As every believer knows, Satan has opposed God’s plan since the beginning of creation. We have already discussed that humans are a replacement for Lucifer and all his followers because they forfeited their place in God’s presence. The Lord created man to demonstrate His perfect and righteous character to all the doubters (Satan and the other fallen angels). So God created human beings in His own image and likeness (the ability to exercise authority and respond to it through free will) who could and would be willing to respond to Him through faith. The Lord made this possible by giving Himself up on the cross to pay for every person’s past, present, and future sins. The devil believed that God had no way of reconciling the human race to Himself in a way that maintained His perfect character. However, Satan was wrong and taken by surprise when our Lord made all this possible by giving Himself up on the cross; a feat carried out perfectly from His birth until His death. Therefore, Christ has won the victory! Satan is technically already defeated even though the rest of history still has to run its course. The book of Revelation tells us how this will all play out to the very last days right before eternity commences.
With the above said, let’s now briefly survey some of the most prominent examples of Satanic attack on God’s plan. The below is not meant to be a comprehensive list. There are other examples in the Bible not mentioned here, but we will focus on the more prominent ones to give the reader a good idea of the pattern seen in Scripture.
Adam and Eve
The first example we have from Scripture comes from the temptation and fall of Adam and Eve.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” 4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
From what we have written above, we know that God created man to replace Satan and all his followers. So it is no surprise that the evil one (aware of it as he was) took the opportunity to launch his first attack on this “replacement plan.” He knew that these two individuals and some of their offspring after them would become his replacements. Satan hates God, so he will always abhor His followers for that very reason. Anyone who sides with his arch-enemy must be dealt with in whatever manner and method at his disposal. But our Lord would only allow the Devil so much leeway to do what he wanted because allowing him too much power and freedom would mean the ultimate destruction of humanity and the free will they were given. God could not allow the very purpose of His creation of man to be unfairly thwarted in this manner, so Satan can only do that which the Lord permits Him to accomplish. Unless there is divine permission, no fallen angel may spiritually or physically harm any believer.
Adam and Eve began the replacement process. So to keep people from choosing for God, Satan thought it best to attack the first people whose seed would continue throughout history. He was partially successful in his endeavor here, but not entirely. Sin entered the world so that near perfection was no longer a reality. So what would God do now that the devil had aided in humanity’s destruction? No one could choose for God if no way of escape and atonement for sins were ever provided (Romans 6:23). Men were now destined for physical and spiritual (eternal) death. Satan thought he had outwitted God by cornering him, but he failed to remember that our Lord foreknew everything in eternity past so that He would not have done something without knowing what He was doing. Why would He create man if He knew He could not save them after their rebellion? The first humans did sin, but God promised them that He would provide a way out of the mess created by this first transgression that carries into the rest of history. The solution would come through the death, burial, and resurrection of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. That is why God gave Adam and Eve the coats of skin for them to wear (Genesis 3:21), clothing they accepted in faith demonstrating their belief and acceptance in Christ’s future atoning work. At that very point, the first humans got saved by receiving the salvation promised to them, even if they didn’t fully understand the details or what it would entail. From their standpoint, Adam and Eve didn’t know how all this would happen. They believed God that it would occur, resulting in their salvation. Instead of trying to continue working their way to their Creator by holding onto the fig leaf clothes they had worked to create, they relinquished them to accept God’s grace that could not be earned or worked for in any way. Salvation and sanctification are always God’s work, not ours! Since the cross, all people now had a way to access God and spend eternity with Him from there on out. Satan’s first attack, though partially successful, was, in all reality, a failure.
The second major attack from Satan on the human race occurred during the demonic rebellion involving angelic reproduction with human women resulting in the Nephilim. We see this event mentioned in Genesis chapter six when it says what it does below. Only some of the fallen angels were involved (they were either chosen or volunteered).
