Read Daniel 7-8 at Bible Gateway.
‘The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth,
Which shall be different from all other kingdoms,
And shall devour the whole earth,
Trample it and break it in pieces.
The ten horns are ten kings
Who shall arise from this kingdom.
And another shall rise after them;
He shall be different from the first ones,
And shall subdue three kings.
He shall speak pompous words against the Most High,
Shall persecute the saints of the Most High,
And shall intend to change times and law.
Then the saints shall be given into his hand
For a time and times and half a time.
‘But the court shall be seated,
And they shall take away his dominion,
To consume and destroy it forever.
Then the kingdom and dominion,
And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven,
Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High.
His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And all dominions shall serve and obey Him.’ Dan 7:23-27
Who are the ten kings, and who is eleventh king? The eleventh king is the antichrist; however, I believe there have been numerous fulfillments of these ten and the eleventh over the centuries. I believe there has been more than one antichrist in history (1 Joh 2:18).
There were ten terrible persecutions of the Christians (and Jews, who would not sacrifice to Caesar) during the course of the Roman empire. Each of the persecutions took place under a different king or emperor of the Roman empire. Under the Roman emperors, the saints of the Most High were persecuted so thoroughly, that in several cases it was thought that Christianity had been completely eradicated and would never be heard of again.
Following that epoch, I believe the office of the pope has many times fulfilled the prophecy concerning the eleventh horn, as the head of the Roman Catholic Church. They call the pope Holy Father, and Vicar of Christ (meaning, “substitute for Messiah”). Are those not pompous words against the Most High?
The office of the pope intended to change the times and law. The feast days of the LORD are literally translated from Hebrew, the LORD’s appointed times (moedim). The Roman Catholic Church fought wars against saints, killing thousands, who persisted in keeping the LORD’s appointed times and would not switch to the Catholic Church’s newly minted holidays of Sunday, Easter and Christmas (which were not actually new, but old Babylonian or pagan holidays given a Catholic face).
And where did the Christian church get the idea that the Torah or Law of God had passed away, when Jesus clearly taught that God’s Law would not pass away until heaven and earth had passed away (Mat 5:17-19)? From the office of the pope, who intended to change God’s times, and God’s Law. If you eat bacon and ribs today, and work on Saturday as if it was a common day, contrary to the written Word of God in every Bible, you can thank the office of the pope, who sought to change the Law, to set aside God’s Law as a characteristic of its administration over the Christian church.
It was also the office of the pope that waged wars on anyone who sought to practice biblical worship outside of the Catholic service: the crusade against the Waldenses, the Spanish Inquisition, and other like persecutions are just examples of the spirit of antichrist living on generation after generation, finding expression through the office of the pope for a time.
Hitler was an obvious antichrist, who persecuted the saints of the Most High and crushed the residue of them underfoot. He was a horn of the old Holy Roman Empire. The leaders of the Soviet Union (in the same territory as the old Eastern Roman empire) persecuted the saints of the Most High and crushed the residue of them underfoot. Stalin was so anti- God that he changed the week from a seven day week to a ten day week, so zealous was he to eradicate every trace of God from the natural order.
Today, the mad leader of Iran is expressing the spirit of antichrist in our generation, inciting genocide against the saints of the Most High and seeking to establish his dominion over the entire earth. The Islamic caliphates, which he and others like him are working to resurrect, extended a Roman empire- like totalitarian government over much of the territory which the old Roman empire used to cover.
I think that if someone were to dig into the history of even just some of these who exhibited the spirit of antichrist generation after generation, they would find ten kings preceding them, and three kings falling before them, each in their respective territories and times.
However, the day is coming, when the dominion of the Roman empire, the fourth terrible beast, will be removed from him, and given to the saints of the Most High, and the kingdom of Messiah shall reign forever and ever, His kingdom being an everlasting kingdom without end. Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!
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