Daniel 7:1-8 - Being on the Lookout for the Anti-C

Steve Viars May 15, 1999 Daniel 8:

- How many of you took Driver’s Education Classes before you got your driver’s license?
- Can I see your hands?
- I’m not about to make a crack about your driving and we’re not having some sort of problems out in the parking lot we’re trying to solve.....
- I’d just like to know how many took a Driver’s ed. class.....

- For those who took the class, what do you remember most about the class?
- I think I can answer for many of us when I say....the movies.....
- did you have to watch certain movies as part of driver’s ed?
- do you remember what they were like?
- many times they were one of two things.......
1) They either showed accident scenes....and usually in a pretty graphic way, as an example of what can happen if you’re not careful behind the wheel....
2) Or they showed scenes of men and women who were driving properly.....who were doing it right.
- now, what was the purpose of those movies?
- it certainly wasn’t entertainment.....the goal was to help us correct wrong behavior, and adopt right habits.

- you might ask --- PV, why are we talking about this?
- its because of what’s about to happen in our study this morning......
- We’re going to study a passage of Scripture that was written 2500 years ago.
- but it was written about someone who would be very prominent in the future.....Bible students call him the Anti-Christ.

- in these verses, God pulls back the curtain of the future....and allows us to watch a video in our mind’s eye about the end times.....
- about this Anti-Christ and what he will be like, what he will say, what he will do.
- then we’ll see in the Scripture how God tells us that the same spirit that some day will energize the Anti-Christ, is actually busily working today.
- and the purpose of God allowing people to see this picture 2500 years ago, and the reason he would allow us to see it today.....
- is so [just like the Driver’s Ed. video], we would let those images affect the way we live today.

- with that in mind, let me invite you to open your Bible to the book of Daniel, chapter 7.
- at our church, we’ve been studying through the book of Daniel verse by verse and chapter by chapter.
- we embarked on this study for two primary reasons.....
1) We’re living in a day when there is great interest in the future....probably accentuated because we’re about to have a turn of the century.....so there’s great interest in the future.
2) We’re also living in a day when there is a great need for integrity and character....that was brought to light again this week by Mrs. Clinton who was giving a speech on gun control after the Colorado school shootings.....with her husband standing nearby, she said; “Part of growing up is learning how to control one’s impulses.”
- we would certainly agree with that statement.....there is a great need for integrity and character....and who among us would say that we don't struggle of making wise choices and taking right steps as often as we should?

- so this is a day where there is a great interest in the future and a great need for direction about integrity and character.
- God allows those two important themes to converge in this great book of Daniel.

- I realize that some of you have joined this study along the way...and some are even new today.
- the short version of the book is this.....
- Daniel was a Jewish teenager who was deported to Babylon by King Nebuchanezzar.
- the book is all about how he and some of his friends were able to maintain their faithfulness for God even though they were in a situation where there was great pressure to compromise their convictions and beliefs.
- the first six chapters follow Daniel through most of his life....from teenage years in chapter 1 all the way up to his mid 80’s in chapter 6.

- now, chapter 7 begins the prophetic portion of the book.
- its already been demonstrated that God could bless Daniel with character that was trustworthy.
- now its time to see how God blessed Daniel with prophecies that were trustworthy as well.
- we studied the first half of chapter 7 two weeks ago......today, we’re going to look especially at the second half.
- we’re calling these verses, “Being on the Lookout for the Anti-Christ.”

- Read Daniel 7:1-8

- we saw two weeks ago that these words correspond perfectly to the details of Daniel chapter 2, where God gave Nebuchanezzar a vision that was also divided in four parts.
- We learned that both were descriptions of the history of the world.....
- But Nebuchanezzar’s in chap. 2 was a picture of the future from man’s perspective.....
- While Daniel’s in chap 7. ia a picture of human history from God’s perspective.

- what we didn’t have time to do was to look at this “little horn”
- let’s learn about him now.....read Daniel 7:8-28.
- [remind them that verses 9-14 are the split screen -- what was happening in heaven]

- now, if you’re not used to reading or studying prophecy, that may seem a bit bizarre.....but as we saw a couple of weeks ago.....
- when you break the verses down, they become fairly easy to understand....
- and they become very easy to apply in ways that can help us live for God now.
- with the time we have left, I’d like us to attempt to answer these three questions....
I. When will the Anti-Christ appear?
II. What will the Anti-Christ be like?
III. How Should this affect the way we live today?

