Antichrist … Modern-Day Man or From the Distant Past?
If I were to ask someone, believer or unbeliever, if the Antichrist is a man who will be born in the end-time’s generation, he/she would probably look at me cross-eyed and reply, “How else would he appear on the scene?” Or, “who else would he be, other than a present-day world leader?”
And I would be the first to acknowledge that this perception is both natural and logical.
On the other hand, God’s magnificent plan for the human race has unfolded providentially, sometimes through God’s supernatural intervention that is anything but natural or logical. Such things as the miracles of the ten plagues of the Exodus, parting of the Red Sea, the Virgin Birth of Messiah Jesus, and (most of all) his resurrection from the dead. Plus dozens of others recorded in Scripture. Or “secular” events in the course of history, significant or not, that apparently have nothing to do with God, or so we think.
The rise to power of dictators throughout history has been through the seemingly normal course of human events; whether through dynasties, by subterfuge, via the power afforded to them by the position they hold, or usurping control of the political, economic, and military institutions of a nation. Though great victories over their enemies and/or pouring out messianic-like messages with persuasive promises of a paradise on earth, they convince the common people to yield their complete allegiance, even to the point of worship. Such historical figures as: Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander the Great, some of the Roman Emperors (Augustus, Nero, Vespasian, Hadrian), Hannibal, Genghis Khan, Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Hirohito, and Mao tse-tung.
Regarding the Antichrist, even Bible scholars and students see no reason to question this historical paradigm of how both good and evil rulers have (naturally) ascended to power. Most, if not all, also agree that the Antichrist will exceed all of the tyrants before him; with the notion that he will be a geopolitical, economic, and military genius unequaled in human history.
(This Passage Encapsulates the Actual Character of Antichrist, As Will Be Developed in Today’s Article)
As stated in my second book, Out of the Abyss, and some prior Eye of Prophecy articles, I, too, once subscribed to this (reasonable) characterization of the Antichrist. Until, that is, the discernment that led to a remarkable refitting of the prophetic puzzle: the overlooked evidence that the Antichrist had already lived and died BEFORE the author of Revelation observed this despicable man in the form of a beast. Consequently, the following passage bears repeating:
“Why are you so amazed? The angel asked. I will tell you the mystery of this woman and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns on which she sits. The beast you saw was once alive but isn’t now. And yet he will soon (abruptly, suddenly) come up out of the bottomless pit … And the people who belong to this world (the unsaved during the Tribulation) … will be amazed at the reappearance of this beast who had died” (Revelation 17:7-8; italics for emphasis, parenthesis mine).
To eliminate any doubt, this “beacon-light illumination” was subsequently confirmed by exhaustive research of all Biblical passages on the Antichrist, as well as first century history—especially that of the Roman Emperors and the early Church. What I found was absolutely stunning. Including the fact that nowhere does the Bible present a portrait of this man possessing extraordinary charismatic or oratorical skills or genius-like traits … commonly attributed to world leaders who have persuaded entire nations to follow them and their schemes for whatever kind of utopia they concocted.
The World Will Marvel At Antichrist For One Reason Only
For sure the Antichrist will be boastful, to the extent of blaspheming God himself (Daniel 7 & Revelation 13), but he will not be afforded blind worship because he is a super statesman, military mastermind, or inborn leader. Actually, the False Prophet will be the consummate spokesman of the two—promoting the one thing that will galvanize the world’s undivided attention: Antichrist’s miraculous reappearance from a 2,000 year-old grave as the world will see it (actually he comes up out of the Abyss).
In the New American Standard Bible, the Greek word thaumazo (thou-mad-zo) is used 43 times in the New Testament, 44 times in the Holman Christian Standard Bible.
According to Thayer’s Greek lexicon, thaumazo means to: wonder or marvel at, even to the point of honoring or worshipping; denoting incredulous surprise; in (complete) admiration of. It is most often rendered in Bible translations as: amazed, marveled, astonished, astounded.
For example: The familiar conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus found in the third chapter of John that contains the most universally well-known verse in all of the Bible (John 3:16). Jesus prefaces that fabulous verse of redemption by telling Nicodemus: “Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again’” (John 3:7, italics for emphasis, Holman Christian Standard Bible).
