This devotional is one day of a 365 days devotional book entitled Living Hope for the End of Days that explores Revelation, the final book of God's Word; and is available at www.dtbm.org To read the rest of the devotional click here…
The Prince That Shall Come
“… The prince who is to come … shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering ….”
—Daniel 9:26a, 27a, emphasis added
The coming world leader, commonly known as the Antichrist, has thirty-three titles in the Old Testament and thirteen in the New Testament. One of these titles, “the prince who is to come,” is from Daniel 9:26-27 where it was prophesied that the people of this “prince” would destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its fulfillment occurred in history when the Roman legions under Titus Vespasian destroyed Jerusalem and the temple in A.D. 70. This reflexive reference to the Romans in Daniel 9:26 is one of several reasons why many Bible scholars view the future “prince who is to come” as a Roman or European.
· The Beast from the Sea—Revelation 13:1-10: He is the Roman prince of Daniel 9 who will break his covenant with the Jews at the middle of the week. He is the Antichrist, the man of lawlessness (Pentecost, Seiss, Newell). Some think that verse 3 means that he will be raised from the dead (Seiss, Newell).
· The Beast from the Earth—Revelation 13:11-18: He is the false prophet—apparently a Jewish religious leader who causes men to worship the first beast. He has the power to do miracles to deceive men (vv. 14-15). Some interpret the Antichrist as “the one instead of Christ” (Scott, Ironside, Gaebelein, Kelly); others see him as the “one opposed to Christ” (Pentecost).
These beasts make war with the saints and overcome them (v. 7). All who are not of the elect will worship the first beast (v. 8). By economic warfare they can starve out those who will not worship the first beast (vv. 16-17).
Point by point, the beast is a poor imitation of Christ. As we examine him in his falseness, gaze at Christ’s beauty and see Him more clearly for who He is today! Here are some interesting insights on the beast.
The Peacemaker—Revelation 6:1–2: Certainly, this man will be on the scene before the Rapture occurs. He will be a peaceful political leader who unites ten nations of Europe into a strong power bloc (see Revelation 17:12–13). The rider on the white horse will imitate Christ (Revelation 19:11ff). He will go forth to conquer peacefully, and will have a bow, but no arrows. He will bring a brief time of peace to the world (1 Thessalonians 5:1–3) before the storm of the day of the Lord breaks loose.
The Protector—Daniel 9:24–27: Although we examined the exciting details of this prophecy in Week 31, it is important to recall certain facts. First, the prophecy applies to Israel, Jerusalem, and the temple, and not to the church. Second, it announces the time when Messiah will come and accomplish certain purposes for the Jewish people. The word “week” refers to a period of seven years; seventy weeks are equal to 490 years. Note that these 490 years are divided into three parts: (1) seven weeks or forty-nine years, during which the city would be rebuilt; (2) sixty-two weeks or 434 years, at the end of which time Messiah would come and be cut off; and (3) one week or seven years, during which a “prince” would have a covenant with Israel. The seventieth week will start with the arrival of Antichrist. He will make a covenant with Israel to protect her and permit her to rebuild her temple. This covenant will be for seven years. He will temporarily solve the Middle East crisis. Israel will rebuild her temple in peaceful times. It is the signing of this covenant, not the Rapture of the church, which signals the start of Daniel’s seventieth week, that seven-year period known as the day of the Lord.
The Peace-Breaker—Daniel 9:27: After three and one-half years, Antichrist will break his covenant with the Jews and take over their temple. This was what Paul termed “the falling away” (2 Thessalonians 2:3b). A better translation would be “the rebellion, the apostasy.” Not simply a rebellion, but the rebellion. Up to this point, Antichrist has been a peacemaking leader of ten European nations, obligated to protect Israel. But now he will reveal his true character by taking over the Jewish temple and demanding that the world worship him (see Revelation 13). Since the Antichrist will be energized by Satan, it is no surprise that he will seek worship; Satan has always wanted the worship of the world. In church history, there have been various apostasies when groups have turned away from God’s truth, but this final rebellion will be the greatest of all. The man of sin will oppose everything that belongs to any other religion, true or false. He will organize a world church that will, by worshiping him, actually be worshiping Satan. Our Lord predicted this apostasy: He called it “the abomination of desolation” (Matthew 24:15), a clear reference to Daniel 9:27. The world will wonder at this great leader who, with Satan’s power, will perform signs and wonders and deceive the nations.
The Persecutor—Revelation 13:15–17: Most prophetic students agree that the abomination of desolation will occur three and one-half years after the Antichrist makes his covenant with the Jews (Daniel 9:27—“in the midst of the week,” or three and one-half years). This will usher in a period of intense persecution and tribulation. Jesus said, “For then there will be great tribulation …” (Matthew 24:21a). Satan will vent his wrath against Israel. He will so control the world’s economic system that citizens must bear “the mark of the beast” to be able to buy and sell (Revelation 13:16-17).
The Prisoner—Revelation 19:11–21: Keep in mind that God has a timetable. Satan will not be permitted to control the world forever. Jesus Christ will return “in power and great glory” and take the Antichrist, his associates, and Satan prisoner and cast them into the bottomless pit (Revelation 20:1–3). This will be the climax of the great Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:16), during which the nations of the world unite with Satan to fight Jesus Christ. This leads to our next event.
What insights can we glean from these interesting insights on the beast? We are reminded of these truths: only Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6); only Jesus is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent; only Jesus keeps all His promises; only those who come to Him have peace—the rest are like the restless sea; only Jesus gives true rest for the souls of those who come to Him (Matthew 11:28-30); and only Jesus can set you free (John 8:32-34)! A God like this deserves our all!
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