People in the world certainly don't take the Antichrist seriously.
Come on, that's a movie. They put the Antichrist in the category of the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, fictional. There are a lot of people, even Christians, who don't believe the Antichrist is a real person that will come one day. Today on Connect with Skip Heitzel, Skip examines Daniel's words about the Antichrist, a real character who is coming one day. But before we begin, we want to let you know about a pair of resources that help you love the time you spend in God's Word and see God's sweeping plan for humanity across the pages of Scripture. So it's another new year and you've resolved to study through the entire Bible again. Very often, somewhere around 2 Chronicles, that wonderful goal can grind to a halt.
Well, this year can be different. We have a package of resources with an excellent strategy for successfully studying through all 66 books this year. It includes Skip Heitzig's book, The Bible from 30,000 Feet, which lifts you to a new biblical altitude to help you get a new view of the full counsel of God's Word.
Make 2023 the year you truly make it through a solid survey of the entire scope of Scripture. This package also includes Skip's super accessible book, How to Study the Bible and Enjoy It, along with The Bible from 30,000 Feet. Both are our thanks when you give $50 or more today to help reach more people through Connect with Skip Heitzig. Skip has asked the team at Connection Communications to make it a priority in 2023 to take daily messages as you've heard today and expand them into more metropolitan areas. It is obvious that the population centers of our nation are in deep need of hearing the truth, and that is exactly our plan for the future with Skip's teachings. Will you help us make that happen? Call 800-922-1888 or give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer.
That's connectwithskip.com slash offer. Okay, let's turn to Daniel 7 for today's lesson with Skip Heitzig. As we begin, I want to read to you a few statements, four statements that were made by a pretty prominent leader at one time. He said this, as a Christian, I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice.
Powerful statement. Another one, he said, I believe that today my conduct is in accordance with the will of the almighty creator. A third statement, mankind has grown strong in eternal struggles and will only perish through eternal peace.
And finally, he wrote concerning his own nation, for the first time, our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead. All of those statements were made in the 1930s by Adolf Hitler, the chancellor of Germany. He sounded so peaceful and he had so many believing that he was such a wonderful guy. One man wrote in his diary after being with Hitler, all sorts of people who have met Hitler are convinced that he is a factor for peace.
He does not seek war, but friendship. A previous prime minister of England named Lloyd George met Adolf Hitler after one hour, said Hitler is the greatest living German. And then one year later, he said, I only wish we had a man of his supreme quality at the head of affairs in our country today. Even the Anglican church was awed at Adolf Hitler, saying he is moral and ethical and makes a clear stand for religion. There was only one man in England who was not deceived. His name was Winston Churchill. He said, I'm not convinced. There's something up with this guy.
It's bad news, blues. Daniel chapter 7 describes a leader who is coming to this world who will make Adolf Hitler look docile and what happened in Nazi Germany like child's play. It is a ruler who will dominate the earth.
It is a ruler who will persuade and awe the people of this world. He is known most typically as the Antichrist, the Antichrist. A lot of people don't take that seriously. People in the world certainly don't take the Antichrist seriously. Come on, that's a movie. They put the Antichrist in the category of the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, fictional.
Some of you have that look like, you mean you're saying there's no Santa Claus? Daniel describes him, and he does so at length. Let's look at chapter 7, and let's pick it up at verse 8, though we read several verses last time we were together, and Daniel covered this.
Let's just kind of cover it all in one fell swoop, and then we'll make some remarks about his character. Verse 8, I was considering the horns, this is his vision, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots, and there in this horn were eyes, like the eyes of a man in a mouth speaking pompous words. I watched till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated, his garment was white as snow, the hair of his head was like pure wool, his throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire, a fiery stream issued and came forth from before him, a thousand thousands ministered to him, ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him, the court was seated, and the books were open. I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking, I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame.
As for the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. I was watching in the night visions, and behold one like the Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven, he came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought him near before him. Then to him was given dominion, glory, and a kingdom, that all people's nations languages should serve him, his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed.
I Daniel was grieved in my spirit within my body, and the vision of my head troubled me. I came near to one who stood by and asked him the truth of all this, so he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things. Those great beasts which are four are four kings which arise out of the earth, but the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever. Then I wish to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, whose teeth of iron, its nails of bronze, which devoured broken pieces and trampled the residue with its feet, and the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up before which three fell, namely the horn which had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words, whose appearance was greater than his fellows.
I was watching, and the same horn was making war against the saints and prevailing against them, until the Ancient of Days came and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom. Then he said, the fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, shall devour the whole earth, trample it in pieces, and break it in pieces. The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom, and another shall arise after them. He shall be different from the first ones and shall subdue three kings. He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time. But the court shall be seated, and they shall take away his dominion to consume and destroy it forever. Then the kingdom and dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms, under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him. This is the end of the account. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts greatly troubled me.
My countenance changed, but I kept the matter in my heart. Just to refresh your memory, Daniel chapter 7 is a prophetic panorama of what happens from the time of Daniel throughout history until Jesus Christ comes back in a very compressed form. Chapter 7 is the panoramic view.
