Identifying Daniel’s Little Horn in Revelation

Many have tried to identify the antichrist with famous villains like Nero or Hitler. These attempts have failed. Perhaps it is because we have missed the obvious in the biblical text by looking for hidden details about some secret code or clue that does not exist. Let’s try another perspective.

We begin our discussion of the antichrist with this person coming out of the beast, which we learned about in the previous chapter. It is important to remember that the beast is the satanic kingdom at the end of our age. He established a spiritual kingdom long ago that will resurrect into its final form as the person of the antichrist, a man who will expand the devil’s reign of evil in the last days.

Revelation 3:10 Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.

The greatest test ever will be the Great Tribulation Period that affects the entire earth (Daniel 12:1 and Matthew 24:21-22). People will align with the true God, or with the devil. The antichrist is the designated leader during this test period who arises out of the global system operated behind the scenes by the devil himself.

Before getting into the details, we should notice that God not only allows these events to occur but wills them to happen according to His plan. Romans 9:14-24 provides the background about God’s predetermination that we need to understand regarding the book of Revelation.

We see this concept about God’s will for government in Revelation 17:17 for God has put it into their [world leaders] hearts to carry out his purpose by being of one mind and handing over their royal power to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. Also, see 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12.

Why would God allow so much power to the devil acting through the antichrist? Quite simply, it is His plan to test the earth, so He uses everything to serve His purpose.

Proverbs 16:4 The LORD has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.

Limited authority granted to the devil points back to Eden and the original rebellion against God. Afterward, we notice in Luke 4:5-6 that the devil had been granted temporary rights to the entire earth. 1 John 5:18-19 states the deep reach of his impact over the lives of all unsaved people.

We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

It is important to know the difference between the evil kingdom of the world and the Kingdom of Heaven. John explains the teachings of Christ about the devil and the world in many other passages, including these –

John 17:14-15 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.

1 John 2:15-16 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.

We can’t ever let it slip our minds that Christ created the world for His purpose and ultimately holds the reins over the world. We realize it is His intent to regenerate it through the cleansing process described throughout the book of Revelation. This is to fulfill the promised land prophecies that include bonus upgrades after the earth is transformed (Hebrews 11:8-16).

The devil and his minions will dispense God’s judgment upon false religious-political systems of mankind. Revelation 19:2 states that this judgment is credited to God alone, while Revelation 17:16-17 reports how His sentence will be carried out by the beast and the world government.

Presently, Christ is in “waiting” mode while mediating sins until the devil is completely released onto the earth. Passages such as Acts 2:34-35 and Hebrews 10:12-13 are based upon the “footstool” reference from Psalm 110 that describes Christ’s current position. 1 Corinthians 15:21-26 explains more about this concept that is related to the end times.

For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

Christ, being Lord over all kings of the earth today (Revelation 1:5), never stated that He has already fulfilled peace on earth (Matthew 10:34). He has obtained complete authority to rule and has the keys to the realm of the dead (Revelation 1:18), but He is in charge of the timing to release the resting saints. According to Paul, death has not yet been destroyed. Furthermore, Christ is not yet ruling with the rod of iron, as mentioned in Psalm 2:7-9. This rod will come out at the second advent that is prophesied in Revelation 19:15 –

From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.

Peace on earth is to come at the beginning of the next age. Revelation chapters 20-22 depict peace on earth when Christs delivers the heavenly kingdom after defeating all enemies. The devil has been given certain authority until New Jerusalem comes from Heaven (Revelation 21:2-3). Until then, Christ is waiting for the “proper time” (1 Timothy 6:13-16). His kingdom on earth begins at the 7th trumpet that is concurrent with the 2nd advent.

Revelation 11:15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.’

Christ has all authority in Heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18 and Ephesians 1:20-23), but He allows the devil to continue reigning over the earthly realm until the set time. The earthly, physical reign of Christ will be announced at the 7th trumpet with the mystery of God being revealed (Revelation 10:7). This is when He comes to earth and cleanses it.

Timing is in God’s Hands

Acts 1:6 He [Christ] said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.”

Matthew 24:36 But concerning that day and hour no one knows [can perceive], not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.

