DANIEL: THRIVING IN A GODLESS CULTURE
X: Understanding A Type Of The Antichrist For Our Edification
A. As believers living in a spiritually decaying, godless culture, we need to live affirmatively in victory over sin.
B. Daniel as a young man was taken captive by godless Babylonians, and he lived through Persia's conquest of Babylon, righteously and wisely serving the Lord in a godless culture as a great example for us.
C. We view Daniel 8:1-27 on understanding a type of the antichrist for our edification today (as follows):
II. Understanding A Type Of The Antichrist For Our Edification, Daniel 8:1-27.
A. We before learned that the Daniel 7-12 visions describe challenges God's people would face after Daniel's era under future godless empires until the arrival of Christís Kingdom.† One major theme of these visions is the rise of various antichrists that 1 John 2:18 claims exist even in our era, but who merely foreshadow the final actual antichrist.† Daniel's reactions to these revelations guide us in how to apply this information for today.
B. We thus view Daniel 8:1-27 on understanding a type of the antichrist in that vision for our edification:
1. The vision on Daniel 8:1-8 predicted the rise of Medo-Persia and Greece before the time of Christ (Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, ftns. to Dan. 8:1; 8:9), and it repeats parts of the previous Daniel 7 vision.
2. However, Daniel 8:9-14 adds the prediction that an especially vile Greek ruler would arise to plague Israel.
3. The angel's interpretation of the vision reveals details of this ruler, claiming he would be a type of the future antichrist who will rise in the Revived Roman Empire in the Great Tribulation, Dan. 8:15-18, 19-25:
a. When Daniel sought to understand the vision (Daniel 8:15), an angel clarified the vision as pertaining to events that were still future from Daniel's perspective (Daniel 8:16-19; Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1356).
b. The angel then explained that the ram in this vision represented Medo-Persia, Daniel 8:20.
c. The shaggy goat with a large horn between its eyes represented Greece and its first king, Alexander the Great, who was enraged at the Persians for defeating the Greeks at Marathon and Salamis near Athens, and the Persians were helpless before Alexander the Great's small but fast army, Daniel 8:21,7; Ibid., p. 1358.
d. Alexander died suddenly in 323 B. C. and his kingdom was divided among his four generals: Ptolemy ruled Egypt and parts of Asia Minor, Cassander ruled Macedonia and Greece, Lysimachus ruled Thrace and parts of Asia Minor while Seleucus ruled Syria, Israel and Mesopotamia, Daniel 8:22,8; Ibid.
e. Later, a vile king would arise in the Seleucid dynasty and he would oppress Israel (Daniel 8:23-25a), but he would be destroyed in divine judgment without human involvement, Daniel 8:25b.† From history, we know this was Antiochus IV Epiphanes who badly mistreated Israel, desecrated her temple for 1,150 days (2,300 morning and evening sacrifices) and tried to force Israel to give up her beliefs, Ibid., p. 1358-1359.† From him, seven facts inform us of the future antichrist, whom Antiochus foreshadowed, Ibid., p. 1359:
i. He will achieve great power by subduing others, Daniel 8:24. (Antiochus murdered his brother who had inherited the Seleucid throne, coming to power by intrigue in 175 B. C., Ibid.)
ii. He will rise to power by promising false security to others, Daniel 8:25.
iii. He will be intelligent and persuasive, Daniel 8:23.
iv. He will be controlled by another, that is, by Satan, Daniel 8:24; 2 Thessalonians 2:9.
v. He will oppose Israel and subjugate her to his authority, Daniel 8:24-25.† (After the Romans forced him out of trying to rule Egypt, Antiochus tried to make Israel a buffer state between himself and Egypt by cruelly trying to force Israel to turn idolatrous and cease heeding her Law, Ibid.)
vi. He will rise up against the Prince of princes, opposing the Messiah, Jesus Christ, Daniel 8:25.
vii. His rule will be ended by divine judgment, Daniel 8:25. (Antiochus died insane in Persia in 163 B. C. soon after losing power to the warring Judas Maccabeus in late 164 B. C., Ibid., p. 1358-1359)
f. The angel directed Daniel to seal the vision for future believers (Daniel 8:26), and though Daniel did so, he was left emotionally drained over the great wickedness of this coming Greek king and the future antichrist!
Lesson: God revealed through the rise of Antiochus IV Epiphanes before the birth of Christ characteristics of the still future antichrist that God's people might better identify any antichrist-type ruler who is influenced by Satan.† Thus, God's people who face similar antichrists even now can avoid being misled and being influenced by them.
Application: Satan has many antichrists even in today's world (1 John 2:18), so may we note the characteristics of Antiochus IV Epiphanes that typify an antichrist-type ruler that we not naively follow him, but avoid his influence.