The following article dwell principally upon the seventh and eighth chapters of the book of Daniel, with a particular focus on identifying the commonly termed “little horn”. The identity of this entity has been the subject of debate and argument for centuries, however, in our day we have been given great light, and we are now able to view history from a perspective unrealised by former Bible students, having the advantage of a more complete panorama of the history of the empires and kingdoms involved. Also, God Himself has promised in the book of Daniel that readers in the latter days would understand the visions.These visions also hold the key to understanding the book of Revelation, for much information and symbolism is repeated in John’s book, along with an enlarged vision which provides the Bible student with a great deal more insight.
A principle of understanding prophecy, particularly those of Daniels is that later prophecies are repeats of earlier ones, but magnified and inclusive of much more detail. With that in mind, we shall begin in chapter 2 with the vision King Nebuchadnezzar had of the great statue, and Daniel’s inspired interpretation of it.
Daniel 2:28 But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;
“In the latter days” is an idiomatic phrase meaning ‘in the future’. It is used in different contexts in Deut. 4:30, Gen.49:1, Num.24:14, Isa.2:2, Hos. 3:5, Ezek. 38:16. Most modern versions therefore translate the phrase as “in time to come”, or “in days to come”, or in later days”. From the historicist perspective, it can be concluded that the vision reaches from the time of Daniel and stretches far off into the future to the second advent of Christ symbolised by the stone kingdom when all previous kingdoms are destroyed and never again to be found .
Before we begin to focus on the prophecy itself of Daniel 2, I think now would be a good time to put my plug in for historicism, as opposed to futurism and preterism. John 13:19; Matt. 24:33 and Luke 21:28 provides the precedent and direction we must take to interpreting prophecy. We may look back into history, and it is there we see the rock-solid incontrovertible evidence that gives our faith and hopes a sure foundation. Thus the teachings of Jesus Himself supports a continuous view of prophecy. The church age isn’t a gap inserted in between two separate Jewish ages, nor is it a gap in prophecy. Just as the metals are joined together and the 4th kingdom is still present at the time of the second coming, so does history verify. There are a number of historicist scholars and expositers about, but the better known would the Seventh Day Adventist church, who’s understanding of prophecy to my mind is without equal in modern Christendom.
Were they the first? Did they invent this approach to sustain certain prophetic interpretations that popular theology rejected? No. Most commentators right from the early church recognised the 7 churches of Revelation 2 and 3 as successive phases of Christianity from the time of John to the consummation of all things.
The 7 seals also were recognised as reflecting successive phases of Christianity from John to the second coming. For example, Ambrose, Bishop of Havilburg writing in the 12 century said, “The white horse typifies the earliest state of spiritual gifts and the rider, Christ, with the bow of evangelical doctrine…the red horse is the next state of the church, red with the blood of martyrdom; from Stephen the protomartyr to the martyrs under Diocletian…the black horse depicts the church’s 3rd state, blackened after Constantine’s time with heresies…the pale horse signified the church’s 4th state; coloured with the hue of hypocrisy.” He said this state commenced from the beginning of the 5th century. This historicist view of the seals was the usual view of expositors down through the centuries.
The trumpets also were considered an historical overview of the rise and fall of secular kingdoms from the time of Christ to the future second advent. Scholars such as Daubuz, Mede, Jurieu, along with most all reformation protestants saw the trumpets 1-6 as depicting the desolations and fall of first the western empire of Rome and then the eastern. In 1802 Gulloway, in harmony with many others, viewed the first 4 trumpets as a picture of the Gothic invasions of the west, the 5th and 6th trumpets or the first 2 of the 3 ‘woes’, as depicting the invasions of the Saracens and the Turks in the east.
The prophecies of Daniel can be readily understood by using the historicist approach. Futurism and preterism both leave many unanswered questions, many unfulfilled details, and tend to make prophetic interpretation look more like guesswork and wishful thinking rather than the accurate study and strengthening of faith that it can be.
The image of Daniel 2 sets the foundation for every subsequent vision and prophecy from Daniel to Revelation. What God has set down as His word in Daniel 2 cannot be altered to suit one’s false theories when it comes to studying Revelation. All subsequent prophecies are to be studied on the principle of ‘repeat and enlarge’. That is, once Daniel 2 is understood, any further consideration of later visions must be based on Daniel 2, only with the addition of further detail. Daniel 2 sets the scene, everything else must fit into what Daniel 2 has laid down as the bottom line.
