The little horn is identified as Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who ruled over Syria and Israel under the Seleucid dynasty. (Daniel 8:9-12) He was ruthless and brutal; that he killed his brother to gain throne; murdered other rulers to gain territories and killed an estimate one hundred thousand Jews. He stopped sacrifices in the Temple of Jerusalem. He desecrated the Temple. There was severe persecution of Israel. He wanted to impose Greek culture upon them. In 168 BC Antiochus returned after a defeat in Alexandria, he ordered his generals to attack Jerusalem on Sabbath. He placed an idol of Zeus and offered a swine as sacrifice. The Book of Maccabees describes how Antiochus persecuted Jews, his blasphemies. Antiochus banned Judaism, practices of the rite of circumcision, the study of Torah, and the keeping of Kashrut (Jewish dietary laws). Antiochus is forerunner of antichrist, a man of lawlessness. (II Thessalonians 2:1-12)
1) Hate: A strong driving force is hatred which is the contrast of love. Most movements are propelled by hate, only the Church serves as compelled by love of Christ. Antiochus hated all and was violent.
2) Violence: Killing, murdering, and torturing others was his character and method of governance.
3) Blasphemies: Speaking against God and trying to change times and seasons. Even today, many political leaders utter blasphemies by exalting themselves and demeaning others.
4) Banned Judaism: Antiochus banned Judaism in Israel. Antichrist will ban Christian faith globally as incompatible with his ambition.
5) Banned Scripture: Antiochus banned the reading of Torah. The Antichrist also is against the Bible. He will ban the Bible, and there will be famine for the Word of God.
6) Banned circumcision: The Jews covenant relationship with Jehovah was expressed by the sign of circumcision. Any sign that is connected to Lord Jesus Christ: baptism or cross will be banned.
7) Banned Kashrut: The Jews were not allowed to follow the dietary laws of Moses. Antichrist would ban all gatherings of believers, celebration of communion and any kind of fellowship.
Am I able to discern the spirit of the antichrist at work? (I John 2:18)