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The Beast:

Some Questions about Antichrist

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Question #1: 

How can the Antichrist, be present at the 'Empowering' of the 10 Kings of Rev. 17:12 quoted below and the parallel passages of Daniel 7:24 still be true? 'The Little Horn' rises to power AFTER the 10 Kings receive their Kingdoms and power from 'The Beast.'

Rev. 17:12: And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.

Daniel 7:24: And the ten horns out of this kingdom [Roman Empire] are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.

How can they receive their kingdom from someone who rises after them?

Response #1: 

First of all, the phrase "[along] with the beast" in Rev.17:12 refers primarily to the idea of receiving authority (i.e., not primarily or exclusively to the time phrase found there, "one hour"). Secondly, Revelation 17:12 does not actually attribute the reception of power on the part of the ten kings to antichrist (it is actually to Satan that they owe their kingdoms). The main point behind the connection of the ten kings to the beast in Revelation 17:12 is to show that their authority and power, like antichrist's, will be derivative, passed along by means of the considerable exertions of the devil as Satan uses all of his reserves in this last ditch attempt to defeat the plan of God, futilely so, thanks be to God. So while it is true that the ten kings rise to power first, but they are not independent of the devil's plan to advance antichrist to worldwide rule. The beast will be in league with the ten kings even before his own rise to power in Babylon, and all will be part of a grand satanic conspiracy to pave the way for antichrist and his ascension to world rule. So even though they rise first, they would not be able to rise without the devil's help in the support of the cause of his son, antichrist. The details of this process as far as I have been able to discern them from scripture are to be found in part 3B of Coming Tribulation, section III, "The Kingdom of the Beast".

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #2:  I have just been recommended to you sight and by what I have seen I shall find it very helpful. I am currently reading through Revelation in conjunction with bible notes from http://www.trumpetsounds.org.uk and thought that I would mention to you something which I found of great interest. Rev 10:1 Another mighty angel from whose description one could almost believe was Christ Jesus - the notes I am using suggests that this could be in fact the Anti-Christ, not something I easily agreed with - but after much thought it struck me how easy it will be for many to be deceived. Maybe you will find this of interest maybe not if you are interested please do check out the full explanation on the above site, the author of which is a Mr Philip Wren whose father was a great bible teacher he is someone who has been immersed in the word from childhood.

Yours in Christ Jesus

Response #2:  Thank you from your encouragement and also for your link. I disagree with the suggestion there, however, which links this angel with antichrist. For one thing (out of many), the beast is certainly not going to swear an oath to "the One who lives forever and ever"; for another, this angel is a genuine creature/person who actually interacts with John in the service of God (and the beast did not exist in the 1st cent. A.D.). There are many other reasons why I would maintain that the "powerful angel" of Rev.10:1 is indeed an angel, but also most certainly a type of Jesus Christ, representing Him in the highly symbolic actions he takes there. This is written in up in considerable detail in part 3A of the "Coming Tribulation" series, so, rather than reproduce the same material here, I invite you to proceed to the following link:

"The Angel and the Little Scroll".

In our Lord Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #3:  Thanks for your reply - have read some of your notes - but one thing bothered me and is still going round in my mind - the antichrist - the man to be revealed - may not have been around in AD1 but his spirit surely was. And the antichrist will come as a angel of light and yes he will praise The Lord how else will he be able to deceive many. One of the reason given by Phillip was that John did not recognize him - I for one can't dismiss this out of hand. Some long time ago a member of the church I was attending bringing to me this passage with the very same questions I am bringing to you I dismissed her out of hand without thought, I believe I was wrong. My first thoughts on digesting this was how easy it is going to be for many to be deceived the thought is quite frightening.

Thanks for taking the time to reply to me.

Response #3:  It is certainly true that the beast like his father the devil will be a deceiver, and I would invite you to see the extensive study on that available at Ichthys: Coming Tribulation 3B: Antichrist and his Kingdom. I certainly didn't mean to give you the impression that I dismissed your question "out of hand". There are two ways to evaluate such things, namely, negative and positive. My approach is generally exegetical and it is not usually my practice to spend an inordinate amount of time in detailing the reasons why the myriad of alternative interpretations out there can't be or probably aren't true, but rather preferring to focus my efforts in outlining the positive reasons for why I believe in the particular interpretation I advance. In my opinion, one of the main reasons traditional theology is of largely no use to average Christians is precisely because the standard way of approaching these matters is precisely in this sort of academic mind set (of which I know plenty as a result of my profession as a Classicist) where a good deal of ink is always spilled addressing concerns of a few hundred colleagues around the world instead of concentrating on the topic at hand. In the interest of good pedagogy, however, I will have another go at your question here.

