Who is the Antichrist? Part 3 – The character of the Antichrist
We’ve been talking about the future Antichrist and we’ve seen on the basis of Daniel 7 that he will rise to power from within the future revived Roman Empire. There’s a very significant prophetic passage in Daniel 11 that sheds a lot more light on this man and particularly, significant world events that are going to impact him. In Daniel 11:36-39, we have the character of the Antichrist being portrayed, and the first thing we’re told in verse 36 is that “he will do according to his will,” indicating that once this man comes to power, he’s going to be a strong-willed individual; he will demand that he have his own way; he will not tolerate anyone else being in authority over him telling him what he may do and what he may not do.
The next thing we’re told about the future Antichrist and his character is that he will oppose all established forms of worship. For example, near the middle of verse 36, we’re told that he shall speak marvelous, literally monstrous things, against the God of gods. We noted earlier he’ll be a blasphemer against the true and the living God, and that’s what is being declared here. Verse 37, “Neither shall he regard the god of his fathers.”
Now, some have concluded that this indicates the future Antichrist will be a Jew because, you know, the Jews talked about the God of their fathers, their fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Maybe he will be a Jew, but I’m not convinced we can conclude that on the basis of this one statement. The reason I say that is, the word translated “god” in the expression “god of his fathers” has a pluralized ending so it could also be translated “the gods of his fathers.” The point here is this, not whether he is a Jew or Gentile but the fact that this man will oppose the worship of any god or gods that his ancestors revered and worshipped.
Then we’re told that “he will have no regard for the desire of women,” middle of verse 37. Now, many have taken that to mean this man will be a bachelor; that he will not experience a man’s normal physical desire toward a woman. But I’m not convinced that by “desire of women” it’s referring to a man’s normal physical desire toward a woman.
Let me explain to you why I say that about the future anticrhsit. Right before the expression “the desire of women” the text is talking about objects of worship. He’ll have no regard for the god or gods of his fathers. Right after the expression “the desire of women” it says, “nor regard any god.” The whole context surrounding “the desire of women” is talking about object of worship. In light of that, it appears “desire of women” is referring to an object of worship. What could it be? Well, historically, it was the supreme desire of many Jewish women to be the mother of the Messiah, and because of that, the Messiah historically was also known as “the desire of women.” And so I take it what this is saying it, this Antichrist will have no respect, regard whatsoever for the true Messiah, the Lord Jesus. He will oppose everything that Jesus is or that Jesus has done or that Jesus stands for. That’s why John in 1 John 2 calls him “anti Christ.”
Then we’re told at the end of verse 37 why the future antichrist will oppose all established forms of worship. “He shall magnify himself above all.” He’s going to try to magnify himself above every god or goddess that’s ever been worshipped by mankind. And we saw earlier in 2 Thessalonians 2 that Paul indicates that Antichrist, when he’s at the peak of his power, will take control of a new Jewish temple in Jerusalem and will set himself up there as God.
Verse 38 of Daniel 11 tells us that he himself will have a god whom he will worship. We’re told in verse 38, “But in his estate shall he honor the god of forces,” literally the “god of munitions or armaments.” The point is, this man is going to make war his god. Whatever man is totally sold out to and devoted to, whatever is the center of his life and drives and motivates him is that man’s god, and war is going to be the Antichrist’s god. He’s going to try to conquer the whole world and bring it under his dominion on behalf of his master, Satan. And we’re told here that’s a god whom “his fathers knew not.” His ancestors didn’t make war their god.
And we’re also told in verse 38 that he shall honor this god “with gold, silver, with precious stones and precious things.” Apparently, he will expend huge amounts of wealth in equipping, training, preparing and then marching his armies out across the landscape of planet earth and that’s how he will honor his god of war. And it would appear that he will enjoy a great deal of military success because verse 39 says, “Thus shall he do in the most strongholds with a strange god.” The idea seems to be making war his god, he will be successful in conquering some of the strongest military outposts on the face of the earth.
Wrap up on the future Antichrist and his character
And then verse 39 says, “Whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory.” Now, the Hebrew text gives the idea that he shall honor those who acknowledge him. In other words, he will reward his most devoted followers. And the end of verse 39 tells us two ways he shall reward them. First, “he shall cause them to rule over many.” As the Antichrist conquers new groups of people, he will turn over the rule of those newly conquered peoples to some of his most devoted followers. In other words, he will put some of his most devoted followers into positions of rule within his government. And the second way that he will reward them is, “he shall divide the land.” As he conquers new geographical territory, he shall turn over choice pieces of land as gifts to his most devoted followers as rewards for being so devoted to him. Very interesting insight into the character of the coming Antichrist.