When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.” 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown. 5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
And yes, these “sons of God” were, in fact, angels who came to earth and procreated with human women to form the demonic offspring that would result. In other parts of the Bible, beney ha-’elohiym refers to angels and not man (Psalm 29:1; 103;20; 148:2; 89:6; Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7). Also, every other passage that mentions these events refers to fallen angels as the culprits (see references below). Those involved in this heinous act have since been imprisoned in the abyss to await their final judgment (1 Peter 3:19-20; 2 Peter 4:10; Jude 1:5-7).
This second attack on God’s plan from Satan occurred the way it did because the future promised Messiah who would die on the cross to pay for the sins of humanity would require pure seed to come about. In other words, Jesus would be born in the line of David from pure human origin. Satan failed the first time, now he tries a second approach. The Messiah cannot be born without a pure bloodline, so why not infiltrate the human race by corrupting all human seed? As our passage describes, people were wicked in those days, so it is no surprise why so many went along with this idea to reproduce with spiritual beings. After all, their offspring were highly talented, so who wouldn’t want children like that (says the mind of the unbeliever)? So corrupt had the minds of almost all human beings become at that time that nothing seemed wrong or sinful. Therefore, they quickly succumbed to persuasion, and the rest is history.
Once again, however, God had long ago anticipated Satan’s next move so that He already had a solution in mind. The seed of the Messiah would be preserved through Noah and his family, whom the Lord would spare on the ark. Noah, along with his wife and three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth (and their wives), were righteous and thus fit to be preserved through the great deluge. The flood would destroy all the demonic offspring (the Nephilim) so that no more people would succumb to this “illegal” activity on the part of all the fallen angels thus involved. God imprisoned those who partook of these crimes while their half—human offspring he physically wiped out in the flood. But Noah and his family were saved by their faith (represented by the ark). Noah trusted God that He would provide a way out of the current mess, just as Adam and Eve did. Now, for the second time, Satan’s goal of “outsmarting” the Almighty failed.
11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. 12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 13 So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. 14 So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. 15 This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high. 16 Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. 17 I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. 19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. 20 Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive.
The Tower of Babel
Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. 3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” 5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” 8 So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.
Elsewhere on this ministry site, we have discussed the tower of Babel and the danger of a world without nationalism. Nationalism (different nations with different languages and cultures) must exist for the human race to continue and survive. Of course, God will never allow anything outside of His will to occur, though Satan has and will come close to achieving the goal of eliminating all differences between the nations. The devil worked through Nimrod to carry out his purpose of bringing all people together to coexist as one culture, religion, and identity. Every person born into a society like this one would grow up under such a negative influence that practically nobody from that point on would be inclined to choose for God because they would all have one false religion. When everyone’s only purpose and goal is to serve the evil one, that leaves out God’s desire (will) for all to receive Him in faith. Salvation would almost never occur if everybody served Satan, thus eliminating most or almost all righteous persons after that. How could the Messiah be born if no spiritually pure ancestors ever existed?
Thankfully, God foreknew and eliminated this threat by confusing the languages so that people had no choice but to separate and form different nations and cultures. After this point, the human race was no longer as easy to attack and was far less susceptible to self-destruction. Satan wanted to force people to choose his side by setting up a society that would dominate and decide how they lived. But once again, he failed. However, he will attempt this again during the tribulation, a subject we will discuss later below.
Israel and the church—(Both are part of the Church)
We will be brief with this section simply because it is very self-explanatory. The main reason is that there are so many examples of anti-Jewish behavior throughout history that time and space do not permit us to discuss them here, nor is it necessary for us to do so. Antisemitism has existed as long as the nation of Israel has and will continue only until after the Gog and Magog rebellion (see below for our brief discussion on that). The Lord used many nations to punish and discipline the Jewish people (we see that from both the old and new testaments). But there were many instances where Israel was the innocent victims targeted because they were God’s special people in whom the prophecies and their fulfillment would occur. Before the cross, Satan was extremely aggressive in attempting to wipe out the Jews so that the Messiah could never come and complete the work of redemption for which He was sent. After Christ’s first advent, the evil one has concentrated on destroying all those part of the church (persecution, war, resistance, false teaching etc.), both Jews and Gentiles. He does this so that the biblical prophecies portending to the end times would end with the result of faith being quenched and snuffed out. But we know from Revelation that he and his followers will meet their ultimate doom. In the end, God will triumph, and we (His followers) will share in that victory.
