Chapter 19 - The AntiChrist
In our study of prophecy we lay much stress on the "Second Coming of Christ, " forgetting that there are two other comings of "individuals" that are just as momentous as Christ's coming. The first is that of Antichrist, and the other is that of Satan.
In both the Old and New Testament we are told of a Mysterious and Terrible Personage that shall be revealed in the "Last Times." He is described under different names and aliases, and it is only by a careful examination and comparison of these names, and the Person they describe that we see that they refer to one and the same individual. These names are-
In the Old Testament. - In the New Testament.
Isaiah - Paul, 2Thes. 2:3-5
14:4- 'King of Babylon." - "The Man of Sin."
14:12-"Lucifer." - "Son of Perdition."
Daniel - "That Wicked."
7:8, 8:9-"The Little Horn." - John
8:23-"A King of Fierce Countenance." - 1John 2:18-"Antichrist."
9:26-"The Prince that Shall Come." - Rev. 13:l "The Beast."
11:3-'The Wilful King."
Jesus also made a prophetic reference to him.
"I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not; if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive." John 5:43.
The Jews rejected Jesus as their Messiah, when the Antichrist comes they will accept him.
I. His Personality.
The Apostolic Church believed that Antichrist was to be a "person, " the embodiment of human blasphemy and wickedness, but toward the close of the Twelfth Century many began to look upon the Pope as Antichrist, and this view has been largely advocated by Protestant commentators. The arguments in favor of this view are ingenious and plausible, but they are hard to reconcile with the Word of God. This view makes Antichrist a "System" rather than a Person, and would see in the "Papal System" the Antichrist. But this is disproved by the Word of God.
1. The Apostle John says--
"Who is a liar, but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is Antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son." 1John 2:22.
"Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in THE FLESH (His Deity) is not of God; and this is that spirit of Antichrist." 1John 4:3.
Judaism has denied that "Jesus is the Christ, " and Unitarianism that He has "come in the flesh, " but the Papacy never. The Church of Rome has always confessed-"I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord."
2. All Protestant commentators insist that the "Papal System" is described in Rev. 17:4, Rev. 17:5, under the figure of a "Woman" arrayed in "purple and scarlet color, " and decked with "gold and precious stones and pearls." This is undoubtedly true, but this "Woman, " the "Mother of Harlots, " is represented as riding upon a "Beast, " universally admitted to be the Antichrist. If the "Beast" is the Antichrist, the "Woman" cannot be, and that they are separate and do not signify the same thing is clear.
3. Again Antichrist, as the "Man of Sin" is to-
"Exalt himself and magnify himself above every god." Dan. 11:36, Dan. 11:37. "So that he AS GOD sitteth in the Temple of God showing himself that he IS GOD." 2Thes. 2:4.
However false and impious the claims of the Papacy, it always recognizes its subordination to God, and the Pope's highest claim is that he is the "Vicar of Christ."
4. "All the world wondered after the Beast (the Antichrist), and they worshipped the Dragon (the Devil), which gave power unto the Beast." Rev. 13:3, Rev. 13:4.
The "Papal System" worships the "Virgin" and the "Saints, " but it is not true that it worships the Devil.
5. "If any man worship the Beast and His Image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the Wrath of God, ...and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone; ....and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and forever; and ever they have no rest day nor night, who worship the Beast and His Image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name." Rev. 14:9-1 Rev. 14:1.
If the "Papal System" is the Antichrist, it follows from the above that all its worshippers, instead of being saved, are doomed to eternal torment.
Again, the Lord, who destroys Antichrist "at His Coming, " comes to Jerusalem, not to Rome, the seat of the "Papal System."
While there are many things in the history of the Church of Rome, and in the conduct of her Popes that "foreshadow" the Antichrist, yet it is clear from the preceding scriptures that the "Papal System" is not the Antichrist, and that these scriptures can only be fulfilled in the person of some "Individual" yet to appear.
Antichrist is not a "Rival" or "Counterfeit" Christ, he is an "Opposing" Christ. This is clearly seen when we compare him with Christ in a series of-
1. Christ came from Above. John 6:38.
Antichrist ascends from The Pit. Rev. 11:7.
2. Christ came in His Father's name. John 5:43.
Antichrist comes in his Own name. John 5:43.
3. Christ Humbled Himself. Phil. 2:8.
Antichrist Exalts himself. 2Thes. 2:4.
4. Christ Despised. Isa. 53:3; Luke 23:18.
Antichrist Admired. Rev. 13:3, Rev. 13:4.
5. Christ Exalted. Phil. 2:9.
Antichrist Cast Down to Hell. Isa. 14:14, Isa. 14:15; Rev. 19:20.
