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The Rise and Fall of Antichrist

Staying Faithful in a faithless world  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The saints will be persecuted by antichrist in the Eschaton, but God wins

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The antichrist will be the future ruler of the final phase of the Fourth Empire ()

Explanation: Daniel has been overwhelmed by what he has been shown in the vision. He has seen a winged lion, a huge bear, and a leopard with 4 heads and 4 wings. And finally, he was shown a 4th beast with 10 horns that was so terrifying it was difficult to describe. After Daniel has been shown the panoramic view with the incredible finale of the Son of Man coming to inaugurate the eternal kingdom, he wants to know more detail of the fourth beast.
Daniel “approached one of those who stood there” (v. 16) to inquire. This figure is assumed to be an angel, a being who proceeds to “make known” the interpretation of the vision. The angel gives a summary overview of the entire sequence (vv. 17-18), but Daniel wants further information concerning the 4th beast, especially the little horn that makes trouble for the saints of God.
Argument: The understanding from our perspective is that this is a future account, not a historical one. We understand the little horn to be the future personage also known as the antichrist. While some have maintained this figure is to be associated with the papacy of the RCC, there is a strong consensus that the conditions of ten kings ruling simultaneously in the Roman Empire has not yet occurred.

The antichrist’s rise to power will come at the expense of those who serve God ()

Explanation: Daniel is primarily interested in the doings of the little horn because of its war against the saints. Daniel is probably very disturbed to view this personage’s blasphemous actions against the Most High, and that the ac is allowed to wage and win war against the saints. Daniel has a concern for the people of God, and for God Himself, and he is troubled by what he is seeing.
Daniel has cause for concern because progressive revelation has shown this figure to be a very evil person indeed. Scripture has other names for the little horn, and the New Testament reveals him to be:
The Man of Lawlessness ()
The beast from the sea ()
The antichrist ( ,)
Daniel’s vision, along with these other passages, inform us that the little horn will be a person who comes to power during the revived Roman Empire by means of intrigue, but once he achieves power he will be brutal. He will be embodied by satan, and his actions against God and His people will be vicious. He will blaspheme God and commit the greatest act of sacrilege by declaring himself to be God.
All these details are not given to Daniel during this one vision. All that Daniel is shown is that the little horn will blaspheme God and seek to change the times and the laws. It is important to highlight the phrase shall think - this wording shows that he will attempt to do so, but will not ultimately be successful. While the meaning of the “times and the law” has many different possibilities, one that makes sense is that he will attempt to eradicate any holiday with spiritual meaning that points to Christ, and that he may even change the 7 day week, which also points to Christ.

The antichrist’s time of seemingly total empowerment will be limited to a 3 and 1/2 year period ()

Explanation: the latter part of v. 25 states that the saints will be given over to the little horn for a time, a times, and half a time. The most important thing to understand in this is that the little horn is limited. We must never lose sight of the Sovereignty of God. He is the One who is on the Throne, and He is in complete control of His universe. The little horn will be allowed dominion over the saints for a very specific and limited amount of time.
The second thing to note is the duration of this time period. An understanding only comes when we compare Scripture with Scripture. (It is also important to note that the Jews used a 30 day prophetic calendar) The same duration is noted elsewhere, sometimes with other designations such as days or months. This length is used in Daniel (7:25; 12:7, 11, 12,) and in the book of Revelation (11:2, 11:3; 12:6, 12:14; and 13:5). The last two occurrences in Daniel (12:11, 12) have a slightly longer length and will be discussed when that section is reached.
A common understanding is that this terminology refers to a 3.5 year period known as the Great Tribulation. This is the final period on earth in which the antichrist will be the premier human leader and will be waging and winning his war against the saints of God. Again, it is important to understand he will be limited, and he will not ultimately win.

The Fall of the antichrist will be complete and will come by the decision of the Most High (, )

Explanation: The greatest encouragement in the interpretation comes from the angel’s detailed account of how the antichrist will be totally and thoroughly destroyed by decision of the Most High. The angel describes how the heavenly court will be seated in judgment, and the decision will be made in favor of the saints of God. The antichrist will be destroyed and will be cast into the lake of fire.
In fulfillment of Neb’s vision of chapter 2 and Daniel’s vision in the first section of chapter 7, God will set up His kingdom which will encompass the entire globe and will never, ever be destroyed or come to an end.
Argument: This should be our focus when dealing with prophecy. While these accounts are given to us for our understanding and for our edification, we should never lose sight of the main thing in our attempt to master the details. God is going to put an end to the rule of wicked men and He will set up His Kingdom in His time and in His way. We are called to be faithful and serve until He returns.
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