Summary: We meet the two other members of Satans attempt to make himself god - the two beasts known as the Antichrist and the False Prophet. Who are they, where to do they come from and what will they do? We also discuss the mark of the beast and the coming world
Vladamir Putin, Jacques Chirac, Prince Charles, Pope Benedict XVI, Saddam Hussein, Henry Kissinger, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Antiochus Epiphanies (170 BC), even George W. Bush. What do these men all have in common? At one time or another they were identified as a person known as the "Antichrist."
The word "antichrist" appears only five times in the New Testament - all in the letters of John the Apostle.
Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. (1 John 2:22, ESV)
Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. (1 John 2:18, ESV)
and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. (1 John 4:3, ESV)
Many deceivers have gone out into the world; they do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist (2 John 1:7, ESV.)
Many Christians identify this particular Antichrist with the "man of sin" or "son of perdition" mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2.
He is also known in the book of Daniel as: The Little Horn, the King who has his own way, and, lastly, the Beast.
This person - known from prophecy to be a world ruler of peace who turns his back on Israel, proclaiming himself to be god - is introduced to us in Revelation 13, along with his sidekick, the False Prophet. Together with the Dragon of chapter 12, they make up Satan’s unholy trinity that attempts to replace God Almighty on the earth. His rise to power and subsequent defeat at the hands of the Messiah, mark the end of world history as we know it.
Before we get into Chapter 13, let’s meet this man in our key book to understanding how to interpret Revelation - the prophet Daniel. Turn to chapter 9 and look at verses 26-27
Daniel 9:26-27 And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. 27 And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator." ESV
Remember - this is the 70 weeks prophecy about the future of Israel. What we learn here is that a group destroys Jerusalem - they are "the people of the prince who is to come." It was the Roman legions who destroyed Jerusalem in 70AD. This tells us that this "prince" will arise from that empire. We also know this from the dream given to King Nebuchadnezzar about the world kingdoms that would arise - ending with ten toes of iron and clay (that becomes important in a moment when we get back to Revelation).
We also learn here that in verse 27 - skipping into the far future as prophecies often do - that this "prince" will make a strong covenant that he’ll break after a half of a week - or 3 ½ years - proclaiming himself to be god until he is killed.
For more - see Daniel 11:36-45. Basically, he will have great power, be able to bestow that power on others, not care a wit about the real God - and I love how it ends: Yet he shall come to his end, with none to help him. ESV
A man who seems to have everything in his favor ends up helpless and alone. But that’s not the way it begins - let’s have a look.
To understand verse 1 we need to consult one more place in Daniel - chapter 7. You don’t have to turn there but basically Daniel has a dream about world kingdoms to come - they are described as beasts: a lion, a bear, a leopard, and a beast so terrifying that it could only be described as what it did - "devoured and broke into pieces."
These beasts represent world kingdoms to come - the lion was Babylon (Dan 2:38), the bear was Medo-Persian (Dan 5:30), the leopard was Greece (Dan 8:20) and the final beast is Rome (Dan 9:26).
So another hallmark of this final beast that Daniel saw was this: "7 It was different from all the beasts that went before it, it had ten horns. 8 I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots." (Dan 7:7-8)