This is important. Chapters 8 through 7 through 12 will take portions of chapter 7 and expand or highlight an element or elements of it. Basically, Daniel sees four beasts that come out of the earth.
We already covered that last time we were together. These are four kingdoms, world empires, just like the dream that Nebuchadnezzar had in chapter 2. But that is not the main theme of this chapter. It's not that this kingdom and then that kingdom and that kingdom, that's included, but the main theme of chapter 7 is the kingdom of God through His Son, Jesus Christ.
The main theme of chapter 7 is that history, human history, culminates when God the Father gives to God the Son an everlasting kingdom. And we're going to take time and consider the coming of Christ as mentioned also in this chapter, but today I want to talk to you about this other personality called the Antichrist. Now, as you can expect throughout history, there have been many guesses as to who the Antichrist is.
I mean, it gets crazy, but here's the sampling. Early Christians believed it was Caesar Nero because of his persecutions against them. Others believed it was the emperor Caligula because in 37 A.D. he put an image of himself in the Jerusalem temple. Others guessed it would be Charlemagne, Napoleon, Hitler, Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Henry Kissinger, Sun Myung Moon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, and Barack Obama have all been called the Antichrist by different groups of people.
I guess it depends on what side you're on, right? You're the Antichrist. I think it's safe to say that none of the aforementioned were or are the Antichrist. We want to look at who that personality is, and there's basically four words that describe him. Ruler, speaker, oppressor, speaker, oppressor, loser. He will be a powerful ruler. He will be a prideful speaker. He will be a painful oppressor, but he will be the principal loser.
Let's look at the first one. He's going to be a powerful ruler. You noticed in verse 8 and verse 11 and verse 20 and verse 21 that this person is described in vision form as a little horn that comes up, a little horn. A horn signifies a strong ruler. An animal's horn was the animal's strength.
It was used as a weapon, and it was a symbol of power and might. Several times in Scripture, a notable one is Psalm 75 where the Lord says, all the horns of the wicked I will cut off, but the horns of the righteous will be exalted. So little bighorn, or you might say big little horn, this little horn has big plans, and his plans are world domination, to take over everything, and he will increase in strength because he will need to subdue three kings that are mentioned to rule. Now, chapter 7, the antichrist is called the little horn. In chapter 8, he's called the king of fierce countenance. In chapter 9, he's called the prince that shall come, and in chapter 11, he's called the willful king. Different names, all speaking of the same person, the final ruler before Jesus Christ comes back. He's most famously known, or should I say infamously known, as the antichrist. That's what most people, most Christians refer to him as and speak to him with that name, the antichrist, or about him with that name. But did you know that there are over 25 titles of the antichrist in the Scripture? Revelation 13 calls him the beast. Jesus Christ called him the abomination that causes desolation, referring to what Daniel spoke of.
Paul the apostle in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 calls him the lawless one, the man of sin, the son of perdition. But Daniel was the first guy to speak about him very explicitly and comprehensively. When we get to the New Testament and the church has been established, the earliest Christians had heard about the antichrist.
They knew all about him. John writes in 1 John chapter 2, little children, you have heard that antichrist is coming. Now, where did they hear that? Probably somebody had been teaching them the book of Daniel. You have heard that antichrist is coming. They heard that because they heard people teaching it in their churches.
They knew about it. Certainly Paul described it. Certainly Jesus spoke about him.
But all of that was based upon what Daniel wrote about him principally in Daniel chapter 7. Notice a couple of things about him. In verse 20, it says his appearance is greater than his fellows.
The word means chief or ruler. He will seem stronger. He will have to be stronger to subdue these three kings and to dominate the ten. In verse 8 and in verse 20, he has eyes. What a weird vision.
I saw a little horn come up and these little eyes blinking. Eyes signifies insight, intelligence. I believe he will be very clever and very shrewd. I think he's going to have a remarkable mental acumen, mental ability to give advice and to solve problems.
I think he's going to be so enamoring, so overwhelmingly attractive to people. Because in Revelation 13, the world will say, says this, they wondered after the beast and said, who is like the beast? Translation, wow. This guy is it.
Creme de la crème. They wondered after him. I can't prove it, but I believe Jesus was referring to him when he said in John chapter 5, I have come in my Father's name and you do not receive me. Another will come in his own name, him you will receive. So somehow this little horn, this coming powerful ruler is going to be attached to the ancient Roman Empire, that fragmented that broke up.
And 10 fragments will reemerge some way, somehow. Now, if you know your history, you know that the Roman Empire, Rome itself was attacked by a whole bunch of different hordes of barbarian tribes, including the Franks and the Huns and the Saxons and the Vandals and the Visigoths. And that the city of Rome was sacked eventually in 476 AD by the Visigoths. But that's not the whole Roman Empire. The Roman Empire in 395 AD, about 80 years before, had split into two legs, one in the west, one in the east. The west was Rome, the east was Constantinople, modern-day Istanbul. In that sense, the eastern Roman Empire continued for yet another thousand years. It was different from all of these other Roman empires. It was different from all of these other world-governing empires that existed. Now, what the final form of this will be, I do not know, and I'm not prepared to say definitively.
