We will be doing something a little different in this series and cite The Complete Jewish Bible – a uniquely Jewish translation that I have come to appreciate – for our study on the Revelation 13 passages.
This article will be looking at the Antichrist and his kingdom that the Apostle John witnessed while receiving the Revelation of Jesus Christ on the island of Patmos.
As always, there are many interpretations that have been submitted by many godly, respectable, and capable men, and I try not to be dogmatic when it comes to future prophecy. I only offer to the reader my view for their consideration in addition to the many other interpretive views that have been submitted down through the centuries.
The truth is, there are so many possibilities when it comes to Revelation 13 and, in particular, the identities of the Antichrist and the False Prophet, that one could very easily become confused and find themselves overwhelmed. Therefore, I’m endeavoring to keep this study as simple as possible and to primarily focus on what I believe to be the most important aspects of probability and interpretation.
As we will see, there are numerous prophecies concerning the Antichrist, and they are divergent one from another. I have noticed through the years that many Bible prophecy students and teachers tend to focus on one or two specific prophecies concerning the Antichrist and his sphere of influence, that they tend to omit to a certain degree – or entirely neglect – the other passages of Scripture that would challenge their initial assertions and views. This really isn’t surprising to me as this subject is quite complex, but I will offer to the reader what I believe could very well be considered a viable explanation for this intricate topic.
As we begin, I need to note up-front that the words “Antichrist” and “False Prophet” are nowhere to be found in Revelation 13 as these individuals – and the kingdom of Antichrist – are identified as “beasts.” We know they are the Antichrist and False Prophet because of context. Even though the Antichrist is always referred to as the beast in the book of Revelation, his counterpart is referred to as the False Prophet in Revelation 16:13 when the deceiving spirits depart from the unholy triune alliance to gather the nations to battle against the Lord, and Revelation 19:20 when the Antichrist and False Prophet are thrown into the lake of fire, as well as Revelation 20:10 when Satan joins them there.
“They worshipped the dragon, because he had given his authority to the beast; and they worshipped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast? Who can fight against it?'” (Revelation 13:4).
In this verse, some see a transition from the beast as a political system or kingdom into a person who runs the kingdom system, and others see just the kingdom in play. I actually see and acknowledge both.
As we discussed in Revelation 13 – The Beast, the United Nations and the 10 kings (the seventh head of the beast out of the sea), the European Union, the Whore of Revelation 17 & 18 (Roman Catholic church), China, Russia, and England, and a rising Antichrist will dominate the first half of the seven-year Tribulation.
In the middle of the Tribulation (three and one-half years after the signing of the covenant by Antichrist, Israel, and the many – Dan. 9:27 below), the 10 kings will destroy the Whore (RCC/Vatican City/Rome) and give their kingdoms into the hands of the Antichrist to rule the world, with the United Nations backing to the hilt this “man of sin” (2 Thess. 2:3).
“Then, after the sixty-two weeks, Mashiach will be cut off and have nothing. The people of a prince yet to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary, but his end will come with a flood, and desolations are decreed until the war is over. He will make a strong covenant with leaders for one week [of years]. For half of the week he will put a stop to the sacrifice and the grain offering. On the wing of detestable things the desolator will come and continue until the already decreed destruction is poured out on the desolator” (Daniel 9:26-27). (emphasis mine)
“It was given a mouth speaking arrogant blasphemies; and it was given authority to act for forty-two months” (Revelation 13:5).
The Antichrist will blaspheme the LORD God and His Son, Israel and her people, and those who give their lives to Jesus during the Great Tribulation, which is the “forty-two months” of Revelation 13:5 and the “half of the week” of Daniel 9:27 – the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation. No good thing will be spared.
“So it opened its mouth in blasphemies against God to insult his name and his Sh’khinah, and those living in heaven” (Revelation 13:6).
Who are “those living in heaven?” Obviously, the heavenly angels with all those who have died since creation and have been redeemed by the Lord. But who else? They are us – the bride of Christ raptured from the earth over three and one-half years earlier!
Observations of Antichrist
Let’s take a look into other passages of Scripture to see if we can glean additional information concerning the person of Antichrist.
