The second prince of Daniel’s vision is the Wilful King
(“the king will do as he pleases”). There will be no stopping
the Wilful King once his rise to power begins. Much can be
gleaned from the Scriptures concerning the Wilful King, who is
popularly called the Antichrist.
The Wilful King
The Wilful King is none other than:
Serpent’s Seed of Genesis 3:15
The Wicked Man of
The Assyrian of Isaiah 10:5, 12
The King of Babylon of Isaiah 14:4-20
Oppressor and the Aggressor of Isaiah 16:4
Little Horn of Daniel 7:8
The Profane King of
The Stern-faced King of Daniel
The Coming Prince of Daniel 9:26-27
The Worthless Shepherd of Zechariah 11:11-16
The One who comes in His Own Name of John 5:43
Man of Lawlessness of 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, 8
Antichrist of 1 John 2:18
The Beast of Revelation
13:18; 17:12-17; 19:19-21
First, as to the Wilful King’s personality and genius:
- He is a great orator and demagogue, Daniel 7:8.
- He is a speaker with regal authority, Revelation
- He is a philosopher of distinction, who traffics
in deception, Daniel 8:23.
- He is a clever and persistent politician, Daniel
- He is a deceiver who will use the false religious
system to gain power, Revelation 13:1-18.
- He is a military genius, Daniel 7:8, 24;
- He is a man different from other men, Daniel 7:7,
19, 23; Revelation 13:4.
- He is a highly intelligent man, Daniel 7:8.
- He is a perfection of unholiness (“666“),
- He is a man who will look more imposing than other
rulers, Daniel 7:20; Revelation 13:3-4; 17:8.
- He is a last wonder of the world, Revelation
Second, as to the moral character of the Wilful King:
- He is the personification of selfish ambition,
- He is an absolute dictator, Daniel 11:36.
- He is a blasphemer extraordinaire, Daniel 11:36;
Revelation 13:1, 5-6; 2 Thessalonians 2:4.
- He is the greatest antinomian (rejecting moral
law), Daniel 11:36; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8.
- He is a rejecter of religion, Daniel 11:37.
- He is an egotist, who exalts and magnifies himself
above every god, Daniel 11:38.
- He is a materialist, Daniel 11:38.
- He is a worshiper and financier of military power,
- He is a rewarder of those who acknowledge him,
Third, as to the origin of the Wilful King:
- His economic origin is displayed in making
prosperous the Revived Romans Empire, Revelation
- His political origin is from the Revived Roman
Empire, Daniel 2, 7-8.
- His national origin is Roman, Daniel 9:26.
- His racial origin is Jewish according to some,
Daniel 11:37; John 5:43.
- His spiritual origin is of Satan, Genesis 3:15;
Revelation 13:2; 16:3.
- His providential origin is of God, Daniel 8:2, 8;
Fourth, as to the steps in the rise to power of the
- He will be the product of iniquity, 2
Thessalonians 2:3, 7-8.
- He will have an inconspicuous beginning, Daniel
7:8; Revelation 6:1-2.
- He will confirm a covenant with many, Daniel 9:27.
- He will strengthen the Ten-Nation Confederacy,
Revelation 7:8, 20, 24.
- He will be the world power by the middle of the
confirmed covenant, Revelation 17:12-13.
- He will destroy the false religious system that
helped him rise to power, Revelation 17:3, 16-17.
- He will slay the Two Witnesses of God, Revelation
- He will persecute Israel and the Tribulation
saints, Revelation 7:9, 14; 12:13-17.
Fifth, as to the Wilful King’s rise to power, he will
be aided by:
- Chaotic world conditions, “Beginning of Birth
Pains,” Mark 13:5-13
- False religion, Revelation 17:1-5
- Satanic deception, 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10;
- Divine permission and help, Psalm 75:6-7;
Revelation 6:1-2; 2 Thessalonians 2:11
- Economic and military sanctions, Revelation
- Men who worship him and blaspheme God, Revelation
- Military might, Revelation 13:4
Sixth, as to the end of the Wilful King:
- His campaign against the Lamb of God ends with the
Battle of Armageddon, Revelation 16:12-16; 17:4;
- His capture takes place along with that of the
False Prophet, Revelation 19:20.
- His spirit is cast into the depths of Sheol and
his body will have no grave, Isaiah 14:9-10.
- His body is cast alive into the Lake of Fire,
- His continuous and conscious torment will go on
forever, Revelation 20:10.
The major emphasis of the predictions concerning the
Wilful King is on the religion of the end times. The book
of Daniel is a polemic against the Babylonian mystery
religion. After this prince gains power, he will turn
against this mystery religion, which helped him rise to
power, in accord with God’s sovereign plans and purposes.
The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the
prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her
naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For
God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose
by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until
God's words are fulfilled (Revelation 17:16-17).
At that time, the Wilful King’s prerogative, pride
and profanity will be exposed. “He will exalt and magnify
himself above every god and will say unheard-of-things.”
Through the Wilful King, Satan will attempt to have the
world worship him. It has been Satan’s goal from the
beginning to exalt himself above God.
How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of
the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who
once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, “I will
ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars
of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on
the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend
above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the
Most High” (Isaiah 14:12-14).
He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or
for the one desired by women, nor will he regard any god,
but will exalt himself above them all. Instead of them, he
will honor a god of
fortresses; a god unknown to his
fathers he will honor with gold and silver, with precious
stones and costly gifts. He will attack the mightiest
fortresses with the help of a foreign god and will greatly
honor those who acknowledge him. He will make them rulers
over many people and will distribute the land at a price
“The gods of his fathers” is associated with the
Babylonian mystery religion since it will be revived along
with the Roman Empire (Revelation 17). In the ancient
Greek and Roman religions, the chief deities of the
pantheons were the god Jupiter, in Rome, and the god Zeus,
in Greece. This chief god was regarded as the sender of
thunder and lightning, rain and winds, and his traditional
weapon was the thunderbolt. He was called the father (that
is, the ruler and protector) of both gods and men.
Jupiter and Zeus were counterparts to Babylon’s Marduk.
The Babylonian religion had merged into the successive
empires of Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. Therefore, Christ
is able to destroy and scatter all four to the wind at the
time of His second advent (Daniel 2:34-35).
The absorption of religion from one empire to the next
sheds light on the phrase “the one desired by women.” In
the Ancient Near East, the one desired by women was known
by the names of Tammuz, Bacchus, Horus, Osiris, Adonis,
and Cupid. This god was the Lamented One, who supposedly
had been slain by a boar and had risen from the dead after
forty days of weeping and sorrow by women. Even the
Israelite women desired Tammuz at the time of the
Then he brought me to the entrance to the north gate of
the house of the LORD, and I saw women sitting there,
mourning for Tammuz (Ezekiel 8:14).
The Wilful King’s god is not identified, but he
attributes his success to him. We know from Scripture that
Satan empowers the Antichrist. This unknown god will not
be one out of the past. So will Satan be worshiped openly
in the end times?
Note that the Wilful King cannot be Antiochus IV
Epiphanes since his god was Zeus and he erected an image
of Zeus on the altar at the Temple. Therefore, this entire
section of the prophecy concerns the distant future.
“He will be successful until the time of wrath is
completed” refers to the Tribulation Period. During the
seventieth seven, the judgments accompanying the seven
seals, seven trumpets and seven bowls will bring woes upon
humanity for their sins (Revelation 6-18). “Until the time
wrath is completed” by implication refers to the
end of Israel’s rejection of the Lamb of God. During His
reign, Christ will rid the earth of all rebellion and sin
(1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Ephesians 1:9-10). “What has been
determined must take place.”