The Four Wars of the Antichrist
Who will the Antichrist be fighting in the Tribulation and the Battle of Armageddon, who are not Christians or at least not necessarily saved? Who are the people who survive into the Millennium and whom God’s people rule over? Since there must be some people that will be ruled over during the Millennium, working backward, there must be people who are not the saved and not Antichrist-marked people either, who survive into the Millennium.
At the end of the Wrath of God, at the Battle of Armageddon, all the Antichrist’s people, all those with the Mark of the Beast, are slain. In other places God even describes it. He invites the beasts of the earth and the ravens and the birds of the air to come and feast (Revelation 19:17–18, 21). After the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, there’s another feast going on down on earth at Armageddon. So we want to find out who these people are that the Antichrist and his bestial people are fighting, and who survives the Tribulation, the Wrath of God, and Armageddon, and lives on into the Millennium.
The book of Daniel writes about the Antichrist, in particular the 11th chapter. This is the longest chapter in the book of Daniel, and it really covers a lot of territory, all the way from Alexander the Great to the Antichrist, half the history of the world. The Antichrist is first mentioned in Daniel 11:21. “And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honor of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.” Here you have a description of the Antichrist and how he operates; he gains most of his following and most of his countries peaceably. Mostly he conquers by peace and propaganda.
The Covenant is mentioned first in verse 22, and although it doesn’t necessarily say it’s already been made, we can assume that perhaps it’s already been made at this time because it talks about it as if it’s already in existence. In previous chapters it tells about making the Covenant, who makes it and how it’s made, especially in the 8th chapter, even the end of the 9th chapter.
The Covenant appears, and in verse 28 it indicates that it’s broken, “his heart shall be against the Covenant,” and then in the 30th verse it says he comes down and he has “indignation against the Holy Covenant” and invades Israel. Obviously he turns against it first, and finally, he breaks it.
He makes a covenant with the Jews and the Muslims, and the Christians, to have religious freedom and have Jerusalem internationalized as the holy city of the world, probably by the UN, and thereby brings peace. By bringing peace between the major religions with this holy, or in other words, religious covenant, he has tried to stop all the wars. Is he successful?
If the Covenant is already in existence at this time—which obviously it is, since it’s talking about it—and he’s not even against it until the 28th verse, and doesn’t really fight against it until the 30th verse, and doesn’t actually make war with it until the 31st verse, and doesn’t pollute the sanctuary, take away the daily sacrifice and place the Abomination of Desolation till the 31st verse, where does the breaking of the Covenant occur? What does he do when he breaks the Covenant? He does all these things that are described in the 31st verse. “And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.” As soon as he does that, he has broken the Covenant. And if, therefore, it’s in existence in this passage until the 31st verse, then all these events here happened in the first part of his reign.
In the first part of his reign he comes in peaceably on the fattest provinces, the fattest countries, and in verse 25 he has a war with the king of the South. “He shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the South with a great army; and the king of the South shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand: for they shall forecast devices against him. Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him.”
Throughout the Scripture in all the prophecies, the Antichrist is spoken of as coming from the north, the king of the North. In this passage, he’s fighting with the king of the South. It sounds like a pretty good-sized war to me! Don’t think that the first half of his reign is going to be all peace. Comparatively speaking, having settled or made peace between the religions, perhaps this war will not be as bad as some have been, but it sounds like a pretty bad one.
This is apparently one of the first wars even before the Covenant is completely broken. In fact, obviously it’s a war in which he must win. The king of the South is defeated by traitors. “Yea, they that feed of the portion of his own meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow.” This means the Antichrist’s army shall overflow (conquer, overcome). “And many shall fall down slain” (v. 26). He’s going to fight a big war even before the Covenant is broken.
Don’t think all will be peace; there’s going to be war, even after the Covenant is made when it looks like there’s going to be peace. “When they shall say, ‘Peace and safety,’ then cometh sudden destruction!” He says, “They cry, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace” (1 Thessalonians 5:3; Jeremiah 6:14). God isn’t going to let man’s attempts to bring peace, man trying to bring an international government through his own rule, to succeed. If it succeeds even temporarily, it’s not going to last.
