"The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place. He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the one desired by women, nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all. Instead of them, he will honor a god of fortresses; a god unknown to his fathers he will honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly gifts. He will attack the mightiest fortresses with the help of a foreign god and will greatly honor those who acknowledge him. He will make them rulers over many people and will distribute the land at a price. "At the time of the end the king of the South will engage him in battle, and the king of the North will storm out against him with chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of ships. He will invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood. He will also invade the Beautiful Land. Many countries will fall, but Edom, Moab and the leaders of Ammon will be delivered from his hand. He will extend his power over many countries; Egypt will not escape. He will gain control of the treasures of gold and silver and all the riches of Egypt, with the Libyans and Nubians in submission. But reports from the east and the north will alarm him, and he will set out in a great rage to destroy and annihilate many. He will pitch his royal tents between the seas at the beautiful holy mountain. Yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him.
(Daniel 11:36-45 NIV)
Let's examine characteristics and identifying features of the future physical Antichrist. Feel free to post your thoughts or studies on this subject.
Some have suggested that the "king" who exalts himself in this excerpt from Daniel is actually referring only and literally to the historical figure Antiochus IV Epiphanes. There are some serious problems with this interpretation, even if taken strictly literal (which is supposed method of interpretation here).
Matthew 24:15 also says, "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand." KJV
It is not historically proven that the Abomination of Desolation has occurred. No such man has done what is prophetically required of him. No historical figure has set himself up in the temple, claimed to be God, and demand worship. Antiochus and others brought standards and other symbols in for worshiping other Gods like Jupiter.
D.S. Russell suggests the "king" or later "horn" is Antiochus as well, but also writes that "the human identity of this little horn is evidenced by its possession of human eyes and a mouth that speaks presumptuously."
Before we consider problems with that idea, I do recognize that there is also a spirit of Antichrist walking the world today. It is a spirit, as well, that has plagued many and still plagues many. I still contend though that this spirit, not of Christ but of the Devil, will be embodied or incarnated in a man who will serve as the physical anti-Christ who steps upon the Temple Mount and commits the Abomination of Desolation.
1. The historical data presented in Daniel 11: 36-45 are impossible to historically harmonize with Antiochus’ actual life.
2. This person, who exalts himself, will also be a ruler living in the last days themselves, immediately before the Second Coming (See v. 40). The Second Coming has not occurred since Christ has not appeared as He left, nor has He set up His millennial kingdom.
3. He is the same “horn” of Daniel 7:21 and the “ruler who will come” in Daniel 9:26.
Traditional historic interpretation, like Chrysostom, Jerome, Theodoret, Leupold, Keil, Archer, Walvoord, suggest this person is a future antichrist. Even amillenialist Jerome stated, “Those of our persuasion believe all these things are spoken prophetically of the Antichrist who is to arise in the end time.” He also said that the Antichrist would be "one of the human race, in whom Satan will wholly take up his residence in bodily form."
The physical antichrist, the one in who satan will incarnate himself, will go well beyond anyone in history has ever done before. He will catch the rising tide of Secularism sweeping our globe and use its energy to create a new government. One without religion. Historical leaders who have sought to do similar things have been Antiochus himself, Nero, Domitian, Stalin and Hitler. The reign of the Antichrist will be one which will strive to be free of all religious vestiges.
The Jewish Study Bible—JPS TANAKH Translation. © 2004 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
Pťer-Contesse, R., & Ellington, J. (1993). A handbook on the Book of Daniel. UBS handbook series; Helps for translators (180). New York: United Bible Societies.
Russell, D. S. (2001, c1981). Daniel. The Daily study Bible series (141). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press.
Jerome, Daniel, 129.
Jerome, Daniel, 77; cf. pp. 81–82.