This passage was written specifically to the seven churches who were facing such evil worldly persecuting powers such as Rome, which invaded and destroyed Jerusalem, then oppressed those in Asia Minor; also, the evil local officials and the Parthian invaders that persecuted and even destroyed the seven churches as described in Revelation, chapter nine. But, this passage also applies to us on how evil and worldly people operate. It is a blueprint of how people are deceived and how governments and evil people can oppressed because the people let them. This is what Daniel and his friends experienced personally, what the nation Israel and the Early Church faced, and what we personally face too. This is more about our battle against evil, Satan, and those who follow, duped, or have the desire to be evil than it s about a singular antichrist personality that may or may not come into existence. This passage is also about how persecution and oppression operate. This force seeks to make a farce of the One True God by seeking to impute and counterfeit Him, but not in His character or care (Dan. 7; Matt. 4:8-10; 24:9; 2 Thess. 2:4-8; 2 Tim. 3:12-13; 1 Pet. 4:12-19).
This beast wants people terrorized into submission; in contrast, Christ offers grace and forgiveness motivated by His love—two, directly contrary approaches of attracting people, one of hideousness and one of love. Ironically, even though this beast is extremely repulsive and scheming, people desire it and its ways rather than goodness or contentment. Why do people worship what is evil, ugly and terrifying? Perhaps, it is the attraction of power and the removal of conviction. Sin, in its hideousness, is more alluring to some than being convicted.
Questions to Ponder:
- Who or what do you think the antichrist is and means? Now Read 1 John 2:18-22; 4:3; 2 John 1:7, what do you think now?
- do some Christian groups think it is a specific personality or person, claiming that Hitler, Russia, or other groups are the antichrist to make their point and create fear?
- If people get caught in vain speculation, do you think that they miss the point that Christ has for them?
- Why is it important that we look at what the symbolisms refer to in historical context and meanings and not read modern meanings into them?
- What can you do to prevent yourself from being taken in by speculations rather than seeking real substance and meaning in Scripture?
- How does this passage show us how Satan works so we are not tricked or misled into his game?
- What can you and your church do to educate people about Satan’s ways and prevent them from being enamored by empty, charismatic personalities or evil schemes?
© 2006 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries http://www.intothyword.org