6. Christ to do His Father's will. John 6:38.
Antichrist to do his Own will. Dan. 11:36.
7. Christ came to Save. Luke 19:10.
Antichrist comes to Destroy. Dan. 8:24.
8. Christ is the Good Shepherd. John 10:4-6.
Antichrist is the Idol (evil) Shepherd. Zech. 11:16, Zech. 11:17.
9. Christ is the "True Vine." John 15:1.
Antichrist is the "Vine of the Earth." Rev. 14:18.
10. Christ is the "Truth." John 14:6.
Antichrist is the "Lie." 2Thes. 2:11.
11. Christ is the "Holy One." Mark 1:24.
Antichrist is the "Lawless One." 2Thes. 2:8, R. V.
12. Christ is the "Man of Sorrows." Isa. 53:3.
Antichrist is the "Man of Sin." 2Thes. 2:3.
13. Christ is the "Son of God." Luke 1:35.
Antichrist is the "Son of Perdition." 2Thes. 2:3.
14. Christ, "The Mystery of Godliness, " is God manifest in the flesh. 1Tim. 3:16.
Antichrist, "The Mystery of Iniquity, "' will be Satan manifest in the flesh. 2Thes. 2:7.
1. Isaiah's Foreview.
In Isa. 11:4-a chapter which is evidently Messianic-we read that among other things which the Messiah will do-
"He shall smite the earth with the 'rod of His mouth, ' and son and with the 'breath of His lips' shall He slay The Wicked."
The word translated "The Wicked, " is in the singular number, cannot refer to wicked persons in general, but to some one perwho is conspicuously wicked. The expression is strikingly like that of Paul's in 2Thes. 2:8-
"Then shall that 'Wicked' be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the 'Spirit of His Mouth, ' and shall destroy with the 'Brightness of His Coming."'
It is evident that Isaiah and Paul refer to the same individual, who can be no other than the Antichrist.
In Isa. 14:4-6 there is a description of a "King of Babylon" who shall smite the people in his wrath, and rule the nations in anger, and shall in his pride say-
"I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the 'Stars of God' (Heavenly Rulers). I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High."
This king is called LUCIFER, "Son of the Morning, " and his "fall" is described. He is cast down to Hell (Sheol, the Grave or Underworld), where his coming creates a great stir among the kings of the earth that have preceded him, and who exclaim when they see him-
"Art thou also become weak as we? Art thou become like unto us?...........Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; that made the world as a wilderness and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? "
There has never as yet been such a king of Babylon as is here described. It must therefore refer to some "future ruler" of Babylon when Babylon shall be rebuilt, as it is to be.
Verses 12 to 14 evidently refer to Satan, and are descriptive of him before his fall, but as he is to incarnate himself in the Antichrist, who is to be a future King of Babylon, it explains the source of the pride and presumption of Antichrist, which will lead to his downfall, as it did to Satan's.
2. Daniel's Foreview.
In the chapter on "The Gentiles" we described how Daniel saw come up among the "Ten Horns" on the head of the Fourth Wild Beast a "Little Horn, " and that this "Little Horn" had "eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things." Dan. 7:7, Dan. 7:8. Daniel was told that this "Little Horn" was a king that should arise, and that he would be a "person" of remarkable intelligence and great oratorical powers, having a "mouth speaking great things." That he would be audacious, arrogant, imperious and persecuting, and change "times and laws" and that the "Saints of the Most High" (Daniel's own people, the Jews) would be given into his hands for a "Time" and "Times" and the "dividing of Time, " or 3 1/2 years. Dan. 7:23-25.
Later Daniel had a vision of a Ram and a He-Goat contesting for supremacy. Dan. 8:1-3.
The He-Goat had a "notable horn" between his eyes. This "Great Horn" was broken, and in its place "four notable horns" sprang up, and out of one of them sprang forth a "Little Horn"
"which waxed exceedingly great toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the 'Pleasant Land' (Palestine). And it waxed great, even to the 'Host of Heaven, ' and it cast down some of the 'Host' and of the 'Stars' (angels) to the ground, and stamped upon them. Yea, He the Little Horn magnified himself even to the 'Prince of the Host' (the Lord God Josh. 5:13-15, 1Sam. 17:45), and by Him (the 'Little Horn'-Antichrist) the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary (the Temple) was cast down." Dan. 8:9-11.
When Daniel asked for the meaning of the vision he was told that the Ram stood for the Medo-Persian Kingdom, and the He-Goat for the Grecian, and that the "Four Horns" that came up in the place of the "Great Horn" stood for "Four Kings" and that the "Little Horn" that came up on one of the "Four Horns" stood for a King of "Fierce Countenance, " who in the "latter time" of their kingdom (the Four Worldwide Kingdoms and not the four Kingdoms into which the Grecian Empire was divided, for the "time" will be that when the "transgressors are come to the full"), shall stand up.
