The ultimate counterfeit of Satan will be the coming Antichrist, whose activities will be in accord with Satan and who will pawn off on mankind “the lie,” 2 Thes 2:3, 7-11; Cf. 1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 1:7.
1 John 2:18, “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen; from this we know that it is the last hour.”
1 John 2:22, “Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.”
2 Thes 2:9-10, “That is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.”
The Scriptures anticipate the coming of a superman who will serve as Satan’s counterfeit of the King of kings and Lord of lords. Prophecy anticipates the coming of one outstanding false Christ among the very many that have been predicted. An “antichrist” is one who opposes and counterfeits Christ primarily through deception, 2 John 7; Psa 2:1-3; Mat 24:4-5, 23-24; John 5:43; 2 Thes 2:3-4; Rev 13.
The specific term “antichrist” occurs only in John’s letters, referring to both the man coming in the future and false teachers / witnesses throughout the Church Age, 1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 1:7. The concept of “antichrist” appears in both the OT and NT, and also in the intertestamental literature.
The Greek preposition “anti” has a dual connotation. First, it means “against,” and then “instead of” or “in place of.” Both are applicable regarding the “Antichrist” who is in opposition to Christ and wants to be worshipped instead of or in the place of Christ. Jesus said in John 5:43 that the Antichrist would, “come in his own name.”
The personal Antichrist of the end times is a prophetical figure who will be empowered and controlled by Satan, Rev 13:2, 4, to oppose Christ and usurps His place among mankind here on earth. He is the individual culmination of many antichrists that have already arisen, 1 John 2:18; cf. 4:3; 2 Thes 2:3, 7-8. He will deceive humanity with false teaching, signs, and wonders, 2 Thes 2:9, in order to obtain allegiance that only Christ deserves. He opposes Christ and persecutes Christians who maintain their proper allegiance to Christ alone.
He appears in the future Tribulation period as a world ruler with his empire possibly centered in a restored form of the Roman Empire, 1 John 2:18; Rev 13; 17:7-18; cf. Dan 7:23-25.
The Antichrist has been identified by a number of titles that tell us about his career here on earth:
- “The little horn” of the “king of fierce countenance,” Dan 7:8-9, 19-26, 24-25; 8:23-25.
- “The prince who is to come,” Dan 9:26-27.
- “The willful king.” Dan 11:36-45.
- “The abomination of desolation,” Dan 12:11; cf. Mat 24:15, (a statue of him will be put up in the temple at Jerusalem, a sign for all believers to flee to the mountains.)
- “The man of sin / lawlessness, 2 Thes 2:3-4, 8-10; cf. Dan 7:25.
- “The son of destruction (perdition),” 2 Thes 2:3; cf. John 17:12.
- “The beast who comes out from the sea,” Rev 13:1-10; 11:7; 17:1-18; 19:19-21; 20:10.
Though the titles differ, they all seem to be none other than the one who will federate kingdoms here on earth during the Tribulation, but will be destroyed at the coming of Christ.
There are basically three major prophecies of the Antichrist, three scriptural portraits from which the larger picture of the Antichrist is drawn, Dan 7-12; 2 Thes 2; Rev 13-19. The following pictures are from Clarence Larkin’s book, “Dispensational Truth.”
The Book of Revelation refers back to the Book of Daniel. The description of the beast in Revelation exactly corresponds with the portrayal of the fourth beast and the little horn in Dan 7, with the addition of important details. This mighty ruler figures largely in Rev 13-19. John sees him as the first rider upon a white horse, Rev 6:2, and the “beast risen up out of the sea,” Rev 13:1-8.
In Rev 13:11-18, it also says that another beast, “the false prophet,” receives his power and authority from “the first beast” in the same way as the Antichrist, (the first beast), gets his power from Satan.
The late John F. Walvoord, former President of Dallas Theological Seminary, in his book “The Revelation of Jesus Christ,” copyrighted in 1966, stated the following regarding Rev 13:15, “And it was given to him, (the false prophet), to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.”
