Tuesday, September 3, 2019
“And in the latter time f their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up” (Daniel 8:23 KJV).
Who is this king? How is he “of fierce countenance?”
If we turn to Deuteronomy chapter 28, we see an illustration: “ A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favour to the young:  And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which also shall not leave thee either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee.”
“Of fierce countenance” is to be impudent or bold, shameless or brazen, disrespectful and violent. We find an antonymous attitude in 1 Timothy 2:9: “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;….” The face of the man in today’s Scripture is unable to show shame. He is mighty, arrogant because of his great political strength. No matter how barbaric or cruel his actions, he neither blushes nor sympathizes.
According to Daniel’s prophecy (today’s Scripture), this brutal king will arise from a division of the Greek Empire. He will exist after Alexander the Great and his four successors (verses 21 and 22): “And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.” Now, today’s Scripture again: “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.” You are highly encouraged to read through the end of the chapter.
He sits on the throne of Israel as though he were her rightful king. Those who do not participate in his false, blasphemous religious system are mercilessly imprisoned, tortured, and beheaded (Revelation 13:1-18; Revelation 20:4). First John 2:18 calls him “antichrist.”