  And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.   (Matthew 24:15-16, 21-22 ESV)

Protection for the Elect Remnant of Israel

We have spent much time on the antichrist and his rise to power, but we also need to discuss God’s remarkable escape plan for the elect remnant of Israel which He has called unto Himself.  Right after the antichrist’s mortal wound and “miraculous” resurrection (at which point he is likely possessed by satan), he will seat himself in the Jewish Temple and proclaim himself to be “god”.  He will cause all sacrifices to cease.  This is the trigger for those in Israel to flee to the wilderness/mountains:

So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.  For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.  And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.   (Matthew 24:15-16, 21-22 ESV)

And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.  But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.  The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood.  But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth.  (Revelation 12:13-16 ESV)

 …and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.  (Revelation 12:6 ESV)

Those who obediently flee to the place prepared for them will be sheltered under the wings of God Almighty.  This will likely be done through the leading and the protection of the archangel Michael:

Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. (Exodus 23:20 ESV)

At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book.  (Daniel 12:1 ESV)

Michael is the angel assigned to protect Israel (Jude 1:9).  It appears that Michael will stand for the obedient elect Israel who flee to the wilderness.  He will stand guard over them for the 1260 days of the antichrist’s rule – this is why Edom (Jordan) escapes out of the antichrist’s hand.  This leading to, and protection in, the wilderness is a similar parallel to the first exodus.  Perhaps God will even supply His people with manna once again 🙂  

After the time of trouble, God’s people shall be delivered.  After 1260 days of Beast-Rule, the Beast Kingdom is destroyed – but not by human hands.

The Destruction of the Beast Kingdom

The antichrist is granted 1260 days of authority by God.  After this, his reign will come to an end at the appointed time  – at the second coming of Jesus Christ.  The antichrist will be judged in the court of the Ancient of Days, will be found guilty, and will be thrown into the Lake of Fire.  Daniel sees a vision of this:

“As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames;  its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and came out from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened. “I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire.  As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion  and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.”  Daniel 7:9-14 ESV

But the court shall sit in judgment, and his dominion shall be taken away, to be consumed and destroyed to the end. And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; his kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.’  Daniel 7:26-27 ESV

John also saw a vision of this:

And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.  Revelation 19:20 ESV

Both Daniel’s and John’s visions confirm that this judgment of the Beast occurs at the end of his rule, right before the Millennial Kingdom begins.  Jesus will come and destroy the antichrist and his false prophet, and chain satan and his fallen horde for 1000 years in the abyss.  After the Antichrist is destroyed at Armageddon, living humans will survive and continue into the Millennial Kingdom after the Sheep and Goats judgment. This is what is meant by the rest of the beasts (the lion, bear, and leopard) have their dominion taken away but their lives are prolonged for a time – some of these nations are specifically identified in the Bible as existing during the Millennial Kingdom.  One example of this is Egypt (Zechariah 14:16-19).

A Kingdom That Cannot Be Shaken

The ultimate endpoint is that Jesus will overthrow all the kingdoms of the world and set up His kingdom that can never be shaken:

For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest  and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them.  For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.”  Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.”  But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,  and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

 See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven.  At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.”  This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain.  Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe,  for our God is a consuming fire.  

Hebrews 12:18-29 ESV


Further Resources:

Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

Who is the Antichrist and What Does He Do?

Who is the False Prophet and What Does He Do?

Daniel 7 – A Blueprint for Identifying the Antichrist (Chris White) – YouTube

Daniel:  A Commentary (Chris White)

Daniel 7 (PDF) (Chris White)

The Two Messiahs – Messiah ben Joseph and Messiah ben David

The Daniel Story (Jack Kelley)

Grace Thru Faith – End Times According to Daniel

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

 The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  Be a Berean – examine the scriptures for yourself to see if these things are so!

Part 4 – The Coming Deception – An “Alien” Invasion?

