The remainder of chapter 11 has some very interesting facts about the Antichrist that run counter to what some would believe about him. Let's read Daniel 11:35-45. What do these verses tell us?
Verse 35 places the context of the remainder of the chapter into currently unfilled prophecy, saying that it will be fulfilled in the time of the end, being yet for a time appointed.
In Daniel 11:36-39, we find these things about the Antichrist.
- He will do what pleases him - literally - according to his will.
- He will exalt himself and magnify himself above every god.
- He will speak against the God of gods himself.
- He won't regard the god of his fathers - whether this is a reference to Jehovah or to a false god is not stated.
- He won't be moved by women's affections for him.
- He will magnify himself above everything else.
- He will honor the military (the god of forces).
- He will give gold and silver, precious stones and pleasant things to a god that was unfamiliar to his fathers.
- He will acknowledge the god of forces as seen in his strong holds and will divide up the land he conquers as it suits him for profit, letting his forces rule in a military form of government.
- He will prosper until God says enough!
- When God's appointed time is reached and the remainder of prophecy is to be fulfilled, he will be taken out!
Daniel 11:40-44 records unfulfilled prophecy regarding end battles of the age. Here, it declares that a king of the south (Egypt) will make war with the Antichrist (the king of the North). The Antichrist will come at him as a whirlwind with chariots, horsemen, and many ships. He will enter into the countries in between, will overflow, and pass over them. He will enter Palestine, overthrowing many countries in the process. However, Edom, Moab, and the children of Ammon will escape. These are generally geographically represented by the areas of Jordan and the western portions of Saudi Arabia, probably ruling out Jordan at the least as a possible place where the Antichrist will come from.
He will move and attack Egypt, and Egypt will not escape, taking the boundaries of his kingdom to the edges of Libya and Ethiopia. War tidings from the east and the north will trouble him at this point in his campaign, and he will go forth with great fury to destroy and will wholly consume many.
Extent of Antichrist's rule
There are some important points to note here. Many will teach you that the Antichrist will rule worldwide, without exception. However, this is plainly rejected by the scriptures here in Daniel. It is clear that his war plans will not even succeed against all of the countries in the region, much less the world. In the middle of his campaign against Egypt, he will be distracted by word of attacks pending against his northern and eastern flanks, which will trouble him. If he cannot control even this region, then there is no reason to believe that he will control the entire world as most teach.
That isn't to say that God's judgments will not be poured out on the whole world. After all, the church will be raptured before the bulk of Revelation unfolds. Everyone that is left on Earth, will have rejected Christ as their Savior if they had heard of Him. If they hadn't heard of Him, they will have lived a life ignoring what the Holy Spirit was telling them was right and wrong and voluntarily choosing to do wrong thus giving up their chance at salvation via Romans 2:12-16. Everyone left behind is fair game for the unfolding of God's judgment and the pouring out of His just wrath. So you are still likely to have a very miserable life post-rapture, even if the Antichrist isn't actually ruling over you. Some of the judgments are specifically stated to only affect a portion of the world (a 1/3rd part, a 1/4th part, those who take the mark of the beast, the throne of the beast and his kingdom). Others have no limitation (the demon-locusts and the devil's wrath). So from Scripture, it is pretty clear that there will be different levels of judgment, even from God, in the tribulation and great tribulation period.
The U.N. Scenario
It is also possible that if the United Nations interpretation of the fourth beast of Daniel 7 is correct, that the Antichrist will have assumed power there giving a nominal rule over the world even if there are still other governments in the way. The Secretary-General is elected for a 5 year term, and generally serves for 2 terms. In practice, they are elected from member nations who aren't permanent members of the Security Council, and tend to rotate regionally. Thus, it is perfectly possible for the future Antichrist to first come to power in the United Nations, with the expectation of serving out the majority of a 10-year term. There might well be pressure to remove him from office if he starts wars, but he may be able to make it look like a U.N. action that needs to be undertaken and lead the attacks with a U.N. imprimatur. In this event, it is certainly possible that neighbors to his home country might boycott the U.N. or break off from it in response to his actions, leading to them "escaping" from his hand. Even today, many governments only submit to the U.N. at their pleasure and routinely ignore laws they don't like. There isn't much reason to believe that this would change in the future.
The world will be in pretty awful shape, post-rapture, so many governments may well cede much more authority to the United Nations in an effort to band together and survive. They're already ceding much more power to the U.N. than they should as far as I can see, so don't be surprised if it goes even farther in an Apocalyptic scenario. I don't claim that the authors of the Left Behind series have the fictional parts of their series correct (fiction by definition doesn't have any firm basis in reality!) But, the parts based on prophecy may well be optimistic and are pretty much correct in my view. Life on planet Earth is really going to be a mess unless Christianity wanes drastically before the rapture, leading to less disruption of services in general. If you have trouble reading and understanding prophecy and my words don't end up helping you to understand Revelation, check that series out of the library and read it. It reads fast, even though it is many, many volumes, and generally gets the prophecy right - with the possible problem being the extent of the Antichrist's domination on the world scene.