For years, people guessed it was the European Economic Community, a revived Roman Empire, where the euro gets strong and 10 European nations. I'm going to suggest to you in a couple of weeks that there is a system in place right now upon the earth that is growing so rapidly and so frighteningly that it fits the prophetic picture, I believe, better than anything else. It's very, very scary, but you're going to have to wait for a couple of weeks to get that. And somebody will protest and say, come on, this is modern time. The idea of a single world dictator in the midst of modern political structure, that's not going to happen. Well, hold that thought.
You've got to hold it for two weeks, but hold that thought. He's going to be a powerful ruler, according to Scripture. The second remarkable thing to note is he will be a prideful speaker.
In verse 8, verse 11, verse 20, and verse 25, describe this little horn coming up, not only with eyes, but with a mouth. It can speak. This ruler, I believe, will have incredible oratorical ability. He'll be very articulate. Revelation 13, describing the beast, said he was given a mouth speaking great things. He's going to communicate so effectively that he'll be able to bring peace in the Middle East. Now, just imagine that. That's been a jigsaw puzzle no one has been able to solve. He's going to be able to solve it. In Revelation chapter 6, you can just make a note of this.
Don't have to turn there. The Antichrist is described as the rider on the white horse. He's the first of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. We are told in that chapter, I saw a white horse and a rider on that horse who went out conquering and to conquer. Now, that is not Jesus Christ. That's the Antichrist. Jesus Christ is the rider on the white horse in Revelation chapter 19 that judges that present kingdom of the Antichrist and brings peace to the earth after that. The rider in chapter 6, we know it's not Jesus because he brings with him death, destruction, disease, and desperation, bloody carnage upon the earth. Go, yeah, but he's on a white horse. Remember the old westerns? Remember that bad guys were on the black horses, wore the black hats, the good guys on the white horses with the white hats? So if you were a really bad guy but you wanted to fake people out, you'd put on a white hat.
You'd get on a white horse. The Antichrist will be the ultimate wolf in sheep's clothing, and he will be very, very confident because it says he spoke pompous words, inflated words. Low self-esteem will not be his problem.
He will exude self-confidence. I heard about a guy from Texas who went to Niagara Falls. You know, everything's big in Texas. Everything's better in Texas. If you're a Texan, please, I'm not offending you. I'm a Californian, so there. This Texan went and saw Niagara Falls, and his host pointed out the beautiful falls, the magnificent. He said, you got anything that big in Texas?
The Texan said, nope, but we got plumbers who can fix that. Well, the Antichrist is going to come to fix that. He's going to fix all the bad stuff that has happened in the world, all the leaks in the world, and he will be able, with his speech, to persuade people. One commentator said he will have the oratorical skill of a John Kennedy, the inspirational power of a Winston Churchill, the determination of a Joseph Stalin, the vision of a Karl Marx, the respectability of a Mahatma Gandhi, the military prowess of a Douglas MacArthur, the charm of a Will Rogers, the genius of a King Solomon. Imagine having all that wrapped up into one person.
Charming, disarming, clever, problem-solver. But he's going to be dangerous because his enticing speech, at some point in his career, will turn to blasphemous speech. Look at verse 25, and just note, he shall speak pompous words against the most high. This guy's going to have a mouth.
And with all of his ability to schmooze, and ability to persuade, at some point, in his short career, he's going to turn on people and reveal who he really is. Revelation 13 tells us, he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. That's probably going to happen in the middle of the tribulation period. You probably know the tribulation, according to Daniel, and revelation. According to Daniel and revelation, will last seven years. The last half of the seven years, the last three and a half years, is called the great tribulation. What marks the difference between the first and second half is an event called the abomination of desolation. Jesus spoke about it.
Daniel spoke about it. That's when the Antichrist, the world ruler, the little bighorn, the big mouth, announces to the world, I want you to know that I am the one you should worship. I am the one who is your Lord and God. Paul the Apostle, 2 Thessalonians 2, speaking of him, said he will oppose and exalt himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
He'll be able to schmooze Arab and Jew and bring peace, will allow the Jews to have their temple, but eventually, eventually, he's going to want the worship. Who does that sound like? Could it be Satan? Remember that?
That's who it is. The devil is the one who said, I will be like the most high. He wanted to be worshiped.
Still does. His agenda has never changed. The Antichrist will be his ambassador. That's Skip Heitzig's message from his series, I Dare You. Now, here's Skip to share how you can help keep this broadcast going strong, connecting you and others around the world with God's word. Daniel was able to live as a witness for God because he was intentional about staying connected to the Lord.
That's why we share these teachings, to encourage you to keep cultivating your relationship with God. We want to invite you to help keep these messages online and on the air so more friends like you can experience God's presence in their life as they keep growing in their faith. In this new year, I'm praying that we'll be able to reach people in more U.S. cities, but I'll need your help to make that possible.
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800-922-1888. Thank you for your generosity. Tune in tomorrow as Skip Heitzig explores the end of the world as we know it and how Christ will ultimately defeat the enemy. So we have a powerful ruler who's a prideful speaker and a painful oppressor. The best news in this scenario is that he will be the principal loser, the ultimate loser. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
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