What are the qualities of the antichrist? How will people be able to identify the beast of the great tribulation? The answers are found in Daniel and Revelation.
When I was very young, I heard through some Christians that the antichrist as found in the Bible had been identified! Information had been passed around in the form of a simple, easy to understand flyer that would reveal the beast walking among us. When I got hold of this vital piece of information, my heart skipped a beat as he was our current President!
Yes, it was confirmed, Ronald Wilson Reagan was the beast straight out of the book of Revelation!
He had all the signs. He was “ruler” over Babylon (the United States), he was a man of “dark sentences” (he was into numerology with his wife…that part is true), and, most importantly, he had the number of the beast right in his name (666 – Ronald Wilson Reagan – 6 letters in each name). Yes, he was revealed, now we had to warn people and warn them right now.
Except that he wasn’t as time would tell.
Many Christians, myself included, make a very common mistake when reading Bible prophecy, and that is, we tend to take the words of the author and apply it to the culture of our day without thinking of their culture and what certain imagery means. When we run across a passage that we can’t make heads or tails of it’s meaning, we fill in the gaps with what the author might have meant. For example, a common imagery used in Daniel and Revelation are the “seven heads – ten horns/crowns” picture. If you had talked to an eschatologist (a person who studies end times prophecy) a few years ago, most of them would have told you that the ten crowns meant the EU. As of the writing of this article, some are changing their tune to say that the ten crowns mean “the coalition of the willing” as well as the possibility that Emmanuel Macron might have the potential to become the beast rising up out of the sea. In thinking this way, many are making the same mistake that I and a few other well-meaning Christians did with President Reagan.
As a side note, we must also remember that all of the things WILL HAPPEN soon, and while prophecy does incorporate imagery, which can be confusing, but explained, Bible prophecy is never meant to be read as an allegory as I previously explained in an earlier post.
While it’s good to look at the physical attributes (yes, there are a few), characters and actions of the soon-revealed beast, we must take a very important variable into consideration…we (Christians) won’t be here!
“For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 NKJV
Several things we can gather from this passage are:
- The “mystery of lawlessness” has been around since the fall and is working today (1 John 2:22, 1 John 4:3, 1 John 2:18, 2 John 1:7)
- Until the “He who now restrains” is taken out of the way (the rapture), he (the beast) will not come to power
- Once the rapture happens, the antichrist will come onto the scene.
It is useless to speculate who is the beast as we don’t know. It is also important to remember that the antichrist is anyone that is opposed to Jesus Christ and not a “super-delux-mega-bad-guy”. The beast will simply come into the world through the absence of the Holy Spirit found in all true believers because of the rapture of the Church. We can speculate all we want, but no one will know until it happens.
So, if the Church is going to be taken up before all this stuff happens, what’s the point of even studying scripture to find out the nature of the beast? We’re gone, right?
Yes, we’re gone, but there will be many that remain, many more that will be on Earth that going to meet Jesus in the air. Because of this, every Christian should be familiar with the descriptions of the antichrist as found in the book of Daniel and Revelation so we can give a warning, just as I am doing. I’ll be gone, but hopefully, this page/site and audio podcast will still be around and if one person can read/hear this and come to Jesus Christ (Romans 10:5-13), then I will have done my job.
Listed below are the scriptures pertaining to the antichrist/beast/abomination as found in the Books of Daniel and Revelation. I’ve created bullet points that sum up what the passages say, but don’t skip the passages. You will notice that there are some points that have “???” before and after the point; this is to tell you that my interpretation is in question and I’m admitting that the answer is not known to me at the writing of this article. It’s important not to “fill in the holes” of our lack of understanding with our own preconceptions.
May God, through the Holy Spirit, help you to understand, as He was the author of all of the Bible, so He will know and speak to you, if you have come to Jesus Christ and are willing to listen and accept His Council.
From the book of Daniel
““After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words.”