Surprisingly—considering the many apocalyptic revelations and shocking scenes found in the book of Revelation—the Greek word thaumazo is employed only four times. Once in Chapter 13 and three times in Chapter 17. And (not so surprisingly) all four times the term pertains to John’s two visions of the Antichrist beast, by describing John’s reaction … even more so the world’s reaction when they first see the beast. This impact far exceeds the normal response of witnessing a world leader’s rise to power in the usual way and customary period of time—which is at least a few years. Rather, the world’s reaction of utter amazement and awe of this man pertains to one thing only: his reappearance from the grave.
It is a knee-jerk response of astonishment to who the Antichrist is (a man from the distant past), and also how he arrives on the scene. Best described by the very first passage on the Antichrist found in Scripture: “As I was looking at the horns, suddenly another small horn appeared among them…” (Daniel 7:8, italics for emphasis).
(See Eye of Prophecy article, Sudden Appearance of Antichrist … Why So Different? Posted 1-21-17)
In Revelation 17, the first use of the Greek word thaumazo is found in verse 6, which conveys John’s incredulity at the vision of the woman on the beast. The noun form is used, translated, amazement. The next use of the word is in verse 7, when the angel says to John, “Why are you so amazed … I will tell you the mystery of this woman and of the beast…”
(A Fairly Accurate Depiction of John’s Reaction to One or More of His Visions)
Now let’s read Revelation 17:8 again, this time from the Holman Christian Standard Bible:
“The beast you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up from the abyss and go to destruction. Those who live on the earth whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world (the unsaved) will be astounded when they see the beast that was, and is not, and will be present again (italics for emphasis, parenthesis mine)”
What is the one and only thing in this passage that “astounds” the world? It is when (because) they see the Antichrist beast who had already lived and died. A man they would see (be present again) immediately after he comes up out of the Abyss. Not charismatic character or exceptional eloquence or super statesmanship, or anything of the sort. Rather, the world is riveted on and mesmerized by him because he has miraculously returned from a 2,000 year-old grave.
In fact the term, “miracle” found in John’s first vision of the Antichrist beast is one of the four times Revelation uses the Greek word thaumazo, translated as marveled in the NLT. As follows:
“I saw that one of the heads of the beast seemed wounded beyond recovery—but the fatal wound was healed! The whole world marveled at this miracle and gave allegiance to the beast. They worshipped the dragon for giving the beast such power, and they also worshipped the beast. ‘Who is as great as the beast?’ they exclaimed. ‘Who is able to fight against him?’” (Revelation 13:3-4).
Let me ask five questions to reinforce the one and only thing about the Antichrist beast to create such wonder over the entire earth, as clearly conveyed in the passage just quoted.
What did the world marvel at? Answer: “at this miracle.”
What was the miracle at which they marveled? Answer: “the fatal wound was healed.” And the context is crystal clear: this wound had already been healed before John witnessed the beast arising from the sea which is the scene that begins Revelation Chapter 13.
What was the power given to the beast by Satan (the dragon) and demonstrated by the beast himself, to the extreme that people will worship both Satan and Antichrist? Answer: the power of the Antichrist’s miraculous recovery (and reappearance as further described in John’s second vision of the beast … Chapter 17).
Why could/would they exclaim (in the form of a question) that no one is greater than the beast? Same Answer: Because of the marvelous miracle of his return from the dead.
Why can no one fight against the beast? This question is not as rhetorical (obvious), but the reason nonetheless is overwhelmingly inferred by the text. Answer: How can anyone fight against a man who has risen from the dead? Even if you wanted to, how can you kill such a man?
Do you get the prophetic picture of what’s going on in Revelation 13 & 17? The very next verse in Chapter 13, begins with, “Then the beast was allowed to speak great blasphemies against God…” (Verse 5). Thus, the beast (also illustrated in Daniel 7 as the little horn railing against God) is depicted as an arrogant blasphemous tyrant who will boast that he alone is God (or Messiah) complements of his amazing return to the earth in the same body in which he left it.
The very fact that he has returned after a 2,000-year absence will soundly trump and effectively preclude all other traits of a leader otherwise needed to seduce hundreds of millions left on earth to yield their complete loyalty, and actually worship such a man.