That said, let us settle on what nearly all Bible scholars agree as to what Daniel 2 represents.
The head of gold is clearly identified as the kingdom of Babylon (626-539BC) in verse 38. From history we know that the other 3 kingdoms following Babylon were Media-Persia (539-331BC), Greece (331-168BC) , and Rome (168BC-476AD). Although the Roman empire ruled longer than the other 3 kingdoms put together, it was not succeeded by a fifth world power but was divided up into kingdoms of varying strength, symbolised by the feet of iron and clay, just as the prophecy predicted. These are the nations that make up modern Europe, nations that, to this day, exist as separate national political entities.
The Bible makes it plain that the stone represents Jesus Christ (Isa. 28:16; 1 Cor. 10:4; Luke 20:17,18.) Who at His second advent will destroy all the other kingdoms and establish an everlasting kingdom.
Daniel 7 and 8 compliment one another, and give added impetus and detail to Daniel 2. I will deal with both 7 and 8 together, in order to make it easier to see the parallels.
Daniel 7:3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.
4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings:….
Here is the first beast representing the first of 4 world empires, Babylon, as also revealed as the head of gold in Daniel 2. Another very sound principle when interpreting scripture, is to take all scripture language literally, unless there exists some good reason for supposing it to be figurative; and all that is figurative is to be interpreted by that which is literal. That the language here is symbolic is evident when considering verse 17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.
That the intention is to show kingdoms and not just individual kings is also evident by the appearance of beasts. Much as modern nations do today, U.S. the eagle; Russia the bear; N.Z. the Kiwi; Aust. the wallaby.etc. Verses 38 and 39 reveal that the first kingdom is Babylon, which rose to power through war and conquest. When Daniel mentioned in verse 2 the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea, this is symbolic language representing war and strife amongst nations. (Rev.17:15; Isaiah 17:12,13; Jer. 51:1; Jer. 25:32,33.)
It is to be noted that all the beasts are predatory, in keeping with the above symbolism. And the wings it can be assumed represent speed. (Deut. 28:49; Jer. 4:13; Habakkuk 1:6-9).
The wings were plucked from the lion, thus no longer was it the threat it formerly offered to her enemies. A man’s heart was given to it. Babylon in later years had become timorous, effeminate, and a pleasure seeking society without discipline.
Daniel 7:5 And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.
Daniel 8:3 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last.
4 I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great.
Daniel 8:20 identifies the ram as being Medo-Persia, thus the ram and the bear represent the same power. The bear raised itself up on one side – indicating the more prominent role of the Medes at the beginning of their rise to power, the individual kings being Ahasuerus and his son, Darius.This is also represented by the two horns, with one coming up higher last.
Just as silver is inferior to gold, and the bear inferior to the lion, so was Medo-Persia inferior to Babylon in regards to wealth and brilliance of career. However, the area of conquest was greater than Babylon.
The ribs in the bear’s mouth represent the 3 provinces of Babylon that the Medes and Persians conquered: Lydia, Egypt, and Babylon. The ram pushed west, north, and south, precisely where the 3 above provinces were.
Cyrus was the Persian king that rose to prominence represented by the horn that rose up higher. It was Cyrus spoken of and named 150 years previously by Isaiah as the leader that would overthrow Babylon. (There are many parallels with Revelation and the drying up of the Euphrates thus cutting off Babylon’s support in the last days, just as Cyrus did to the literal city. This is spiritual Babylon, and the Euphrates is also figurative for the means of support that the people of the earth withhold (Rev.18)when made aware of her corruption.Rev. 16:12 . As Cyrus came from the east to conquer Babylon, so also will Christ come from the east as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.)
Daniel 7:6 After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.
Daniel 8:5 And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.
6 And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power.
7 And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand.
8 Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.
The leopard represents Greece, and Alexander the Great is the first king, the ‘notable’ horn between the goat’s eyes.
