And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days. And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king’s business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.(Daniel 8:23-27)
Daniel 8 is a prediction for the end of times. The Prophecy concerns the fate of Persia (Iran), and coming developments regarding a Greco-Western power which will lead to the rise of the Anti-Christ.
There have been many tyrants and Anti-Christs through the centuries, such as Antiochus Epiphanes, the Caesars who demanded worship as Gods, the Popes of the Catholic church who persecuted Christians and took to themselves the worship and titles belonging to God alone, such as “Holy Father”. There have been many modern Anti-Christs; Hitler, Stalin and Mao, Ceucescu, Pol Pot and the Kim il Sungs of Korea.
But the final man of sin will be unique.
This King will understand “Dark sayings”, that is He will understand the deep mysteries of the Kingdom of God, including the prophecies of God.One of the stated reasons for studying the Proverbs of Solomon is that the disciple might understand “Dark sayings”.
Proverbs 1:6 “To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.”
Dark sayings are the Words God grants to Prophets, such as Moses, and are put to music in Psalms .
“With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold : wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?”Numbers 12:8
“I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp.”Psalm 49:4
“I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:”Psalm 78:2
The coming “King of a fierce countenance” will have this attribute, He will have the knowledge that those who seek God are given. Can you imagine the capacity for deception this will allow ? Satan himself quoted scripture to Jesus, evidently the church and Israel will be subjected to a similar test.
The King of Tyre is a type of this “wise one”,
Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.(Ezekiel 28:12)
Thus shall his power be mighty, for His coming is after the working of Satan, with all lysing signs and wonders. But ultimately all of his power and wisdom is what the Most High allows him to have, and those only for a brief season, that height make war on the Saints and wear them down and overcome them.
And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.(Revelation 13:7)
And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.(Daniel 7:25)
This Prince shall be granted success over his rivals, political enemies and shall be seen as a victor in war for a limited time.
But he will also be skilled in the art of diplomacy, and shall destroy many, “By Peace”. This isn’t really hard to imagine, because we are witnessing the destruction and forced transformation of much of the once powerful western world, because of the new emphasis on “Peace”. Western nations tie their militaries’ hands behind their own backs in the name of Peace.
By holding back and fighting “police actions” instead of all out total war against vicious regimes such as Iran, Iraq and the Taliban, we stretch our wars out for 15 expensive, inconclusive years.Our own State department and President is already wreaking much destruction by “Peace”. It would actually be much more merciful to our enemies if we were just allowed to take the gloves off and trounce them, thoroughly , as we did the Japanese and the Germans in 1945.
We will see just what the scripture is teaching us about when it warns that the final Prince will destroy many with Peace.
We will also see how plainly this coming leader will stand up to repudiate the Prince of Princes, the real High Priest in heaven, the LORD Messiah Jeshua.
He will distinguish himself by his bold statements against the Most High, the Saints and against God himself,
And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven and it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.(Revelation 13:4-7)
This evil Prince will not be assassinated, nor will he be able to commit suicide as Antiochus IV Epiphanies was reported to have done. God himself shall deal with him.
And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.(Revelation 19:19-21)