This King shall understand "dark sentences," and "His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power (Satan shall incarnate himself in him), and he shall destroy, wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice and shall destroy the mighty and the Holy People (the Jews). And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand (no one shall be able to buy without the 'mark of the Beast.' Rev. 13:17), and he shall magnify himself in his heart (2Thes. 2:3, 2Thes. 2:4), and by peace shall destroy many; he shall also stand up against the 'Prince of Princes, ' but he shall be broken without hand." Dan. 8:23-25.
This clearly identifies the "Little Horn" or "King of Fierce Countenance" which came out of one of the "Four Horns" that took the place of the "Notable Horn" on the head of the He-Goat as the Antichrist, for Antiochus Epiphanes (B. C. 175-165) nor any other ruler of the past has ever stood up against JESUS, the"Prince of Princes."
Neither was Antiochus Epiphanes "broken without hand; " he died a natural death at Tabae in B.C. 165. But the Antichrist is to be "broken without hand." His Kingdom is to be destroyed by a "stone cut out of the mountain without hands, " the "Stone Kingdom" of the Lord Jesus Christ, Dan. 2:34, Dan. 2:35, Dan. 2:44, Dan. 2:45, and he himself shall be "paralyzed" by the "brightness of the Lord's Coming" (1Thes. 2:8), and be cast "a-live" into the Lake of Fire. Rev. 19:20.
Two "good" men, Enoch and Elijah, were translated to Heaven without dying, " and two "bad" men, spoken of officially as the Beast and the False Prophet, shall be cast into the Lake of Fire "without dying."
Those who claim that the "Little Horn" of Dan. 7, and the "Little Horn" of Dan. 8, are not the same, because the "Little Horn" of Dan. 7 arises amid the "Ten Horns, " of the Fourth Beast, which represents the Roman Empire, and the "Little Horn" of Dan. 8, arises on one of the Four Horns, " that take the place of the "Great Horn" on the head of the He-Goat, which represents the Third Beast, the Grecian Empire, forget that the vision that the Apostle John had of the revived Roman Empire (Rev. 13:1, 2-the Roman Empire in its last stage), reveals the fact that the "last stage" of the Roman Empire will include "all the characteristics" of the whole Four Empires, Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Grecian and old Roman. This is seen in the character of the "Beast" John saw come up out of the sea. It was like unto a Leopard (Greece), with the "feet" of a Bear (Medo-Persian), and the "mouth" of a Lion (Babylon). The fact that the "body" of the Beast was like a Leopard (Greece) reveals the fact that the preponderating feature of the revived Roman Empire will be Grecian, and that therefore the "Ten Federated Kingdoms" will include the Four Kingdoms into which the Grecian Empire was divided, viz., Egypt, Macedon, Thrace and Syria. It follows therefore that the "Little Horn" that arises on the "Fourth Horn" of the He-Goat (Greece) is identical with the "Little Horn" of the Fourth Beast (Rome). Those who claim that the "Little Horn" that came up on one of the "Four Horns" of the He-Goat was fulfilled in Antiochus Epiphanes (who was a king of Syria) overlook the fact that while Antiochus Epiphanes devastated Palestine and caused an "idol altar" to be erected on the altar of the Temple, on which he offered swine's flesh, which was an abomination to the Jews, he does not fulfill the description of the "Little Horn" of the He-Goat. Dan. 8:9-11. He does not compare with him for Satanic malice.
The "Abomination of Desolation" that Daniel refers to (Dan. 9:27) is to occur in the "last half" of "Daniel's Seventieth Week, " and as Jesus spoke of it as still unfulfilled in His day (Matt. 24:15), it is clear that Antiochus Epiphanes was not the fulfillment of the "Little Horn" of Dan. 8:9-11.
While it was revealed to Daniel that the "Little Horn, " or Antichrist, should come out of one of the "Four Horns" that took the place of the "Great Horn" on the head of the He-Goat, he needed further light as to which one.
We now know from history that the "Great Horn" represented Alexander the Great, and that the "Four Notable Horns" that took the place of the "Great Horn" at the death of Alexander the Great represented the Four Kingdoms into which his Kingdom was divided, visible, Egypt, Macedon, Thrace and Syria, which included Assyria. These Four Kingdoms were in time all absorbed into the "Fourth World Kingdom, " the Roman Empire, the last to lose its identity being Egypt, which succumbed in B.C. 30.
