- The man.
- Little is known of Daniel.
- He was of royal descent, according to Josephus.
- His birth place was probably Jerusalem.
- Nothing is recorded of his early years.
- At about the age of 12 to 15 (in chapter 1:4 he and his friends are called “children”) he is found among the first captives Nebuchadnezzar took to Babylon.
- He is mentioned in connection with three other youths.
- He and his companions are selected to be trained in the language, history and customs of the Chaldeans.
- The fortunes and misfortunes of Daniel are recorded in his book of prophecy.
- How long he lived and when and where he died cannot be determined with certainty.
- Epiphanius says he died in Babylon.
- Some say he died in Shushan in Persia.
- Little is known of Daniel.
- Egypt was the first world empire.
- Assyria succeeded Egypt as dominant in the world and was the first kingdom to attempt a one world government.
- Assyria gave way to Babylon.
- When the king of Assyria was weakened through rebellion and sickness, Nabopolassar revolted and declared himself the king of Babylon.
- He then attempted to make himself emperor of the world.
- The war between Assyria and Babylon caused Pharaoh Necho of Egypt to intercede in an attempt to participate in the plunder.
- Josiah, king of Judah, tried to form an alliance with Babylon and was killed in a battle with Egypt at Megiddo.
- Shallum (Jehoahaz) ruled for three months, but was carried by Necho to Egypt.
- Eliakim (Jehoiakim) became king and ruled for 11 years. He was defeated by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, the son of Nabopolassar, who carried some of the ruling class of Judah and some of the wealth of the Jerusalem temple to Babylon. Daniel was among this number.
- The Babylonian empire was defeated by the Medes and Persians.
- Philip of Macedon had for a long time desired revenge on Assyria for having invaded Greece.
- Philip died without having achieved his ambition of crossing the Mediterranean Sea and punishing Assyria.
- Alexander, the son of Philip, set out to fulfill his father’s desire and developed the Greek empire. He ruled the world for a short time.
- Alexander built roads throughout his empire and required all the people to speak the Greek language.
- Greece gave way to Rome.
- Upon the death of Alexander, his world empire was divided between his four generals.
- Slowly the Roman empire began to develop. Julius laid the military foundation upon which the kingdom was built.
- His adopted son, Octavian (later Augustus), opened the imperial period of Rome (30 B.C.).
- The man.
- The Book.
- The book was written in two languages. Chapters 2:4 to 7:28 are written in Aramaic, and the balance of the book in Hebrew.
- The predictive nature of the book declares its inspiration.
- Modern discoveries support the facts in the book of Daniel.
- Historical portion of the book of Daniel (1:1 to 6:28).
- Prologue of the book (1:1 to 1:21).
- The Babylonian captivity occurred in three stages. This was the first carrying away into Babylon in the reign of Jehoiakim (1-3).
- Children of the nobility chosen to go to Babylon. They were made eunuchs (2 Kings 20:17-18) and trained in the language and culture of the Babylonians (4-7).
- The diet test and its outcome (8-21).
- The famous dream of Nebuchadnezzar (2:1-49).
- The wise men of Babylon unable to describe and interpret the kings’ dream (1-14).
- Daniel offers to recite the dream and give its meaning (15-16).
- Jehovah reveals the matter to Daniel and his companions (17-24).
- Daniel describes the strange image Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream and tells the meaning, prophesying four world empires and Messiah’s kingdom (25-45).
- Nebuchadnezzar’s reaction (46-49).
- The fiery furnace (3:1-30).
- Nebuchadnezzar made a golden image and required all people to worship the image when they heard the sound of music (1-8).
- Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (three Jews) were accused of not worshipping the image (8-12).
- The king inquires if they will worship his golden image and they refuse (13-18).
- The three Jewish men are cast into the fiery furnace (19-23).
- The victims are delivered by the power of God (24-27).
- Nebuchadnezzar praises Jehovah and promotes Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (28-30).
- Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a tree and Daniel’s interpretation(4:1-37).
- Nebuchadnezzar’s pronouncement (1-3).
- The Babylonian king reports having had a dream, his wise men had not been able to make its meaning known to him (4-7).
- Nebuchadnezzar recounts his dream to Daniel (8-18).
- Daniel is stricken speechless (19).
- Daniel gives the meaning of the dream (20-27).
- One year later the prophecy of Daniel was fulfilled (28-33).
- Nebuchadnezzar’s recovery (34-36).
- Nebuchadnezzar fully converted to the worship of the one God (37).