21 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.
7 Alas! That day is so great there is none like it; it is a time of distress for Jacob; yet he shall be saved out of it.
The tribulation is the only prophecy in the Bible that awaits its fulfillment. After that comes the thousand-year reign of Christ, also known as the Millennium. The tribulation will be Satan’s most aggressive attempt yet to thwart God’s plan to discredit Him and wipe out His followers. We must remember that the devil wants to prove God as a false, unjust being who isn’t who He says He is. But how wrong Satan is! He knows his destruction is coming yet continues to try to do as much damage as he can to get a chunk out of God. But the evil one can never take any credit for the eternal loss of any unbeliever because he never forced any of them to go there. After all, they chose that destiny themselves. By himself, the devil has no power to send any person anywhere. All he can do is make choosing for Christ more difficult by tempting every individual and throwing obstacles in their way. Free will would no longer be free if any outside force decided every man’s fate. All people must choose for themselves (Joshua 24:14-15).
Satan’s goal during the tribulation will be to wipe all faith from the earth by eliminating every believer (both Jew and Gentile) part of Christ’s church (Luke 18:8). As with the tower of Babel, his aim will be to cause all people on earth to worship him. All those who resist this order (believers) will suffer persecution, death, imprisonment, and loss of property and possessions. Once again, Satan will come close to achieving his goal because Matthew 24:21 states, “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.” But he will only come close because the Lord allowed Him to. The more pride, the harder and more dramatic the fall. Our Lord will let the devil have success to a limited extent so that He may manifest and further magnify His glory before all in a magnificent display of His power and justice. As we already know, the tribulation’s primary purpose is to punish the unbelieving world while disciplining the church. Satan will have limited success with Christ’s body when one-third of believers fall away from the faith to serve the beast. But the other two-thirds of the church alive during those terrible days will endure in their faith and spend eternity with Jesus Christ. Finally, many will come to God during the tribulation due to the evangelization of the 144,000 and the two witnesses (most likely Moses and Elijah). Plus, many more will call upon the name of the Lord at and after Christ’s return when they look on Him whom they have pierced (Revelation 1:7). The Millennium will also be a time of great evangelization when many will receive the good news of the gospel (that occurs after the tribulation).
In the end, Satan’s plot during the difficult years of the tribulation will fail, and God will triumph when He returns to throttle His enemies at the battle of Armageddon. No matter how all the details work themselves out, God will receive all the glory. Satan will not eliminate faith from the earth, nor will he get his way in having all people bow down to his son, the antichrist. In the end, every knee shall bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
The Gog and Magog Rebellion
And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. 2 He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. 3 He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time. 4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. 7 When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. 9 They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
The Gog and Magog rebellion is Satan’s last and final chance to oppose God. Once the tribulation has run its course, the devil and all his followers will be imprisoned in the abyss for the entire thousand years of the Millennium. After this period is over, the Lord will give him one final chance to confirm his wicked opposition to Him (God) and increase the glory brought to Himself. One of the reasons the Lord will allow this is to show the hard-hearted hate that lives within so many people who have turned a deaf ear to their Creator. In other words, this final rebellion will demonstrate the sinful wickedness of humankind despite living in a near paradise during those final years of goodness. The world’s population could not have it any better than what they will possess during Christ’s rule on earth, making their condemnation for rebelling against Him all the more clear and justified. God will demonstrate to the fallen angels and all of humanity that even exceptional graciousness and circumstances will not override human free will, even though the people during that time may live in a near-perfect world with near-perfect living conditions. The Lord will, once again, confirm His steadfast love for all humanity by allowing people (instead of forcing them) to choose where they want to go in life. Once again, God will “advertise” the great God He is, something He has been doing for all of human history. This final rebellion from Satan will be (in some sense) an unfortunate (only in the sense that people will rebel against God resulting in their condemnation) closing ceremony that will once again confirm that there is no other God in the universe like Jesus Christ. There are no other “gods” period.