I would point out that one of the problems with the Security Council being the 10 horns is that the way the U.N. is structured. Every permanent member of the Security Council has veto power. I personally suspect that the move to increase the permanent membership to 10 (or 11) will be the effective end of the U.N. as the fourth beast, if it is in fact that beast. The reason is that even now, it is hard to get anything significant passed because of the veto threat of the Security Council. If its base is broadened by expanding to 10 or 11 permanent members, then it will be that much harder to get anything done by it. The very act of increasing the veto power, especially if certain states are allowed to be permanent members, may well tie the U.N.'s hands when it comes to stopping the Antichrist's war plans, simply due to his ability to force a veto of any U.N. action. That will leave it up to individual countries to do something and as noted earlier, their hands may be full dealing with their own problems.
The Classical Scenario
If the U.N. variant is not correct for the fourth beast, then we have some country (other than the above mentioned countries that will explicitly be on the other side) rising up as a power in the portion of the old Grecian empire of Seleucus. If you will remember, we had said that by directions we felt the Antichrist would rise from either the Seleucus portion or the Ptolemy portion of the old Grecian empire. Now, since the Ptolemy portion is attacked from the north by the Antichrist, it would point to the portion ruled by Seleucus. If the areas of Jordan and portions of Saudi Arabia are out, that limits the locations he will come from further. There is still a lot of territory and nations involved, but at least you don't have to look world wide in the classical view of interpreting Daniel 7-12.
It is likely that the forces of the North and East that are spoken of may well be Russia and perhaps India / Pakistan, or they may be nearer to the fight from some of the breakaway republics of the old Soviet Union or other present day antagonists in the region such as Iraq or Iran. Keep in mind that the less Christian a nation is when Christ returns, the less damage they will be likely to immediately suffer to their infrastructure due to pilot less planes crashing, nobody around to grow or harvest crops, less cars or other vehicles crashed on roads, less looting and general disruption due to unguarded homes, et cetera.
Some countries may not feel the loss of their Christian populations much at all. Others (and quite possibly the countries that have been keeping the peace for quite a while), will probably be heavily impacted. As Christians, we would like to think that the whole world will be affected, but the reality is that the effects will be different in each country, with some hard hit and others lightly grazed.
Bottom Line Rule
The basic thought to take away from the above two options, is that whichever view is correct, the Antichrist will have armed conflict during his reign / rule. This conflict will not go away - he will rule by force and will be opposed by force, so he cannot dominate the world, regardless of his seat of power. He will, however have a great deal of influence in the region that includes Israel.
In the last verse of the chapter, we see that he will put up his own tabernacles between the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean Seas on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. In the end, he will come to an end and none will come to help him.
The Great Tribulation
Daniel concludes in chapter 12 with the transition to the great tribulation. At the time that the Antichrist sets up his palace in the holy mountain. Michael, the angel that is the defender of Israel casts Satan and his angels to earth to be among men. There will be trouble unlike any known before. At that time, the Jews who have been converted to Christianity post-rapture will be delivered (those whose names have been written in the book of life - the 144,000 person man-child of Revelation).
The next verse records the resurrections that will take place in the future as well. First, the resurrection of the just (pre-Millennium) occurs. Later, the resurrection of the unjust (White Throne judgment) occurs. The just will be resurrected to eternal life, shining with the brightness of the firmament, especially those that have led many to righteousness. The unjust will be resurrected to eternal shame and everlasting contempt at the white throne judgment.
It must be noted that this is a resurrection of the body. There is no soul sleep taught in Scripture. Souls which die go directly to hell or to heaven post-Christ (to paradise pre-Christ). Only the bodies remain in the ground (sea, space, or other resting place) till the final uniting of body, soul, and spirit again to stand and be finally judged for eternity.
The remainder of the chapter deals once again with time durations that these events shall take... I'd like to give a couple of short passages from Dake dealing with these periods.
3 "time" periods of Dan. 12 (12:7):
- The "time, times and an half," or the 3 1/2 years (Dan. 12:7), are the 42 months of Antichrist's war on Israel till God purges every rebel from the nation making her willing to do His will (Ezek. 20:33-38; Zech. 13:9; Mal. 3:3). Antichrist could easily destroy Israel in a short time after he breaks his covenant with them, if God were not to interfere. But God will supernaturally cause the ground to open up and swallow the armies of the dragon and Antichrist as they flee after Israel when she goes into the wilderness of Moab and Edom to escape from the hands of Antichrist (11:41; Isa. 16:1-5; Mt. 24:16; Rev. 12:14-17); and He will protect the remnant of the woman which does not flee into the wilderness, through stirring up the countries of the north and east against the Antichrist. He will then leave the remnant during the last 3 1/2 years, going forth to conquer these nations. They will keep him occupied during this time. Then after conquering these countries, he will lead them and many other nations against Jerusalem to destroy it, but God will come and put an end to Gentile dominion and deliver Israel (Zech. 14; Rev. 19). This war between Antichrist and countries of the north and east will cause the persecution of Israel to be shortened as in Mt. 24:22.