In my book Out of the Abyss, I also spent considerable time on a more obscure Old Testament reference to Antichrist, found in Zechariah Chapter 11. Specifically, the sword thrusts by Nero’s servant that inflicted the fatal wounds to Nero, who wanted to commit suicide but couldn’t complete the act, are prophetically (partially) described as follows:
Here is an excerpt from Out of the Abyss (in italics):
Zechariah vividly depicts this “worthless shepherd” as a ruthless, but also a pathetic figure. It’s entirely feasible that Nero will be self-conscious of these wounds; though he will make the most of the fact that he died from these wounds, and then returned from the dead. His physical appearance in the tribulation and the historical evidence that Nero was not that great of an orator, explain why the False Prophet will do most of the talking for the beast.
The erection of a statue of Antichrist (Nero) will further immortalize him, but I believe also to lessen the need for Nero to appear publicly any more than necessary. To a great extent, it’s an evil representation of Moses and Aaron. You recall: Aaron did much of the talking for Moses, though Moses was the actual Deliverer chosen by God to liberate the Hebrews.
…Search the Scriptures. You will not find any direct evidence that the beast is a great orator, statesman, or consummate genius as modern-day views characterize him. He is clever; he is a braggart and a blasphemer, but that doesn’t make him charismatic. Antichrist’s accomplishments and “charisma” are attributed to his miraculous resurrection, the statue, and the persuasive ability of the False Prophet… (Page 248-249).
A Refit of the Prophetic Puzzle Pertaining to Antichrist
Realization that the Antichrist beast of Revelation had already lived and died, and would return at the outset of the Tribulation to the utter astonishment of those left behind at the Rapture, led to my abandonment of these two (otherwise sensible) views. (1) That the Antichrist would arrive as a modern-day born man just like all tyrants who preceded him in their time. (2) He would possess genius-like traits and extraordinary skills that would capture global attention and allegiance.
Once this “amazing” refit of the prophetic puzzle was in place, it was just a matter of more study, research, comparing Scripture with Scripture, and correlating 1st century history to identify which of the seven heads (kings … Roman Emperors at the time) was the man of lawlessness—the Apostle Paul’s appellation of the Antichrist as written in 51-52 A.D. just 2-3 years before Nero unlawfully became Caesar.
In addition to Out of the Abyss (a comprehensive expose of the Antichrist), of the 235 Eye of Prophecy articles to date (one each Saturday since July, 2013), 47 have been assigned to the category of the Antichrist … nearly all of which have provided elaboration that Nero is the Antichrist.
Brief Revisit of Last Week’s Part I Article
First to quote again the four verses of Daniel Chapter 9 that constitute the most panoramic set of prophecies in Scripture:
“A period of seventy sets of seven has been decreed for your people and your holy city to finish their rebellion, to put an end to their sin, to atone for their guilt, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to confirm the prophetic vision, and to anoint the Most Holy Place” (Daniel 9:24)
“Now listen and understand! Seven sets of seven plus sixty-two sets of seven will pass from the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem until a ruler—the Anointed One—comes. Jerusalem will be rebuilt with streets and strong defenses, despite the perilous times” (Verse 25).
“After this period of sixty-two sets of seven, the Anointed One will be killed, appearing to have accomplished nothing, and a ruler will arise whose armies will destroy the city and the Temple. The end will come with a flood, and war its miseries are decreed from that time to the very end” (Verse 26).
“The ruler will make a treaty with the people for a period of one set of seven, but after half this time, he will put an end to the sacrifices and offerings. And as a climax to all his terrible deeds, he will set up a sacrilegious object that causes desecration, until the fate decreed for this defiler is finally poured out on him” (Daniel 9:27).
Next, a restatement of the first four components of this prophetic passage, with a reminder that a Hebrew week represents seven years.
(1) The Seventy Weeks of Daniel
(2) Sixty-Nine Weeks to Messiah’s Arrival on Earth
(3) Messiah’s Death
(4) Soon After Messiah’s Death, a Ruler (Antichrist) Would Arise
We’ll pick up where we left off with the 5th of these tremendous predictions, including what is probably the most proof positive prophecy (fulfilled in the 1st century) that Nero is, in fact, the Antichrist. Prefaced with a brief review of the:
Resounding Revival of Interest in Biblical Last Days Prophecies
Beginning in 1948 and especially following the incredible Six-Day War of 1967 when Israel liberated and reclaimed Jerusalem as its eternal capital, there was a remarkable resurgence in the interest of end-times Biblical prophecy.