“Expositors usually hold that the extraordinary powers given by Satan to the false prophet do not extend to giving life to that which does not possess life, because this is a prerogative of God alone. The intent of the passage seems to be that the image has the appearance of life manifested in breathing, but actually it may be no more than a robot. The image is further described as being able to speak, a faculty easily accomplished by mechanical means. In ancient times religious ventriloquism was sometimes used to give the impression of supernatural speech, a practice confirmed by archaeological excavations in Corinth. In Acts 16:16, the slave girl possessed of a demon was able to bring gain to her masters by soothsaying. She also supernaturally recognized Paul and his companions as “servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation” (Acts 16:17). Her power of speech was under demonic control. Whether completely natural in its explanation, or whether some supernatural power is used to create the impression of life, the image apparently is quite convincing to the mass of humanity and helps to turn them to a worship of the first beast as their god.”
This is a very interesting comment in light of the video noted above of Prof. Yuval Harari, regarding the future direction of world progress at the 2018 World Economic Forum, where he stated that in a generation or two, there could be a hybrid species of man and computer automation. This could be a potential robot in humanoid likeness being the image of the Antichrist. Another image that comes to mind is the “Great Oz” from the Wizard of Oz. But regardless, in whatever form, the image of the “beast,” the Antichrist, is going to be able to deceive many.
In addition, Walvoord noted that neither the Antichrist nor the False Prophet are identified as Jews, “There is no direct evidence that either of the beasts is a Jew. The expression “the God of his fathers” in Dan 11:37, which would seem to make the king in that passage a Jew is better translated “gods” in keeping with the Hebrew ELOHIM which removes any specific Jewish character from the phrase. The Hebrew ELOHIM is in many places properly translated in the singular, but it is not specifically singular and therefore could be translated plural. The appeal often made to the phrase “his fathers,” while it is a familiar one in reference to Israel, obviously cannot be limited to the Israelite race, as others have predecessors also; and in the case of the heathen their gods could be referred to as “the gods of their fathers.” It is significant that in many cases where the God of Israel is referred to, “Lord” is added to make clear that the God of their fathers is YHWH. For instance in Ex 3:15 the expression is found “the Lord God of your fathers.” Similar expressions are found frequently, cf. Deut. 1:11, 21; 4:1; 6:3; 12:1; 26:7; 27:3; 29:25; Josh 18:3; Judges 2:12; etc. The customary form of reference included the name “Lord,” and its omission in Dan 11:37 is most significant and points to the conclusion that this is not the God of Israel, and hence, that the king is not a Jew. It would seem quite unlikely that either of the two beasts of Rev 13 will be a Jew inasmuch as they both persecute the Jewish people and are the final Roman rulers of the times of the Gentiles.” (Walvoord)
On the other hand, the Dwight Pentecost in his book “Things to Come,” noted that he believes the False Prophet, will be Jewish, “This individual is evidently a Jew, since he arises out of the earth, or land, that is Palestine, Rev 13:11.”
The Career of the First Beast Out of the Sea, The Antichrist, Rev 13:1-8.
- The emergence of the beast out of the sea, Rev 13:1-2.
- The deadly wound of the beast, Rev 13:3.
- The worship of Satan by all the world, Rev 13:4.
- The blasphemous character of the beast as world ruler, Rev 13:5-6.
- The universal dominion of the beast, Rev 13:7.
- The universal worship of the beast, Rev 13:8.
- The emergence of the beast out of the sea, Rev 13:1-2.
Rev 13:1-2, “And he stood on the sand of the seashore. And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. 2And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority.”
This is the revelation of the Beast during the 7-year Tribulation. It is the counterfeit evil character who exercises satanic power as the world dictator during that time, especially the last 3 ½ years. It is the beast who represents the Antichrist and his government with a world religion, the world government described in Dan 7 in its final form.