Now that we have briefly examined God’s authority and control over timing, we should be reminded that there is someone or something holding back the execution of His plan for the end of the age. It is the “Restrainer” that is preventing the antichrist from being revealed.

2 Thessalonians 2:6 And you know what is restraining him [antichrist] now so that he may be revealed in his time.

God has always been in control, as only He can allow the antichrist to rise. These three passages describe this period of God’s authority as He releases end-time events – Daniel 12:1, 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7 and Revelation 12:7-9.

The archangel Michael helps carry out God’s plan to banish the devil from the heavenly realm because the beast system will be authorized to rise on earth once again in its entirety. These developments allow the antichrist to enter the world’s scene. There will be a rapid chain of events occurring after God’s final countdown begins with the devil’s release.

The Little Horn of Daniel is the Antichrist

Now we will examine the background passages about the antichrist before trying to figure out all the references in the Book of Revelation. He is first described as the little horn that comes out of the last stage of the devil’s beast system. We start with the first mention of this most evil person in Daniel chapter 7 verse 8.

I considered the horns [of the final beast], and behold, there came up among them another horn [antichrist], a little one… And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.

The most important aspect to consider about this verse is that he “speaks great things.” This is part of the future Abomination of Desolation that Christ mentioned in Matthew 24 and Paul described in 2 Thessalonians 2.

Daniel 7 provides us with many details about the antichrist that Christ does not repeat in Matthew 24. This is because Christ implies we are to read and understand Daniel. Verse 11 of Daniel 7 states,

I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn [antichrist] was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire…

The timing of the antichrist is during the last days of this age. It is at the time of humanity’s last traditional government being abolished when the prostitute system is destroyed (Revelation 17:16). The antichrist rises during this period to establish the devil’s governmental and religious system.

The antichrist is granted authority and allowed to conquer the saints for a short time (Revelation 13:7). This is the Great Tribulation Period.

Daniel 7:21-22 As I looked, this horn [antichrist] made war with the saints and prevailed over them, until the Ancient of Days came [the 2nd advent], and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom.

The events of Revelation 12:7-12 depict when the devil is granted to reveal his power publicly as the antichrist. These passages are at the same time – Daniel 7:25 ~ Daniel 12:1 ~ Revelation 3:10 ~ Revelation 13:7

While Daniel’s text seems like it rests on no firm temporal foundation, we can look closely and find enough clues to associate the timing and attributes of these symbols to actual events. We need to correlate prophecies to find overarching themes. God wants us to read the entire Bible to understand His plans.

Daniel 7 verse 20 states that the little horn is “greater than [his] companions” of the ten horns. Revelation 17 verse 12 also describes ten horns. These are the “ten kings who have not yet received royal power” after the time when John wrote Revelation. From the two verses, we know that the 10 kings and the antichrist are contemporaneous to each other beyond the first century.

Parallels of Daniel 7 and Revelation 13

 The antichrist is described in both chapters with these same identifiers –

✓ He comes out of the great beast with 10 horns

✓ He speaks complete blasphemy against God

✓ He is allowed authority to war over the saints in the tribulation period

✓ He is destroyed at the second coming of Christ (Revelation 17:14)

Daniel 7 verses 24 through 26 conclude the chapter with related descriptions of the antichrist.

Please see the Appendix 8 for a comparison table of passages.

Christ summarizes Daniel’s prophecies about the antichrist in one brief passage that begins with verse 15 of Matthew 24.

So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand)

Christ does not provide details in the following verses of Matthew 24. He expects us to incorporate key prophecies of Daniel chapters 7-12, which speak about a previous abomination that is a foreshadow and the final abomination of the last days.

We studied the Abomination of Desolation in Chapter 21, but it is worth repeating the highlight by Paul. He explains this event when he depicts the antichrist being revealed before the great Day of the Lord.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.

Paul sheds light on the same abomination that Daniel and Christ spoke about. We should keep in mind the clear meaning of the great words and boasting of the antichrist. He will proclaim to be god. This kicks off the greatest trial even known.

Paul states that the antichrist will take his “seat” in the temple of God, while Christ states he will “stand” in the holy place. This is the same concept using different metaphors. The bottom line is that there will be a great rebellion against God in the Church, in Israel, and all throughout the nations of the earth. This is also the time that false religions are cut off (Revelation 17:16). It is not only that sacrifices of the Jews are affected, or that the Church has a falling away. The entire earth will be distressed (Revelation 13:7).