The kings lie to each other, “speaking lies at one table” (v. 27), and I think of this verse every time I hear about these conferences and these peace parleys and these disarmament parleys.
I won’t attempt to explain every detail of this passage, because I don’t understand every detail and every word. But there’s enough in here that I do understand that this passage apparently happened after the Covenant was made, because it speaks of the Covenant, and it’s not broken till the 31st verse. One war is fought already in the 25th and 26th verses, in the 28th verse his heart is turned against the Covenant, and in the 29th verse he comes again toward the South. Another war!
Almost all the wars he fights here during his reign are with the king of the South—whoever the king of the South is and whoever’s backing him. Then this next war comes up quite obviously in the 30th verse. Two wars so far before the breaking of the Covenant in the first half of the Antichrist’s reign!
Two wars are fought during the first half of his reign, and both of them with the same outfit, only this time with the ships of Chittim. They come out in full force, even with their ships. Every kind of ship they can think of to try to fight on behalf of Israel against this king of the North. But what happens? “Therefore he shall be grieved and return”; he’s apparently gone back up north again, after the first war in which he tried to subdue them, but they didn’t stay subdued (v. 30).
“And he shall have indignation against the Holy Covenant.” Now he’s determined to break the Covenant. “So shall he do. He shall even return and have intelligence with them that forsake the Holy Covenant” (v. 30). There are going to be some people who are going to agree with him that they ought to break the Covenant. Later it talks about the kings of the East that come.
Then comes the breaking of the Covenant and all the events that follow. “They shall pollute the sanctuary of strength”—this can only mean the rebuilt Temple at Jerusalem. “And shall take away the daily sacrifice”—which they have reinstituted on the altar out in front of the Temple. “And they shall place the Abomination that maketh desolate” (v. 31)—the Image of the Beast! This is the midpoint of the seven years, the beginning of the Tribulation.
Maybe people won’t even know when the Covenant is made; maybe it’s secret. It doesn’t specify exactly when it’s made, but all of a sudden you find out it’s been made. It may not be on the world news; it may be a secret agreement. It would almost have to be secret in some ways for fear some of these people would find out that their leader was making an agreement to make peace with some of their bitter enemies. I think the Muslims would be furious if they knew that the Jews were going to rebuild the Temple, and I think the Christians might be furious if they knew that he’s going to continue to favor the Muslims and let them continue their worship along with the Jews. So who knows? It might have to be somewhat secret. But we don’t know; all we know is that it has been made and is being broken in the 31st verse.
But when this happens, you’ll know it! You’ll certainly begin to see the signs that this is obviously the Antichrist who’s running the world. Any man that’s able to get these religions to make any kind of an agreement must be the Antichrist! When he breaks the Covenant and does the things enumerated in this 31st verse, then you will know that it is the Antichrist. If you didn’t recognize him before that, he is revealed then!
This sounds like 2nd Thessalonians 2: “Then shall that man of sin be revealed,” it says, the wicked one whose coming is after the working of Satan, who sits in the Temple of God, as God, declaring that he is God. This is when it happens.
“But the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits. And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword” (Daniel 11:32–33). There’s going to be persecution. “And when they fall, they shall be helped with a little help” (Daniel 11:34). But there’ll be traitors in the midst: “Many shall cleave to them with flatteries.” And even some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white” (Daniel 11:35).
After all this has happened, the Antichrist is king of the world and the things that you have read in the 13th chapter of Revelation about him are probably happening. The Beast’s Image is up, he’s probably already giving orders as to who should be killed, and the Mark of the Beast and all the rest. And then in verse 36 it describes him: “And the king shall do according to his will. He shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods”—our God.
“He shall prosper until the indignation be accomplished.” Till the indignation, God’s Wrath on him, is finished. This word “indignation” means wrath, and it’s accomplished at the end, at the Battle of Armageddon. He shall prosper until the Battle of Armageddon, when he’s destroyed.
