Daniel’s little horn identified
We had a quick introduction to the little horn as depicted in Daniel 7. This little horn is the kingdom that is said to rise after the division of the Roman Empire in 476AD, according to prophecy.
In Daniel 7 we studied the prophecy of the four beasts which Daniel saw. We understood that these four beasts each represent four different kingdoms that would have dominion over the earth for certain periods of time. We identified them as Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greek and Roman Empires.
History tells us that the Roman Empire ceased in the year 476 AD and that the Western Roman Empire where divided into ten different kingdoms, those of ancient Western Europe. The division of the Roman Empire into the ten Western European nations where prophesied in Daniel 2 with reference to the statue’s feet of iron and clay’s ten toes, as well as the forth beast’s ten horns of Daniel 7.
After Daniel saw the vision of the four beasts, he considers the ten horns of the forth beast and notice a few very interesting detail;
“I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.” Daniel 7:8
The translation of the words little horn, is more accurately said from littleness. This little horn therefore started small but grew bigger and bigger over time.
Notice also that this little horn arises among the other ten horns. If the ten horns represent the ten nations of Western Europe, then this little horn must represent a little kingdom that was found after 476AD when the first ten were found, and amongst them. This little kingdom is therefore a little Western European kingdom.
This little kingdom, as we will soon proof, is the Son of Perdition, the Lawless one, the Antichrist, if you will. So it is very important that we make sure that we identify him correctly.
Let us start by presenting the evidence one piece at a time;
“…before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots…”
Note: Three of the original ten kingdoms are plugged up by the roots as a consequence of this little horn kingdom.
“…and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.”
Note: This horn has eyes like a man and speaks pompous words. Where else did we encounter an aspect of man in a prophetical beast? Babylon is the answer. It is a cross reference to earlier in the chapter, which means to put man above the divine – an abomination unto God. In this power we will find another Babel or portal to God, where man is substituted for the divine; where man is exalting himself above the divine with pompous words.
Let’s dig into some history before we continue;
The three kingdoms that where plugged up by the roots by the influence of this little horn kingdom, is the Heruli, Vandals and the Ostrogoths. These three kingdoms all belonged to the original ten kingdoms that arose out of the Roman Empire.
As a consequence of this little horn kingdom, all available documentation that could provide evidence as to what faith these three kingdoms held onto, has been destroyed and the only second hand information available today is that which is being offered by this little kingdom himself.
This little kingdom would have us believe that all three of the eliminated kingdoms rejected the divinity of Jesus Christ and thus had to be removed. Very little information is known regarding the Vandals but the evidence from other sources point to the fact that they were most probably orthodox in faith and held to the original message of the gospel, as derived from ancient Palestine.
The Heruli were destroyed in 493AD, the Vandals in 534AD and the Ostrogoths in 538AD. If these three kingdoms were indeed destroyed by the little horn kingdom as prophesied in Daniel 7, then we can narrow our search for the establishing of the little horn kingdom down to before 493AD and after 476AD, when the Roman Empire officially ceased as one Empire.
In 538AD the greatest opposition to the little horn kingdom were finally removed and this little kingdom rose to great power in a very short period of time thereafter.
Here are the names of the ten kingdoms that arose out of the Roman Empire, after 476AD:
(Vandals, Heruli and Ostrogoths now extinct)
From all the nations that formed out of the Roman Empire, the ones that fought hard in resisting this little horn kingdom to rise to power were the Vandals, Heruli and the Ostrogoths, with the Visigoths also playing a major part in these uprisings.
Seen of judgment
Next, we read;
“I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.” Daniel 7:9
“A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.” Daniel 7:10
Note: Daniel were watching down the timeline of history and saw a judgment seen be prepared.
“I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.” Daniel 7:11
Note: This judgment seen that was setup was prepared for the little horn kingdom, because of the pompous words that it spoke.
“I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.” Daniel 7:13
Note: The Ancient of days, Jesus Christ, has set up His kingdom in the heavenly while a judgment seen is prepared; all the while this little horn kingdom is setting up his very own kingdom on earth.
The setting seem to be a play between the God of heaven and the little kingdom that spoke pompous words; Throughout Revelation we will visualize the same play between good and evil, God and Satan, the bride of Christ and the whore, Christ and the Antichrist.
Paul’s reference to the man of sin.
“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.” 2 Tess 2:1, 2
Note: In this reference, Paul was correcting the false idea that Christ would return in their lifetime, as some were teaching.
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” 2 Tess 2:13, 4
Note: The falling away is not referring to a rapture of some sort, but more precisely, apostasy that will enter the church; or a falling away of the true gospel. This man of sin, son of perdition, is the one that will cause the apostasy in the church.
It is very interesting to know that there are only two references to a son of perdition. This one being this little kingdom and the second one is Judas. Judas was one of the Disciples of Christ which betrayed Him with a kiss. Can it be that this little kingdom would also seem to love the Lord but actually betrays Him with a kiss?