That Daniel might know in which one of these Four Kingdoms the "Little Horn, " or Antichrist, should arise, 15 years after his vision of the "Ram and He-Goat" the Lord gave him a third vision, that of two kings, the "King of the North" and the "King of the South." Dan. 11:1-3.
The "King of the North" was the King of Syria, and as his character and conduct is described (Dan. 11:36-38) as similar to that of the "Little Horn" that came out of one of the "Four Horns" it is clear that the Antichrist is to come from Syria.
That the "King of the North" spoken of in Dan. 11:21-23 was Antiochus Epiphanes there can be no question, but that he was not the "Little Horn, " or the Antichrist, who is to come out of Syria in the "latter days" is clear from the remainder of the chapter from the 35th verse, which describes the conduct of the future Antichrist.
The intervening verses, the 32d to the 35th inclusive, fill in the gap between the time of Antiochus Fpiphanes and the appearance of the Antichrist.
There is no intimation that Antiochus Epiphanes is even to be regarded as a "type" of Antichrist. They are distinct historical personages, each dealt with in his own place, and though they resemble each other in some respects, yet they must not be confounded with each other.
The terms "North" and "South" are applied to Syria and Egypt because of their geographic relation to Palestine (the Pleasant or Glorious Land. Dan. 8:9; Dan. 11:16, Dan. 11:41). In the thought of Jehovah Jerusalem is at once the geographic and moral centre of the earth. We are to understand therefore by the "King of the North" the King of Syria, which also included Assyria. This fixes the locality from which the Antichrist shall come, for we read in Isa. 10:12-
"That when the Lord hath performed His whole work upon Mount Zion and on Jerusalem (which will not be until Christ comes back), I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the King of Assyria (Antichrist) and the glory of his 'high looks."'
And we read in Isa. 14:25-
"I will break the Assyrian (the Antichrist) in my land (Palestine), and upon my mountains 'tread him under foot; ' then shall his yoke depart from off them (Israel), and his burden depart from off their shoulders."
The context shows that this prophecy is connected with the restoration of Israel to their own land and the time of the downfall of Antichrist.
To recapitulate, we see from the three visions of Daniel that-
1. He learned from the "Little Horn" of the Fourth Wild Beast, that a Mysterious and Terrible Personage was to arise in the "Latter Days."
2. He learned from the "Little Horn" that came up on one of the "Four Notable Horns" that took the place of the "Great Horn" on the He-Goat, that that "Terrible Personage" was to come out of one of the Kingdoms into which the Grecian Empire was divided at the death of Alexander the Great.
3. He learned from the vision of the "King of the North" that that "Terrible Personage" would come out of the Syrian division of Alexander's Kingdom.
The Antichrist, therefore, in all probability will be a Syrian Jew, for it is not likely that the Jews will accept as their Messiah one who is not a Jew, unless the claimant by false pretence makes them believe he is one. This, however, does not prevent the Antichrist being a Roman citizen, and a king of the revived Roman Empire, for Saul of Tarsus was both a Jew and a Roman citizen.
3. Paul's Foreview.
Writing to the Thessalonians, Paul says-
"Let no man deceive you by any means; for 'that day' (the Day of the Lord) shall not come except there come a 'falling away first, ' and that 'MAN OF SIN' be revealed, the 'Son of Perdition, ' who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he As God sitteth in the Temple of God (the rebuilt Temple at Jerusalem), showing himself that he is God. . . . For the 'MYSTERY OF INIQUITY' doth already work (in Paul's day) ; only He (the Holy Spirit) who now letteth (restraineth R.V.) will let (restrain), until He be taken out of the way. And then shall 'THAT WICKED', -be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit (breath) of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness (manifestation R. V.) of His Coming. Even him, whose coming is after the 'working of Satan' with all 'power' and 'signs' and 'lying wonders, ' and with all 'deceivableness of unrighteousness' in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." 2Thes. 2:3-5.