A Quick Study of Daniel 8
Daniel chapter 8 is one of the most debated and contested chapters in all of the Bible. I’ll offer a quick summary of my view and, as always, let the reader be the judge.
In Daniel 8:1-8, we see the kingdoms of Medo-Persia (the ram) and Greece (the goat) and, as is so often the case, the context demands a jump in time to the last-days under the Antichrist where, out of these kingdoms – or the area of these kingdom’s influence – the Antichrist will have his base of operations:
“And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of the sanctuary was cast down. And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered” (Daniel 8:9-12) (KJV – emphasis mine)
As history attests, Alexander the Great’s Grecian empire was split into four smaller empires, each under one of his four generals, after his death. See map here. The empire of significance is the Seleucid Empire. It is from this empire that Antiochus Epiphanes arose and who is a pre-figure of Antichrist. But it is also from this empire that Antichrist will also rule from in the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation!
Notice that the land of Shinar – from Nineveh to Babylon on both the Euphrates and Tigris rivers – is also located within this empire. Therefore, even though some may think that this “little horn” is Antiochus Epiphanes, it really is speaking of the Antichrist, as we will see below. The “little horn” of Daniel 7 and Daniel 8 is one and the same, only told from different perspectives and offering up unique details concerning the Antichrist.
This is very interesting because we are told, also in Daniel, that “… the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary …” (Daniel 9:26), which many believe is referring to the Romans who destroyed the Temple in 70AD and, therefore, the Antichrist must come out of the Roman Empire.
Please keep this material in mind as we proceed on, as we will be offering a possible solution to these divergent passages of Scripture in addition to the other prophecies we still need to look into.
Here’s my take on Daniel 8:13-14:
“Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” (KJV – emphasis mine)
I offer the reader two possibilities of these 2,300 days without embarking on an in-depth study:
- The Great Tribulation is 1,260 days in total (the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation). Therefore, this suggests that it will take 1,040 days to build Ezekiel’s Millennial Temple and to begin the daily sacrifice after Christ’s Second Coming. This time frame would also include the Separation of the Sheep and the Goats, establishing new governments for the nations and Israel, and the regenerating (able to live in excess of 1,000 years) of those human beings who survive the Tribulation and are allowed to enter the Millennial Kingdom as well as the earth and its ecosystems, among other events.
- The question from the saint begins with “the daily sacrifice.” Therefore, the 2300 days could be broken down as such: 1,260 days for the Great Tribulation (the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation) and 1,040 days up until the Great Tribulation. This would suggest that the Temple would be completed and sacrifices commenced 220 days after the signing of the covenant between Antichrist, Israel, and the many. This would also mean that the Temple would be cleansed immediately upon Christ’s Second Coming.
There very well could be much more to this number than we are privy to, especially when you take into account Daniel 12:11-12. I may do a study on this in the future as it sounds very interesting. But the context of Daniel 8:13-14 makes clear that this is referring to the third Temple, the Abomination of Desolation, and the Great Tribulation.
Because Antiochus Epiphanes is a pre-figure of Antichrist (whose setting up of an image in the Jewish Temple is very similar to what the world will see in the future under Antichrist) – and keeping in mind that Scripture is renowned for blending prophecies together – many have declared that these passages are past history. But, lest anyone think that this “little horn” is Antiochus Epiphanes, we read:
“And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision” (Daniel 8:16-17). (emphasis mine)
“The time of the end” is clearly speaking of the Tribulation period. In addition, we read later in the interpretation:
“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. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand” (Daniel 8:23-25). (KJV – emphasis mine)
These words can only be fulfilled in the Antichrist at the end of the age, and our Lord and Savior is certainly “the Prince of princes,” and He shall break the Antichrist without hand (Daniel 2:34, Daniel 2:45, & 2 Thess. 2:8).
In conclusion of this section, Daniel 7: The Four Beasts of the End-Times are the nations of power and influence (the foundation of Antichrist’s empire) of the seven-year Tribulation (or Daniel’s last seven). While Daniel 8 covers the Medo-Persian and Grecian empires, signifying through the divided Greek empire, the area where Antichrist will rule from in the “time of the end” (Daniel 8:17). The only similarity to be found in both chapters, I believe, is the beast empire of Antichrist – and Antichrist himself – at the end of the age in each account.