- Writing on a wall (5:1-30).
- Belshazzar, grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, gave a feast for 1,000 of his lords (1).
- Vessels from the Jerusalem temple defiled and Jehovah insulted (2-4).
- Writing on the wall (5-6).
- The king’s wise men could not read the writing (7-9).
- The queen-mother’s recommendation (10-12).
- Daniel, 78, called to read the writing (13-29).
- End of the mighty Babylonian empire (30-31).
- The den of lions (6:1-28).
- Darius of Persia sets up his government (1-2).
- Daniel promoted (3).
- Occasion sought against Daniel (4).
- The law against praying to any god except Darius (5-9).
- Daniel defied the king and disobeyed the law (10).
- Daniel accused and thrown to the lions (11-17).
- The king’s lament (18-22).
- Daniel delivered (23).
- Daniel’s accusers punished (24).
- Darius’ proclamation concerning “the God of Daniel” (25-28).
- Prologue of the book (1:1 to 1:21).
- Visions and Dreams (7:1 to 12:13).
- Four beasts (7:1-28).
- Belshazzar is co-regent with his father, Nabonidus (1a).
- Dreams and visions (1b).
- Four beasts coming out of the sea (2-3).
- Lion with eagle’s wings (4).
- Bear with 3 ribs in his mouth (5).
- Leopard with wings and 4 heads (6).
- Terrible beast with iron teeth and 10 horns (7).
- The little horn with a big mouth (8).
- A scene in heaven — the Ancient of Days — a coronation in heaven (9-14).
- An explanation to the grieving Daniel (15-27).
- Daniel, though troubled, hid the matter in his heart (28).
- Vision of a ram, a he-goat, and a horn (8:1-27).
- A ram with two horns representing the Medo-Persian Empire (1-4).
- The he-goat with a horn between his eyes (5-6).
- The he-goat overcomes the ram; the he-goat’s horn is broken and 4 notable horns appear (7-8).
- A little horn comes from one of the 4 horns and desecrates the temple in Jerusalem (9-14).
- Gabriel’s explanation of the vision (15-26).
- Daniel fainted and was sick (27).
- Daniel’s prayer for himself and the people (9:1-27).
- The prayer (1-19).
- The sending of Gabriel to Daniel (20-23).
- Gabriel’s explanation of conditions — the 70 weeks of years (24-27).
- Vision of a man (10-1-21).
- Daniel is afraid because of the vision (1-9).
- Daniel is comforted by an angel (10-17).
- Persia and Greece in conflict (18-21).
- The rise and fall of the Grecian empire (11-1-45).
- Alexander of Macedon (1-4).
- An alliance, through marriage, between the king of Egypt and the king of Syria (5-6).
- Wars between Egypt and Syria (7-10).
- Continued struggles and intrigues between Syria and Egypt (11-19).
- Antiochus IV Epiphanes’ brutality foretold (20-24).
- Antiochus IV Epiphanes invades Egypt, but is driven back and again distresses the Jews in Jerusalem (25-39).
- Summary of Antiochus IV Epiphanes (40-45).
- The time of the end (12:1-13).
- The archangel shall stand up (12:1-4).
- The great deliverance (12:5-10).
- Waiting for the end (12:11-13).
- Four beasts (7:1-28).
Vol. 121, No. 08
No other term in the Bible stirs the imagination and fires such wild speculation as that of “antichrist.” The speculation is extreme among those religious teachers holding the various premillennial theories. It is the stuff of scary movies and novels that attract multitudes of superstitious worldlings. In their ignorance, authors weave a web of error. God’s word provides the light that will help us understand the who and what of “antichrist.”
The term is a combination of “anti’ and Christ. “Anti” has two basic meanings: (1) “over against,” hence one who puts himself in the place of Christ; (2). “opposition to,” i.e., one who stands in opposition to Christ.
From first to last, the story of the Bible is that of Satan’s attempts to take the place of God, and his opposition to the Creator’s rule and will. This was first displayed in heaven in the misty past when certain angels, not content with their position, sinned and were cast down to hell (2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6). Satan then appeared in Eden to corrupt the only creatures made in God’s image (Gen. 3:1-6).
In Noah’s day he nearly succeeding in snaring all of humanity in his vile net (Gen. 6:9-12). In Egypt, Satan’s man enslaved the Hebrews and slaughtered their male children. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, crushed God’s people and demanded that they worship his image (Dan. 3:1-5).