Matthew 24:21-24 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.

We can correlate all the abomination passages where the antichrist speaks “great things.” We find he exalts himself as god and sets up the final false system of lies.

Daniel 7:8,11,25 = Matthew 24:15-27 = 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 = Revelation 13 verses 5 and 6 –

And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name…

The timing of the antichrist is the 3.5 year (42 months) Great Tribulation Period. All the passages from Daniel and Revelation match each other with the same amount of time. This occurs at the mid-point of Daniels’ reported vision of the 70 weeks prophecy. We will study this in Chapter 33.

Later in the Chapter 13, there is a symbol of another beast who differs from the “mouth” coming out of the first beast. There are also similarities. The antichrist and the second beast speak for the first beast (speak like the devil), so they have the same result, since they are both granted authority by the devil. Their combined message spreads and has a dominant influence on the entire earth.

Revelation 13:11-12 Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence…

We notice a difference between the beast that rises from the sea (Daniel 7:3 and Revelation 13:1) compared to the second beast rising from the land. The metaphorical location of the land reveals that the false prophets and false leaders are from mankind and come from the earth like Adam. The first beast is further stated to rise from the spiritual realm out of the pit of death (Revelation 11:7 and Revelation 17:8). These location terms lead us to consider their meanings.

When first beast rises from death (the abyss), described as the pit, it also has a spiritual connection to the nations of the earth described as the sea (Revelation 13:1). However, it is the same primary beast, although at first glance it seems to come from two different locations. The beast comes from the realm of the dead and from the call of the nations for a savior. Their prayers are answered by the emergence of the antichrist. There is a brief party at first, very brief.

Revelation 11:7-10 And when they [two witnesses] have finished their testimony, the beast that rises from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them,… and those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry and exchange presents, because these two prophets had been a torment to those who dwell on the earth.

After it rises, there is a connection of this first beast giving its authority to the second beast of the earth (Revelation 13:12). The transfer of power shifts from the evil spirit realm to the people of the earth. A large group of followers are enlisted, not just the antichrist being in allegiance with the devil.

Knowing the susceptibility of temptation and gullibility of those who would fall for false signs, we conceptualize that the entire earth will move toward following the devil, except for those with names written in the book of life (Revelation 13:8).

The antichrist will be a man, but will be the spokesperson of the first beast (Daniel 7:8). He will become devil possessed, or a conduit. This person will amplify the end-time program into full motion so it can expand throughout the earth. The beast (devil’s spirit) will speak through this person with all power and authority. Revelation 13:5 describes the channeling effect of the devil through the antichrist. Paul also makes it very clear for us to understand the relationship of the antichrist with the devil’s spirit.

The one working behind the curtain is described in 2 Thessalonians 2:9 The coming of the lawless one [antichrist] is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders.

There are singular and plural nouns that describe channelers of the devil during the Great Tribulation Period. There is one male who is the antichrist, and there are many false prophets and false leaders.

Matthew 24:24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.

The antichrist will rise after the beast emerges, then others will follow him. This is the great rebellion that will envelop the earth. We need to consider the related terms to see the effects. One is that he will be “revealed.” This is associated with the rising term we have studied.

We see this term used three times in 2 Thessalonians 2 for the antichrist (a.k.a. the little horn, the man of sin). The uprising is linked to the timing of the revelation of the antichrist.

2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction.

2 Thessalonians 2:6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time.

2 Thessalonians 2:8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.

We know similar terms are used in this case, such as Christ warning us about “seeing” the Abomination of Desolation. The revelation of the antichrist occurs visually and audibly. Examples are in the passages about the mouth that speaks “great things” and about visual acts of “signs and wonders.” The antichrist and the beast’s followers will tell lies and produce false miracles, as shown in Matthew 24:24, 2 Thessalonians 2:9 and Revelation 13:13-15.

We already know that religion and government are affected by the devil’s system, and we are also told that it will affect the most basic transactions of every person. Religions and governments differ around the globe now, but they will be reduced toward a single system of one religion and one government that will include a required trade exchange system.