An additional fact to underscore this view is that the interpretation Gabriel gave in Daniel 8 identifies Medo-Persia and Greece, while the interpretation from the angel in Daniel 7 does not. One would think that if the beasts of Daniel 7 were also those from Daniel 8 (which are represented by totally different beasts), then the angel would have identified them as such. Daniel 7 and Daniel 8 are two totally separate prophecies united only by the Antichrist kingdom at the end of each.
We also have some passages of Scripture that seem to imply that the Antichrist is also known as “The Assyrian”:
“And he [Messiah] shall stand and feed in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth. And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men. And they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof: thus shall he deliver us from the Assyrian, when he cometh into our land, and when he treadeth within our borders” (Micah 5:4-6). (emphasis mine)
This passage of Scripture is Messianic and follows the famous Micah 5:2 verse:
“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2).
Notice that “the Assyrian” is associated with “the land of Nimrod,” and we will be addressing this connection below. This is certainly an end-time passage and seems to link the Antichrist with “the Assyrian.”
Isaiah has more to say about the Assyrian:
“The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand: That I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders. This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?” (Isaiah 14:24-27). (emphasis mine)
“And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from far? to whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your glory? Without me they shall bow down under the prisoners, and they shall fall under the slain. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets” (Isaiah 10:3-6). (emphasis mine)
While some may say that these verses apply to Assyria’s destruction of the northern 10-tribe nation of Israel, one can’t help but see the relationship to Antichrist and the term “the Assyrian” as a personal title or name with the definite article. Plus, which Assyrian king would this prophecy refer to as there were three different kings in three separate campaigns against the land of Israel that resulted in her dispersion: Pul, Tiglath-pileser, or Shalmaneser V? Actually, the context favors none.
The Lord says in Isaiah 14:25, “I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot.” Surely this did not happen when Israel was conquered by Assyria and Judah was exempt – but it will happen when Christ comes back and destroys His enemies and the Antichrist who murdered the Jews and drove the remnant of God’s people out of Israel in the middle of the Tribulation!
And look at what passage Isaiah 14:24-27 follows: The prophecy on the king of Babylon and the famous passage on Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12-14)! Here’s a link between “the king of Babylon” and “the Assyrian,” indicating a Babel/Babylon connection with Antichrist and Satan himself.
Not only that, but there is a connection between Antichrist and Nimrod in relation to Babel and Assyria. We learn in Genesis 10:10-12 that Nimrod not only built Babel in the land of Shinar, he also went to Assyria and built other cities, including Nineveh!
“And the beginning of his [Nimrod’s] kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. From that land he went to Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah (that is the principal city)” (Genesis 10:10-12). (NKJV – emphasis mine)
Additionally, these words in the Isaiah prophecies sure sound like the beginning of the Great Tribulation with Antichrist’s Abomination of Desolation, as well as Christ’s Second Coming at the end. Remember, many prophecies have an initial and final fulfillment – a near and long-range, dual application.
Confused? What should we make of all of this? What do I make of this? Actually, I think there’s much to consider here, but it could be explained in the following way.
The Two Stages of Antichrist
As I noted above, we see a connection of the Antichrist to the ancient Roman Empire. This seems to be his first stage from the rapture of the church until the middle of the Tribulation as he will arise somewhere in the European Union. What’s very interesting about this is that the Roman Empire never had rule over the land of Shinar in Mesopotamia, and this is why the Roman Empire is never mentioned in connection to Antichrist when Scripture is speaking specifically of his Mesopotamian rule with the Babel/Babylon connection we’ll be looking at below.
The Antichrist’s second stage will be in the land of Shinar in Mesopotamia, which is signified by the many other passages of Scripture we have noted above. This stage will begin when the 10 kings hand their kingdoms over to the Antichrist in the middle of the Tribulation just before Antichrist commits the Abomination of Desolation in Jerusalem’s rebuilt third Temple. We also covered this in Revelation 13 – The Beast.
This seems to be the only logical and reasonable explanation for the many Scriptural references regarding Antichrist’s roles in two different spheres and is backed up by these specific prophecies regarding him. This two-staged scenario seems to satisfy the numerous prophecies regarding him and his locations of influence.