For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.  And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.  The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders,  and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.  Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12

The coming of the Lawless One, an antichrist figure (anti-Christ/anti-Messiah = opposing Messiah), will be accompanied with all power, false signs and wonders, and a wicked deception.  The wicked deception will come upon mankind immediately after the “Restrainer” is removed.   It will  continue to unfold throughout the time of trial on earth (Jacob’s Trouble).  The deception will be global and will be VERY convincing.  God gives permission for this activity and sends a delusion that people would believe the lie, because they refused to believe His truth.  While deception does not come from God, He will use it in order that His plans and purposes would be accomplished.

The mystery of this deception is already at work; being set up, ready to burst forth when the restraint is removed.

The Evil One

Satan, “the devil”, was once magnificent – one of the most powerful angels in heaven.  Created by God, he wanted to be a god.  He rebelled against God and took 1/3 of the angels with him (Revelation 12:3-4).  They were thrown down to the earth, and it is here that he is the present ruler (Ephesians 6:12).  Ever since the creation of mankind, he has been trying to convince us that we want to be our own gods too.  He is the father of lies, and there is no truth within him (John 8:44).  He wants nothing more than to lead as many people away from the one true God as possible.  He will use any and all means necessary!

There is a very specific period of time coming in the future known as “The Day of the Lord“.  In it, God will pour out His wrath on the earth to cleanse it from bloodguilt and prepare Israel to receive their true King (Jesus Christ).  During this cleansing period, satan will be allowed to release all his fury upon mankind as an agent of God’s wrath.  In the Day of the Lord (commonly called the “Tribulation”), satan will be granted the authority to use powers, signs, and wonders, including an apparent resurrection from the dead (Rev. 13:3).  Satan sometimes wins people over through evil, yes, but he is far more successful by pretending to to be an “angel of light” (2 Cor 11:14).

From the beginning, Satan has been trying to replicate or annul God’s work and sow seeds of confusion in mankind’s relationship with Him.  What does God want?  Relationship with humanity.  Therefore, it makes sense for satan to draw away and confuse as many as possible from the One True God.  False religion, or false doctrine mixed with some truth, has been Satan’s constant ploy.  This is why there are so many denominations and cults under the name of “Christianity” but not in other religions – satan doesn’t bother dividing his own “house” (Matt 12:25-26).

Once the true followers of Jesus Christ have been removed from the earth via the “rapture” event, the restraint on lawlessness will be removed.  Given a much freer reign, I can only imagine the darkness that will come upon the earth.  We already know from the book of Revelation that a one-world religion will develop, which will control the government and economy.  But what will this involve?

The Mystery of Lawlessness

If you follow the “mysteries of lawlessness”, you will already have heard theories about:

  • The Illuminati – the world’s elite, who have plans to usher in satan’s great deception, whether they are aware that’s what they are doing or not
  • The New World Order – preparations for a totalitarian world government
  • Extra-terrestrial Phenomenon – what we generally call “aliens” and “ufo’s”

There is no doubt in my mind that satan has been very busy behind the scenes preparing people, evidence, and propaganda for his grand scheme.  Since he has been around since the dawn of creation, he is well aware of Biblical prophecy and knows that his time is near.

My personal suspicion is that the grand deception is going to revolve around the extra-terrestrial phenomenon (although I think the antichrist and false prophet are likely to be human).  I know this sounds really “out there”.  However, this deception has been very slowly and surely developing generation by generation (the modern wave starting in 1947, at the same time that Israel was fighting to become a nation again).

itsaliens.jpg.CROP.original-original.jpg

Alien Deception

There has been a sharp rise in the agenda to “normalize” aliens in the last century.  “Aliens” now appear in anything space-related.  “Aliens” appear in movies, books, cartoons, video games, TV Series, toys:

There is really no end to the “alien” shows and movies portraying the deception that satan has planned.  I will describe a small handful here, and you can get an idea of what satan might try to play out:

