Daniel 2:41-43

What do you know about the Antichrist and the "last times"? Observe the revelation which Daniel got from God about the last human kingdom, before the coming of the kingdom of God:

Daniel 2:41-43

"Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay"

There is an idiomatic explanation we think should be done. "...the people will be a mixture..." in verse 43 is the rendering of "mitarebín lehevón mizrá anashá" which means "...they will mix themselves in the seed of men..." or "...in human seed..." where "mizrá" is "in seed" and "anashá", "human". The meaning, translating this way, is that the mix is purely human and disregarding God's purposes. Otherwise is NIV's rendering very literal. There are no major differences in translating Aramaic to the different languages. But when we talk about the interpretations, we will find many different ones, and we have to find the truth, if our revelation about the future will be based on biblical prophecy.

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Some days ago I was reading in the NET the testimony of a Christian brother that got visitors who came to his church, preaching that "the Antichrist had appeared". Those "preachers of the gospel" used some arguments to show that the Antichrist was the former USA president, Mr. Ronald Reagan. The reason was an economic program of the president which wasn't very popular among them, and it was ridiculed as "reaganomics" and it's supporter was attacked as well. Maybe it seems to be kind of joke nowadays, to listen to a so cheap "theology" without spirit. But before judging or blame them, let's remember that this "Antichrist" which the Biblie talks about has been identified - among many others - with:

Nero and Mohammed (who persecuted Christians)
Antiochus IV Epiphanes, Titus Flavius Vespasianus and Adolf Hitler (who persecuted Jews)
Several Popes (who persecuted Protestant Christians, for instance Leo X who excommunicated Martin Luther)

This list could be very long, and includes more modern and colorful names as Mikhail Gorbachev, Joseph Stalin, Benito Mussolini, Muammar Gaddafi or Fidel Castro. Imagine how long could we go in our ignorance, without a revelation of the Spirit of God about the truth which is prophesied in the Bible. It is not the same thing "the spirit of the antichrist" - denying Christ, and the determination to persecute Christians or Jews, a "spirit" which has moved many leaders through history - or "to be the Antichrist" who will rise as a ruler in the days of the Lord's coming, and who is prophesied in the Bible. The "spirit of the antichrist" (1st John 4:3) can emerge, and even has arised among the believers, in the church (much more among civil rulers who don't respect "freedom of religion") but the "Antichrist" (Daniel 7:8, 24-27; Daniel 9:26-27; Revelation 6:2; 13:5-8; 19:20) will be a specific person which will emerge as the last human ruler, an anti-Christian and antisemite one, to be defeated at the Second Coming of the Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ.

One of those names mentioned above, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, requires some analysis. This Greek king of the Seleucid Empire is prophesied in the book of Daniel chapter 8, and in Daniel 11:21-35, too. Because of his acts, similar to those of the Antichrist, some false interpretations identify this "little horn" in Daniel 8:9-12, 23-25 with the one in Daniel 7:8, 24-27. But, wait a minute! A "horn" in Daniel's prophecy is a king (that's why the Antichrist isn't Mohammed or some Pope, because he will be a civil leader, not a religious one) and a "little horn" represents someone who didn't have a special significance but in some incredible way arises to the top of power. For instance, Antiochus was not the right heir of the throne, but he took it "through intrige". Before talking about the Antichrist, let's see the difference of the empires from which these "little horns" come.

In the previous message, corresponding to Daniel 2:39-40, we observed two false intepretations which identified the "feet" with the Ancient Greece in the hellenistic period. As a matter of fact, there is an "appearance" between the "iron legs" and the "feet of iron mixed with clay", and the powerful government of Alexander the Great wich degenerated in divided succesors, who fought to obtain supremacy and never could call "Greece" that huge territory that Alexander conquered. But "appearances are deceptive". To avoid deception, it is necessary that our interpretation of the prophecies will occur under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and not "by appearances". Let the reader understand: the fact of a symbol or figure (iron legs and mixed feet) which "could" apply to Alexander and his successors "as a figure", that fact doesn't means that this "must" be an interpretation, much less "the only interpretation", and even much less "the interpretation which Daniel had in mind" when he revealed these prophecies (the only one we are looking for)