The Holy Spirit inspired Daniel to foresee Satanic efforts to hinder and even destroy God’s cause. From the broken Grecian Empire he saw a “little- horn that rose up to persecute God’s people (Dan. 8:9-14; 23-25). This represented the Syrian tyrant Antiochus Epiphanes (176-164). He hated the Jews and their religion. Their temple he robbed. He placed an image of Jupiter in the Holy of Holies. A swine was sacrificed on the sacred altar and the temple defiled with its blood. He forbade circumcision. Every copy of the Hebrew Scriptures that could be found was destroyed. He tore down the walls of Jerusalem. Truly he was anti-God.
Daniel also saw yet another little horn that persecuted God’s people. It sprang from the Roman Empire and most likely represented the vicious emperor Domition (Dan. 7:23-26). From Nero onward most of the Roman emperors were antichrist.
Jesus was confronted by antichrist forces of evil. At his birth, wicked Herod the Great sought to have him murdered. When his ministry was launched, the Jewish hierarchy waged an ongoing war against him and his teaching. Ultimately they secured his death. The Master warned his disciples of imposters who would claim to be Christ, i.e. messiah (Matt. 24:5). With deceitful signs they would lead many astray, even among the elect (Matt. 24:24).
Paul warned of a coming “man of sin” (2 Thess. 2:1-12) — described as the “son of perdition.” He would oppose and exalt himself against all that is called God or worshiped. He would sit in the temple of God and set forth himself as God. His coming would surely be a work of Satan. He would use lying signs and wonders to deceive people. This malevolent spirit of anti-Christian iniquity was already at work in Paul’s day.
The apostle John wrote of “antichrists,” not just one single evil individual. In his day there were already many antichrists. They formerly had been among the faithful churches but they have gone out from them because them were no longer with them in heart and mind (1 John 2:18-19). They were liars because they denied that Jesus is the Christ (1 John 2:22). They denied his Sonship to God. They were false prophets. In their teaching they denied Jesus had come in the flesh, i.e., his incarnation. They were actively at work in John’s day and he warned the brethren to reject and avoid them. They were deceivers (2 John 7). Because they did not abide in the doctrine of Christ, they had not God (2 John 9). There is an attitude or spirit held by certain false teachers then and now which John labels “anti-Christian” (1 John 4:1-3).
Antichrists are of two varieties. There are those yet within the church. Paul warned the Ephesian elders, “From among your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them” (Acts 20:30). He likewise warned Timothy that “some shall fall away from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Tim. 4:1-3). Such antichrists seek to corrupt the faith and practice of the church. They seek power and control over congregations.
Some create their own churches that compete with Christ’s church for the souls of men. These are counterfeit churches that do great damage to Christianity. We see popes who put themselves in the place of Christ, claiming to be the head of the church (Eph. 1:22). Of similar nature are the founders and heads of denominations. Founders and leaders of all the cults that pervert the message of the Master seek to situate their “church” in the place of Christ’s sacred body as antichrist. Most prominent in this class of antichrists are those theologians and “pastors” who have embraced one of the many varieties of religious skepticism. Claiming to be Christians, they deny Jesus existed from eternity, that he is God, that he was virgin born, that he worked genuine miracles, that his death secured for- give of humanity’s sins, and that he arose and ascended back to heaven. Occupying positions in seminaries and churches, these unbelievers are against Christ and his holy Cause.
Then there are those antichrists who in no way are associated with Christianity. They are unbelievers of every stripe who hate Jesus, his church, his word, and his disciples. Their hatred drives them to make war against the saints (Rev. 12:13-17). This warfare can be violent, physical persecution such as Rome and Jews employed in the early years. Modern examples of this violent anti-Christian spirit are seen in Russia under Communism, China, Cuba and most Muslim nations.
The opposition of unbelieving anti-Christians can be ideological such as presently prevails in academia, the media and the entertainment industry. They ignore the existence of Christianity, or they marginalize Christians. They subject them to ridicule and continual assaults on their faith. This opposition can take the form of legal harassment. Anti-Christian organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State use every legal trick to hinder, hobble, and undermine the influence of Christianity in America.
Imagining antichrist to be some horrid supernatural enemy who is to come at the end of our age, many are ignorant, blind, and unaware of the antichrists working in their very midst!
Paul describes the end of all such anti-Christian enemies, “Whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath of his coming” (2 Thess. 2:8). In the day when the Christ returns, “every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God “ (Phil. 2:10-11). This will certainly include every person who has set himself in the place of Christ or worked against his cause!12630 West Foxfire
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