A. Reasons why I think the powerful angel of Revelation 10 is not antichrist.

1) Scripture calls him "an angel" five times (in verses 1, 5, 7, 8, 9). The beast is not an angel.

2) John interacts with this creature. But the beast at that time would not be born for two millennia (human spirits are created at the point of birth; see in BB 3A "The Creation of Adam / The Human Spirit").

3) This angel comes down from heaven. The beast is of the earth.

4) The appearance of this angel (a cloud wrapped around him, his hair face like the sun, his legs like pillars of fire) could only be true of an angel, not of anyone/anything of woman born.

5) The scroll he holds is the book of Revelation, divinely revealed information relating to tribulational events (which are sweet to study but painful to experience). The beast and the devil have no share or interest in the propagation of God's plan.

6) Since John is in a prophetic state, we have to assume that whatever is shown to him is shown to him by God (making the probability that this is a deliberate deception impossible).

7) If this were the beast, this would be the only place in Revelation where a satanic agent speaks directly to John (whereas he is addressed by holy angels throughout), and for John to be interacting with the devil or the beast or a demon would not only be unprecedented but also quite bizarre.

8) The angel's oath proclaims the coming of the conclusion to the mystery of God based upon God's timetable of the trumpet judgment. The beast follows the devil's plans.

9) The voice from heaven in verse 8 tells John to go and take the scroll out of the hand of the angel and the angel tells him also to take it. The beast, even if existed, would not be cooperating with God and God would most certainly not be cooperating with the beast.

10) In company with other elect angels, John is told at the end of this section apparently by this angel that he must prophesy further. The beast did not exist at the time, nor would he have any interest in John fulfilling God's plan.

11) This angel represents Jesus Christ as a type (i.e., he is not falsely imitating Him but giving us a divinely provided picture of Him at His return):

i) The cloud: Just as this angel is "wrapped in a cloud", so our Lord will return with "clouds" of heavenly armies (of which we shall be a part: Matt.24:30; 26:64; Mk.13:26; 14:62; Lk.21:27; 1Thes.4:17; Rev.1:7; cf. 1Cor.15:51-52; Rev.19:14).

ii) His hair and face: This description is highly reminiscent of the appearance of our Lord to John in chapter one. In that context (Rev.1:14), His head and hair were unique for their bright whiteness; here they shine "like the sun" in a clear manifestation of His divine glory. At the transfiguration, another preview of our Savior's glorious return, His face likewise "shone like the sun" (Matt.17:2).

iii) His legs: The fiery appearance of the angel's legs here is also evocative of the "white-hot bronze" appearance of Jesus' feet as He appeared to John in chapter one (Rev.1:15; cf. Rev.2:18).

iv) His posture: Standing on the surface of the land and the surface of the sea at one and the same time is a clear indication of our Lord's coming dominance of the entire earth. That is, the angel's posture here symbolizes Christ's imminent conquest of all of earth at the Second Advent (cf. Rev.11:15).

v) The lion's roar: As the "Lion of Judah", this metaphor is clearly symbolic of our Lord (Rev.5:5; cf. Gen.49:9-12; Is.31:4).

vi) The scroll: This scroll is the book of Revelation (Rev.10:9-10; cf. Ezek.3:1-3), bitter to experience, but sweet to read (see our discussion in part 1 of this series, section I). Since Revelation is about the revealing of Jesus Christ to the world, the presence of this book or scroll of Revelation in the angel's hand is a clear sign that he is a type of Christ (Rev.5:6-7).(75)

vii) The completion of the mystery: As the Word of God, Jesus Christ is Himself the mystery, and, by application, the completion of His Body, the Church, is the completion of the "mystery of God".(76) This phrase thus refers to the resurrection to take place at the point of our Lord's return to the world at His Second Advent, an event which only Jesus is authorized to bring about on the basis of His victory at the cross (Lk.10:18; Jn.16:33; 19:30; Col.2:15; Rev.5:5).

