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The Last Days Duncan Heaster  
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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:

Matthew 24

2 Thess. 2

" 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

Many deceived v.11

" Deceivableness of unrighteousness" v.10 cp. Rev. 13:4

" Iniquity shall abound" v.12

The 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 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 (Dan.7:25 cp.2:21).

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 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 trouble"

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:

Daniel 11                                            

The Latter Day Tribulation

v.31 " Shall pollute the sanctuary"           

The beast's blasphemy against the


v.32 " Such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries"      

Some 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)

v.32,33 " The people that do know their   God shall be strong, and do exploits...instruct many"

Zealous preaching by the faithful

during persecution.

v.33 " They shall fall by the sword"             

The 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

Lk.21:24 concerning the tribulation.

" Many days"

1260 days

v.35 " Some of them of understanding shall fall" (in death)

" To try them, and to purge, and to make them white"

" Even 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?

" Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried" (Dan. 12:10)

The tribulation continues right up to the end- the Lord's coming. The time appointed - 3.5 years of Dan. 12:7?

v.36 " The King...shall exalt himself"           

As 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 antichrist.

" And magnify himself above every god,     and shall speak marvellous things against  the God of gods"

The man of sin exalts himself above all that is called God (2 Thess.2:4); the horn speaks blasphemy against God.

v.38 " He shall sit in the seat of the             

Almighty God" (

Sitting 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.