Jesus Christ Prison Ministry

DANIEL 11

Rise of the Anti-Christ

Satan was working to build a parallel religion that would replace true Christianity. It would be so close to the real thing that if it were possible, even the very elect would be deceived. This counterfeit was at work in Paul’s day. But who was holding him back?

 

The Romans were. So in verse 23 of Daniel 11, we see where this secret power of lawlessness was to make an agreement with the power that was holding it back. “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day (the coming of Christ) will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4.

John states in 1 John 4:3, “but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.”

 

Who is this power that “sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God?”  Who is he who will “oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped”?

 

“First, however, Christianity had to settle its relation to the political order.  As a Jewish sect, the primitive Christian church shared the status of Judaism in the Roman Empire, but before the death of Emperor Nero in 68 it had already been singled out as an enemy.  The grounds for hostility to the Christians were not always the same, and often opposition and persecution were localized. The loyalty of Christians to ‘Jesus as Lord’ however, was irreconcilable with the worship of the Roman emperor as ‘Lord’ and those emperors, such as Trajan and Marcus Aurelius, who were the most deeply committed to unity and reform were also the ones who recognized the Christians as a threat to those goals and who therefore undertook to eliminate the threat.”  Infopedia

 

“The conversion of Constantine assured the church a privileged place in society, and it became easier to be a Christian than not to be one.”  Infopedia

 

“Following the example of his father and earlier 3d-century emperors, Constantine in his early life was a solar henotheist, believing that the Roman sun god, Sol, was the visible manifestation of an invisible ‘Highest God’ (summus deus), who was the principle behind the universe.  This god was thought to be the companion of the Roman emperor.  Constantine’s adherence to this faith is evident from his claim of having had a vision of the sun god in 310 while in a grove of Apollo in Gaul. In 312, on the eve of a battle against Maxentius (c. 250-312), his rival in Italy, Constantine is reported to have dreamed that Christ appeared to him and told him to inscribe the first two letters of his name (XP in Greek) on the shields of his troops.  The next day he is said to have seen a cross superimposed on the sun and the words ‘in this sign you will be the victor’ (usually given in Latin, in hoc signo vinces ).  Constantine then defeated Maxentius at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, near Rome.  The Senate hailed the victor as savior of the Roman people. Thus, Constantine, who had been a pagan solar worshiper, now looked upon the Christian deity as a bringer of victory.  Persecution of the Christians was ended, and Constantine’s co-emperor, Licinius (270?-325), joined him in issuing the Edict of Milan (313), which mandated toleration of Christians in the Roman Empire.  As guardian of Constantine’s favored religion, the church was then given legal rights and large financial donations.”  Infopedia

“The pope at Rome had the additional claim to prestige of being the direct heir of St. Peter, who was considered the first bishop of Rome. It was due, initially, to a series of activist Roman popes that the papacy grew in influence, but even more important was the compromise, paralysis, and ultimate collapse of Roman government in the West. As political authority disintegrated, the bishops stood firm for what they saw as the truth and the ancient order, and the only representative of that order in Rome was no longer the emperor or the Senate but the pope, holder of the chair of St. Peter.” Infopedia

 

It was the power of the pagan Roman Empire that kept the Roman Catholic Church from rising. But when an agreement was reached between the Roman Catholic Church and Constantine, the Papacy grew to great power. “He will act deceitfully, and with only a few people he will rise to power.” Daniel 11:23. How true that text is. History proves again the truth of God’s Word.

 

“The Holy Roman Empire was an attempt to revive the Western Roman Empire, whose legal and political structure deteriorated during the 5th and 6th centuries, to be replaced by independent kingdoms ruled by Germanic nobles. The Roman imperial office was vacant after the deposition of Romulus Augustulus in 476. During the turbulent early Middle Ages the traditional concept of a temporal realm co-extensive with the spiritual realm of the church had been kept alive by the popes in Rome.” Infopedia

 

“On December 25, 800, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne emperor. This act established both a precedent and a political structure that were destined to figure decisively in the affairs of central Europe. The precedent established the papal claim to the right to select, crown, and even depose emperors that was asserted, at least in theory, for nearly 700 years.” Infopedia

 

The Roman Catholic Church claims that the pope is God on earth. They claim that he has the power to forgive sins. They claim he literally sits in the place of God on earth. That is what the Greek word “anti” means: “in place of”. The pope is the “anti-Christ” since he has taken the place of God on earth. Today, any organization that takes the place of the teachings of Christ is “anti” Christ.

 

Verse 24 continues with the rise of the Catholic Church. As true Christians began to feel secure, they let down their guard against the deceptions of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church invaded them with its pagan doctrines and philosophies. It literally achieved worldwide domination and control of men’s souls.

 

As stated earlier, starting with verse 23 we have a shift in time and space. The Roman Empire is coming to a close. The Jewish nation is no longer the entity through which the Lord would use to teach His truths. Two new powers would arise on the scene. These two new powers would be the Catholic Church “Christianized paganism”, and the Muslim power, another form of paganism. These two powers would be used by the devil to destroy God’s people. The wars between these two powers are outlined in brief between verses 23 and 29. These wars are called the Crusades.