“At the end of their rule, when their sin is at its height, a fierce king, a master of intrigue, will rise to power. He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause a shocking amount of destruction and succeed in everything he does. He will destroy powerful leaders and devastate the holy people. He will be a master of deception and will become arrogant; he will destroy many without warning. He will even take on the Prince of princes in battle, but he will be broken, though not by human power.” Daniel 8:23-25
The reign of Antiochus Epiphanes was a dress rehearsal for the reign of the Antichrist, who will also be empowered by Satan: “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:9). “The dragon [Satan] gave him his power, his throne, and great authority” (Revelation 13:2).
In these verses, an individual is pictured prophetically who is said to have the following characteristics: (1) he will appear “in the latter time of their kingdom,” that is, of the four kingdoms of verse 22; (2) he will appear “when the transgressors are come to the full”; (3) he will be “a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences,” that is, having a strong or bold countenance and able to interpret riddles, a mark of intelligence ; (4) he shall have great power but his power shall be derived from another ( Satan); (5) he shall accomplish great exploits including destroying Israel, the mighty and holy people; (6) by his policies “he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand,” always busy hatching plots, that is, wickedness shall be on the increase; (7) he shall exalt himself, as did Antiochus Epiphanes; (8) by means of a false peace, he shall destroy many people; (9) he shall oppose “the Prince of princes”; (10) in the end “he shall be broken without hand” (Antiochus died of a foul disease), that is, his power shall be destroyed without human intervention.
“In all history there has never been such a time of terror. It will be a time of trouble for my people Israel. Yet in the end they will be saved!” (Jeremiah 30:7) This will be a time of the likes we have never seen. We feel there has been time of trouble in our world, but none like these times. The wonder part of this is that if we believe in the Rapture, as followers of Jesus Christ, we will not be here. God will judge the ones that reject Him. “Human pride will be brought down, and human arrogance will be humbled. Only the Lord will be exalted on that Day of Judgment. For the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has a day of reckoning. He will punish the proud and mighty and bring down everything that is exalted.” (Isaiah 2:11-12)