Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 1 * BOOK 11
THE ANTI-CHRIST: DEPARTURE: ESCAPING REMNANTS
Let’s get back into prophecy. Before we go back to Daniel, I’d like you to turn to II Peter Chapter 1. I have a reason for spending as much time in prophecy as I do. I never like to get on a hobby horse, and just ride one thing to death. I don’t teach prophecy simply because it’s sensational, or exciting, although it is. I simply like to teach prophecy on the basis of these verses of Scripture.
2 Peter 1:17
“For he (Christ) received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, `This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'”
Now Peter is making reference to the experience on the Mount of Transfiguration. That’s when the voice from heaven spoke, and Peter, James, and John were struck with such awe at the events that were taking place. After all it was just beyond human comprehension, as Christ was transfigured right before them; and then to hear the voice from heaven. But Peter goes on to say:
2 Peter 1:18,19
“And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount (that is the Mount of Transfiguration).” But now verse 19; here is my reason for spending as much time on prophecy as I do: “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:”
What is Peter saying? Though the event at the Mount of Transfiguration was thrilling, Peter says we’ve got something that proves these things more than that. What is it? Prophecy!
2 Peter 1:20
“Knowing this first (now the word “knowing” in the Greek is more emphatic than what we normally think of the word “knowing.” It’s just not a casual acceptance of something, but it’s a bona fide knowledge, without any questions or doubt), that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.”
In other words, you don’t take one verse and try to twist it out of shape and make it fit. You leave everything in context. I hope people realize, that is how I teach. I hope I’m never guilty of lifting something out of context and making it say something that the Lord never intended for it to mean.
2 Peter 1:21
“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man (but here is how it came about. The word “holy” means set apart. Holy men of God spake, not as they dreamed it up, not as they had remembered what they heard around a camp fire, or what had been handed down from generation to generation): but these holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
What is this saying? Everyone of us will meet someone once in a while who will say, “I don’t see how you can believe all that stuff. After all, why do you think the Bible is more right in what it teaches than the Koran or the book of Mormon?” or anything else that they may say is their guideline for doctrine. I’ll tell you why. There is not another book written that makes prophetic statements like our Bible does. Hundreds, even thousands of years before they happen and they all come true. What hasn’t come true, will!
This is our reason for teaching prophecy. It is to show beyond a shadow of a doubt that this Book is the Word of God. And it’s prophecy that has been spoken, and fulfilled to the last jot and tittle as much of the Old Testament already has been. We have no reason to doubt that the rest of it will be. Because the same God that fulfilled the first ninety percent of prophecy, is the God that’s going to finish the last ten percent. All of that is just to show why we like to spend as much time in prophecy as we do.
The main reason we are studying prophecy now, is, as we come through the Old Testament, we reach to Daniel. Let’s go back to the Book of Daniel now to Chapter 8, which we skipped when we came through. But, you remember on our sojourn up through the Scriptures, starting with Genesis, we have just come right on up, unfolding our timeline, and, consequently, since Daniel is in captivity under the Babylonian empire we stopped there in our progressive revelations. But, of course, Daniel is a book of prophecy. And so, he is dealing almost entirely in his whole book with events that would happen to the Gentile world. Now, back here in Chapter 8, let me show you how accurate prophecy has been. It’s already been fulfilled as you will notice starting with verse 1:
“In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first.”
And he goes on to say that he saw a vision way out there in Shushan, which was the capital of the Medes and Persian empire on the Tigris River. In this vision he’s going to see the unfolding of the rather immediate history (not the long term).
“Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last.”
Everyone envisions some horrible looking creature with a horrible looking pair of horns. Let’s go back to a statement I made several weeks ago. Three books of our Bible were written outside of the land of Israel. All three of them are mostly prophetic, and all three of them deal primarily with Gentile prophecy. Daniel is one of them. He writes from Shushan on the Tigris river; Ezekiel is another, he also writes from captivity; and the third Book is Revelation, when John, the Revelator, wrote from the Isle of Patmos in exile. None of those three books were written in Israel. However, they were all written by Jews, and all three wrote in symbolism. The symbolism here is that the ram was indicative of the Medes and Persian empire. In fact, their coins had the ram’s head on them. The crown of the Medes and Persians had the likeness of a ram. And so, there’s no doubt from history and archaeology, that Daniel is seeing the vision concerning the empire of which he was a part, and that was the Medes and Persians represented by the two horns.