Are his wars over now? Is he absolute dictator of the world and in total power? Verse 40: “And at the time of the end shall the king of the South push at him.” Again? His third war with the South. “And the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind.” This is the third rebellion from the south, the third war! Even when he’s absolute dictator and has taken over the rule as the Antichrist, claiming to be God himself and Devil-possessed!
“And with chariots and with horsemen, and with many ships; he shall enter into the countries and shall overflow and pass over.” He’s going to do the job right this time and there are not going to be any more people left to rebel. This is going to be the grand and great third invasion of Israel.
“He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown.” What’s the glorious land? Israel. “But these shall escape: Edom and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon” (Daniel 11:41). Those are Arab lands, Arab nations. The land of Moab and Ammon is the land of Jordan; Edom is even further south.
“He shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps” (Daniel 11:43). Here’s a picture of a king on a throne. It’s a word picture used in olden times and in Scripture, with some of his servants sitting on the steps of the raised dais of the throne. In other words, the Libyans and the Ethiopians are going to be his servants.
“But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him” (Daniel 11:44). You mean his own country is going to start turning on him? Or maybe while he’s made Jerusalem his capital and he’s gone down there to rule the world, some jealous rivals back home are going to take things over. Dictators, rulers and kings always have trouble, sometimes with the people closest to them.
Who are the kings of the East? In the Bible the Arabs are kings of the East. The Muslims are spread across Africa and all through the East; they’re in almost every country in the world. So he’s going to start having trouble with the Arabs, the Muslims, and the Chinese—the East. There are whole nations, whole areas of the world which are going to rebel against the Antichrist. This is the fourth war. Two in the first half of his reign and two in the last half of his reign, and they’re not over yet!
“Tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy and utterly make away many.” It sounds like this is the end of the Tribulation and just before the Rapture, because the very next chapter begins with the Rapture. Daniel 12:1 describes the Tribulation and says there’s great tribulation. But who do you suppose this last war is with? Who have we found out in other passages that he fights this last war with? Who does he bomb in this last war? Babylon, the West.
He gets trouble now from the East, the West, the South and the North. He’s got trouble from everywhere! God says He will tribulate them that trouble you (2 Thessalonians 1:6). So he’s got nothing but trouble. He’s fighting everybody all over the world—East, West, South, and even in his home country of the North he’s got enemies who are trying to take over.
Every king, every world dictator, world emperor, has had these same kinds of troubles. They’ve always had to fight wars to keep the peace, so to speak. That’s what they claim they’re fighting them for. But they really fight wars to keep their place, not just the peace! To keep their position, to keep their power, to continue to rule, and he’s no different from the rest of them. He will have to fight wars.
Obviously they didn’t all accept the Mark of the Beast and obviously not everybody is his friend! Although the 13th chapter of Revelation says, “And all the world wondered after the Beast,” they were amazed by him; it doesn’t mean they all followed him. It doesn’t mean they all accepted his Mark! He’s going to amaze the whole world with supernatural miracles and his power and his ability to fight wars and conquer the world. But he still has wars with them—trouble, trouble, trouble!
Until finally, “He shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain” (Daniel 11:45). He’s the false messiah and he’s making Jerusalem his capital. That Jerusalem is not the Holy City. That Jerusalem is not the heavenly Jerusalem. That Jerusalem is not the Bride of Christ. John describes the Holy City and the Bride of Christ in the last couple of chapters of Revelation.
That city of old Jerusalem is spoken of as Sodom and Egypt, where all the prophets have been killed, including Jesus (Revelation 11:8). Jerusalem is virtually symbolic of the most ungodly cities in the world in the book of Revelation. That’s not the Holy City! But according to the Jews, their messiah is to take over Jerusalem and rule and reign from Jerusalem, and of course it’s also holy to the Muslims. So the Antichrist tries to unite them all by putting his palace in Jerusalem and ruling and reigning the world from Jerusalem itself, imitating the Messiah and trying to unite the Muslims and the Jews, and the East and the West and North and South. But “He shall come to his end, and none shall help him” (Daniel 11:45).
Copyright © March 1981 by the Family International