Daniel 7:7-8 NKJV
- He is stronger than any of the kings before him
- He will break apart, acquire, and conquer former kingdoms
- He will be different than any other ruler that preceded him
- He will be very boastful and pompous with his words
The interpretation of the above scripture:
““Then I wished to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its nails of bronze, which devoured, broke in pieces, and trampled the residue with its feet; and the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, before which three fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words, whose appearance was greater than his fellows. “I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom. “Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast shall be A fourth kingdom on earth, Which shall be different from all other kingdoms, And shall devour the whole earth, Trample it and break it in pieces. The ten horns are ten kings Who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; He shall be different from the first ones, And shall subdue three kings. He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time.”
Daniel 7:19-25 NKJV
- He will make war against those that are with God and will be victorious over them
- His kingdom will devour the whole earth and he will treat it like garbage and break it into pieces
- The beast will subdue three of the 10 kings that arise during the time of tribulation
- ??? – He will change times and the law – ???
- He will be boastful against God
“Therefore the male goat grew very great; but when he became strong, the large horn was broken, and in place of it four notable ones came up toward the four winds of heaven. And out of one of them came a little horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land. And it grew up to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground, and trampled them. He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host; and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down. Because of transgression, an army was given over to the horn to oppose the daily sacrifices; and he cast truth down to the ground. He did all this and prospered. Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said to that certain one who was speaking, “How long will the vision be, concerning the daily sacrifices and the transgression of desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled underfoot?” And he said to me, “For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.””
Daniel 8:8-14 NKJV
- He shall be a king that won’t start up with a lot of power but will grow in it quickly
- He will claim himself to be God
- He will take away the daily sacrifices at the temple
- He will gain an army so that he can oppose the daily sacrifices
- He will warp and twist the truth and will prosper
The interpretation of the above scripture:
“And the male goat is the kingdom of Greece. The large horn that is between its eyes is the first king. As for the broken horn and the four that stood up in its place, four kingdoms shall arise out of that nation, but not with its power. “And in the latter time of their kingdom, When the transgressors have reached their fullness, A king shall arise, Having fierce features, Who understands sinister schemes. His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; He shall destroy fearfully, And shall prosper and thrive; He shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people. “Through his cunning He shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule; And he shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity. He shall even rise against the Prince of princes; But he shall be broken without human means. “And the vision of the evenings and mornings Which was told is true; Therefore seal up the vision, For it refers to many days in the future. ”” Daniel 8:21-26 NKJV
- ??? – He will have a strong face, a face that will have a strength – ???
- ??? – He will understand parables, riddles, and hidden meaning of things – ??? (the original King James has this passage as “dark sentences, which means the afore mentioned examples. Many have taken this to mean that he will speak spells/black magic, but we can’t interpret beyond the words used)
- He will have great power, but it doesn’t come from him, it is bestowed upon him.
- He will be a terrible conqueror of all things
- He will gain wealth and thrive and whatever he does
- He will destroy powerful people and holy people
- Evil scheme to change the laws so that individuals and groups that are deceitful will prosper
- He is prideful about himself
- He will destroy people around him that are more prosperous
- He will go up against a very high authority and not be afraid to do so
““And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined. Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.””
Daniel 9:26-27 NKJV
- He will not confirm a covenant, but will confirm it, but will break it at the halfway point.
- He will and the sacrifices at the temple at the halfway point of the covenant that he confirmed
Note: the antichrist may not make the covenant, but he will confirm it.
“And in his place shall arise a vile person, to whom they will not give the honor of royalty; but he shall come in peaceably, and seize the kingdom by intrigue. With the force of a flood they shall be swept away from before him and be broken, and also the prince of the covenant. And after the league is made with him he shall act deceitfully, for he shall come up and become strong with a small number of people. He shall enter peaceably, even into the richest places of the province; and he shall do what his fathers have not done, nor his forefathers: he shall disperse among them the plunder, spoil, and riches; and he shall devise his plans against the strongholds, but only for a time. “He shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the South with a great army. And the king of the South shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand, for they shall devise plans against him. Yes, those who eat of the portion of his delicacies shall destroy him; his army shall be swept away, and many shall fall down slain. Both these kings’ hearts shall be bent on evil, and they shall speak lies at the same table; but it shall not prosper, for the end will still be at the appointed time. While returning to his land with great riches, his heart shall be moved against the holy covenant; so he shall do damage and return to his own land. “At the appointed time he shall return and go toward the south; but it shall not be like the former or the latter. For ships from Cyprus shall come against him; therefore he shall be grieved, and return in rage against the holy covenant, and do damage. “So he shall return and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant. And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation. Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering. Now when they fall, they shall be aided with a little help; but many shall join with them by intrigue. And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time. “Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done. He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all. But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things. Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain. “At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through. He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon. He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels. But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many. And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him.”