The sad reality is that most of the world’s population alive during that time will be unbelievers. This sad and pathetic state is even more disheartening, especially considering that God’s presence will be more noticeable and manifested than ever before in human history; the Millennium will be a time of exceptional peace, joy, and prosperity. Jesus will reign on earth so that His presence and lordship will be clearer to all than ever before. Therefore, all those who reject Him won’t be able to say they never knew about Him (that has never been the case for anyone at all), for that they did yet still refused to accept His gracious offer of eternal life. The issue with all unbelievers is not whether they have enough convincing (in their own minds according to their own standards) proof, but whether they want Jesus to be their God and king. There is no such thing as anyone who rejected Christ because they lacked sufficient evidence for His existence. Instead, it all comes down to those individuals desiring what they already knew existed. No one who ever dies in unbelief ever loved God. Our Lord made it very clear when He said, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters” (Matthew 12:30; Luke 11:23). Quoting from Psalms, John 15:25 says, “They hated me without reason.” The Millennium will confirm this attitude like no time ever before! Not only that but so much that has hindered humanity throughout the years before Christ’s reign (false religion/teaching etc.) will not be tolerated during our Lord’s rule on earth (Ezekiel 11:17-19; Zechariah 13:2-6). Therefore, there will be even fewer impediments to true faith during this time than at any period in the past.
Additionally, there will be more quality pastors and teachers to spread and teach the truth than ever before (Jeremiah 3:15). God’s rule will make coming to Him easier than at any other time in history, a kind act of grace that will allow the last people who live in more than optimal conditions to see and accept the truth. Yet the stubborn hard-hearted condition of the unbelieving human heart will still prevail for most people during that period.
14 For the earth (during the Millennium) will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
To sum up, the Gog and Magog rebellion will be a desperate, last-ditch effort from Satan to thwart God’s plan. But Our Lord will vanquish it quickly and with ease.
Types of Antichrist
In addition to giving us the biggest examples of Satanic attacks on the plan of God, Scripture also gives us a few biblical parallels to the antichrist spoken of in Revelation, and it is no accident the Bible does this either. God wants us to benefit from the examples of the past because we believers can learn from years gone by to help us prepare for the future that is yet to come. The great believers of old faced their opposition with steadfast faith and courage, knowing that the Lord would see them through their trials. Of course, they were never perfect in their application, but they fared better than anyway else before, during, and after them. Thus, they stand as the ultimate examples and role models. With that, let’s briefly examine and survey the most prominent cases of this type of situation where an extremely hardened unbeliever was symbolic of the eschatological Antichrist.
8 Cush was the father of Nimrod, who became a mighty warrior on the earth. 9 He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; that is why it is said, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the Lord.” 10 The first centers of his kingdom were Babylon, Uruk, Akkad and Kalneh, in Shinar. 11 From that land he went to Assyria, where he built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah 12 and Resen, which is between Nineveh and Calah—which is the great city.
Nimrod represents the eschatological Antichrist in that he attempted to bring all people together as one nation with one goal and religion. As we have mentioned, this would make faith all but impossible since a society like that would suppress the worship of the true God. Anyone born into such an atmosphere would be so heavily brainwashed that they would more than likely fail to try and attempt to see the truth through all the lies. None of this means that free will could no longer exist or that people couldn’t believe in God because they most certainly could have. Plus, the Bible doesn’t tell us whether all people on earth joined this mass movement voluntarily. There is a good chance that some didn’t. But most people would have chosen to put themselves under the satanic influence of this “new order.” Essentially, Nimrod and those who went on board with his ideas rebelled against God. They did not want to follow Him or submit to His ways but chose to go their own direction. This terrible trend was something that God would not tolerate, which explains why He confused the languages. If most or everyone came together, Satan would have had an easier time influencing the human race and swaying them all over to his cause.