(Jewish Celebration of the November 1947 UN Resolution That Paved the Way for Israel’s Statehood in May, 1948)
(Exhausted Israeli Soldiers Resting at the Western Wall After Liberating Jerusalem in the Six-Day War)
This renewed focus is based on the three most significant prophecies in Scripture. (1) The first arrival of Messiah for the express purpose of establishing the New Covenant—through his death and resurrection to forgive sin and pardon the penalty thereof. (2) The return of the Jews from the four corners of the earth to their Promised Land and the rebirth of Israel as a sovereign state, which took place in 1948. (3) Which, in turn, will precipitate the return of Messiah to establish the Kingdom of God from Jerusalem. But also the Antichrist who would counterfeit the true Messiah (Jesus) by aligning with Satan, the False Prophet, and all who take the mark of the Beast to set up their own kingdom.
However, there were three major and a couple of minor pieces of the prophetic puzzle that were inaccurately fitted, all of which were based on the assumption that the Antichrist would be born in the generation of the Day of the Lord.
One is the grammatical, contextual, and historical change (substitution) of the seven heads of the beast of Revelation 17 to kingdoms instead of what the text clearly identifies as kings. One of the mistaken results of ascribing the Greek word for kings to kingdoms is that of the now famous conjecture that there will be a Revived Roman Empire (the 7th head).
When in fact, Revelation states: “The seven heads of the beast represent … seven kings. Five kings have already fallen, the sixth now reigns, and the seventh is yet to come, but his reign will be brief” (Revelation 17:9-10, italics for emphasis—a personal pronoun referring to the seventh king as “his” as opposed to a kingdom). Also, the terms for king (basileus) and kingdom (basileia) are as definitively distinct in Greek, as are the English translated words, king and kingdom.
Instead there will be a Revived Roman Emperor (Nero), as first indicated in my book Out of the Abyss!
In the context of today’s article, you may also want to refer to, Exposing Antichrist’s Identity … More Compelling Evidence Part I & II, published 3-18 & 3-25-17 (concerning the seven heads/kings of the beast).
Because of the prevailing persistence that the Antichrist must be a modern-day man, the second improperly fitted piece is to attribute the restrainer of lawlessness to the Holy Spirit (II Thessalonians 2). When, in fact, Paul was referring to a restraint that was holding back this man and the secrecy of the lawlessness during the very time when Paul wrote II Thessalonians … 51, 52 A.D. The (temporary) restrainer at the time was the current Roman Emperor, Claudius, and the Roman government in general. See Eye of Prophecy article, Does the Holy Spirit Restrain (the Man of) Lawlessness? Posted 3-4-17.
(Bust of Emperor Claudius, Married to Nero’s Mother, Agrippina–Who Poisoned Claudius to Hasten Nero’s Rise to Power as Caesar)
The third major misapplication is disassociating or detaching the armies of the ruler to arise from the ruler himself, i.e. to separate the Roman Legions that destroyed the Temple from the ruler (Nero) who actually issued those orders while he was Commander-in-Chief (Caesar) of all Roman armies.
Which leads us to the fifth featured prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27.
(5) The Armies (Roman Legions) That Destroyed the 2nd Temple Belonged to Nero Caesar
In last week’s article, we examined the historical fulfillment of Daniel 9:26 which occurred in the first century. “After this period of sixty-two sets of seven, the Anointed One will be killed, appearing to have accomplished nothing, and a ruler will arise…”
Specifically, that this ruler would arise shortly after Messiah was killed. Historically, such a ruler was born some four years after Jesus arose from the dead and was already being touted as the next Roman Emperor about 18 years after Jesus returned to heaven. In 54 A.D. this same ruler became the fifth Caesar of the Roman Empire. As you already know, I’m referring to Nero, Mr. 666 himself. (The numerical equivalent of Nero Caesar in Hebrew gematria is six-hundred and sixty-six—Revelation 13:18).