In the American Standard Edition of the Bible the Antichrist is called the "MYSTERY OF LAWLESSNESS" or the "LAWLESS ONE." As such he is not the cause of "Lawlessness, " he is the result or fruit of it, for he will arise out of the seething cauldron of "Lawlessness" that is now becoming pronounced and manifest in the world The name that the Apostle Paul gives the Antichrist, the-"SON OF PERDITION, " is not without significance. The name is used but twice in the Scripture. It is first used by Christ of JUDAS (John 17:12), and then here of ANTICHRIST. The Apostle also calls the Antichrist in this passage the "MYSTERY OF INIQUITY." What does that mean? In 1Tim. 3:16, Christ is spoken of as the "MYSTERY OF GODLINESS." That is, that He was GOD MANIFEST IN THE FLESH. How did He become "manifest in the flesh"? By being born of the Virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit. Thus it was that Jesus became the "SON OF GOD." Luke 1:35. Now as iniquity is the opposite of Godliness, then the "MYSTERY OF INIQUITY" must be the opposite of the "MYSTERY OF GODLINESS." That is, if Christ is the "MYSTERY OF GODLINESS, " Antichrist must be the "MYSTERY OF INIQUITY, " and as Christ was the "SON OF GOD, " then Antichrist must be the "SON OF PERDITION, " that is of SATAN. And as Christ was born of a virgin by the Holy Spirit, so Antichrist will be born of a WOMAN (not necessarily a virgin) by Satan. This is no new view for it has been held by many of God's spiritually minded children since the days of the Apostle John, and there is some warrant for it in the Scriptures. In Gen. 3:15, God said to the Serpent (Satan), "I will put enmity between thee and the woman ' and between 'THY SEED' and 'HER SEED'." Now the Woman's SEED was CHRIST, then the Serpent's SEED must be ANTICHRIST. In John 8:44 Jesus said to the Jews-"Ye are of your father THE DEVIL..... When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar, and the father of IT." In the Greek there is the definite article before "lie, " and it should read "THE LIE, " so when the Devil speaks of "THE LIE, " he is speaking of his own (child), for he is a liar, and the FATHER OF "IT"-"THE LIE." And it is worthy of note that in the verse (vs. 11) that follows the passage we are considering that the Apostle says-"And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie." ' Here again the definite article is found in the Greek, and it should read "The LIE, " the "SON OF PERDITION." the ANTICHRIST.
But why was Judas called the "SON OF PERDITION"? Was he a child of Satan by some woman, or was he simply indwelt by Satan? Here we must let the Scriptures speak for themselves. In John 6:70-71 we read that Jesus said "Have not I chosen you Twelve, and one of you is a DEVIL? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon; for he it was that should betray Him, being one of the Twelve." In no other passage than this is the word "Devil" applied to anyone but to Satan himself. Here the word is "diabolus, " the definite article is employed, and it should read-"and one of you is THE DEVIL." This would make Judas the Devil incarnate, or the "MYSTERY OF INIQUITY." and explains why Jesus in John 17:12, calls him the "SON OF PERDITION."
This is the only place in the Scriptures where the word "diabolus" is applied to a human being, and it implies an incarnation.
While "Perdition" is a PLACE (Rev. 17:8, 1 1), it is also a "condition" into which men may fall (1Tim. 6:9; Heb. 10:39), and while men who have committed the "Unpardonable Sin" are "sons of perdition, " because they are destined to the place of the irrevocably lost, yet Judas and Antichrist are the "SONS OF PERDITION" in a special sense, for they are the SONS of the author of "Perdition"THE DEVIL. That is they are not merely "obsessed" or controlled by the Devil, the Devil has incarnated himself in them, and for the time being, to all practical purposes, they are the very Devil himself.
The next question that arises is, "If Judas and the Antichrist are both called the 'SON OF PERDITION, ' are they one and the same, or are there two 'Sons of Perdition'? " Here we must anticipate. Turning to Rev. 11:7, we read that the "Beast" that slays the "Two Witnesses" ascends out of the "Bottomless Pit" (ABYSS), and that "Beast" is the ANTICHRIST. Now how did he get into the "ABYSS"; ' Well, if there is only one "SON OF PERDITION, " and Judas and Antichrist are one and the same, then he got in the ABYSS when Judas went to his "Own Place" (the ABYSS). Acts 1:25. Of no other person is it said anywhere in the Scriptures that he went "to his own place." Again in Rev. 17:8 it is said-"The 'Beast' that thou sawest was, and is not: and shall ascend out of the 'Bottomless Pit' (Abyss), and go into PERDITION." As this "Beast" is the same that slays the "Two Witnesses" he is the ANTICHRIST. Now there are four things said of him. First, he "WAS." Second, he "IS NOT." Third, he shall "ASCEND OUT OF THE BOTTOMLESS PIT." Fourth, he shall "GO INTO PERDITION." From this we learn that in John's day the "Beast" "Was Not, " but that he had been before on the earth, and was to come again, that he was to ASCEND FROM THE BOTTOMLESS PIT. This is positive proof that the ANTICHRIST has been on the earth before, and that when he comes in the future he will come from the "ABYSS."
The question then arises, when was "Antichrist" on the earth before? If Judas and Antichrist are one and the same the enigma is solved. When Judas was on the earth, he WAS; when Judas went to his "Own Place" he "WAS NOT"; when Judas comes back from the "Abyss" he will be-THE ANTICHRIST. The Author does not insist on this view of Judas and Antichrist being correct, but with open mind he accepts it, because it seems to be the only logical solution of both Judas and Antichrist being called the "SON OF PERDITION."