12) The Oath guarantees divine victory. That is not something we expect from the beast.

13) The Mystery refers to the completion of the Church. Again, that is the divine rather than the satanic plan.

14) The Scroll is complete indicating the completion of God's plan – symbolism appropriate to be proffered by a holy angel, not antichrist.

15) The Seven Thunders predict judgment to come. This is something the beast is not privy to.

As I say, to get my entire perspective on these last six positive and interpretive points, please see the link in CT 3A: "The Angel and the Little Scroll".

In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Bob L.

Question #4:  Did I read on pg 12 of your last transcript (CT 5), that the Antichrist comes USA, and the USA is Babylon? P.S. Good reading.

Response #4:   Yes, but with reservations; this interpretation understands the end times being just around the corner. I always say in such circumstances that this interpretation is based upon the Seven Millennial Day theory put forward in the earlier Satanic Rebellion series which forms the prologue to the present Coming Tribulation series, and to which I have added the following important caveat:

"The most potentially controversial piece of information developed below, that is, the projected date for the commencement of the Tribulation, is based upon the following suppositions (all of which are treated within the context of this study):

1. The seven millennial day interpretation is taught in scripture and meant to be understood and applied.

2. The Church Age will last for two millennial days or 2000 years.

3. The Church Age commences following the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.

4. These events took place in 33 A.D.

5. The Tribulation belongs to both the Church and Jewish Ages and is therefore to be subtracted from the 2000 year total when calculating the start of the Tribulation.

6. The half hour of silence in heaven at the breaking of the seventh seal (Rev.8:1) signifies a half year grace period that shifts the start point from spring to fall.

7. Scripture gives no indication of either shortening or lengthening of this time-line, and therefore no such change of schedule is anticipated.

The above points are all presented here as true, and the analysis upon which they are based is set forth below. Clearly, deviation from any of the above will alter the entire scheme. It is also true, as we have already said, that alteration of the schema presented below is certainly within the power and authority of the Almighty. The very end of the Tribulation, for example, will be shortened by some undisclosed amount of time (Mk.13:20). Rather than undermining the theory advanced in this study, however, Mark 13:20 in actuality supports the importance of paying heed to the Bible's chronological information. For if "the days are shortened", then surely this means that there was a definite heavenly timetable in the first place. Secondly, Mark 13:20 indicates that the shortening mentioned is a matter of days, weeks at the most (i.e., not enough to change the general time-line given below). This is certainly in line with the very specific tally of days and months given in Daniel and Revelation (Dan.7:25; 8:14; 12:7; 12:11-12; Rev.11:2-3; 12:6; 12:14; 13:5)."

Clearly, if the Lord tarries another 1,000 years, which He has every sovereign right to do (regardless of the soundness of the Seven Millennial Day interpretation or lack thereof), the US might not even be here by then (at least not in any sort of recognizable form; cf. the differences between the Rome of Julius Caesar and "Rome" of Justinian). Even assuming that the chronology put forward is correct, there is still no true comparison to be made between the contemporary US and the tribulational version of the US. With the removal of the Holy Spirit's restraint (see the link: The Restraining Ministry of the Holy Spirit in CT 2B), and the commencement of the Great Apostasy (CT 3A), the spiritual and political situation of the entire earth will be much changed for the worse beyond what we can presently properly imagine, and this will be true of the US as well. Comparing things at present with that anticipated future time is a little like comparing the Germany of Goethe with the Germany of Hitler (and really the contrast would be even more jarring than that).

In anticipation of the great day of our Lord's return.

Bob L.

Question #5:   Here is what I was clumsily attempting to suggest regarding the questionable use of an 'absolute' ALL with respect to the Rev. 17:18 phrase, "Kings of the earth". Per Mystery Babylon's Scriptural 'symbolism' as a 'literal' CITY, by all intents and purposes does she exist OUTSIDE of the 7 Heads and the Scarlet Abyss Beast UPON which she SITS? If Mystery Babylon is to indeed reign over ALL 'Kings of the earth' then wouldn't this extend her symbolic identity beyond the scope of the narrowly defined Kings/Kingdoms of the 7 Heads and the Scarlet Abyss Beast?