The horns in Scripture always refer to kings or the top guy in control. Try to remember that, because when you get to the Book of Revelation, you are going to see this leader with ten horns. And that simply means a government with ten distinctive heads or presidents, or kings. The Medes and Persians are the two kings. One of them is the father of Cyrus. He was the one horn, but his son Cyrus became so much greater, and pushed the empire out further, that Daniel sees it as the greater of the two horns. And that’s all they are, two kings, the father and son. Now, as the Medes and Persians began to expand out their empire, they enveloped the land of Israel, and they took the city of Jerusalem. Then they went down into Egypt. And then they went around the Mediterranean Sea, and started overrunning what is present day Turkey – and they were headed toward Europe. But Daniel sees something that’s going to stop this Medes and Persian Empire. Verse 4:
“I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great.” They were the greatest empire on the earth at that time.
“And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth (they’re in the Middle East. The Medes and Persians are coming from the east, in the area of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. They are moving around the north side of the Mediterranean Sea, and here comes a power from the west to meet them head on. It’s a he-goat, and we know from archaeology that the Grecian Empire emblem was the goat. It was on their coins and other emblems. They recognized them as the he-goat. So this he-goat came from the west), and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn (One. What was Alexander the Great? – a conqueror of one (not a consortium like the Medes and Persians). He alone arose from the Grecian Empire.) between his eyes.”
“And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power.”
Let’s break that verse down. “And he came to the ram” (now what do you have? Do you have a fight between two animals? No, you have a fight between two empires. So, the Grecian Empire is going to run head-on into the Medes’ and Persians’ Empire. And of course we know from history who won? The Greeks did. Alexander overran the Medes’ and Persians’ Empire, and ruled the greatest empire on earth by the time he was 33 years old. And he was also known in history as a general who conquered swiftly. He would move his armies with speed such that the then-known world knew nothing of. He would take chances, and was almost reckless in the chances that he would take. But he always seemed to come out on top. He never really lost an army.
So it was unique to Alexander the Great’s military campaign. I think the word that shows that in verse 6 that many of us might miss is “ran:” but as this he-goat came he “ran;“ see the indication of his swiftness and speed? “…and ran unto him in the fury of his power.” Now, people read this and all they picture is a couple of animals in a wild animal fight of some kind – all it is, is two empires. Now you say, “Where do you get it?” Well, just move across the page to verse 20. And as I have said so often, Scripture always does it’s own interpreting.
“The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia (it’s plain isn’t it?): and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king (Alexander the Great).”
“Now that being broken (you know what happened to him – he died; probably of alcoholism. He was only 33 years old. The great empire that Alexander the Great set up so swiftly, was immediately divided between four of his Generals. And so the empire became a quadrangle. It was no longer “one.”), whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.” In other words, no longer an Alexander.
“And in the latter time of their kingdom (these four generals), when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.”
This is an interesting little quirk of Scripture and prophecy. The little king, spoken of here as being so fierce and powerful, on the pages of secular history wasn’t enough to amount to a paragraph. But he was a king who went down to Jerusalem and utterly persecuted, and put under tremendous pressure, the people of Israel. So, in God’s plan of things, he becomes a prime player. But other than that, he is only a little blip on the radar of history. Let’s look at this man because he is a picture, or a type of the last man of fierce countenance. He is a picture of the Anti-christ. So this is the only way we can look at the description of this Antiochus The Great. The very same descriptive words connected to him are also descriptive of this Man of Sin. I’m going to wind up with the biblical description of this world ruler that is coming on the scene (we think before much longer). Let’s look at verse 24, still speaking of Antiochus The Great, in history shortly following Daniel’s vision:
“And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully (in other words, beyond human comprehension the things that he would do.), and he shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.” See, he came down and persecuted the Nation of Israel.
“And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand (in other words he’s going to be successful in his little era of history); and he shall magnify himself in his heart(this is all indicative of what the Anti-christ is going to be like thousands of years later), and by peace shall destroy many (in other words he’s going to be a political manipulator, and we are going to see that in a little bit. How the man Anti-christ is going to have such charisma, he’s going to have the world just really licking out of his hands, because of his charismatic personality. And this fellow was able to do the same thing): he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes (now that’s capitalized, so he’s actually going to stand up in the face of God, and try to fight against Him); but he shall be broken without hand.”