- so let’s begin with.....


I. When Will the Anti-Christ Appear?


- now, you know that I’m not about to make a prediction of the date.....
- we’re asking, what will be happening historically at that time?
- I’m about to give a very brief overview of the end times.....
- if you’d like to do more study on all of this, let me recommend a book entitled “Things to Come” by Dwight Pentecost.
- pages 229-337 especially discuss this matter in great detail.....
- if you want to know how to order this book, the folks back at the tape table in the gym have the information for you....I think you would find this to be a very helpful resource.
- also, the key passages of Scripture that go along with what we are studying is Revelation chapter 13, and II Thes. chapter 2.

- Regarding the end times, we believe that the next event on the prophetic calendar is the rapture of the church.
- Rapture means being “caught up”....and we understand the Scripture to teach that Jesus will return in the clouds, and those who have died in Christ will be raised in that their resurrected bodies will be united with their souls which are already in heaven.....
- and believers at the time will literally be taken from the earth to meet Christ in the air, receiving a resurrected body on the spot.
- you can read about this in I Thes. 4:13-18, I Cor. 15:50-58, and Rev. 3:10

- so believers will be removed from the world at the event known as the Rapture of the church.
- that triggers a 7 year period of time known as the Tribulation.
- Its the beginning of what the Scripture calls the day of the Lord.
- The purpose of the Tribulation is 2-fold.....
1) To prepare Israel to receive her true Messiah, Jesus Christ
2) To pour out judgment on unbelieving people and nations.

II. What the Anti-Christ will be like?

- you can read about the events of the tribulation in the book of Revelation, chapters 4-20.

- Now, when every person who truly knows Jesus Christ is removed from the world at the rapture, you can imagine the situation that will remain.
- the vacuum that is left will be immense.....
- the Bible describes a time when people are crying out for leadership politically, economically, and religiously.
- and our adversary the devil will have a person groomed and ready to provide such leadership, the Anti-Christ.
- this person will be Satan’s masterpiece.....
- and you might hear that and say, Oh, then he’ll be ugly and wicked and obviously cruel.....
- no, remember a very important thing about Satan --- he often comes as an angel of? (light)
- so the Scripture tells us the Anti-Christ will be very attractive, he will be a natural born leader, very charismatic in his leadership style.....
- but what is especially emphasized in the Word of God are his words.....
- he is a smooth talker.....people listen to him and follow him because of his persuasive words.....
- The Bible also tells us that what the Anti-Christ especially brings to the table is a plan for peace......he even brokers a deal that includes the most important nation on the face of the earth from the perspective of world peace (whether you’re thinking about history from a biblical perspective or a secular perspective)
- the Anti-Christ brokers a peace deal that includes Israel.
- another important biblical truth about the tribulation period is that is clearly divided in half.
- we’ll see that many times in our study of the remaining chapters in Daniel and the corresponding chapter sin the book of Revelation.....
- the Scripture will talk about 42 months, about 1260 days.......it also uses this cryptic phrase “time, times, and a half” which we will see refers to 3 1/2 years.

- what happens is this.....at the mid-point of the tribulation, the Anti-Christ reveals his true colors.....
- according to Matthew chapter 24 and Daniel chapter 9, the Anti-Christ goes into the temple at Jerusalem and sets up a statue of himself to be worshipped...that event is known as the Abomination of Desolation.....
- remember, our adversary craves worship...and he loves it when people bow down to him, or some idol he has inspired.
- that’s where the famous number 666 comes in, because in order to buy and sell, a person will have to have the number 666 on his hand or forehead, and in order to get the number he’ll have to worship the Anti-Christ...[you can read all about that in Revelation chapter 13]
- the other significant event at the mid-point of the tribulation is that the Anti-Christ breaks his peace pact with Israel, and sets off on a persecution of that nation that is unparalleled.
- amazingly, at that time, many members of the nation of Israel will come to Christ...that’s what the 144,000 and the 2 witnesses are all about.....but anyone who trusts Christ will face terrible persecution and many times death.

- now, you might say -- this Anti-Christ is so strong and powerful and charismatic.....how does all of this end?
- let me read from Revelation chapter 19, and ask you to imagine this scene in your mind’s eye... Revelation 19:11 - And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war.  And His eyes are a flame of fire, and upon His head are many diadems; and He has a name written upon Him which no one knows except Himself.  And He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God.  And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white  and clean, were following Him on white horses.  And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."...And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies, assembled to make war against Him who sat upon the horse, and against His army.  And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshipped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat upon the horse.