  • Alien Covenant (2017) – The Bible foretells a “strong covenant” that Israel will partake in.  Will God renew His Abrahamic covenant with them?  Will the antichrist or his false prophet confirm a covenant with them?  Will both occur?  The Bible doesn’t rule out a supernatural prince (just as Michael the archangel is described as the prince of Daniel’s people.).  Could a covenant or treaty be signed with an “Alien” (interdimensional fallen angelic being) or Nephilim (half human half angelic)?  It seems that’s the card satan is playing with the release of Alien: Covenant, currently in theaters (June 2017). movieposter.jpg
  • Batman vs Superman (2016) – Superman is portrayed as an alien savior.  Unsealed notes that “the movie wrestles with the question “should humans fear and fight him, or worship him as a god?”   A notable quotation from the trailer is
    “Devils don’t come from hell beneath us… they come from the sky.” – Lex Luthor
    Unsealed also notes that in the antagonist’s home we prominently see a painting of the angelic War in Heaven (Revelation 12).  The painting was made just for the film (!!!!), but was based on such sources as Gustave Davore’s 1866 painting “The Fall of the Rebel Angels”.   (from unsealed.org, Source:  http://www.unsealed.org/2017/06/the-balaamic-prophecies-of-2017.html 
  • Prometheus (2012) – God’s not the only one to lay out His plan before us.  Beginning and End points out that the movie Prometheus (2012) spells out part of satan’s plan to deceive humanity.  Just as Jesus is near, so, too, satan is chomping at the bit for the Restrainer to be removed.

“The movie, about a team of scientists and astronauts who go on a top-secret journey to contact an alien race, has drawn much of its inspiration from the “Alien Gospel”, also known as the “Ancient Astronaut Theory” which states that aliens at some point in the distant past, created humanity and are responsible for the advanced knowledge held by ancient civilizations. This type of theory, which is being promoted heavily in movies and television, completely denies God and helps to prepare the world for a Satanic deception. The “profound question” and “life’s ultimate mystery” in the film are specifically, where did humans come from? And the answer that Prometheus provides is that an advanced alien race came to Earth, “seeded” the planet and started the evolutionary process that led to human beings.” (Source: http://beginningandend.com/prometheus-movie-return-alien-gospel/ )Image result for prometheus

As Jeff points out on Unsealed:

As many alert, perceptive believers have noticed, the prince and ruler of this world (Jn. 14:30; Eph. 2:2) has bombarded the masses with extra-terrestrial ideas and movie plot lines driven by the usual premise—the earth is in grave danger from either an inside or outside threat; alien saviors arrive just in time to help mankind; sometimes they are good…sometimes bad. On and on it goes, through film, books, television, and, especially, video games. My goodness, the video games. Do you know what you’re children are watching/playing/absorbing and then adopting into their worldview?

Much of the world is primed now to welcome extra-terrestrial saviors. In the aftermath of the resurrection/rapture of the body of Christ, the spiritual vacuum created will open the door for desperate people to make desperate attempts at peace and security. One of the trailblazers in exposing the alien deception and sounding the alarm has been L.A. Marzulli. If you have been following him, you might have heard him say once or twice, “When we go up, they show up. When we go up, they come down” (see here). I think he’s spot on.

Before the unveiling of our Lord Jesus Christ to the world, there will be another unveiling…a disclosure of another sort. Contrary to the lies and anti-biblical agendas being promoted by academia, mass media, and a number of alien enthusiasts, these beings that show up to save the day will not be extra-terrestrials from another galaxy; they are inter-dimensional beings—rebellious angels who are going to be kicked out of heaven and thrown down to earth…

Source: http://www.unsealed.org/2017/05/the-coming-ufo-disclosure-intergalactic.html

The only extraterrestrial life that concerns mankind is angelic in nature – fallen angels (demons), to be specific.

“Aliens” are Demonic Entities (Fallen Angels)

Angels are interdimensional beings created by God.  They are extremely intelligent, cunning, and capable of the miraculous/supernatural. They are able to shape-shift and take on various forms, including that of humans.  We are told in the Bible that many may have “entertained angels unaware” (the holy angels).  Apparently the fallen angels take on familiar forms we call “aliens”.  When people see “aliens” and “ufo’s”, they are seeing physical manifestations of the fallen angels.