Continuing with Daniel 9:26, we read: “After this period of sixty-two sets of seven, the Anointed One will be killed, appearing to have accomplished nothing, and a ruler will arise whose armies will destroy the city and the Temple…”
Which precisely and perfectly fits Daniel’s prophecy as we will see in the following evidence.
Once we wrap our minds around the startling statement (yet one presented matter-of-factly by the angel) in Revelation 17:7-8—the Antichrist beast had already lived and died before John’s vision of this man, then would return from the Abyss—all of the other passages on the Antichrist fall into place. Matching Nero as the: little horn/ruler of Daniel 7; the worthless shepherd of Zechariah 11; the man of lawlessness in II Thessalonians 2; the number of the beast in Revelation 13; and the eighth king (one of, from the seven kings) of Revelation 17.
Although there is an abundance of evidence in all of the above listed Biblical passages and also 1st century history to decisively demonstrate that Nero was, is, and will still be the Antichrist (upon his reappearance), the fifth prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27 and its fulfillment is more than enough evidence (by itself) to confirm that this ruler was none other than Nero.
To encourage you to read my second book, which contains a comprehensive overview of the Antichrist … and more; but also because I believe it was explained as well or better than I could rephrase it, here is an excerpt from Out of the Abyss (in italics). Beginning with a partial quote of Daniel 9:26: “…and a ruler will arise whose armies will destroy the city and the Temple” cited earlier from the New Living Translation:
In some Bible translations such as the New American Standard, we read, “…and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary…” The perception of a Revived Roman Empire flows from the attachment or affiliation of the Ancient Roman Empire’s armies or people that destroyed the Temple to a modern-day Antichrist. But as we will soon see, this application contextually, grammatically, and prophetically stretches the connection to the breaking point.
The Hebrew word for “people” is am, which means people(s), people of a nation, members of one’s people, kinsman, or compatriots … And invariably, when relating people to a nation, king, ruler or to God, the word is employed in the logical and sensible Scriptural context of possessive, immediate, or generational relationship.
…In other words, “People” of the prince or ruler to come includes all of the prince’s country-men; but more exactly it was the armies (Roman Legions) of this people that fulfilled the prophecy.
…If you study the text carefully, there is a clear possessive correlation between the ruler and the armies or the people. The New Living Translation simplifies the English to demonstrate this connection by stating that, “…a ruler will arise whose armies.” Whose is possessive, meaning those armies or people specifically belonging to that particular ruler. Or, if you prefer the translation that says, “people of the prince,” the same possessive principle applies. The people directly affiliated, associated, or united with the prince destroyed the Temple.
…If Gabriel had meant that the Temple would first be destroyed by the people of the prince, and then the prince would come at a (much) later date, he would have told Daniel that the armies or people of the prince to come will have or would have already destroyed the city and the Temple. This would leave no doubt that the city would first be destroyed, and then the ruler would come later.
…What Gabriel is emphasizing or distinguishing is the fact that the armies of the prince would destroy Jerusalem, instead of the prince and his armies together; that it would be the armies independent of the ruler, with an excessively strong implication that the ruler didn’t live to see the conquest finished.
This is true when reading history. Almost always, a historian (we speak in the same terms) will say that Alexander the Great conquered Persia, not Alexander and his armies. We fully understand what it means; that Alexander the Great or Napoleon or whoever couldn’t have done it without their armies.
Yet, if a ruler dies, and his armies continue the battle or the war, we see, for example, that it was Genghis Khan’s armies or troops that did such and such after he died. “People of the prince who is to come” neither prophetically or grammatically state nor even imply that the city would be destroyed before the prince arrived. In other words, this ruler and his armies are inseparably linked together in possessive relationship and in a real-time context…
Where have you ever read or seen or thought that a ruler of any era would be connected to armies or people hundreds or thousands of years earlier. All monarchs, both in Biblical and secular history, are linked directly with the armies of that particular time of the ruler’s life.
…Why, then, should Gabriel and Daniel mean a far-off, time-warped differential between the Roman Legions and a prince that wouldn’t arrive on the scene for what is now a nearly two-thousand year gap?