As Babylon was noted for her speed of conquest, so Alexander even more so, hence the 4 wings. At the height of his power Alexander died, some say of alcohol poisoning, at the young age of about 30. The Grecian kingdom was then ruled briefly by Alexander’s brother and his 2 infant sons, but they were all soon murdered and after 22 years of warring and infighting among a number of generals who had all dispersed to various parts of the empire and assumed authority and declared themselves kings, the number was reduced to just 4, as depicted by the 4 heads of the leopard and the four horns of the goat. The generals were Cassander, Seleucus, Ptolemy, and Lysimachus.
It will be noted that as the ram (Medo-Persia) in Daniel 8:4 is shown to have become great, so the goat (Greece) in Daniel 8:8 ‘waxed very great’. In area conquered this was very true; Greece had overcome vastly more area than had the previous empire, however, just as the leopard is inferior to the bear, and bronze is inferior to silver, so the character of the empire was inferior to Medo-Persia. Paganism was developing among these empires and growing as they grew. Each empire also inherited certain traits, traditions, and practices from it’s predecessors. Thus each kingdom grew progressively worse morally and spiritually.
Before I deal with the horn of the goat, I’d like to briefly recap on something from the image of Daniel 2 and stress something that is very important.
What we know of the image is that there are just 4 kingdoms or empires from the beginning of Babylon to the second coming. These four are destroyed by the rock of Christ at His coming.
That means 2 things.
1. That in some form or another they are in existence today (all four!), and will be until Jesus comes.
How do I know this? By the beast that rises from the sea in Revelation 13. (And remember beasts are kingdoms). In this beast there is a remnant of each of the 4 beasts we see here in Daniel. And it is that particular beast that is destroyed and thrown into the lake of fire. This can be easily explained by the fact that the pagan belief system of Babylon was inherited by all the following powers, was developed further and will be perfected into a Christian counterfeit at the end that will deceive most of the world. But more on that later.
2. The iron begins from the victory over the Greeks, and continues unbroken (albeit in another form) right to the end. In other words, there is no gap in history- no “revived” Roman empire that is yet to come. Rome is still with us today, there has never been any full or conclusive end to the Roman empire as yet.
8 Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.
9 And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.
There are however a total of six horns that grow out of the he-goat , and it is to the 6th that we will now focus our attention.
This ‘little horn’ was to exceed the greatness of all the preceding horns. Media/Persia “became great” (Daniel 8:4); The he-goat itself was to wax “very great”, (Daniel 8:8), but this little horn was to grow and become “exceeding great”.( Daniel 8:9). It is claimed by many, in fact it has almost become standard belief in modern Christian thought, that Antiochus Epiphanes is represented by this little horn. This is based solely on his persecution of the Jews and the desecration of the temple, as is presumed to have taken place upon a reading of the ensuing verses. The problem however is that Antiochus does not meet the requirements of any other specific in the prophecy. (Some refer to him as being the fulfilment of the little horn that grows out of the fourth beast in Daniel 7 also.)
This is particularly popular with the preterist position, but to insist upon this understanding is to wrest the scripture from it’s historical setting, for an important point to note is that the 4th beast reaches to the end of time, and is destroyed at the second coming. The view that Antiochus is the little horn restricts the entire book of Daniel to the period of time before Christianity was established.
Let me in detail give my reasons why I believe Antiochus cannot be the little horn of Daniel 7.
a. Antiochus does not rise after 10 kings. He was the 8th king in the Syrian line of Seleucid kings. Besides, the prophecy calls for 10 kingdoms to exist contemporaneously, not successively.
b. Antiochus belonged to the 3rd empire (Greece) in actual historical sequence from Daniel’s time.
c. He was not ‘diverse’ from any other king.
d. He did not ‘pluck up’ 3 other kings.
e. He was not ‘stouter’ than his fellows. His father was known as Antiochus the Great, not Epiphanes.
f. He did not prevail until the end of time, the judgment.
g. The kingdom following was Rome, not the kingdom of the saints.
Reasons why Antiochus cannot be the little horn of Daniel 8.
a. Antiochus was not a horn in his own right. He was of the Seleucid line therefore was a part of one of the four.
b. He did not wax exceeding great. In fact his father was greater, but neither was as great as even Babylon or Media Persia, certainly no greater than Alexander. Yet the prophecy demands that the little horn be greater than any empire before it.
c. He does not fit the time periods. According to Maccabees 1:54,59, and 4:52 Antiochus suppressed the sacrifices exactly 3 years. This fits neither the 1260 days , (times time and half a time,) nor the 2300 days (evenings and mornings of Daniel 8:14). These figures do not compliment one another NOR do they meet the reign of Antiochus.
d. The 2300 days is prophetic. Using the day/year principle established elsewhere as being the standard and norm for interpreting prophetic time periods, it is a literal 2300 years.