We aren’t given too many details about them in the Bible, but what we do know is that there are different rankings – such as rulers, authorities, powers, and forces, and that the fallen ones occupy the “heavenly places” – Earth’s atmosphere (Ephesians 6:12).   The present abode of the fallen angels is Earth.  The unchained ones reside in our atmosphere, and the chained ones (described in the book of Jude and Revelation) are in the heart of the earth.

As far as abductions, they are none other than encounters with demonic entities, and closely parallel occult initiation practices and religious rites.  They can be stopped in the Name of Jesus.  As we get closer to the end of this age, demons are going to be allowed to further interact with humans and attempt to deceive humanity as never before.

The veil between the natural and supernatural is thinning.

The Search for Extraterrestrial Life

It certainly seems as if there has been a ramped up search for extraterrestrial life in the last few years (see the worldwide astrobiology conference March 2014) . Interestingly, the search has even infiltrated under the guise of “Christianity” through the Vatican.  Here’s a noteworthy quotation (taken from catholic.net):

In a May 14 interview with the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano May 14, headlined “The Extraterrestrial Is My Brother,” astronomer Jesuit Father José Gabriel Funes said that according to his “scientific judgment,” the existence of extraterrestrials is a “possibility.”  When asked how aliens could be redeemed, Father Funes referred to the Gospel parable of the lost sheep. Aliens, he speculated, could already be redeemed because they could have remained in full friendship with God, while the human race “could be precisely the lost sheep, the sinners that need the shepherd.”  But what if they were sinners like us? Father Funes replied that just as Jesus is believed to have come to save mankind, so he was sure that they, “in some way, would have the chance to enjoy God’s mercy.”

Source: http://www.catholic.net/index.php?option=dedestaca&id=410

Unlike the Vatican claims, these “extraterrestrial beings” are not redeemable, nor can they redeem us.  They may try to tell us so (using extremely convincing deceptions), but in the end they will be utterly defeated by Jesus Christ.

Encounters With Demons

People have documented classes of “aliens” such as greys (typical alien “encounters”), reptilian (interesting in light of the 3 froglike demons that go out to collect humanity to fight in the battle of Armageddon – Revelation 16), and the Nordics (very tall, blond haired, light eyed human-like caucasians – also known as “Space Brothers”).

The “Nordic Aliens” are described as “Aryan”.  Wikipedia describes “Aryan” as follows:

The term “Aryan” was adopted as a racial category through the works of Arthur de Gobineau, whose ideology of race was based on an idea of blonde northern European “Aryans” who had migrated across the world and founded all major civilizations, before being degraded through racial mixing with local populations…  (Source:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aryan)

The “Nordic Aliens” are described as being between 6-7 feet tall.  Dr. Michael Heiser notes in his book The Unseen Realm that some of the giants in the Old Testament could possibly have been around the 6.5-7 foot mark, and not as huge as previously supposed.  Those heights are not even uncommon these days – the tallest people in the world are recorded between 7.5-8.25 feet.  We seem to be getting taller as a species, and have gained 10cm on average in the last 150 years. Interestingly, the world’s tallest countries are all clustered in Northern and Eastern Europe.  There are 5 countries where the average male height is at 6 feet (Netherlands, Montenegro, Denmark, Norway, Serbia).  These countries coincidentally fit the description of tall, blonde “Aryans”.

Did the Nephilim bloodline continue; or perhaps more pointedly – will humanity be told that this bloodline continued?  I will not even hazard a guess as to whether or not this is so, but it is a question I have pondered.