4. John's Foreview.
On the Isle of Patmos the Apostle John had his vision of the Antichrist.
"And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a Beast rise up out of the sea (Mediterranean Sea), having 'Seven Heads' and 'Ten Horns' and upon his heads the 'name of blasphemy.' And the Beast which I saw was like unto a Leopard, and his 'feet' were as the feet of a Bear, and his 'mouth' as the mouth of a Lion; and THE DRAGON gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were 'wounded to death; ' and his deadly wound 'was healed; ' and all the world wondered after THE BEAST.
"And they worshipped THE DRAGON which gave power unto the Beast; and they worshipped THE BEAST, saying, Who is like unto the Beast? Who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him A Mouth Speaking Great Things and Blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue Forty and Two Months. And he opened his mouth In Blasphemy Against God, to Blaspheme His Name, and His Tabernacle and Them That Dwell in Heaven. And it was given unto him to make War With the Saints (not the saints of the Church; they were already in glory) and to overcome them; and Power Was Given Him Over All Kindreds and Tongues and Nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Rev. 13:1-3.
When we compare these "Foreviews, " and note the similarity of conduct of Daniel's "LITTLE HORN, " Paul's "MAN OF SIN, " and John's "BEAST, " and that Daniel's "LITTLE HORN" and John's "BEAST" are to continue for the same length of time-"Forty and Two Months, " or 3 1/2 years, and that Daniel's "LITTLE HORN, " Paul's "MAN OF SIN, " and John's "BEAST, " are all to be destroyed in the same manner at Christ's "Second Coming, " we see that they all prefigure the same "Evil Power" which is after the "Working of Satan, " and which John in 1John 2:18, calls THE ANTICHRIST. In other words when we find in prophecy "Three Symbolic Personages" that come upon the stage of action at the same time, occupy the same territory, exhibit the same character, do the same work, exist the same length of time, and meet the same fate, they must symbolize the SAME THING.
Before we examine in detail John's "BEAST, " it would be well for us to compare it with Daniel's "FOURTH WILD BEAST."
Daniel's Fourth Wild Beast Dan. 7:7-8, Dan. 7:19-20, 23-25
John's Beast Out of the Sea Rev. 13:1-3
In comparing these two "BEASTS" we find that they both come up out of the sea (the nations), and that they are utterly unlike any beast we have ever heard of. Daniel's "Beast" was dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth, and nails of brass; while John's "Beast" was like a LEOPARD, with the feet of a BEAR, and the mouth of a LION. As Daniel's "Beast" represented the "FOURTH KINGDOM" upon the earth, the Roman Empire, it is evident that its characteristics describe the old Roman Empire, while the characteristics of John's Beast represent the revived Roman Empire. We know that the Old Roman Empire was "strong exceedingly" and its grip and power were like a beast with "great iron teeth" and "nails of brass, " and from the description of John's "Beast" we learn that the revived Roman Empire shall embody all the characteristics of the Four World Empires, as seen in its LEOPARD like body, its feet of a BEAR, and its mouth of a LION. That both "Beasts" have TEN HORNS reveals the fact that they will be in existence at the time indicated by the TEN TOES of the Colossus, with which they correspond, which will be just before the setting up of the "Stone" or Millennial Kingdom of Christ. We are told that the "TEN HORNS" of Daniel's "Beast" stand for "TEN KINGS, " and the "TEN HORNS" of John's "Beast" stand for the same. Rev. 17:12. From this we see that both Daniel and John foresaw that the Roman Empire was to be eventually divided into "Ten Separate but Federated Kingdoms."
While both "Beasts" have TEN HORNS, they differ in that John's had "SEVEN HEADS" while Daniel's had but ONE, and among the "TEN HORNS" on Daniel's "Beast" there came up a "LITTLE HORN." which is not seen amid the "TEN HORNS" of John's Beast. These, as we shall see, are features that refer to the last stage of the "Beast" and show that we cannot understand the last stage of the "Beast" without carefully comparing Daniel's and John's "Beasts, " for the "LITTLE HORN" of Daniel's "Beast" plucks up THREE of the "TEN HORNS" and destroys them, or takes their kingdom away, a thing that John omits to tell us. Again the Antichristian character of Daniel's "Beast" is seen in its "LITTLE HORN" whose conduct corresponds with not a part, but the whole of John's "Beast, " and that for the same length of time"TIME" and "TIMES" and the "DIVIDING OF TIME" which equals "FORTY AND TWO MONTHS."