Which is then this kingdom that Daniel had in mind when he talked about those "feet of iron, mixed with clay"?
If we ignore the principles of "historicity" (the what-how-when-where?) of the biblical prophecy, it is imposible to get to the real interpretation. We believe that everyone can understand that Daniel is talking about a "kingdom" (a nation, an empire) and we can read about this kingdom that:

- it will come from the same empire which was represented by the legs (same material, "iron")
- but it will include some elements which wasn't before ("baked clay")
- the prophet himself gives us two interpretations: the kingdom will be established through "human alliances" that will not prosper, and the kingdom will be a mix of strength and weakness (iron and baked clay)
- this kingdom which the feet represent will be defeated by the "kingdom of God" (in verse 44 it is defined as an eternal one, which will eliminate all the earlier ones and which will never be defeated by anyone) This is a statement of vital importance, because it puts the "feet" kingdom in its proper historical moment: before the coming of the Lord. By itself, this statement totally destroys the idea of identifying the diadochi with the feet of iron and clay, unless we believe that the Roman Empire (who defeated and conquered Greece) is "the kingdom of God" (a "kingdom" where the Son of God was crucified, Jerusalem destroyed, the Jews - the surviving ones - sent away troughout the world, and the church of Christ persecuted to death, obliged to meet undergorund)

If the Lord allows, we'll see other reasons to expose satanic lies as such ones, especially these ones about the "feet". But now, let's go back to "Antichrist vs. Antiochus IV Epiphanes". As a matter of fact, Daniel 8:9-12, 23-25 prophesies about a king who certainly comes from Greece (which is identified by its name in this chapter) and that king is Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who appears also in Daniel 11:21-35 and whose life is well known not only through these prophecies of Daniel - that described him exactly some centuries before - but also through secular history and the books of the Maccabees (some ones believe they are biblical, other, historical but secular ones) In Daniel 8 we find prophecies about:

- Alexander the Great (the "prominent horn" of the "goat" which represents Greece, and the one who defeated and conquered the Persian Empire, the "ram with two horns")
- The diadochi, or successors of Alexander ("four prominent horns" that grew up from the "goat" - Greece - after the death of Alexander) This chapter shows us that it is wrong to identify Alexander's Greece and the hellenistic Greece (that of the diadochi) as different empires in prophecy, because both Alexander and the diadochi are "horns" from the "goat", in English, "Greek kings"
- Antiochus IV Epiphanes (the "little horn" which "came out of one of them") This king is a direct descendant of one of the dynasties which came from the diadochi, the "Seleucid Dynasty", which members are called (almost all of them) "Antiochus" or "Seleucus"

What is the difference between Anttiochus IV Epiphanes and the Antichrist?

In order to answer this question we need to compare the prophecies (and that information we have about the life and history) of Antiochus with the prophecies about the Antichrist, that show us the things he will do. When we compare them, we'll see that:

- Comes from Greece ----------------------- Comes from the empire
-------------------------------------------------- which defeated Greece
- Died in Elam (nowadays, Iran) ---------- Will die when the Lord
----------------------------------------------------- comes, in Israel
- Seized the kingdom "through intriges" -- Will defeat three kings
(ordered to kill both an usurper ------------ from a greater coalition
and the real throne heir) -------------------- (evidently those who compete
--------------------------------------------------- with him for the supremacy)
- Tried to erradicate Judaism ------------- Will try to exterminate
-------------------------------------------------- Jews and Christians
- Descended from pagan polytheists ---- Will descend of believers in
-------------------------------------------------- the one and only God
- Prophesied in Daniel --------------------- Prophesied in Daniel, Revelation
------------------------------------------------- and others (notice that Antiochus
------------------------------------------------- is earlier than the NT)

There are many prophecies in the Bible about this "Antichrist" who will arise before the coming of the Kingdom of God, and about an empire which will be formed and that will have him as its ruler. But with the Lord's help we hope to be able to share with you this revelations, by the grace of God. Keep reading and you'll see them.

If you haven't received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, remember that now is the moment to do it. All you need is to pray to Him, confess your sins, ask for forgiveness and ask Him to be your personal Lord and Savior. He wants to save you, to lead you to eternity and to guard you from all the evil things which will come upon this earth, before His Kingdom's arrival.

May the Lord bless you. In the love of Christ, your brother

Israel Leonard

PS Jesus is coming soon!

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