And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.
can only refer to the empire of Rome, and thus is the Daniel 8 parallel to not just the 4th beast of Daniel 7…
7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.
… but also the iron legs of the statue of Daniel 2. See how each prophecy repeats and enlarges upon the preceding prophecy?
The dragon beast represents the Roman empire (168 B. C. – 476 A. D.). This empire came to be known as the “iron monarchy of Rome” (Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 4, p. 161). The ten horns represent the ten kingdoms into which the Roman Empire was divided when it fell apart. These ten kingdoms, according to Edward
Gibbon, were: The Alemanni, the Franks, the Burgundians, the Vandals, the Suevi, the Visigoths, the Saxons, the Ostrogoths, the Lombards and the Heruli (see, M. H. Brown, The Sure Word of Prophecy, pp. 54, 55).
“The historian Machiavel, without the slightest reference to this prophecy, gives the following list of the nations which occupied the territory of the Western Empire at the time of the fall of Romulus Augustulus [476 A. D], the last emperor of Rome: The Lombards, the Franks, the Burgundians, the Ostrogoths, the Visigoths, the Vandals, the Heruli, the Sueves, the Huns, and
the Saxons: ten in all.” (H. Grattan Guinness, The Divine Program of the World’s History, p. 318).
Already in the fourth century, Jerome had spoken of the fragmentation of the Roman Empire in the following terms:
“Moreover the fourth kingdom, which plainly pertains to the Romans, is the iron which breaks in pieces and subdues all things. But its feet and toes are partly of iron and partly of clay, which at this time [note that Jerome was living when this was happening] is most plainly attested. For just as in its beginning nothing was stronger and more unyielding than the Roman Empire, so at the end of its affairs nothing is weaker.” (Jerome, Commentary on Daniel, comments on 2:40, column 504). In the days when Jerome lived, the Roman Empire was coming apart. The barbarian tribes from the north had descended upon the empire with a vengeance and broke it up into the nations which today constitute western Europe.
8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.
Daniel 8:9 And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.
10 And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them.
11 Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.
12 And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered.
Remember, that the little horn in Daniel 8:9 is different from the little horn of Daniel 7:8. The one in Daniel 8:9 represents the empire of pagan Rome. It is the parallel symbol of the dragon beast with the ten horns and iron teeth that rises from the sea. However, in Daniel 8:10 can be seen a change in the practice of the little horn from being one that “waxed exceeding great” on a horizontal plane to one that then “waxed great” on a vertical plane. Rome at first operated as a secular pagan entity. But here we see a change in her nature to a religious entity in that she began to attack the things of God and spiritual truths that pertain to heaven.
The little horn of Daniel 7:8, which grows out of the Roman empire
amongst the former ten horns and uproots 3 of them, is also an entity which has aspirations of a more heavenly nature.
Daniel 7:9 ¶ I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
11 I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.
We see here that the duration of this little horn does not end until the judgment. So it endures right up to the second coming, therefore is with us today. There are also much more written on this little horn. There is in fact more detail given concerning this horn than on any of the other beasts together. Thus it is abundantly clear that in His love and mercy God desires that we know who and what this entity is for it is clearly a threat to our spiritual welfare.
Daniel 7:15 ¶ I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.
16 I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.
17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.
18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.
19 Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet;
20 And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.
21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;
22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.
Again we see that this horn endures until the second coming, but we also see more detail of it’s character and practice. Daniel was greatly concerned and approached the accompanying angel to inquire regarding the vision, particularly the little horn. Here is the angel’s reply.
23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.
1. The little horn arises from the fourth beast (7:8). The fourth beast represents Rome, so the little horn must be a Roman power.
2. The little horn arises among the ten horns. The ten horns are the divisions of western Europe, so the little horn must arise in western Europe (7:8). Notice that these first two characteristics restrict the geographical location of the little horn to western Europe.