Daniel 11:21-45 NKJV
- In the eyes of many, he will be vile
- In the beginning, he will not have a prestigious position title
- He will come in through the eyes of people and possibly the world from a very peaceable like position but will take possession of a kingdom through deceptive practices
- His enemies will be swept away easily
- He will create a type of “team “that will give him a great amount of power to conquer with a small number
- He will be able to enter into the land and plunder
- He will have issues with a king and will lie in front of his face.
- He will be stirred up against the king, and through that stirring up, he will have it in his mind to break the covenant of peace with Israel.
- He will find people in Israel that are like-minded against the sacrifices and turn them against the rest of God’s people keeping the daily sacrifices in the covenant that he made
- He will flatter the people that forsake the covenant so that they will do what he says
- He will speak against all the other gods, as well as speaking against God.
- He will not regard the god of his father’s
- ??? – He will not regard women. No this does not mean that he is gay, it simply means that he has other things on his mind other than women – ???
- ??? – He will worship an unknown god (fortresses), most likely the god of Jupiter to which the original Hebrew word (Mauzzim) means “the god of strongholds” – ???
- He will cause people to honor his god and advance his glory
- He will be infuriated with many kings and conquer many lands, planting his standard throughout the land and sea
- He will be conquered and he will be left alone with none of his former allies to help him
““And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.”
Daniel 12:11-12 NKJV
- The daily sacrifices of the third temple will be stopped
An impartation as to why some people will not understand prophecy:
“Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, “My lord, what shall be the end of these things? ” And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.”
Daniel 12:8-10 NKJV
From the book of Revelation
The beast killing the two witnesses:
“When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them.”
Revelation 11:7 NKJV
- The two witnesses will finish their testimony at the halfway point of the tribulation and the antichrist will be the only one that can and will kill them.
The overall description of the beast and false prophet:
“Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If anyone has an ear, let him hear. He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.”
Revelation 13:1-18 NKJV
- The beast is given power by his father, the devil
- The beast is given a kingdom and position to rule by his father the devil
- He has had a mortal head wound which is been healed
- Everyone in the world that is not written in the book of life will think he’s great and will follow after him
- He has great power and people wonder if there is anything in the world that can beat him
- He speaks against God and is not afraid to do so
- He speaks against the tabernacle and wages war against the saints and be victorious over them
- ??? – He speaks against those in heaven. It is not clear whether this passage is referring to angels or people that have died, in any case, he will speak against them – ???
The false prophet, who works in tandem with the beast and is only mentioned in this passage and in this book. The false prophet will:
- He will perform great signs and wonders
- Exercises the authority of the first beast
- He makes everyone in the world were ship the first beast, the antichrist
- He can make fire come down from heaven in front of people, as well as other signs
- He makes people build an idol, a representation of the antichrist and brings it to life
- Anyone who doesn’t worship the idol of the beast, he will have them killed
- He said set the Mark of the beast. Quite possibly, this individual will be behind the new economic structure of the world during the tribulation period.
The sixth bowl wrath judgment:
“And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.”
Revelation 16:13-14, 16 NKJV
- Near the end of the tribulation, he will conjure demons to go round up forces to do battle at Armageddon
The scarlet beast:
This area of prophecy is taken in bits and pieces, as we only want to describe the beast and nothing about the going on of the tribulation period, which will be discussed next Sunday:
“So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. “Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition.”
Revelation 17:3, 8-11 NKJV
- The people who are not saved will love the antichrist and follow him