The Antichrist and Four Horsemen Arise following World War III: In the book – The Rapture – The Tribulation Reign of the Antichrist, the theology of Daniel 11 is depicted in regard to the Antichrist’s Tribulation reign. In chapter 11, Daniel begins by stating “And now I will tell you the truth.” Daniel says he is going to lay it out, tell the truth and nothing but the truth, no holds barred. He’s going to tell the hard truth of what’s going to happen during the Great Tribulation.
Obviously, when interpreting prophesy, it is important to see that God “spoke long ago to the fathers, in the prophets, in many portions and in many ways” (Hebrews 1:1). Each of these video segments is spoken from a spiritual perspective, and to some extent, we see through a glass dimly. Still, it is imperative that we approach prophesy with expectant hearts, even as it says, “Know then that there shall fall to the earth nothing of the word of the Lord” (II Kings 10:10).
Now to Daniel 11. As we have seen in Daniel 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10, God foretold of the Tribulation period in what He repeatedly called the last days. As it says in 10:14, “Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.”
Moreover, note who was speaking with him. Daniel lifts his face and suddenly sees “One having the likeness of the sons of men” (16), and again in verse 18, “the One having the likeness of a man touched me.” This is Jesus, showing up to Daniel to convey vital information to him. Before we begin examining chapter 11, note the context of the end of chapter 10. Jesus tells Daniel that He must return to fight against the Prince of Persia, or Satan himself, which Jesus does during His crucifixion and resurrection, defeating him and taking back from him the keys of Hades and Death (Rev 1:18). Jesus then states that afterward, the Prince of Greece will come, or the Antichrist. Now take this context into chapter eleven, and it opens up a whole new vision of what this chapter is truly foretelling.
Please hear me, those of you who are theologians, I am not disagreeing that chapter eleven was fulfilled in part through actual historical events that transpired, as has been covered extensively by other commentaries. I believe the events likely occurred in human history. But it is important to acknowledge that Jesus gave clear affirmation that this prophesy applies to the Tribulation Period, as He stated in Matthew 24:15 when He quotes from Daniel 11:31, “when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet standing in the holy place.” Paul the Apostle affirmed the same in II Thessalonians 2:2, that we are not to conclude that the prophesy is fulfilled until the day of the Lord, or Great Tribulation, actually comes, at which time the man of lawlessness will appear, stand in the Temple, and declare himself to be God. Thus, though God apparently allowed chapter eleven prophesies to come about in an historical context, their ultimate fulfillment is yet to occur. Thus, as we set out to interpret this difficult chapter, we need to start with what we know to be true. In other words, we start with the anchor verses such as 11:31 that speak of the abomination of desolation. Like a crossword puzzle, we work from the anchor verses and use the contextual framework to decipher the adjoining Scriptures. Let’s walk through it together.
Daniel stresses that he will now reveal the whole truth regarding the future events he has seen. Beyond the kingdoms of Babylon, Media-Persia, and Greece, Rome and out of it, the revived Roman Empire, will come forth. This fourth beast, the revived Roman Empire, and its mighty king, the Antichrist, will come forth after the Middle-east War, or World War III occurs. At first the Antichrist will represent the European Union, and through his leadership, he will defeat the Arabic and Russian armies that surround Israel. The sudden ascension of the Antichrist will be associated with the European Union for the briefest of moments, where he will get his way in bringing forth World War III. Verse 4 indicates that after he arises, his kingdom will be divided towards the four winds, or the entirety of the earth, wherein the four horsemen will collectively rule over the world. Note, verse 4, that the Antichrist will not be giving over authority to “his posterity”, but to his cohort of demonic powers that include the War Horse, Famine Horse and Death Horse.
Also the long-standing king of the South, Satan, shall become strong, which is happening in our day. It is prophetically foretold that as Nebuchadnezzar lost his mind due to arrogance, that Satan will be stripped of his sovereignty over the world due to his pride (Dan 4:29-32). At that time, one of his princes, the Antichrist, will be given authority in Satan’s stead, and have dominion, which speaks of God granting the Antichrist the crown to rule. Note Revelation 6:2, “and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquering.” In other words, the Antichrist could not truly be given the crown to rule if he were still subservient to Satan.
Verse 6, and at the end of the seven year Tribulation, the Antichrist and Satan, who regains his sanity, shall join forces. Together, they bring forth Armageddon (note Rev 16:13-16). Daniel states that “after some years, the daughter of the king of the South (Israel) shall go to the King of the North (Jesus) to make an agreement.” This speaks of Israel, who takes on the Antichrist as her husband after he signs the seven year treaty (Dan 9:27). However, after the abomination of desolation and the Antichrist’s ferocious attacks on Israel, they will eventually turn to the King of the North, or Jesus, and make a covenant that they will be His servants if He will rescue them from the armies of Armageddon that loom large against them.
Verse 6 continues, during the latter days of the Tribulation, Israel will turn back to Jesus, and will ask Him to protect them from the Antichrist. During the first half of the Tribulation, Israel will thrive under the Antichrist, who makes them prosperous beyond belief. However, as Daniel says here, Israel does not retain her power or position, which does not stand, but is given up by him “who begot her in those times.”
Verse 7, but a Branch from Israel’s roots shall arise in the Antichrist’s place, who shall come forth with an army. Jesus is the Branch (Is 11:1-2) who not only arose at His resurrection, but will arise in this future day. He shall come forth to save the remnant of Israel from the Antichrist. Appreciate that on Jesus’ behalf, Moses and Elijah, along with the 144,000 Witnesses, will come forth as Israel’s protectors for a time. The next phrase in the Aramaic indicates that on behalf of Jesus, they will establish a (maoz) place of protection for Israel, where they can (chazaq) grow firm and strong in their faith. This speaks of the protection afforded the Israeli people by the Two Witnesses. Various Scriptures tell of Mount Zion and the southern half of Jerusalem being under their protection (Is 14:32; Joel 2:32; Zech 14:2; Is 26:20, 27:2-3; 29:7). But note Isaiah 4:5-6: “Then the Lord will create over the whole area of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, even smoke, and the brightness of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory will be a canopy. There will be a shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection from the storm and the rain.” What this is saying, is that during the second half of the Tribulation, half of Jerusalem, the southern half, will be under Jesus’ protection through the oversight of the Two Witnesses.
Verse 9: “And He (Jesus) shall also carry their gods captive to Egypt, with their precious articles of silver and gold.” This speaks of Jesus, through the Two Witnesses and 144,000, overcoming the demonic principalities that would assault, not only Israel, but the world at large. The Two Witnesses help Israel to cast off its idol worship. The next phrase in Aramaic is best understood as saying, “And the King of the North will refrain from attacking some years.”
This speaks of Jesus coming to the Antichrist at the mid-point of the Tribulation, and declaring the judgments of the Father that have been passed (Daniel 7:10) in regard to the Antichrist’s brutal willingness to martyr the saints. Like unto the Hand of God that wrote on the wall, declaring that Belshazzar’s rule was removed from him, so Jesus will write on the wall of the Antichrist’s raucous gathering that his sovereignty is ended. But then Jesus, or more precisely, His hand, will disappear as He returns to Heaven.