3.The little horn rises after the ten horns (7:24). According to historians, the ten horns were complete in the year 476 A. D., so this must mean that the little horn was to arise to power sometime after 476 A. D.
4. The little horn was to pluck up three of the first [ten] horns by the roots (7:8). This means that these three nations would be uprooted from history. Daniel 7:20-21 explains that three of the first horns would fall before the little horn, and Daniel 7:24 tells us that the little horn would subdue three horns. In other words, three of the first ten nations would disappear from history!!
5. The little horn was to speak great words against the Most High (7:21, 25). Revelation 13:5 explains what these words would be, namely, blasphemy. And, What is blasphemy according to the Bible? It is when a merely human power claims to be God on earth and when it thinks it can exercise the prerogatives and functions of God (see, John 10:30-33; Mark 2:7).
6. The little horn was to be a persecuting power. This is stated in Daniel 7:21 and repeated in verse 25.
7. The little horn would think it could change God’s “times”, that is to say, God’s timetable of prophetic events. (Daniel 2:21). We shall see that the little horn invented a false system of prophetic interpretation to rival historicism.
8. The little horn would even have the audacity to THINK that it could change God’s holy law. (7:25).
9. The little horn would be different than the ten horns. It would be an amalgamation of church and state (7:24)
10. This power would govern for a time, times and half a time (7:25). This comes out to 42 months or 1260 days (see, Revelation 13:5-6; 12:6, 13-15). In Bible prophecy, literal days are symbolic of years, so this power was to govern for 1260 years .
11. The little horn had eyes like a man. In Bible Prophecy, eyes are a symbol of wisdom (see, Ephesians 1:18; Revelation 5:6). Even today, an owl is a symbol of wisdom because of its large eyes. In other words, this power was to depend on human wisdom.
I have dealt with some of the above characteristics in more detail under the appropriate title on the home page of this site.
It is commonly and correctly asserted that the “man of sin” and “son of perdition” spoken of in the NT are names given for this same entity. We are admonished by Paul regarding this entity:
2 Thess. 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
In order to deceive the very elect and stand in Gods Temple ,he needs to rise out of the / a Church.
What is the temple in the NT? There are actually 3.
1. God’s own sanctuary or temple in heaven.
2. The church corporate.
3. The individual Christian
The little horn cannot obviously get to heaven to stand there. Nor can he invade our own bodies. But he can invade the church. And if he is to deceive believers in the church, he must appear stealthily, acting as one of us. Professing truth, dressed in sheep’s clothing but inwardly a ravening wolf.
2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.
Here we see what was originally a true Christian. In the Greek the ‘falling away’ has connotations of divorce, apostasy. There is no falling away unless at first there was a right relationship. Therefore he doesn’t actually come from without the church, but from within. John also hints at this when he says :
1 John 2:18 ¶ Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
The only other time the ‘son of perdition’ is mentioned in scripture is in reference to Judas. Judas was one of the elect. He was one of the closest select disciples who was with Jesus every day. One of the inner circle, even the treasurer. So also is the antichrist. He is presumed to be Christian. One of the closest to the Lord. In looks, in profession, in outward appearance everything suggests that he is above reproach. Let us not be deceived into believing that he is an outright outspoken sword wielding gun-toting bigoted irreligious enemy of Christ. Then where would be the deception?
Nor should we presume that the little horn represents just one man. The other horns represented kingdoms and lines of successive kings. So also does this little horn. Prophecy if anything is consistent.
The word ‘antichrist’ does not mean openly against Christ as in open warfare. The Greek word ‘anti’ means in many instances ‘in place of’ or ‘instead of’. So the apostate church establishes itself, or its leader, as a replacement of Christ in the minds and hearts of its followers.
2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
Isa 14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High
Re 13:1,4. And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy…. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
Satan can no longer ascend to the heights he lusted for in heaven in person as he has no further access to heaven, yet he can still, through a frontman or proxy, receive the worship and honor he feels he deserves and craves. Antichrist is his masterpiece. Because it is all about worship. Revelation 13 repeats the word worship and deceive many times. A form of worship whereby Christians are deceived and are worshipping Satan instead of Christ, through the apostate church, the ‘antichrist’, who is set up ‘in place of Christ’.
“Lord, Lord, didn’t we do many wonderful works in your name? Depart from me, ye workers of iniquity, I never knew you.”