Hitler was well known for his goal of trying to establish a superior “Aryan” master race.  He is also well known for his horrific and unprecedented slaughter of God’s chosen people, the Jews. Is there a connection between Hitler (a kind of warm-up to the antichrist, who definitely was in the “spirit of antichrist” – 1 John 4:3), the “Aryan master race”, and the alleged “Nordic Aliens”?  Could they all be a part of the “spirit of lawlessness” that is even now at work (2 Thessalonians 2)?

The “Nordic alien class” I find interesting in that this idea would fit very well into the idea of “seeding the human race” – macroevolution.  Humanity might be resistant to accept the greys and reptilians, which are generally malevolent in nature.  But imagine if “friendly and benevolent” beings of light appeared such as this, claiming to have seeded the human race in the past, and claiming to be here to do so again:

Image result for nordic alien

 

Macroevolution

I believe humanity has been well-primed through movies to accept human-like beings such as this as “saviors of our race”.

From Wikipedia:  Cultural historian David J. Skal wrote that early stories of Nordic-type aliens may have been partially inspired by the 1951 film The Day the Earth Stood Still, in which an extraterrestrial arrives on Earth to warn humanity about the dangers of atomic weapons. Bates College professor Stephanie Kelley-Romano described alien abduction beliefs as “a living myth”, and notes that, among believers, Nordic aliens “are often associated with spiritual growth and love and act as protectors for the experiencers.”

In contactee and UFOlogy literature, Nordic aliens are often described as benevolent or even “magical” beings who want to observe and communicate with humans and are concerned about the Earth’s environment or prospects for world peace. Believers also ascribe telepathic powers to Nordic aliens, and describe them as “paternal, watchful, smiling, affectionate, and youthful.” Kelley-Romano observes that “white extraterrestrials are those that are most revered” among claimants, compared to other beings like the greys, and argues that claimants may use their stories about extraterrestrials “as a means of articulating racially based fears”.

During the 1950s, many contactees, especially those in Europe, claimed encounters with beings fitting this description. Such claims became relatively less common in subsequent decades, as the grey alien supplanted the Nordic in most alleged accounts of extraterrestrial encounters.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordic_aliens

Consider how well this deception fits in with New Age philosophy (which is not “new”, “you can be as god” started in the garden of Eden…):

New Age: The Doctrine of Evolutionary Godhood
Generally, New Age thought supports the theory of organic evolution, but extends the concept to the evolution of the spirit. This is the concept of “Evolutionary Godhood,” where the next step in evolution won’t be physical, but spiritual. The principles of evolution are constantly moving mankind toward god-consciousness, where man and reality connect in unified enlightenment. The “fittest” already understand this reality, while the “unfit” (such as Christians and other proponents of dogmatic worldviews) act as a hindrance to evolutionary forces. Many New Age practices are designed to accelerate the evolutionary push into the spiritual realms. These practices include: (i) astral projection, which is training your soul to leave your body and travel around; (ii) channeling spirits, so they may speak through you or guide you; (iii) crystal usage, which purifies the energy systems of your body and mind; and (iv) visualization techniques, which include everything from basic mental imagery to role playing of animals or divine creatures. In a nutshell, Evolutionary Godhood means that mankind will soon see itself as god. This is often referred to as the “Christ principle” or “Christ consciousness.” New Age teaches that we are basically good and inherently divine, and ultimately, we can create our own reality.

Source: http://www.allaboutspirituality.org/new-age.htm

Satan is incredibly intelligent, cunning, deceptive, and persuasive.  He knows the rapture is coming, and he will have a deception in place to explain it away for those who are left behind.  God will send a powerful delusion, for humanity to fall for satan’s lies, because those left behind didn’t love His truth.

Will the rapture be explained by removing the earth of “resistance to macroevolution”, as new age proponents claim?  Will an “alien race” claim to have “seeded” humanity or life on this planet?  Will this “alien race” claim to be our “messiah” or “savior”?  It seems a lot like satan, to try to explain the beginning of life apart from the One True God, and to try and “replicate” salvation.  Satan will give humans what they believe they want, rationale of  life apart from God.

Do Not Be Deceived.