This little kingdom assumes to take the place of Christ on earth as it sits in the temple of God, showing it to be God, while he exalts himself even above everything which is called God. This is seriously misunderstood and presumptuous power that little kingdom claim to possess.
“… and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” 1 John 4:3
Note: John noted that the spirit of antichrist was already at work in the world in his time and Paul later on said that the Antichrist will come after apostasy has gained entrance to the church. The Antichrist can therefore not come out of the Greek Empire as it is said to come out of the Roman Empire, and it can also not come somewhere in the future from the USA, the UK or the middle east, as we know that it must come out of the Roman Empire. With that point understood and applied the churches of today would get rid of most of the false doctrine regarding Antichrist.
Back to Paul;
“Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.” 2 Tess 2:6, 7
Note: Something is holding back the coming of this power, as Paul states, and he continues to say that he did tell them what it was. If it was the Roman Empire that was holding back the coming of this son of perdition, then why didn’t Paul say so in this letter? Well, that is self-explanatory because Paul would have gotten himself into trouble for writing that in a letter. What would happen if the Romans might have read it? So, he reverted to giving them a reminder of what he taught them before.
It is clear that the early church knew what held back the rise of this little kingdom, so let us revert to our church fathers of the early centuries for more clarity.
What did the church fathers believe restrains his coming?
“Here we have a point on which Paul affirms the existence of knowledge in the Christian church. The early church knew, he said, what the hindrance was. The early church tells us what it did know upon the subject and no one in these days can be in a position to contradict its testimony as to what Paul had by word of mouth only, told the Thessalonians. It is a point on which ancient tradition alone can have authority. Modern speculation is positively impertinent on such a subject.” (H. Grattan Guinness, Romanism and the Reformation, P 105 (1887))
“…He who no hinders must hinder until he be taken out of the way. What obstacle is there but the Roman state; the falling away of which, by being scattered into ten kingdoms, shall introduce antichrist…” (Tertullian’s “On the resurrection” Chapter 24, 25. Christian Apologist in North Africa 200AD)
“Only there is one that restraineth now, until he be taken out of the way, that is when the Roman Empire is taken out of the way, then he [antichrist] shall come.” (John Chryxoxtorn, Homily on 2 Thessalonians 2, Number 4, Bishop of Constantinople 390AD)
“We have the consenting testimony of the early fathers, from Irenaeus, the disciple of St John, down to Chrysostorn and Jerome, to the effect that it was understood to be the imperial power ruling and residing at Rome.” (Edward B. Elliot. Commentary on the Apocalypse, volume 3, P92 (1862))
“While the Caesars held imperial power, it was impossible for the predicted antichrist to arise…on the fall of the Caesars he would rise.” (H. Grattan Guinness, Romanism and the Reformation, P 105 (1887))
“Paul did not identify the restraining power which they knew to be Rome, for fear of reprisals. Remember the Christian church were under persecution by Rome.” (Dr. Ron Thompson, Champions of Christianity in search of the Truth, P47 (1996))
Note: It is clear that the early church new exactly what was restraining the rise of the Antichrist, but neither Paul nor anyone else could put that thought onto paper, for fear of Rome. The Biblical criteria that Antichrist would arise after Rome divides into ten kingdoms, is supported in the understanding by the early church that Antichrist would arise when Rome is taken away.
Known attributes of the little horn kingdom
1. Arose out of the fourth beats. (Daniel 7:7, 8)
It comes out of Rome
2. Arose among the ten horns. (Daniel 7:8)
Arose in Western Europe out of the Western Roman Empire
3. Arise after the ten horns. (Daniel 7:24)
Arose after 476AD
4. Different from the other ten horns. (Daniel 7:24)
Not just a political entity
5. Becomes more stout than the others. (Daniel 7:20)
Becomes mightier than the ten kingdoms
6. Uprooted three kingdoms. (Daniel 7:20)
Heruli, Vandals and Ostrogoths
7. Has eyes like a man and speaks great words against the Most High. (Daniel 7:8, 25)
Pompous words, putting itself above God, sitting in God’s temple
8. Make war against the saints of God. (Daniel 7:25)
Persecuting power against the saints of God
9. Will change times and laws. (Daniel 7:25)
It must be divine times and laws that this kingdom is said to change…
10. Will rule for time, times and the dividing of time. (Daniel 7:25)
Also called 3 ½ prophetic years, therefore 1260 literal years
11. It shall devour the whole earth. (Daniel 7:23)
12. Exists until the end of time. (Daniel 7:22)
Until the Ancient of days come, the second coming – so it must be here now
There is only one kingdom that fits all the attributes of this power, and that is the Vatican. It was indeed the Roman Catholic Church that waged war with the saints in the middle ages, overcame them and trampled the world under foot. It will become clear, once we have dealt with the prophecy in Revelation 13 and it’s references to the son of perdition and the lawless one, that this power is also the prophesied Antichrist.