The Mark of the Beast

This brings us to the Mark of the Beast and how it relates to the antichrist and the coming world system.

Revelation 13:16-17 Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.

Many people have tried to figure out the mark of the beast, or if the antichrist is Nero or the return of Nimrod, or some other famous figure. We may have missed the details given to us and the matching symbolic language. The mark of the beast and the antichrist are great beacons of the warnings for all humanity. These warnings are crucial for us to understand.

Is the Mark of the Beast the number of man, or a man? Revelation 13:18 states,

This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.

In most other English passages, this exact Greek phrase translates as “of man,” not “of a man.” The root word can refer to an individual or mankind. Within the context, we should consider that all humanity is affected by the devil’s spiritual influence. The beast’s number means mankind in our interpretation, not an individual man’s number like the antichrist. Humanity will enter an alliance with the beast system to control religion, government, and trade.

The key figure of the Great Tribulation Period is the devil, not the antichrist. His target is humanity. The primary focus of this period is that God will use the devil to test the entire earth. For that reason, humanity will go through the greatest refinement of all time (Jeremiah 9:7, Daniel 11:35, Malachi 3:2).

It is of utmost importance that we remember God cares about saving as many people as possible (Romans 9:22-23, 1 Timothy 2:4, 2 Peter 3:3-9).

Ezekiel 18:23 Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?

The tribulation days are “cut short” (Mathew 24:22) by God to save the remnant of the world (Isaiah 10:20-23 and Isaiah 66:18-21). The Day of the Lord is mentioned in Matthew 24:29-30 and the 6th seal of Revelation Chapter 6 to bring an end to the greatest tribulation of all time. The second advent occurs at the end of the Day of the Lord period to save the righteous and the survivors of the nations.

Romans 9:27-28 And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved, for the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the earth fully and without delay.”

We find interesting associations in these passages about the last days of those who do not repent to those who believe in lies –

2 Thessalonians 2:10b they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

Daniel 12:10b but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand.

2 Timothy 3:1-2a But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self.

When considering all related Scripture passages, we see that the antichrist, together with other false messiahs and prophets, are leaders in the rebellion. God’s primary concern is found in the warnings to average people not to follow the path mapped out to the devil by these leaders.

The last details about the antichrist are prophesied in Revelation 19:19-20. Daniel 7:11,22,26 and 2 Thessalonians 2:8. These passages are the same event that occurs at the end of the battle of Armageddon. It is the start of Christ’s earthly kingdom as He takes over the earth. The antichrist will only realize a moment of fame, then the world will see his true colors.

Revelation 19:20 And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.

The term to be thrown “alive” into the lake of fire relates to the beast that takes its final earthly form in the antichrist’s body. Daniel equated the little horn coming out of the final beast as its personification. The antichrist and the devil’s spirit become one after the Restrainer allows the “big reveal.”

Daniel 7:11 I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. 

Summary of the Antichrist

The beast that rises in the last days is the devil’s spiritual reign over earth, beginning with the person of the antichrist.

The antichrist will be part of the 10 kings (horns of Daniel 7:24) of the global system run by mankind before the devil enters the scene.

The 10 horns are the 7th head of the beast (Revelation 17:9-11), not the completed beast.

The antichrist will become possessed by the devil’s spirit as he rises out of the 10 global kingdoms to take control and form the completed 8th head of the beast (Revelation 17:11).

There will be one world government at that time, but not controlled by mankind. All leaders of the world will hand over their power to the world system of the beast (Revelation 17:13).

This beast’s final form of the antichrist will be destroyed by Christ (Revelation 17:14 and Revelation 19:19-20). However, the devil himself, as an angelic being, will live on for a little while longer, according to God’s plan (Revelation 20:1-4).

The beast will come up from the abyss for one last hurrah as the antichrist. However, it will never again have any spiritual influence over mankind’s governmental or religious systems once Christ sets up His eternal kingdom.

Zechariah 14:9 And the LORD will be king over all the earth. On that day the LORD will be one and his name one.

2 Thessalonians 1:5-10 This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.


Revelation Explained Copyright © 2022 by K.J. Soze. All Rights Reserved.

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