It now remains to analyze the "Beast" that John saw come up out of the sea, and try to discover the meaning of its various members.
We have two descriptions of this "Beast."
Daniel's "Fourth Wild Beast" as we have seen, represents the Roman Empire as it existed from B.C. 30, until as a nation it shall cease to exist. While it was divided in A. D. 364, as the result of an ecclesiastical schism, into its Eastern and Western Divisions, and lost its national life as a world power, yet it has never lost its religious existence or influence as seen in the continuance of the Greek and Roman Churches, and Roman Law is still a controlling power in our laws. In this sense the Roman Empire in its influence has never ceased to exist. We are now to consider it in its last stage as outlined in John's "Beast."
John's Two Visions of the Beast
Beast Out of the Sea
Rev. 13:1-3 Scarlet Colored Beast
Rev. 17:3, 7-9
In the two descriptions of John's Beast as given above it is very important to see that the "Beast" has a "Dual" meaning. It represents both the revived Roman Empire, and its Imperial Head the Antichrist. As the revived Roman Empire it is seen coming up out of the sea of the nations, as the Antichrist it comes up out of the ABYSS. For instance it cannot be said of the Roman Empire of John's day, that it WAS, and IS NOT, for it was at the height of its power in John's day. Neither can it be said of it that it shall ascend out of the pit and go into PERDITION, that could only be said of a person. Again we must distinguish between the body of the "Beast" and its heads and horns. The body being that of a LEOPARD, with the feet of a BEAR, and the mouth of a LION is to show that the revived Roman Empire in its last stage will include the characteristics of the first "Three Wild Beasts" of Daniel, that is, of the LION (Babylon), the BEAR (Medo-Persia), and the LEOPARD (Greece), and as the largest part of the "Beast, " the body, is represented by the LEOPARD, the prevailing characteristic of the revived Roman Empire will be GRECIAN.
The "Beast" that comes up out of the sea (Chap. 13) has SEVEN HEADS and TEN HORNS, and the "Horns" are CROWNED. This represents the "Beast, " or Empire, at the height of its power, when it will have all its "Heads, " and when the TEN KINGS, the heads of the TEN KINGDOMS into which the Empire shall be divided, will have been crowned. The "Beast" that comes up out of the ABYSS also has SEVEN HEADS and TEN HORNS, but they are not crowned, for the TEN KINGS represented by the TEN HORNS, have not as yet received their kingdom. (Rev. 17:12.) This implies that the "Beast" of Rev. 17, represents the Antichrist at the beginning of the "Week." As confirmation of this view the "WOMAN" is seen at this stage riding the "Beast." For while the "Scarlet Clothed Woman" is not seen until chapter 17 it is clear that she rides the "Beast" from the beginning of the "Week, " for she represents the "PAPAL CHURCH" that comes into power after the true Church has been caught out. During the wars preceding the rise of Antichrist the nations that will then be found in the geographical limits of the Old Roman Empire will form an "Alliance" for mutual protection. Those nations will be ten in number, represented by the "TEN HORNS" of the Beast. No doubt the "Papal Church" will play a prominent part in those proceedings. She will be rewarded by restoration to political power, and this union of Church and State, in which the Church will have control, is shown by the WOMAN riding the Beast, thus dominating it. But when the "Ten Kings" shall receive their Kingdoms and be CROWNED, they "shall hate the WHORE, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire." (Vs. 16.)
While we are told in Rev. 17:9 that the "SEVEN HEADS" of the "Beast" represent "SEVEN MOUNTAINS" (this is to identify it with the Roman Empire), we are told in the next verse (R. V.) that they (the "Seven Heads") also represent "SEVEN KINGS" of whom "Five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh he must continue a short space." That is, in John's day "Five" of these Kings had fallen, one was the then ruling Emperor, and the "Seventh" was yet to come. Who are meant by the first "Five Kings" that had fallen we do not know. The King that was on the throne in John's day was Domitian, who had banished John to the Isle of Patmos. The last or "SEVENTH KING" who is yet to come is undoubtedly the ANTICHRIST. - We are told in Rev. 13:3, that one of the "SEVEN HEADS, " or "KINGS, " received a deadly wound." Which one is not stated. The inference is that it is the last, for the Beast has all of his "HEADS" before one of them is wounded. In Rev. 17:11 he is called the Beast that WAS, and IS NOT, even he is the "EIGHTH, " and is of the "SEVENTH, " and goeth into PERDITION. The only clear explanation of this passage is that the "SEVENTH HEAD"-THE ANTICHRIST, is the one who receives the "deadly wound, " probably at the hand of an assassin, and as his body is lying in state prepared for burial, he rises from the dead (Rev. 13:14) and thus becomes the "EIGHTH, " though he is of the "SEVENTH." By this resurrection of the Antichrist, Satan imitates the Resurrection of Christ and makes the world "wonder after the Beast" (Rev. 13:3), and this adds to his prestige and power. If this happens at the "Middle of the Week, " at the time the Dragon is cast out of Heaven, it will account for the great change that takes place in the Antichrist, for before receiving his "deadly wound" he will be sweet and lovable, but after his resurrection or recovery lie becomes Devilish, the result of the Dragon incarnating himself in him. It is at this time that he breaks the Covenant with the Jews and desecrates the Temple by setting up the "Abomination of Desolation" which is an "Idol Image" of himself-the "DESOLATOR." As the "LITTLE HORN" of Daniel's "Fourth Wild Beast" he will destroy three of the "Ten Kings" and firmly establish himself in the place of power, and as he, as the "LITTLE HORN, " does not appear until after the "TEN HORNS, " or "Ten Federated Kingdoms, " come into existence, it is clear that the Antichrist does not form the Federation, but is the outgrowth of it.