- now, let me ask you to turn to a passage in NT, II Thes. chapter 2.
- this passage gives the exact same prophecy that we find both in the book of Daniel and the book of Revelation.....but it gives a critical detail that will help us apply it to our lives today.
- this book was written in part because the Thesalonians had been told that the day of the Lord had already occurred....READ II Thes. 2:1-12
- there are many important things in those verses, but what I’d especially like us to note in verse 7....what we’re talking about this morning is not simply something that is going to happen some day in the future....
- this same Anti-Christ strategy is already at work in our world today.
- you may remember that we saw the same thing when we studying through the book of I John......
- If you’re trying to take notes on all of this, you could jot down I John 2:18, 2:22, 4:3
- in each of those verses, John warns believers about the spirit of Anti-Christ that is already at work today.
- that’s why God is allowing Daniel to peer into the future......to see the strategies of our adversary in their full-blown form so that we’ll be better able to spot them and avoid them today.

- now, that was an attempt to answer the question.....I. When will the Anti-Christ appear?
- now, let’s talk about.....II. What will the Anti-Christ be like?
- let me ask you now to go back to Daniel 7.
- what are the things that were especially revealed to Daniel 2500 years ago that God believed would be of great benefit to God’s people?
- let’s try to make a list.....

1) verse 8 --- he pulls up three other horns by their roots.....in other words, he’ll run over three nations to get to power.....he has eyes like the eyes of man.....
- but note especially right at the end of the verse.....”he has a mouth uttering great boasts”

2) verse 11 - then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words....

2) please look at verse 21 --- wages war with the saints and he overpowers them.....

3) now verse 25 - he speaks out [there’s the words again] against the Most High, he wears down the saints of God, makes alterations in times and even the laws.

- this man hates God, and he hates God’s people....and he wants nothing more to destroy them, and destroy their testimony, and their effectiveness.....
- he wants to rob them of their joy, he wants to take everything they hold dear.....
- he wants to pound on them with ruthless attacks and wear them down.....
- he wants them to deny their Lord and savior.....

- and God believed that people like Daniel, living 2500 years ago in Babylon [modern day Iraq], God believed that people living in that day, in that place....would be helped by having the curtain pulled back and seeing what this coming Anti-Christ would be like.

- now, we’ve talked about .....
I. When the Anti-Christ will appear.....
and, II. What the Anti-Christ will be like.....

- let’s spend the rest of our time thinking about......


III. How should this affect the way we live today?


- what impact does God intend a study of the Anti-Christ to have on people?

A. The first answer I’d like to suggest is, to be sure that you have a personal relationship with Christ.
- if you’re here and you’ve not yet trusted Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior, or if you’re not sure about it.....our adversary will want to do everything he can to keep you from Christ.
- and he doesn’t have to get you to the place where you say --- I am out and out rejecting Jesus forever.....
- he just has to get you to say.....I’ll put this off until tomorrow.....I’ll deal with this someday, just not today.

- now if you’ve been around here for any period of time, you know that I don't believe in high pressure tactics......but recognizing the existence of, and the strategies of the Anti-Christ ought to help us see the urgency of the issue of “knowing that you know that you know....”
- and some who will be here today have been hearing about Christ, and you’ve had other folks tell you about his death, burial, and resurrection......
- you’ve had folks tell you about the possibility of having your sins forgiven, of having a new life in Christ.....
- but you’ve been putting it off......
- friend, God is trying to use Daniel chapter 7 to help all of us open our eyes to the spiritual realities around us....
- there is a spirit of Anti-Christ alive and well today.....there really is an enemy of God called Satan who has spawned this Anti-Christ world system, and someday he will put all of that together in the form of an actual person......in fact, that person may be alive right now.....
- and if you don’t know Christ, the application of this passage to you would be.....Why not trust Him today?
- [could use illus. of doing the funeral this week for a 38 year old man]
- could quote from Screwtape letters......
- [offer to cusomize a study program for anyone not yet ready to trust Christ, but interested]

- Now let’s talk about some applications to those who have already trusted Christ....
B.  Be prepared each day for the spiritual battles you’ll face.
- picture yourself on a battlefield, let’s say in WW II.
- you’ve spent the night sleeping in a foxhole hoping and praying that God would preserve your life.
- its daybreak....the enemy artillery fire has already started......
- when all of a sudden, one of your buddies wakes up, leisurely yawns, gets out of the foxhole, and goes strolling across the battlefield peeling a banana.