Some texts include vs. 1 with Chapter 12. In addition, some translate “he stood,” referring to Satan, while others translate it “I stood,” referring to John in his vision based on variants of the ancient texts either not having or having a final N – nun, respectfully, on the word ESTATHE(N) from HISTEMI, that means, “to stand, stand firm, etc.” The difference is not of great consequence, but it is more likely that the N was dropped, and it reads ESTATHE, “He stood,” referring to the Dragon awaiting the advent of the Antichrist.
John then sees the beast coming up out of the sea having ten horns and seven heads, with a crown, (a symbol of governmental authority), upon each horn. On the seven heads are written names of blasphemy, probably those professing to be God or Jesus Christ indicating their blasphemous opposition to God and Christ or claiming deity or divinity.
This beast is similar to Daniel’s fourth beast in Dan 7:7-8, a reference to the Roman Empire.
Colossus compare to Beasts:
John’s Beast coming out of the sea:
John’s Beast, Rev 13:
John’s Beast with Crowns:
Dan 7:8, “While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth uttering great boasts.”
Dan 8:9, “Out of one of them came forth a rather small horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Beautiful Land.”
Comparing John’s vision to Daniel’s, it is clear that the empire of the Antichrist, the Beast out of the sea, is the revival of the Roman Empire, Rev 17:3-15.
The stage of the empire depicted by the beast is the period after the emergence of the little horn, the future world ruler, displacing three of the horns, Dan 7:8. The beast “rising out of the sea” means he comes from the great mass of humanity, namely the Gentile powers of the world, cf. Rev 17:15, and possibly of Mediterranean descent. It also counterfeits Jesus’ baptism coming out of the water in the river Jordan, and receiving the visible manifestation of the Holy Spirit. The latter is to be counterfeited by the false prophet, in vs. 11f.
The seven heads seem to be successive rulers when compared to Rev 17:3-11. They refer to successive kings or emperors. They represent the great world empires of the Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Grecian, Roman, and the revival of the Roman Empire during the Tribulation. The antichrist emerges from the revived Roman Empire and is therefore part of the seventh but actually is an eighth, Rev 17:10-11.
The ten horns with ten diadems or crowns are different in that they represent ten kings who will reign simultaneously in the revival of the Roman Empire, similar to the European Economic Union we are seeing today. The beast that was, (at the time of John’s vision), and is not, (i.e., will fall), is the Roman Empire that has since fallen but is to be revived one day. In Rev 17:12, we see that the revived Roman Empire made up of ten kings is said to be those “who have not yet received a kingdom, but they will receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour.” Then comparing Dan 7:8 with Rev 17:13, the Antichrist will take control over this ten king federation and establish his final world empire.
Now, compare this to Rev12:3, regarding the dragon. The dragon is Satan. He has seven heads, ten horns, and seven crowns. The seven heads with seven crowns tells us he was the ruler behind those seven kingdoms noted above, including the revived Roman Empire. When the beast / Antichrist comes, Satan gives him his power and authority, Rev 13:4, and the beast will then rule the ten federated kingdom of the revived Roman Empire. That is why the beast has ten crowns, which are really one empire made up of ten kings, compared to the seven crowns the dragon has that were successive empires noted above, (i.e., Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Grecian, Roman, and the revival of the Roman Empire during the Tribulation).
In addition, the beast is described as a combination of Daniel’s beasts, Dan 7, a leopard with the feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion, receiving his power, throne, and authority from the dragon, i.e., Satan. Daniel’s beasts where the successive world empires described by; the lion, referring to Babylon, the bear, referring to Medo-Persia, and the leopard, referring to Greece under the Alexandrian Empire. The fourth empire, Roman, gathers all these elements and characteristics in itself and is far more dreadful in its power and blasphemy than the preceding empires.
Combined into one, this beast, as the revived Roman Empire in the great tribulation, has the majesty and power of the lion, the strength and tenacity of a bear, and the swiftness of the leopard.