A Cosmic Battle

There IS a cosmic battle for good and evil.  Just like Hollywood tells us. Unfortunately, evil is the default position, and unless we choose to follow God we are pitted against Him.  God has allowed Satan to be the ruler of this age, of this world, for a time.  But God  does not desire for any to be deceived, and has provided a way out for all who seek Him.

As we consider the enemy’s deceptions, it’s important not to overly focus on the devil and his plans, but on God and His purposes.  It’s God who will work ALL things according to His will – satan can do nothing without God’s permission.  I highly recommend sticking to Christian sources if you choose to investigate these very occult topics.


Further Resources:

Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

Studying the Prophetic Keys in 2 Thessalonians 2:

  1. Part 1 – That Day Will Not Come Until…
  2. Part 2 – The Restrainer and the Restrained in 2 Thessalonians 2
  3. Part 3 – The Apostasia [Departure/Falling Away] and the Revealing of the Lawless One

Here are some Christian ministries devoted to tackling “aliens”, “ufo’s”, and the study of the paranormal as it relates to the Bible (and possibly end times deception).  Use your own judgment, I don’t personally vouch for everything on these pages:

  1. Question: “Could an alien deception be part of the end times?” (gotquestions)
  2. Question: “Are there such things as aliens or UFOs?” (gotquestions)
  3. The Return of the Nephilim, UFOs, Aliens and the Bible – Chuck Missler.  Highly recommended.
  4. Prophecy Watchers has a series of YouTube videos interviewing Tom Horn and Cris Putnam.  While I do not agree with all these authors have to say, they have done some interesting research:
    1. On the Path of the Immortals, Part 1
    2. On the Path of the Immortals, Part 2
  5. Prophecy Watchers – The Secret Alien Agenda – the Sons of God (YouTube) (Tom Horn and Cris Putnam):
    1. Part 1
    2. Part 2
    3. Part 3
    4. Part 4
  6. Vatican Alien Deception – Project Bluebeam (YouTube)
  7. The Unseen Realm – Dr. Michael Heiser – The fall of the Watchers, and their interactions with humanity, provides the explanation for why the world was so profoundly depraved and why God executed a global flood as judgment in the Days of Noah.   Understanding this helps to illuminate events in the Day of the Lord such as the beings from the abyss, the demon hordes, the false prophet, the beast, the dragon, and such.  Dr. Heiser presents his information through scripture with a strong research background.
  8. Ancient Aliens Debunked – Chris White, with Dr. Michael Heiser, does an excellent job documenting some debunking of early alien theories based on “Ancient Aliens – the Series”.  His free 3 hour documentary as well as transcripts and references can be found here: ancientaliensdebunked.com.
  9. Sitchin Is Wrong – Refutes ancient astronaut theories proposed by Zecharia Sitchin.  Topics include Nibiru (Planet X), 12th Planet, Anunnaki, Nephilim, Elohim, Genesis, Sumerian Texts, PaleoBabble, Ancient Astronauts, SHU, MU Rockets, Robert Temple’s Sirius Mystery.  sitchiniswrong.com.
  10. Beginning and End has some interesting articles on the Nephilim and “Aliens”.
  11. Alien Resistance – Guy Malone has put together a website of topics related to AFOs, Aliens, Alien Abductions, and how they are connected to demonic manifestations and occult practices.  Topics include: UFO and Alien Deception, Polls on Beliefs in Aliens and UFOs (an alarming majority of the population believes aliens are real entities from other planets), Secular UFOlogy Research, Christian UFOlogy Research, Abductions Stop in the Name of Christ, False Visions and Terrifying Dreams, Deceptive Extraterrestrial Message, Bible on Extraterrestrial Life, Strong Delusion – Bible Prophecy, Stop Alien Abduction!, Testimonies of Freedom.  alienresistance.org
  12. Gotquestions – a variety of AFO & Alien & Demon Q&A – gotquestions.org

God’s Mosaic – A Whole Scripture Overview of Things To Come

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture.  I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!