Verse nine states that Nimrod was a mighty warrior on earth. The Hebrew word for mighty is gibbor גבור a meaning that refers not only to physical strength but also to other areas of power such as political and moral influence. He was well-known and highly respected by most of the earth’s inhabitants during that period. The phrase “He was a mighty hunter before the Lord” refers to his crafty and clever abilities to “catch” men’s hearts and persuade them to follow his cause. He won people over by his clever (be it ever so evil) diplomacy to get them to support his aspirations and goals. After all, he could not have accomplished anything without help. In Matthew 4:19, Jesus told some of His disciples, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” That was and is a good thing, but not so in Nimrod’s case. He would catch men with evil, anti-God intentions, goals, and purposes. Satan worked through Him to oppose the authority and plan of God, much like he will do through his son, the Antichrist, during the tribulation. The beast’s agenda will be to eliminate nationalism to ripen the human race for satanic destruction. All those who oppose this (believers) must be eliminated.
Nimrod’s analogous plan failed just as the antichrist’s will during his time on earth. He and the beast want/wanted nothing to do with God and would rather give their allegiance to their father the devil.
Exodus chapters 2-14 tell us of the Pharaoh’s behavior toward the Israelites when he refused to let them go. He is very analogous to the “lawless one” of the tribulation because he opposed and persecuted God’s people. The beast will do the same in a roughly similar manner when he imprisons, tortures, and kills believers for standing steadfast in their faith.
God never forced this Egyptian ruler to reject Him because Pharaoh had already done that himself. Since that was the case (he had no intention of changing his mind), God hardened his heart to an extraordinary degree by allowing Pharaoh the ability to close himself off like few (if any) humans had done up to that point. Our Lord did this to bring glory to Himself, just as how the rebellion of the beast and all unbelievers during the tribulation will accomplish this same purpose—demonstrating God’s righteous character toward those who disobey Him.
This same phenomena we saw with Pharaoh will also occur during the tribulation when the Holy Spirit’s restraint (referring to our Lord only permitting humanity to do so much evil) will be withdrawn so that people may act as evil and wicked as they possibly could without God’s hand keeping them in check.
Not only was Pharaoh bent on opposing God (like the beast will be), but he was so adamant about afflicting the Israelites unfairly. There is a reason the Bible describes the beast as “the man of lawlessness.” The Pharaoh demonstrated extreme pride and arrogance by opposing and exalting himself above the lordship of God by acting as if he was “God” himself!
3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
Worse yet, Pharaoh never repented of his ways despite all the miraculous plagues that God sent to ravage his kingdom. These plagues are analogous to those that will occur during the tribulation (the trumpet, bowl, and thunder judgments). The beast will not repent of his evil ways despite all the terror that God will unleash during that time.
The King of Assyria
Scripture mentions the wicked king of Assyria in Isaiah chapters 7-39 and elsewhere as God’s means to chasten His sinning people in the northern and southern kingdoms, but only for that purpose. The way this king carried out his task makes him stand out as very similar to the beast of Revelation. He demonstrated extreme pride and arrogance against God and those around him and refused to be moved or persuaded to behave otherwise. The fate of him and his army is practically a pre-enactment of what will happen to the antichrist and his hordes when they invade Jerusalem at the battle of Armageddon. All the future inhabitants of the holy city during the time of Jacob’s trouble will be hemmed inside by the beast’s armies with nowhere else to turn. They will come close to losing all hope and giving up. But just as it appears that they will be overcome, the Lord will return and destroy all of those who oppose Him and His followers. This situation was very similar with Hezekiah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem when they desperately prayed to God for help and deliverance as they waited cornered within Jerusalem’s walls. It seemed to the people as if all hope was lost due to the enormous forces of Sennacherib’s armies. Finally, however, the Lord intervened and massacred all those who threatened to destroy His people. Sennacherib would go back to his own land where he would later die at the hand of his own sons in Nineveh. The passage below describes this destruction of his forces and how it came about.