In addition to these natural symbols of strength, is the added factor of satanic power coming from the dragon, Satan himself. This beast represents a very real and terrible person whose cruelty and destructiveness is like a wild animal’s. His purpose will be to gain religious, political, and economic power over the entire world when he appears in the tribulation period, cf. Dan 7:4-6; 8:25; 9:27; Rev 17:13.
- The deadly wound of the beast, Rev 13:3.
Rev 13:3, “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.”
This reminds us of the judgment brought against Satan in Gen 3:15, of his defeat by Jesus Christ upon the Cross. Satan, in rebellion and rejection, will counterfeit the judgment and show the beast wounded mortally but be revived. Some believe this to be a literal assassination of the Antichrist who will survive, while others depict this more allegorical as the revival of the Roman Empire that has already been defeated. Even others depict it as a past world ruler, (e.g., Nero, Judas Iscariot, Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Kennedy, etc.), who will be “resurrected.” A more literal interpretation is better here regarding the Antichrist, who represents the revived Roman Empire, which fatal wound and healing will enhance his power and veneration.
The word “wound” is PLEGE in the Greek and literally means, “plague,” as well as “a strike or blow.” So, this could be an illness. Nevertheless, the entire world marvels at the beast, both the person and his empire, at his revival.
- The worship of Satan by all the world, Rev 13:4.
Rev 13:4, “And they worshiped the dragon, because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?.’”
This is the counterfeit to what Christ said, “I and the Father are one,” John 10:30. When someone glorifies one member of the Trinity, they all are glorified. So too, in Satan’s eyes, and God’s, that when the people of the earth worship the Beast, the Antichrist, they will be worshiping Satan who has given his power to the Beast, just as the ancient pagan gods and goddess were all backed by demons, Lev 17:7; Deut 32:17; Psa 106:37; 1 Cor 10:20-21; Rev 9:20; 16:14. He is Satan’s substitute for Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords, and to him the world as a whole flocks to give homage, indicated in the questions “Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”
This may be toward the beginning of the Tribulation when the Antichrist defeats the Northern Confederacy prophesized in Ezekiel 38; 39, thereby removing the threat of eastern and northern powers to his authority and reign.
But the ultimate answer to the question is, Jesus Christ Himself, manifested in power at His Second Advent, who will cast the beast into the Lake of Fire, Rev 19:20. Until that time the beast is allowed to reign and fulfill his place in human destiny.
- The blasphemous character of the beast as world ruler, Rev 13:5-6.
Rev 13:5-6, “And there was given to him a mouth speaking great things (arrogant words) and blasphemies; and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. 6And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven.”
The evil character of the world ruler of that day is shown in his boasting and blasphemy, cf. Dan 7:8, 11, 25.
Dan 7:8, “… and a mouth uttering great boasts.”
Dan 7:11, “Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking…”
Dan 7:25, “And he will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time, (3 ½ years).”
In Rev 13:4, “speaking great things,” means with eloquence, wisdom, and authority to impress the world of men. Given the disasters of the Rapture and subsequent war, Rev 6:3-4, he will have plans to rebuild and unite the devastated world in the counterfeit of God’s restoration of earth and society in the Garden of Eden and the Millennial Reign.
His authority really takes hold for 42 months, the last 3 ½ years of the great Tribulation, the time of Jacob’s Trouble, Jer 30:7; cf. Dan 9:27, until the Second Advent of Christ which terminates his reign, 2 Thes 1; Rev 19.
Apparently, the Antichrist will gain power at the beginning of the Tribulation, make a covenant with Israel, Dan 9:27, and gain control over 10 nations. But it will not be until the middle of the 7 years that he will break that covenant, demand worship, and take control over all the nations of the world.