The New Age Connection
Similar to the New Age Maitreya, the Antichrist could be all things to all people. He could very well have many nationalities in his bloodline, and he may even claim to have Jewish blood in him as well.
Because false religion will still be present after the rapture of the church, and all will be united under the umbrella of the Roman Catholic church (Catholic means “universal”), all religions might actually see their religious leader in this man. To “Christians,” he would appear to be “Christ”; to Muslims, he would appear to be Mohammad; to Buddhists, he would appear to be Buddha; to Hindus, he would appear to be Brahma or Krishna; to New Agers, he would appear to be Maitreya; to secularists, he would appear to be the personification of an evolved atheist; and so on.
I don’t think the Antichrist, at first, will be claiming he was all of these things, but the masses would see him as they wanted to see him – a savior of the world, no matter who they think or say he may be.
Speaking of the New Age Maitreya, Antichrist will certainly have this New Age spirit within him. In Ray Yungen’s excellent book, For Many Shall Come in My Name, Ray makes the connection between Antichrist and the New Age “Christ Consciousness” – the idea that humanity can evolve into cosmic godhood.
When Christ said, “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many” (Matthew 24:5) (emphasis mine), this is exactly what the New Age teaches and fits rather well when Paul said of Antichrist:
“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, shewing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4). (emphasis mine)
The Land of Shinar Connection
In addition to this possibility, the area of the ancient Assyrian, Babylonian, Medo-Persian, and Greek empires all ruled over Mesopotamia with a Babel/Babylon connection in the land of Shinar, which is where I believe Antichrist will be based in the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation. This common thread, locationally, of the height of the Assyrian, Babylonian, Medo-Persian, and Greek empires, is the land of Shinar. Each of these kingdoms ruled over this area and, when taken together with Zechariah 5:5-11 – Homecoming: Babel Returns Home, suggests that the above passages are all emphasizing Antichrist’s rule from the land of Shinar in modern-day Iraq during the Great Tribulation.
The Babel/Babylon Connection
Regarding the Babel/Babylon connection to Nimrod, it seems very possible that when Antichrist relocates to this area, he could station his base of operations – palace, temple, and probably the UN (I see this as a small city with not much more than these entities) – in a location unknown in the Mesopotamian region. The reason I suggest this is because, by all intents and purposes, I think Satan would love to relocate Antichrist’s Mark of The Beast economic and worship system where it all started – Nimrod’s ancient Babel. And Satan would definitely know where that exact location is!
It should also be noted that some believe that Nimrod’s Babel was located closer to Nineveh in ancient Assyria. All of these possibilities, regardless, seem to point to ancient Babel being located somewhere in modern-day Iraq in association with Assyria and a Babel/Babylon connective.
With all this said, I really do believe Antichrist’s base of operations will have the Babel/Babylon connection, all within the ancient land of Shinar (Zechariah 5:11).
Back to Revelation 13
“It was allowed to make war on God’s holy people and to defeat them; and it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. Everyone living on earth will worship it except those whose names are written in the Book of Life belonging to the Lamb slaughtered before the world was founded” (Revelation 13:7-8).
Through Antichrist’s Mark of The Beast economic and worship system, God’s people will be singled out as they will not take The Mark and give their allegiance to Antichrist. Though not stated in this verse, this is the procedure by which this “war on God’s holy people” will be carried out and which will be expounded later in our final study, Revelation 13 – The False Prophet & The Mark.
“Those who have ears, let them hear! ‘If anyone is meant for captivity, into captivity he goes! If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he is to be killed!’ This is when God’s holy people must persevere and trust!” (Revelation 13:9-10).
This will be the most trying time in the history of the world for believer and unbeliever alike. But for those “whose names are written in the Book of Life,” their destinies are sealed.
“… fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).
At no other time since the foundation of the world will this admonition of Christ be more relevant than it will be then. “This is when God’s holy people must persevere and trust!”
I’m concluding each article in this series on Revelation 13 with this friendly reminder:
All future prophecy is mainly aimed at those who will be going through it. While it can be a challenge and often exciting trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together, all of us prophecy enthusiasts would be well-served to humbly admit that although we may believe our interpretations and views to be correct, at the same time, we must confess that we may also be wrong.
Love, grace, mercy, and shalom in Messiah Yeshua, and Maranatha!
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