32 “Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria: ‘He shall not come into this city, Nor shoot an arrow there, Nor come before it with shield, Nor build a siege mound against it. 33 By the way that he came, By the same shall he return; And he shall not come into this city,’ Says the Lord. 34 ‘For I will defend this city, to save it For My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.’ 35 And it came to pass on a certain night that the angel of the Lord went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses—all dead. 36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went away, returned home, and remained at Nineveh. 37 Now it came to pass, as he was worshiping in the temple of Nisroch his god, that his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Ararat. Then Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place.
Most notable of Sennacherib was the blasphemy he spoke against God, something the lawless one will do to the extreme. Therefore, we will contrast the two passages below.
16 His (Sennacherib’s servants) servants spoke further against the Lord God and against His servant Hezekiah. 17 He also wrote letters to insult the Lord God of Israel, and to speak against Him, saying, “As the gods of the nations of the lands have not saved their people from my hand, so the God of Hezekiah will not save His people from my hand.” 18 They called this out with a loud voice in the language of Judah to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, to frighten and terrify them, so that they might take the city. 19 They spoke of the God of Jerusalem as they did against the gods of the peoples of the earth, the work of human hands.
4 So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” 5 And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. 6 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.
As a final comment, Isaiah chapter nineteen expresses a near and far-term prophecy. That is to say, the giving of Egypt “into the hands of a cruel master” spoken of in verse four refers not only to the Assyrian domination of Egypt during biblical times, but also the beast’s conquest and success against the southern alliance (which Egypt will be part of) during the tribulation. Thus, the military campaigns of Sennacherib and the Assyrians are a prototype of the Antichrist and his forces overcoming the last major threat to his regime-the southern alliance.
Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon
The Babylon of antiquity represents the future, evil mystery Babylon (most likely the United States) spoken of in Revelation (Revelation 14:8 as a subtle reference). Isaiah 14:4-23 seems to compare this king to Satan, the origin of the lawless one. The Babylon of the future will be the beast’s headquarters and base of operation from which he launches his plans elsewhere. King Nebuchadnezzar was the king of the old Babylonian empire and exalted himself above God by erecting a statue of himself for everyone to bow to and worship. He was a self-proclaimer who forced everyone to worship himself instead of the One true God. And (much like the beast will do during the tribulation), he would kill anyone who would not worship his image. From Daniel and Matthew, we know it as the “abomination of spiritual desolation” which he will compel all people to worship (Daniel 9:7; Matthew 24:15-16). The past king of Babylon had his own version of this and a similar (though less extreme) goal in mind; to bring glory and honor to himself and not God.
Antiochus Epiphanes was the king and ruler of the Seleucid empire, and another prototype of the eschatological Antichrist. Daniel 8:23-26; 11:21-36 prophecies about him as a near distant “thorn in the flesh” of Israel who will oppose God and do as he wishes. But this passage also has a dual application in that it is also a far distant prophecy that refers to the ultimate agitator of Israel, the Antichrist.
To continue, this wicked Seleucid ruler attempted to end and take over the temple sacrifices and rituals to put a stop to the worship of the One true God, much like the beast will do at the Tribulation’s mid-point when he puts an end to the daily sacrifices and desecrates the temple. Antiochus wanted to Hellenize the Jews by turning them away from God and onto Himself, just as how the beast will do when he poses as Christ come back in the flesh.
Additionally, the terrible changes made by Antiochus resulted in mass apostasy and martyrdom, the same type of results we will see during the tribulation from all the deception that will occur during that period. Whoever did not partake of Antiochus’s “reforms” was to be executed. The beast will do the same to those who refuse to worship him and take his mark. Time and space do not permit us to examine the other similarities (there are many others) between these individuals because that would require a great deal of further explanation.
3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.