12-3 The beast
and the man of sin
There are some connections
between Mt. 24 and 2 Thess. 2 which show that the " man of
sin" has specific reference to the last days, as Mt. 24 does:
Then shall many be offended" v.10
A falling away first" v.3
The love of many shall wax cold" v.12
They received not the love of the truth" v.10
Deceivableness of unrighteousness" v.10 cp. Rev. 13:4
Iniquity shall abound" v.12
mystery of iniquity" v.7
It seems reasonable
to equate this " man" with the specific " antiChrist"
of 1 Jn.2:18. The beast/ horn system is also an imitation of Christ- it
breaks in pieces the whole earth (Dan.7:23)- the same word used in Dan.2:40,44
to describe Christ's breaking in pieces of the nations at his return.
The little horn will " think to change times and laws" . This
is clearly alluding to Dan.2:21, where God alone is described as changing
the times and seasons. The little horn thus makes himself as God- the
man of sin " as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself
that he is God" (2 Thess.2:4). This man of sin will be destroyed
by the brightness of the Lord's second coming (2 Thess.2:8). He will therefore
be actively in existence in the last days. This man of sin will be revealed
during a falling away from the truth just prior to the return of Christ
(2 Thess.2:2,3). Thus whatever fulfilments of this power there may have
been over history, it has to be accepted that it will have a particular
manifestation in the last days.
The man of sin is "
the son of perdition" , clearly alluding to Judas (Jn.17:12). This
associates this power with the apostate element within the ecclesia. Through
infiltrating the ecclesia, he will sit " in the temple of God"
(2 Thess.2:4), i.e. the ecclesia. Judas was a betrayer; we have seen from
the Olivet prophecy that there will be betrayers within the ecclesia in
the tribulation period. The link with Judas surely teaches that there
will be a 'Fifth column' within the latter day ecclesia, who are connected
with the latter day Babylon / beast / man of sin.
However, it is possible
that these prophecies refer to a specific individual who claims that he
is Christ- a real 'antiChrist', possibly associated with a renegade Christian
(after the pattern of Judas being one of the twelve). It may even be that
he builds a literal temple, which would then be the abomination which
makes desolate standing in the holy place. Remember that the horn/beast
blasphemes the temple (Rev.13:6), and in their manifestation as the King
of the North, " he shall plant the tabernacle of his palace...in
the glorious holy mountain" of Zion (Dan.11:45). 2 Thess.2:8,9 point
the contrast between the Lord's coming and that of the man of sin- as
if the latter is a replica of the former. This new power will break in
pieces opposing nations just like Christ will (Dan.7:23 cp. 2:44); he
will institute a new set of laws world-wide as if he has God's authority
Some may be duped into
thinking that Christ has come back, when actually it is the 'antiChrist'
of the beast. The beast may have its adherents within the ecclesia who
will promulgate this view. The beast has a mouthpiece in another beast
that speaks like a dragon- i.e. like the beast- but has horns like a lamb,
i.e. a fake Christ. This beast " doeth great wonders, so that he
maketh fire come down from heaven on earth in the sight of men (i.e. this
is conscious exhibitionism), and deceiveth...by the means of these miracles
which he had power to do" (Rev.13:11-14). Bringing fire from Heaven
means that this is a conscious imitation of Elijah, implying that the
Elijah ministry is active during the tribulation. It will be opposed by
the publicity stunts of the beast system.
The idea of an anti-Christ
as a replica of the real Christ also occurs in Proverbs, where there is
a designed contrast between the woman of wisdom (representing Christ,
the seed of the woman, 1 Cor.1:24), and the " foolish woman"
who does the same external things as " wisdom" (e.g. Prov.9:1-5
cp. 9:14-17). This prototype antiChrist is a whore, which is a symbol
associated with the dragon/ Babylon/ beast of Revelation. Thus the antiChrist
and the beast are closely linked. Because of the false miracles, the weak
believer will worship the image of the beast and join the 666 system (Rev.13;14-18).
This is based on the image on the plain of Dura, which many of God's people
were duped into worshipping. Only the three friends seem to have refused
to do so. Perhaps the furnaces which were the means of punishment for
those who refused to worship the image are related to the furnaces of
the Nazi concentration camps, which we may well see repeated in the future.
There is repeated warning
by Jesus, Peter and John on the need to refuse the claims of a false Christ
in the last days. The few bogus Messiahs who have so far appeared do not
pose a real temptation to true believers. But there will be a temptation
to think that Christ is back when he is not. Especially poignant is Mt.24:26-
'Don't be tempted to go out into the desert (of Sinai, e.g.) to meet Christ
of your own accord, nor to go to the secret (temple) chambers (in Jerusalem);
because the coming of Christ will be as obvious as the lightning'. In
the same way as eagles are irresistibly drawn to the carcase, so we will
be to whatever place Christ appears at (Mt.24:28).