Response #5:  I certainly agree with you and this is indeed what I teach in the Coming Tribulation series. Babylon (the future tribulational USA), will exercise a considerable cultural, economic, political and military influence and control over the rest of the world under the aegis of antichrist, her ruler during that time. Together with revived Rome, eschatological Babylon will be the other "leg" of the beast's power base (cf. the two legs of the statue with the head of gold in Daniel). After antichrist achieves world-wide control of the earth, he and the confederation will come to resent Babylon, especially after her attempted rebellion during the darkness of the 5th bowl judgment. This will provide the impetus for her destruction. You can read more about this at the link: Coming Tribulation; part four: "The Great Tribulation".

In Jesus Christ our Lord,

Bob L.

Question #6: Sir, I did not see Islam in your subject index. I know you refer to the King of the South, which I believe is a confederation of Islamic countries, but do you address the Islamic religion itself, in your writings? Some Bible commentators view Islam as the Beast and the coming Mahdi as the Anti-Christ. Islam states that God does not have a son, which is similar to the John's statement on the Spirit of the Anti-Christ. Also, Islamic culture permits the cutting off of the heads of infidels, were as western culture does not. Again this seems to be inline with Revelation. I am in no way trying to second guess you. I believe you're on to something. I am mainly interested in how believer's escape Babylon ("come out of her my people") where they go and how they get there. Still I was surprised not to see Islam in your subject index. I may be deploying to SE Asia soon and I am curious as to how you view the extreme Islamist or more precisely how you think Gods views them. Also, what is God's attitude toward present Israeli occupation of the west bank?

Thanks as always.

Response #6:  As to the question of Islam, I think it is pretty clear that the three kings of the south against whom antichrist campaigns will indeed be part and parcel of the whole caliphate movement. Indeed, I suspect that this will be one of the reasons why antichrist will be so successful among cultural-Christians, pseudo-Christians, and weak Christians, namely, because he will use this threat as his primary rallying point and will cast himself in the role of Messiah conducting a holy "crusade" against the forces of the devil. Of course, the devil has often worked in this way. Clearly, in the war between Nazi Germany and Communist Russia, Satan was highly influential in both camps. I do not get deep into the details of Islam because the Bible does not. Since the subject is not even mentioned in scripture, it is somewhat unnecessary to our understanding of what the Bible actually has to say about how this final chapter of human history before the return of the true Messiah plays out. If anything, by relating these matters to Islam with the discussion of the Mahdi (see in particular CT 3B starting with section IV, "Antichrist's Alliance with Israel", I have pushed things quite as far as I think I have any biblical mandate to do (and I am very sensitive to this).

You are certainly correct in your representation of the state of much biblical scholarship, by the way. And I believe these misunderstandings of eschatology will play right into antichrist's hands. For when during that future time the beast for his own propaganda purposes casts the Mahdi in the role of antichrist, 1) he will have the support of many "Christian" scholars; 2) he will thereby be deflecting suspicion away from himself; and 3) he will benefit from the ineluctable logic that if the Mahdi really is antichrist, then he who is going to Israel to fight against him must of necessity be the Messiah. This will produce much deception and be a large part of the impetus for the worship of antichrist and the corresponding Great Apostasy (see the link).

As to current events in Israel, God is not "in" the Jewish state (which is a completely secular affair). Whatever happens over there at present is just setting the table for the events of the Tribulation. When our Lord returns, He will rule both Israel and the rest of the world in perfect righteousness, and, I would imagine, there will be very little resemblance between His kingdom and what we see now in any respect, including present political geography.

The issue of "fleeing Babylon" is one which is covered in part 5 of Coming Tribulation (see the link). The gist is that while it will be ill-advised to flee before the time (i.e., the very end of the Tribulation), once the command is given (and it will be given by way of angelic proclamation so that it will be impossible to miss) believers must flee immediately from Babylon, and the only place of refuge at that time as I posit it will be Jerusalem.

Thanks for your good words - and stay safe over there.

In our Lord Jesus, who is our strength and our shield, and the One who guards our head in the day of battle.

Bob L.

Question #7:  In Rev. 13:5-6 we read that, the 1st Beast Out of the Sea was given a 'Mouth'..., thus, can this mouth actually be the future 'Antichrist'?