- what would you say to him?....what would you do?
- yet I wonder how close that is to the way many of us who call ourselves believers in Jesus Christ face the spiritual battles that we face every day.

- let me ask you to think about it from this perspective......
- what evidence was there this week in your life that you recognized the significance of the spiritual battle you were facing?
- did the way you fervently prayed before leaving the house show the depth of your understanding of these matters?
- did you get your spiritual armor on, the kinds of things described in that great passage in Ephesians 6?
- did you help your family members be prepared?
[could use the point man illus.]
- would you agree with me that we ought to think about these matters before we ever turn on the Television?
- how many times do we carelessly allow things in our hearts without guarding what it is we’re watching?
- remember that we started this book by reading that Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with a portion of the king’s meat.....
- are there examples where you are deciding ahead of time what you’re going to do and what you’re not going to do because you recognize the significance of the battle?

- I mentioned a couple of weeks ago the example of cassie Bernall, the young lady who stood up in the library at Columbine High School when the gunmen asked if anyone believed in God......
- do you know what Cassie was doing in the library --- reading her Bible at the library table.
- I wonder if someone had asked her a few minutes before, “Why are you reading that, what she would have said.....”
- Perhaps it would have been something like, We live in a culture that really hates God and hates Jesus Christ, and we have to be feeding on God’s Word because you never know when you’ll have to take a stand.
- why wasn’t she reading teeny-bopper magazine?
- maybe she understood, even as a young teenager, about the significance of the struggle and she wanted to be prepared.

- when’s the last time you choose to stay away from some place, or stay away from some activity....simply because you wanted to error on the side of safety.
- too many of God’s people are always right on the edge of the cliff.....as if it really not that dangerous, or there’s really not that much at stake.


- you know, this study reveals one particular area of temptation that Satan often uses with incredible success.....
- what kind of words does the Anti-Christ speak?
- boastful ones......proud ones.....
- that’s one of our adversaries’ most effective temptations......
- you probably know the passage in I Peter that speaks about Satan prowling around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.....
- the context of that statement is a discussion of pride.....

- since this passage has been working on me this week....I’ve been trying to apply it by especially looking out for proud thoughts, or proud words that I might think or say....
- you might ask ---- did you find any?
- too many.....way too many....
- but I’ll say this.....they sure look a lot uglier when viewed through the grid of this study of the Anti-Christ.....
- this isn’t a little battle with no consequences.....

- Satan can’t destroy a believers salvation.....but he can sure destroy his testimony and witness.....
- did you have interactions this week with anyone that were such that it would be hard now to go back and tell them about Jesus Christ?

- One last important implication of this study on the Anti-Christ is:
C. Always remember that Jesus Christ will be victorious.
- one interesting thing about these passages about the Anti-Christ is that they almost always end with a discussion of the ultimate victory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
- Greater is He that is in you then he that is in the world.

- Many of us are struggling with habits that we know we need to change.
- thats the great thing about being part of Christ’s church.....we’re growing in Christ together.....there’s no super-saints.....none of us have arrived......
- well, in that setting, we can be helped by reading and meditating on words like those in verse 14 - READ.....[cf. 26-27].

- yes, our adversary is strong and we ought to understand his ways and be on the lookout for his schemes.....but our eyes should always be focused on our victorious Savior.
- looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.....
- God’s people can have victory because He has had victory.

- and someone might say --- do you think He’s powerful enough even to change me?
- absolutely......

- I mentioned Cassie Bernall a minute ago......there’s another part of this story that is absolutely fabulous.
- see, Cassie wasn’t always a young lady who lived for Christ.
[tell her story]

[ if time, deal with churches having a counseling ministry ---- but we’ll have a bunce of people with problems if we do that! ----- God is looking for ways to show Himself strong ---- trophies of His grace].

Steve Viars

B.S. - Bible, Baptist Bible College
M.Div. - Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min. - Westminster Theological Seminary

Pastor Steve Viars has served at Faith Church since 1987. He and his wife Kris were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and two grandchildren. Pastor Viars’ gifted teaching ministry, enthusiasm for the Word of God, and organizational skills are instrumental in equipping Faith Church. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith ministries and serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video