" A time of
We have suggested that
the blasphemous power building his palace on the temple mount in Dan.11:45
is the man of sin of 2 Thess.2, and thus also the little horn power. This
is before the second coming and resurrection described in Dan.12:2. It
is during this period that " there shall be a time of trouble such
as never was" for God's people, natural and spiritual- the time of
Jacob's trouble that occurs after Israel's present regathering to the
land. " That day is great, so that none is like it" (Jer.30:7).
Those who are written in the book experience it, but are saved from it.
This group must surely be true believers. Seeing that this will be a time
of trouble for God's people such as never was, the previous sufferings
of the Jews and the tribulation of the second world war will be nothing
compared to this. It will be so bad that it will seem that every one of
us will perish- " there should no flesh be saved" . But for
those who doggedly hold on to the patience and faith of the saints, the
glorious, miraculous deliverance will come. Even an Angel was so amazed
by the extraordinary nature of this time of trouble that he asked: "
How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?" . The answer was
" For a time, time and an half (i.e. three and a half years); and
when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people,
all these things shall be finished" (Dan.12:7,8). The Hebrew for
" the holy people" is literally 'the people of the holy ones'-
i.e. all those among natural and spiritual Israel who belong to their
holy guardian Angels. " All things" being fulfilled in Dan.12:8
is probably alluded to in the fig tree parable- the generation that see
the revival of Israel (fruit instead of leaves on the tree, as a result
of our preaching) during that three and a half year tribulation will live
to see the end of all things. The holy people are to be scattered (Dan.12:7).
The Hebrew means 'to break in pieces', and is also used regarding the
beast/horn breaking in pieces the whole earth (Dan.7:23). As it treats
us, so it will be judged, seeing that the little stone breaks in pieces
the beast/ image.
The " he"
of Dan.12:7 is the king of the north of 11:45- suggesting that the beast/
horn has something to do with latter day Assyria and Babylon. The faithful
will be " tried" (Dan. 12:10) by this invader, as Israel were
by the Babylonian invasion of the past (Jer. 9:7). The same word is used
in Zech. 13:9 and Mal. 3:2 concerning the faithful remnant in Jerusalem
enduring their future sufferings.
There are a number of
similarities between Daniel 11 and the prophecies concerning the persecution
of the saints by the horn/ beast/ man of sin:
Latter Day Tribulation
" Shall pollute the sanctuary"
beast's blasphemy against the
" Such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt
of those in the covenant
will be deceived
by the flatteries of the beast (cp. 8:25)
Such as do wickedly"
The wicked shall do wickedly" (12:10)
" The people that do know their God shall be
strong, and do exploits...instruct many"
preaching by the faithful
" They shall fall by the sword"
beast kills the saints with the sword and leads them into captivity
in the tribulation (Rev.13:10). " They shall fall by the
sword" is quoted in
" Some of them of understanding shall fall" (in death)
" To try
them, and to purge, and to make them white"
to the time of the end; because it is yet for a time appointed"
Some of you shall they cause to be put to death" (Lk. 21:16)-
the faithful remnant are characterized by their " understanding"
- of the prophecies?
shall be purified, and made white, and tried" (Dan. 12:10)
continues right up to the end- the Lord's coming. The time appointed
- 3.5 years of Dan. 12:7?
" The King...shall exalt himself"
the horn did over the other horns. If this verse is a continuing
description of Antiochus Epiphanes, then it just isn’t all true.
Rather it seems do we have another gap / jump in chronological
fulfilment, as happens elsewhere in daniel, until the latter day
And magnify himself above every god, and
shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods"
man of sin exalts himself above all that is called God (2 Thess.2:4);
the horn speaks blasphemy against God.
" He shall sit in the seat of the
as God in God's temple (2 Thess.2:4)
There are too many similarities
here for this to all be coincidental. The primary fulfilment of Dan.11
appears to be in the persecution of the Maccabees. The effective tribulation
which they went through then, preparing as it did a faithful remnant,
must be a dim shadow of what we and natural Israel are to undergo in the
near future. Note that Dan.11:33 and 12:10 emphasize that only those who
understand will spiritually survive the persecution. This should serve
as the ultimate inspiration to zealously apply ourselves to the study
of prophecy, rather than give up because it seems too difficult. To be
forewarned is to be forearmed.