…But that’s the current hindsight application made by those who hold to a modern-day Antichrist and a Revived Roman Empire. Meaning that this “prince who is to come” must be born and rise to power after an enormous lapse of time, with a 21st century result of an impractical and unrealistic time-capsule detachment from the armies that destroyed the city and the Temple. (Chapter 26, pages 254-257).
Summary of Point #5
Bible students and secular scholars and historians know beyond any doubt what armies demolished (stone by stone, as Jesus said would happen … Matthew 24:2) the 2nd Temple and destroyed much of Jerusalem in the process. This campaign against Israel began with seven Roman legions under the command of General Vespasian in 66 A.D. Because civil war erupted soon after Nero died in June, 68 A.D., Vespasian returned to Rome to put an end to this chaotic condition which included the brief reign of three pseudo-emperors over a period of only 18 months. Vespasian then become Emperor in 69 A.D. In the interim, he turned the conquest of Israel over to his son, Titus, who finished the sack of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 A.D.
Yet, there’s one thing that you seldom read about in the history books, one that is not very often emphasized (or even mentioned) by Bible or secular historians or teachers: It was Nero who personally commissioned Vespasian and Titus to crush the Jewish rebellion.
Summarizing this subject with an excerpt from the next chapter in Out of the Abyss:
Think about it! Historically, that exactly what happened. Nero issued direct orders and personally selected the Roman generals to carry out the directive. But Nero wasn’t around to see the outcome of this Judean campaign. Thus it was necessary for Daniel to prophetically tell us that it was the armies of the ruler who actually finished the job.
…Nor has any conquest, in ancient or modern warfare, been accomplished or even recognized by means of troops conquering a city or country, then the supreme leader (king or emperor) of that army born hundreds of years later or even a few years later. In fact, that makes no sense at all. The only way the armies can be connected to, belong to, controlled, or ordered by their leader, is a direct result of the leader—by virtue of being alive—delivering commands to his subordinates; thus, for that ruler to be unequivocally associated with and attached to the people that do the conquering.
…The armies or people who destroyed the city and the Temple were Roman Legions that belonged to Nero, as ultimate Commander-in-Chief of all Roman legions. These legions are long gone, and couldn’t possibly be the people or armies of a modern-day born Antichrist. (Chapter 27, pages 263-264).
Does this, or is this beginning to make sense to you? With the scholarly, grammatical (the text itself), historical, and most of all common-sense conclusion that the people of the prince (Antichrist) were the very Roman Legions that belonged to Nero, and not some ruler who would come afterward—which is now nearly 2,000 years later. Then combine that with the fact: This same ruler lived and died during the 1st century—not long before Revelation was written—but who would “reappear” from the Abyss (Revelation 17:7-8).
Point #6 of Daniel’s prophecies in Chapter 9—Antichrist’s (the ruler) Seven-Year Treaty with Israel
First, to quote the last part of Daniel 9:26: “…The end will come with a flood, and war and its miseries are decreed from that time to the very end.”
By comparison with other Biblical end-times prophecies (not the least of which are the twenty-one massive plagues found in the book of Revelation), at this point in the passage Daniel is transitioning from the 1st century to the Tribulation period.
Next comes: “The ruler will make a treaty with the people for a period of one set of seven, but after half this time, he will put an end to the sacrifices and offerings… (Daniel 9:27a).
Time and space do not permit extensive elaboration on this well-known component of the seven prophecies found in Daniel Chapter 9. Except to reiterate that this period of seven years is the 70th (final) week of the seventy weeks mentioned in verse 24. It begins with a treaty that is broken by the Antichrist half way through, which also tracks with Revelation 13 that shows us the apex of Antichrist’s (Nero) power and authority will take place during the last half of the seven-year Tribulation.
“…And he was given authority to do whatever he wanted for forty-two months” (Revelation 13:5).
(This Is An Accurate Time-Line as Found in Daniel Chapters 9 & 12)
Also, one other important feature specifically applicable to last week’s and this week’s article: the obvious but still amazing fact that this ruler whose armies would destroy Jerusalem and the 2nd Temple would be the same one to orchestrate the seven-year treaty with Israel when, “the end will come.” Amazing because the ruler of Daniel 9 is (of course) the beast-king of Revelation 13 & 17 who had already lived and died in the 1st century before John’s vision of the beast.