III. His Character.
He will be a "composite" man. One who embraces in his character the abilities and powers of Nebuchadnezzar, Xerxes, Alexander the Great and Caesar Augustus. He will have the marvellous gift of attracting unregenerate men, and the irresistible fascination of his personality, his versatile attainments, superhuman wisdom, great administrative and executive ability, along with his powers as a consummate flatterer, a brilliant diplomatist, a superb strategist, will make him the most conspicuous and prominent of men. All these gifts will be conferred on him by Satan, whose tool he will be, and who will thus make him the - SUPERMAN.
He will pose as a great humanitarian, the friend of men, and the especial friend of the Jewish race, whom he will persuade that he has come to usher in the "Golden Age" as pictured by the prophets, and who will receive him as their Messiah.
He will intoxicate men with a strong delusion and his never varying success. And when he shall be slain and rise again he will have lost none of these powers, but will be in addition the embodiment of all kinds of wickedness and blasphemy.
"He shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws." Dan. 7:25.
"He shall also stand up against the 'Prince of Princes"' (Jesus). Dan. 8:25.
"He shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of Gods." Dan. 11:36.
"Who opposeth and exaltetli himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he AS GOD sitteth in the Temple of God (at Jerusalem) showing himself that he IS GOD..... whose coming is after the Working of Satan with all Power and Signs and Lying Wonders." 2Thes. 2:3-5.
There has never as yet appeared on this earth a person who answers the description given in the above Scriptures. Such a character is almost inconceivable. No writer would have invented such a character.
IV. His Reign.
He shall reign for seven years, or during the whole of Daniel's "Seventieth Week."
"And he shall confirm the Covenant with many for ONE WEEK (Daniel's Seventieth week) and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease." Dan. 9:27.
After the Church has been caught out the Jews will be gathered back to their own land unconverted. About this time ten of the Nations occupying the territory of the old Roman Empire will enter into a Federation. Among the Ten Kings of those nations will arise the Antichrist. He will soon prove himself to be a Great Ruler and will be made PRESIDENT. The Government will be a Democratic Monarchy.
The President will make a "Covenant" with the Jewish people. It may be a Covenant restoring to them their own land. Whatever its character, the Prophet Isaiah speaks of it as a "Covenant With Death and Hell." Isa. 28:15.
For 3 1/2 years the President of the Federation will keep the Covenant. Then he will break it. For the balance of his reign, 3 1/2 years, he will cause an awful persecution of the Jews, called "The Great Tribulation."
It will not, however, be limited to them, for we read in Rev. 13:7, Rev. 13:8, that he shall be given power "Over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the Book of Life."
For a description of this period see the Chapter on "The Great Tribulation."
V. His Doom.
At the end of the seven years the allied armies of the Ten 'Federated Nations will gather together in the Valley of Megiddo, north of Jerusalem, to besiege that city. Zech. 14:2. The Lord will pour upon the "House of David" (Israel), and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the "spirit of grace and supplication" (Zech. 12:10). Then the Lord, at the head of the "armies of Heaven, " will come to their rescue (Rev. 19:11-13), and the Jews will see Christ descend upon the Mt. of Olives (Zech. 14:4) and the Beast (Antichrist) and the kings of the earth, and their armies will gather together to make war against the Lord, and the Beast and the False Prophet will be taken and cast alive into the "Lake of Fire" and the remnant of those armies shall be slain with the sword of Him who sits upon the "White Horse, " and the fowls of the air will be summoned unto the "Supper of the Great God" and shall feed on the flesh of kings, and captains, and of mighty men. Rev. 19:17-19.