Well, he ends the vision. Come over to Chapter 11. Now Daniel brings this same personality, this Antiochus The Great, out of Syria, who, like I said, was a blip on history’s radar. But yet in Biblical analogy, he is an important character because he foreshadows the Anti-christ. Now verse 21 . Without realizing it, Daniel is leaping about 2500 years of history, bringing us to this end-time individual.
“And in his estate shall stand up a vile person (this is one of his descriptions), to whom they shall not give honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.”
In other words, there is not going to be a great land-swell of voting for this guy. He will come in with intrigue, and political maneuvering. “…but he shall come in peaceably,” So, he’s not going to have a violent overthrow. But by political maneuvering, he’s going to bring himself to the top of the heap. “…and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.” He’s going to say what people want to hear and he’s going to get away with it. He’ll be a liar because that’s his very make-up. He’ll say whatever needs to be said to obtain his end.
“And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant.”
In other words, this Anti-christ, is going to sign this treaty with Israel, with flattery, promise of peace and prosperity, but he’s going to turn on them. And he’s going to bring in violent pressure upon them. Come over to verse 36:
“And the king (this world ruler coming on the scene in the end time) shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.”
He will finally get to the place where he’ll have almost absolute power over the whole world. When I say the whole world, stop and think for a moment. If you are aware of what is going on (if you read the weekly news magazines and so forth), the world is becoming more global minded. The global economy, global politics, global religion, global currency. It’s world-wide and everything is being prepared for the coming in of this world leader.
Take our Social Security system. That’s not the mark of the beast, don’t worry about that, but I’ll tell you what it is. It’s the forerunner; it’s getting masses of people ready to be subjected to a central power who is going to control them with a number. Now, that’s the mark of the beast, but we believers won’t have to worry about it, because we won’t be here. But for the world that’s here, they are all going to have a number. Even today with the exception of only a few nations in the third world, do you realize that almost every nation has a Social Security system. I didn’t know that until just a few weeks ago. And that Social Security system you see, prepares everybody for understanding that they can’t make a move until they have that number. You just stop and think what we Americans can do without a Social Security number. Nothing. You can’t drive your car, you can’t enroll your kids in school, you can’t file your taxes, or pay your taxes without that number. Well, that’s just the preview of what’s coming. “…and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god,” Now you want to remember, this guy is going to be the very tool of Satan. And what is Satan’s big lie, according to all that I’ve taught ever since we came up from Genesis? That you can be like God. See this guy is believing it concerning himself, that he is greater than God; he is God. Now read on. “…and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished:” In other words, when the Tribulation ends, and he goes to his doom. “…for that that is determined shall be done.” This means that all that prophecy says will happen to this man will happen. But for seven years he’s going to have this kind of power.
Daniel 11: 37
“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.”
He will probably be an apostate Jew. Others say an apostate Gentile from Christianity; but since Israel is going to accept him and almost take him as their Messiah, I personally think he will be an apostate Jew. We know on this subject, there is a lot of controversy among Bible scholars, and I’m not one. I have never claimed to be a scholar. I’m not a theologian. I’m just a teacher. I was thinking the other day, there are thousands of them out there, that are just like I am… Sunday school teachers and what have you. And I never pretended to be anything more than that. We just want to teach the Word on a level that everyone can understand.
“But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.”
In other words, an indication that he won’t worship the God of Abraham, but he’s going to worship Satan, which of course will be the prime mover. Now, if you will come back with me again to Matthew 24. You remember in Daniel Chapter 9, when Daniel says that this man, the prince that’s going to come out of the revived Roman Empire, is going to sign a seven-year treaty with the Nation of Israel. And this seven-year treaty is going to run its course according to prophecy. But Daniel says in the middle of that seven-year treaty, he’s going to turn on Israel. We have already seen that back in Chapter 8. And he’s going to set himself up as God to be worshiped as God in the very Temple in Jerusalem that will, of course, by that time be rebuilt. So, again in Matthew 24, I want you to see how Jesus put His stamp of approval upon what Daniel wrote.
“When ye therefore (now He’s talking to the twelve; He’s talking to the Nation of Israel) shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place,…” What’s that saying? Daniel said he would come in and he will.