We miss the gravity of the coming Great Tribulation. The vision was so disturbing to Daniel he mourned for three weeks; he could not eat nor care for his own appearance. The Great Tribulation is a terrible time on earth–millions, more likely billions of people will die. So horrendous was the vision that Satan tried to stop the messenger from bringing the message to Daniel (Daniel 10:13-14).
Chapter 11 has both a near and far prophetic events. The first being a “mighty king” in 11:3, identified as Alexander the Great whose rise to power had been foreshadowed by the bronze belly and thighs of Nebuchadnezzar’s image, the winged leopard (7:6), and the prominent horn of the goat (8:5-8). Throughout chapter 11 other kings and rulers arise including Antiochus Epiphanes (11:21-35). He is the little horn of Daniel 8:9-12, 23-25 who foreshadows another king.
Daniel 11:36 shifts from the near prophecy to the future. This is the prophecy of the 70th seven (or week).
The anti-christ is no joke. He will be a satanic, self-willed king (Daniel 11:36), and like lambs to the slaughter, the world will follow him. Even Israel, God’s chosen people, will believe his venomous lies for a time. The duration of this king’s rule has been determined by God (11:36). It is suggested he will be homosexual (11:37) which is not difficult to imagine in our day and age. These will be desperate times on earth and for Israel. But God will destroy the kingdom of this king at the personal appearance of Jesus Christ to this earth (Revelation 19:19-20). And Israel will be delivered (Daniel 12:1-3).
Daniel and his readers could not have comprehended all the details of the prophecies given in this book. Not until history continues to unfold will many be able to understand these prophetic revelations (Daniel 12:4). This illuminating of prophecy is known as the doctrine of progressive illumination (not to be confused with the false doctrine of progressive revelation–God has revealed everything to us in His Word, there is no more revelation).
Believers are rescued from this coming Satanic wrath (1 Thessalonians 1:10). We do not await the anti-christ, rather we look for the Blessed Hope of the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13). Amen!