The word “blaspheming” is the Greek noun BLASHPEMIA, βλασφημία that means, “blasphemy, evil speaking, slander, or reviling.” It is a combination of two Greek words, BLAPTO, “to hurt, harm, or injure,” combined with PHEME, “speech,” resulting in the word BLASPHEMIA, “injurious speech.” The classical meaning is “evil speech, profane speech, defamation, or slander.” It is the word used to denote the strongest form of mockery or slander. When used in reference to the gods, it is the misrepresentation of their true nature or power.
All of this is in view regarding the Antichrist during the Tribulation. He will slander and mock the one and true God, while also over exaggerating his power and authority, including the nature of it.
2 Thes 2:4, “Who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.”
It is not an incidental feature of his kingdom, but one of its main features, and he is described in vs. 6 as blaspheming against God, against the name of God, and against the Tabernacle of God, as well as against them that dwell in heaven.
- Blaspheming God’s name means he will speak against God’s nature and character, denying God’s holiness, righteousness, faithfulness, love, mercy, and grace.
- Blaspheming the heavenly tabernacle means he will deny that God is manifesting His glory in the Holy of Holies of heaven, cf. Rev 15:5.
- It also means he will deny that the blood of Christ was presented before God once for all as the full atonement for our sins, Hebrews.
- Blaspheming those dwelling with Him in heaven means he will defame the saints of all ages. He will mock their faithfulness to God and their dedication to His service, cf. Rev 12:10.
Here, the Antichrist counterfeits Christ as the savior who should be worshipped as god in the Temple. He does so in total disregard of any and all gods, because he magnifies himself above them all, Dan 11:36-45; 2 Thes 2:4.
This blasphemous arrogance reminds us of the “Five I wills of Satan,” Isa 14:13-14, “But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north. 14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”
Yet, his doom and destruction are already sealed, Isa 14:15; Dan 7:11; Rev 19:20.
Isa 14:15, “Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, to the recesses of the pit.”
Dan 7:11, “… I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire.
- The universal dominion of the beast, Rev 13:7.
Rev 13:7, “And it was given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them; and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him.”
As is anticipated in Dan 7:21-23, “21I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them,” where the beast devours in vs. 23, “the whole earth.” Here, the extent of his worldwide power is indicated. The beast is granted permission to make war with the believers of the Tribulation and conquer them, which means capture and even kill them.
“It was given to him,” refers to the satanic origin of his power and God’s permissive will. Acting as Satan’s tool, the beast is able to wage war against the saints throughout the entire globe and to overcome them, cf. Dan 7:25; 9:27; 12:10; Rev 7:9-17.
The saints are those who will reject the new world religion controlled and made popular by the Antichrist and False Prophet. They will remain faithful to the Word of God and to the Lord Jesus Christ, even in the face of persecution and death. The beast will conquer them, but this does not mean their faith is destroyed. Rather, most, if not all of them, will be added to the company of martyrs. Thus, they are the real overcomers, for their reward will be great, Rev 20:4.
Rev 20:4, “… And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.”
In addition, the dreams of countless rulers in the past of conquering the entire world, is finally achieved by this last Gentile ruler. The dream of world conquest achieved in part by the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek, and Roman empires is now for the first time realized completely and is the satanic counterfeit of Christ’s millennial reign permitted by God in this final display of the evil of Satan and wickedness of humanity. But he and Satan will only be able to go as far as God allows them to go. Ultimately, God will have the final word.
- The universal worship of the beast, Rev 13:8.
Rev 13:8, “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.”
By the wielding of his endowed power, the Antichrist will cause the rest of the world, (those who do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ), to worship and serve him. Just as the entire world is under the political domination of the beast, the entire world, except the saints, will worship him. Therefore, the whole unbelieving world will worship the beast, and through him they will in reality be worshiping Satan. They will come to believe that the beast is greater even than the one true God. This is the great counterfeit to the worship and service rightly due our God and Lord Jesus Christ, that is freely given by those who believe in Him, Rev 4:8, 11; 5:9-14.
