END-TIME BIBLE STUDY–Pt.16

I want us now to return to our end-time Bible study. I want to continue our look at the book of Daniel. In our last study we were looking at chapter 8 of the book of Daniel. Here we see the vision of Daniel in verses one through ten and then beginning with verse 15 we see the interpretation of this vision. We now will pick up our study in verse nine.

The statements about the Antichrist found in verse nine are speaking of him going forth to conquer. It is at this time that verse eight of Chapter 7 is fulfilled. “I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots.” (Daniel 7:8) The Antichrist will rise up from among the four kingdoms and he will destroy or conquer the other three, the one to the south, the one to the east and the one known as the Glorious or Beautiful Land, Israel. He will conquer these through peace treaties and diplomacy (“a mouth speaking pompous words.” Daniel 7:8). This will help the believers to identify the Antichrist. He will seem insignificant and then suddenly he will subdue three kingdoms or rulers by diplomacy and tactfulness which will give him great bargaining power.

Let me pause here long enough to reveal what I believe to be the place that the Antichrist will either be born in or will come to power in. At the beginning of this vision we see that Daniel finds himself in Shushan, in a palace (v.2). We must understand that Daniel was in captivity in Babylon. He was brought there from Jerusalem when he was between the ages of 12 and 16. He most likely had never been to Shushan, yet he finds himself there in this vision. Not only is he in Shushan, but he is in a palace that wasn’t even built yet. This palace would be built by Darius the Mede some 15 to 20 years later. It would cover some 123 acres. Shushan historically is known as Susa. It’s modern-day name is Shushtar. The Ulai River is now called the Karun River.

Why is this important? Because there is no logical reason for this yet to be built palace to be mentioned here unless it is one of those hidden mysteries of scripture that only the Spirit can reveal its meaning (I Corinthians 2:10-14).

Shushan (Susa, Shushtar), the city of the Persian Empire, is none other than our modern-day Iran. Iran was known as Persia until 1935 when it underwent the name change. In medieval times Iran became one of the chief centers of Islamic civilation and extended its cultural influence into India (Daniel 8:9 “toward the East”). The Iranian people have inhabited the area since the early first millennium B. C. Iranians are believed to be direct descendents of Ishmael. The land of Ur where Abraham came from was in Elam (Iran). This was also the home of Ahasuerus and Queen Esther. Iran was part of the Roman empire from the time of the rule of Pompey. The kings of Iran called themselves “king of kings”.

Could the hidden mystery here be that God was revealing the place of either the birth of the Antichrist or the place from which he would rise to power? After all it is a palace, home of a leader, that Daniel finds himself. It is also in a land ruled by Islamic radicals who follow the teachings of Mohammed and believe that as direct descendents of Ishmael, the firstborn of Abraham, they are the rightful heirs of the Promised Land.I believe that this may very well be the reason that Daniel’s vision of the rise of the Antichrist begins with a location that is yet to be.

In verse 10 chapter 8 we find ourselves at the midway point of the seven-year tribulation period, now begins the Great Tribulation. Up to this point the world will have been experiencing a reasonable measure of peace brought about by the treaties brokered by the Antichrist. The Orthodox Jew, to a degree, has accepted the Antichrist as the long-awaited anointed Messiah or at best a great prophet from God. The Muslims will have accepted the Antichrist as the mahdi, the reappearing of the twelveth Inman. The professing Christian (not those in relationship with the Father), will see the Antichrist as a great prophet sent by God to bring world peace to prepare the way for the return of Jesus. The world will see the Antichrist as a great world leader with all the solutions to the world’s problems. The true believer will see the Antichrist for who he really is, an agent of Satan. This mindset will cause the world to view the Christians as narrow-minded and hatemongers. I know, this is already happening but not to the degree that will take place in the tribulation. The true believers will be viewed as standing in the way of world peace and economic stability. To assault a Christian will make you a hero with little or no repercussions. It is in the midst of all of this false utopia that the Antichrist will play out his hand. He will enter the Temple and defile it showing himself to be as God.

Verse 10 chapter 8 takes place midway through the 70th week of Daniel. The first 3 1/2 years are a time of reasonable peace, especially in the Middle East. But at the midway point of the tribulation, the Antichrist reveals his true character, defiles the Temple and proclaims himself to be God. “And it was waxed great, even to the host of heaven.” Isaiah had this to say about this event in Chapter 14 verse 13 of his book, “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God.” We know that from studying the first three chapters of the book of Revelation that the “stars” spoken of here (“It cast down some of the host and of the ’stars’ to the ground, and stamped upon them,”) are God’s ministers to his church. The Antichrist will exalt himself above God (the host of heaven) and exercise great power over his host–the Saints.

Verse 11 tells us that the Antichrist will take away the daily sacrifices that are being offered up in the Temple. The only way this can happen is for there to be a new Temple built in Jerusalem. I believe the Antichrist will build this temple as part of his seven year peace treaty that he will broker with Israel. There has to be a Jewish Temple in order for it to be a place of daily sacrifices and to be defiled by the Antichrist triggering the Great Tribulation, the last 3 1/2 years of Daniel’s 70th week. When you see the Temple being rebuilt, GET READY, we are closing in on the end of the history of mankind and the return of Jesus Christ.

Even with all the scriptural evidence identifying the Antichrist, many will still be drawn to him. When he defiles the Temple and tramples the truth (Judeo-Christian beliefs) under his feet, many will view this as a time of liberation from the dogmatic views of the Christian and Jewish faiths. With the Christian’s scriptures and claims of the identity of the Antichrist seemingly destroyed, the people of the world will see him as a great world leader and a new improved religious figure who has come to destroy the “false” religions such as Christianity that are the stumbling blocks to world peace and harmony. The unsaved will pledge their support for the Antichrist and he will prosper in power and in wealth.

Then in verse 13 Daniel hears two saints conversing as one asked the question, “How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?” A similar conversation takes place in John’s vision recorded in the book of Revelation chapter 6 verses 9-11. “And when he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the Word of God, and for the testimony which they held: and they cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘how long, old Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge an avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?’ And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethern, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”

Daniel was given the answer in verse 14. “And he said unto me, ‘Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.’” It is here that we are given the first hint as to when Jesus would return to the earth to bring to a conclusion the end of the history of mankind. Daniel was speaking of the 70th week, or to say, the seven-year tribulation period. But please take note he only refers to 2300 days, this would be six years, and 140 days based on the Jewish lunar calendar which is made up of 30 day months. Later in this study we shall see that these numbers, along with the ones of Daniel 12:11,12, give the believers a real good look at the time frame of Jesus’s return for his bride toward the end of the tribulation period.

Verse 14 concludes with, “Then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” The last time Jesus entered the sanctuary he “cleansed it” of the money changers (Matthew 21:12). He just made what we celebrate as his Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem where he was welcomed as a King. The next time He enters Jerusalem it will be on a white steed as King of kings. He will make His true Triumphal Entry and He will cleanse the sanctuary that was defiled by the Antichrist. This puts goosebumps on me big enough to hang a hat on.

Verses 15 through 17 set the stage for the explanation of Daniel’s vision by none other than Gabriel. He tells Daniel that, “For at the time of the end shall be this vision.” We just witnessed the end of history and mankind!!

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