That “end” begins with the Rapture of believers and the immediate reappearance of the Antichrist beast, followed by the Great Tribulation. Which means that if Nero was the ruler whose armies destroyed the Temple (and he was), then Nero (this same ruler) must return to accomplish the seemingly impossible feat—in the context of today’s strife in the Middle East—of brokering a treaty between Israel and her enemies.
See Eye of Prophecy article, The Peace Treaty That Will Guarantee War (posted 9-3-16).
(7) Antichrist Final Fate Sealed At the End of the Tribulation
First, to quote the last sentence of this phenomenal panoramic passage in Daniel:
“And as a climax to all his terrible deeds, he will set up a sacrilegious object that causes desecration, until the fate decreed for this defiler is finally poured out on him” (Daniel 9:27b).
The sacrilegious object is one Nero will erect in the rebuilt Temple … a repetition of what his archetype predecessor, Antiochus Epiphanes IV, did in 169-168 B.C. (See Daniel Chapter 11).
Although covered extensively in Out of the Abyss and in condensed fashion in a couple of prior Eye of Prophecy articles, there’s also a phenomenal fact missed by many students of the Bible, relating to the final words of Daniel 9:27.
“Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed (which Nero was when he ascended to the throne as Caesar in 54 A.D.), but the Lord Jesus will kill him with the breath of his mouth (meaning at the providential direction of Jesus, himself) and destroy him by the splendor of his coming” (II Thessalonians 2:8, parenthesis mine).
First, Nero would be “revealed” as the man of lawlessness, ending the secrecy of this lawlessness explained earlier in II Thessalonians Chapter 2. Then he would reappear from the abyss as prophesied in Revelation 17.
Before fulfillment of God’s purpose (permission) to give Satan and mankind one last chance to challenge God and counterfeit and corrupt God’s magnificent plan for the human race, Messiah Jesus himself would preemptively kill the man of lawlessness. Once again, we’re short on time/space to detail all the reasons why that happened in 68 A.D. including the obvious deductive conclusion that Christ revived Nero after his death and banished him to the Abyss.
(See articles: Soon Comes the Antichrist … Straight From the Abyss, Part I & II, published 8-20 & 8-27-16)
But then Jesus would finally “destroy” Nero who will return as the beast-king (designation in Revelation) from the Abyss.
Read II Thessalonians 2:8 again. The Apostle Paul says that Jesus will kill this man of lawlessness AND (at a future time) destroy him. If you kill someone, you destroy them, right? Right, but not if the deceased is revived and then placed in the Abyss, which Scripture shows us is inhabited by extremely wicked angels in bodily form—see Revelation 9:1-11).
Thus, Paul is telling us that in addition to Jesus killing this man of lawlessness, Jesus would ALSO destroy him. How and when would this final destruction take place?
Answer: Defeating Antichrist at Armageddon by the “splendor of his (Christ) coming” (II Thessalonians 2:8b). Then throwing Nero and his False Prophet alive into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 19:20).
Which matches perfectly with Daniel 9:27: “…until the fate decreed for this defiler is finally poured out on him.”
(This is the Great White Throne Judgment Which Takes Place After the 1000-year Reign of Messiah, Revelation 20:11-15)
Things to Ponder
Permit me to present one last excerpt from Out of the Abyss to explain why most of that book and 20% of all Eye of Prophecy articles have focused on clarification and (when needed) correction of misunderstood Biblical passages pertaining to the Antichrist.
We’re nearing our final destination. If the sights and sounds of the voyage, or the ship’s Scriptural log haven’t yet influenced you that Revelation 13 & 17’s wisdom or mind of understanding enables any believer of any generation to know the identity of the beast, Antichrist, that’s okay. As indicated earlier, when some left behind at the Rapture realize that Nero’s initial revealing and subsequent reappearance had been predicted long ago, they will hopefully, without amazement at this protégé of Satan, accept Jesus as Messiah (Page 249).
Speaking of Whom (Messiah Jesus), the same angel, Gabriel, who gave these spectacular prophecies to Daniel said to Mary some 540 years later:
“You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end” (Luke 1:31-33).