Antiochus Epiphanies, the prototype of the man of sin (Antichrist)
The Antichrist and the False Prophet are in fact spiritual beings ruling a hidden kingdom in this world. Paul while writing his epistle II Thessalonians, during the first century, says very clearly," For the mystery of iniquity doth already work….." (II Thes. 2:7). It is not something that happens in the last century of this world. However, the mystery of iniquity will reach its zenith during the last of last days. Paul says about the time of the revelation of the Wicked in verse 8 of this chapter. "Then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming". "Then" the Antichrist will be revealed. Before his revelation, he would oppose and exalt himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. In the spiritual realm, the Antichrist, the invisible king ruling his kingdom, is exalting himself above the God of the universe, and the people of this world are worshiping a god other than the God of the Bible. He is a god of materialism; a god of all religions; a god of power. One day, he will be revealed. The Wicked will be revealed "whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth……"
The book of Daniel is a sealed book. Even Daniel was not given the key to open the seal of this book. The seal of this book was opened by Paul in his epistle to Thessalonians. These days, there are many interpretations of the revelations in the book of Daniel. Some people describe the Antichrist as the Pope of Rome, etc. Till the time of his revelation, we would not know who he is.
Prophecy does not concern itself with history as such, but only with history as it affects Israel and the Holy Land. Antiochus Epiphanies was insignificant as compared with historical personages whom the Bible does not mention, but he scourged the covenant people and defiled God's altar, thus coming into prophetic light. From verse 36 the "little horn" of Dan.7:8, 24-26 fills the scene. His propensity lasts until "the indignation" (the time of trouble of Dan.12:1 and Mt.24:21) is accomplished (Vs.36).
The "little horn" here is a historical event fulfilled in Antiochus Epiphanies, B.C.175, who profaned the temple and terribly persecuted the Jews.
What I want to stress here is that the historical events concerning the "little horn" had already been fulfilled in the person and rule of Antiochus Epiphanies. But the prophetic events concerning "the little horn" are taking place in the spiritual realm which we do not see with our physical eyes. In other words, though the historical part of the book of Daniel has already taken place, the prophetic part which needs to be interpreted allegorically has been taking place in the spiritual realm. The final manifestation of the "little horn" or the Wicked or the Antichrist is yet to take place.
- Job Anbalagan