- The next period is an addition of 30 days to the 1,260 days of the above mentioned period (v.11)
- The last period is 1,335 days, an addition of 45 days to the second period. The extra 75 days (the 30 days and 45 days) added to the 1,260 days will complete the 1,335 days of Dan. 12:7-13, the last day of which will be the actual day of the proclamation of the kingdom, when men who have lived through the tribulation will be blessed. It is the actual time when Christ will say to the sheep nations: "Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Mt. 25:34). These extra 75 days will be taken up by certain events necessary to the actual proclamation of the kingdom.
18 events of the 75 days:
- The battle of Armageddon (Joel 3; Zech. 14; Rev. 19:11-21)
- Burial of the dead begun (Ezek. 39:8-22)
- Great earthquake and splitting of the Mt. of Olives (Zech. 14:1-5)
- Rounding up of the prisoners of the armies of Antichrist and disposition of them (Ezek. 39:2)
- Rounding up and casting of Satan and every demon and fallen angel into the abyss (Isa. 24:21-22; Rev. 20:1-3)
- Gathering of Israel by the angels (Isa. 11:10-12; Mt. 24:31)
- Gathering of the nations to judgment (Mt. 25:31-46)
- Separation of the tares and wheat (Mt. 13:39-50)
- Cleansing Jerusalem and beginning its rebuilding for the eternal kingdom (Ezek.48)
- Rounding up of all beast worshipers and all who have the mark of the beast to be sent to hell (Rev. 14:9-11)
- Erection of the Millennial temple (Ezek. 40-46; Zech. 6:12-13)
- Sending out the resurrected saints as the new earth rulers to take over every inhabited part of the earth (Dan. 7:18, 27; 1 Cor. 6:2; Rev. 5:10, 11:15, 22:4-5)
- Sending out missionaries from Jerusalem to evangelize the nations (Isa. 2:2-4, 11:9, 52:7; Zech. 8:23)
- Establishing government offices in every part of the earth and publishing the new laws of the kingdom of heaven on earth (Isa. 2:2-4)
- Division of the promised land in 12 strips and the settlement of the 12 tribes in their portions (Ezek. 48)
- Opening of the earth and starting of the Millennial river (Ezek. 47)
- All necessary work in making the deserts blossom as a rose, waters to spring forth in the deserts, changing the animals, regulating the solar system as it was before the fall, and many other events that will continue throughout the Millennium and new earth forever, as listed on p. 311-312*
This concludes our diversion to Daniel. It is striking how much of the book has been fulfilled in actual history and gives us a good feeling that the rest of the claims it makes will also come to pass in the fullness of times. As we look around the world today, it is easy to think that that time might be imminent. God does have His own schedule and He can certainly tarry for a third Millennium if He chooses. Or He could come before you finish this sentence. If you aren't ready, now is the time to get ready. There will never be a better one in your life.
Dake goes into a great deal more detail than we can ever hope to cover in a Sunday School lesson about answered and unanswered prophecy in the Old Testament. If you would like more information, I strongly suggest you purchase a Dake Bible for yourself and get to studying. There is column after column of very small print detailing how the prophecies have been fulfilled. It is a great reference to have, regardless of your denomination.
There are many other prophecies in the Old Testament that deal with the end times, but most of those dealing with the timing and characteristics of the Antichrist are found in Daniel. Some deal with Armageddon, some deal with the Millennial reign of Christ or characteristics of Jerusalem or Israel at the time of the second advent. We may pick up some of the others at appropriate times as we finish out Revelation.
If you want to read up on some other bits of prophecy about the Antichrist, read Ezekiel 38 and 39. You can read to the end of that book for information about the Earthly new Jerusalem during the Millennium. While you are there, if you are a church leader be sure and look back to read Ezekiel 34 (or Jeremiah 23). It's a good reminder of what God expects of you.
The other major and minor prophets are full of prophecy about the future - Isaiah 63-66, Joel 2, Joel 3, Micah 4, Zephaniah 3, Haggai 2, Zechariah, portions of Malachi, and I'm sure some others I've missed. A lot of times we think of the Old Testament as only a recording of what happened to Israel before Christ came, but it is full of information that applies to our day as well. You also get a real good grasp of the Holiness of God by reading about His relationship to His chosen people. It gives us a good sense of what He expects of us as well.
For those of you who have been patiently waiting for us to resume our discussions in Revelation, we will start up next week with Revelation 4 and continue there till we go back for a brief detour to the Olivet prophecy of Christ.