Rev. 13:5-6: 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. [6] And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

When John describes the 1st Beast he saw, he states that it appeared as follows.

Rev. 13:2: 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.

To this end, Scriptures as well as ancient Assyrian archeological artifacts records that not only was the winged lion a symbol for the Babylonian Empire, but was also a well established symbol for the Assyrian Empire.

Nahum 2:11: Where is the dwelling of the lions, and the feeding place of the young lions, where the lion, even the old lion, walked, and the lion's whelp, and none made them afraid?

Therefore, could it be that the 'mouth' of the Beast that John saw represents both the Assyrian Empire, the revived 2nd Head of the Seven Headed Beast that was wounded unto death, and the coming Antichrist?

Response #7:  On the mouth in Rev.13:2, it is indeed definitely antichrist's mouth (really "mouths" in the Greek) being referred to here. Here is what I write about the reference in v.2 (see the link in section V of CT #4):

The winged lion in Daniel 7:4 refers to the lion-like "bite" of Nebuchadnezzar and his Babylonian empire, so that the reference here to the mouth of lions (plural) is an apt description of the formidable offensive military power available to the beast in his consolidation of his worldwide rule.

In Rev.13:5-6, the mouth is singular, so this may serve to split up the symbolism, but antichrist is, obviously, still the subject (for my comments on this please see the link: section VI of the same study, "The Beast's Prophet").

There is no question that the various characteristics of the beast (like a bear, leopard, lion) are meant to refer to empires past (as it is often interpreted), and I think that you can see from my comment pasted in above that I do think the lion reference goes back to the "head of gold" empire of Nebuchadnezzer. However, I have a different take on the meaning of the heads (please see the link: "The origin, character, and rise of antichrist" in CT #3B); I take the first six of the seven heads as being the six Julio-Claudian emperors (Julius Caesar, the true first emperor, is included), the last of whom, Nero, was responsible for the persecution under which John wrote Revelation. Antichrist would then be the seventh in his capacity of ruler of the New Roman Empire and "also and eighth" in his capacity as king of Babylon which exerts its control over New Rome from without. I take antichrist to be "Babylonian" in the sense that he is from New symbolic Babylon (on which see the discussion on antichrist's origin).

In our Lord Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #8: I would like to ask some questions about the AntiChrist. Is it biblical to make the assumption that the AntiChrist is of Jewish extraction on his mother's side? Furthermore, is it possible even after reading the Greek New Testament that the AntiChrist will in fact be destroyed by the second advent of our Lord Jesus Christ? Moreover, is it not possible in any sense to say that Abaddon is in fact the AntiChrist? Thank you for your consideration.

Response #8:  Let me take your questions in reverse order:

1. Abbadon: According to Revelation 9:11, Abbadon is an angel presently incarcerated in the Abyss. Antichrist; on the other hand, is, according to Genesis 3:15, the devil's "seed", indicating that he is born into this world (and so at least partially human). For more on Abbadon see the link: in CT 3A: "The First Woe".

2. Destruction of antichrist: Revelation 19:11-21 directly connects the depositing of antichrist (along with his false prophet) directly into the lake of fire as part of Christ's return at the second advent (cf. esp. v.20. Paul is very precise on this point in 2nd Thessalonians 2:8: "And then the lawless one (i.e., antichrist) will be revealed, [that same one] whom the Lord Jesus will slay with the breath of His mouth and destroy when He appears at His [glorious] return . . .".

3. Antichrist's mother: Although it is ironic for antichrist to be so, since he will do more damage to the Jewish people than even Adolf Hitler, there is in fact much biblical evidence to suggest that he will in fact be of Jewish extraction. For one thing, only someone of Jewish blood could ever make any sort of convincing claim to be "the Messiah", since the Messiah is, by definition, Jewish. That is, after all, what anti-Christ means, "substitute-Messiah". For more see the link: in CT 3B, "antichrist's maternal origin".

I would also recommend to you the study cited above, Coming Tribulation 3B: Antichrist and his Kingdom, and the two series generally, Coming Tribulation: A History of the Apocalypse, and The Satanic Rebellion: Background to the Tribulation for much more detail on all issues related to this topic.

In anticipation of that great day of our Lord Jesus Christ's return,

Bob Luginbill

 


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