A mystery inscribed in the Book of Truth is the Man of Lawlessness, also known as the Man of Sin. He is also referred to by other terms throughout the Bible. Jesus first reveals this mystery when He tells Daniel, ‘Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come; but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth: and there is none that holds with me in these things except Michael, your prince’ (Daniel 10:20-21). Years later while in the world, Jesus also tells His disciples something similar saying, ‘I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me’ (John 14:30). In the Book of Daniel, the prince of this world is referred to as the Prince of Persia, which symbolises the devil. When Jesus appeared to Daniel with an answer to his prayer, He explains why He took long saying, ‘But the prince of the Persian Kingdom resisted me twenty-one days’ (Daniel 10:13). The devil is also known as the ‘prince of the power of the air’ (Ephesians 2:2), who tries to hinder answered prayers from reaching God’s people- but to no avail. When Jesus then appears to Daniel, He tells him, ‘Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision concerns a time yet to come’ (Daniel 10:14).
Jesus reveals two things: that He ‘will return to fight against the prince of Persia (the devil)’ (v20), and that when He goes, ‘the Prince of Greece will come’ (v20). The first part of the Prophecy is fulfilled as Jesus was revealed to the world in the flesh, died, and resurrected defeating the power of the devil- sin and death. ‘And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross’ (Colossians 2:15). The second part of the prophecy is yet to be fulfilled as it ‘concerns the appointed time of the end’ (Daniel 8:19). The Prince of Greece also alludes to the Man of Lawlessness who will be revealed. Previously, God reveals the Man of Lawlessness to Daniel as a ‘beast . . . and had ten horns’ (7:v8) in a dream, and as ‘a goat with prominent horns between his eyes’ (8:v5) in a vision. God repeatedly speaking of the Man of Lawlessness in different forms hints that it is important that Believers should be aware of.
In both representations, the Man of Lawlessness is said to utter blasphemy. When Daniel saw the beast, he records that it ‘had a mouth that spoke boastfully’ (7:v8). The interpretation of the dream also notes that the beast ‘will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set time and the laws’ (v25). In the vision, the Man of Lawlessness is presented as a goat who ‘cast down the truth to the ground’ (8:v12). The interpretation of the vision by angel Gabriel also notes that the goat from the Kingdom of Greece will ’through his policy cause deceit to prosper and will consider himself superior, and by peace shall destroy many’ (v25). ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace’ (Jeremiah 6:14)
After the dream and vision, Jesus then appears to Daniel to personally explain to him the mystery of the Man of Lawlessness. He first talks of the rebellious events that will happen among and between nations before the Man of Lawlessness will be revealed- using an allegory of the Kings of the South and the North. The Man of Lawlessness is then described as the King who exalts himself. Jesus explains to Daniel, ‘The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place’ (Daniel 11:36). Paul also talks that the end will not yet come until the Man of Lawlessness is revealed. He writes, ‘Do not let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the Man of Lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction’ (2 Thessalonians 2:3). Paul continues and says, ‘He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshipped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God’ (v4).
The Man of Lawlessness will have diverse strength and power, hence Daniel saw the beast and goat with many horns (horn symbolizes strength). Already, some of the representations of his power are manifest in the world. It is only when the Man of Lawlessness uses his last power – that of defaming God, exalting himself to be God, and persecuting those who do not worship him, that the end is near. Paul says, ‘For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendour of his coming’ (v7-8). The Man of Lawlessness is a product of Satan as John notes that, ‘The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority’ (Revelation 13:2). Paul also notes that, ‘The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing’ (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10).
Surprisingly, the coming of the Man of Lawlessness will not be resisted by many who will be living on the earth at that time. John seeing the vision of the Man of Lawlessness as a beast says that men ‘worshipped the beast and asked, ‘Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?’’ (Revelation 13:4). Even though the beast ‘opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling-place and those who live in heaven’ (v6), many will pay him homage. In fact, ‘All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast – all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world’ (v8). Paul openly states, ‘They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason, God sends them a powerful delusion so that they should believe a lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness’ (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12).
‘See, I have told you ahead of time’ ~ Jesus Christ – Matthew 24:25