Those who worship the beast are described as not having their names, “written in the book of life of the Lamb slain,” a book frequently mentioned, Ex 32:32-33; Psa 9:5; 69:28; 139:16; Dan 12:1; Rev 3:5; 17:8; 20:12, 15; 21:27; 22:19; cf. Luke 10:20; Phil 4:3; Heb 12:23.
Rev 17:8, “The beast, (Antichrist in the revived Roman Empire), that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come.”
The “book of life” is the same as the “book of life of the Lamb.” All members of the human race start out written in the “book,” but upon the death of each person their name either remains in the book, (because they have believed in Jesus Christ), or is erased / “blotted out” of the book, (because they have not believed, Psa 69:28; Rev 3:5, or in the case of the Tribulation, received the mark of the beast).
Psa 9:28, “May they be blotted out of the book of life and may they not be recorded with the righteous.”
Rev 3:5, “He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”
In Rev 13:8; 17:8, the names of the beast worshippers are already viewed as removed from the book of life, that is, removed or blotted out before death. That is because these verses are viewing the book of life from eternity, especially eternity future, when the finalization of the “book of life” is complete. Therefore, from the viewpoint of eternity, their names are not in the book, even though their names started out in the book. Because of their rejection of Jesus Christ, their names have been blotted out of or removed from the book of Life, which our eternal and omniscient God has seen since “the foundation of the world.”
Those mentioned in these two passages are those who worship and marvel at the beast and who receive his mark. Receiving the mark of the beast is a clear indication of complete rejection of Jesus Christ; it demonstrates that the possessor of the mark has reached such a place or condition of hardness in their hearts that it precludes repentance or faith in Christ. Receiving the mark of the beast, then, terminates one’s chance to receive Jesus Christ and salvation. It is equivalent to perpetual spiritual death for Tribulational people. It is proof they will never receive Jesus Christ, and God knows this absolutely. This is similar to the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which is unbelief in Jesus Christ.
By contrast, compare Isa 4:1-3 and Dan 12:1. Both of these passages anticipate the blessings of the millennium following the Tribulation. They are dealing with the remnant, those left at the end of the Tribulation who were not killed by the beast and who did not receive his mark; those whose names are still recorded in the “book of life.” These believers will go into the millennium and will experience its blessings.
Those worshiping the beast are the unsaved of both Jews and Gentiles in contrast to saved Jews and Gentiles whose names remain written in the book of life. Only through Jesus Christ, “the Lamb that was slain,” Rev 5:12, can believers have eternal life and have their names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. The saints are those who place their faith in Jesus. They include both Israelites and Gentiles who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Messiah, Lord, and Savior. All who are not saved will worship the beast, and those who are saved will not worship him of which many will be martyred.
Therefore, vs. 8, “all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him,” is the culmination of a one world religion. An ecumenical religion of all world religions wrapped up into one religion worshipping the Antichrist. It will have as its focal point the worship of a man chosen and empowered by Satan himself. This is the great counterfeit to God the Father sending His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world and being worshipped by every tribe and tongue and nation.
- Summary and Overview of the Career of the Antichrist.
Paul said in 2 Thes 2:1-12, that the “mystery of iniquity,” (that ultimately will produce “the lawless one,” or as the KJV says, “that Wicked”), is active already, (compare the “spirit of antichrist,” 1 John 4:3). However, there is a power preventing the coming and revelation of the wicked one that being the Holy Spirit who indwells every believer. When He who withholds is taken away, by means of the rapture / resurrection of the Church, Satan will send forth “the lawless one” with all the power of lying, signs, and wonders. When God permits such seductions to spread, it is because men have rejected love of the truth. Reviewing 2 Thes 2:4-10, reveals important disclosures about the career of the Antichrist.
- The Day of the Lord cannot come before the man of sin is revealed, vs. 3. Reference to the Day of the Lord is an extended period of a thousand and 7 years long predicted; the combination of the Tribulation and the Millennium.
- The man of sin declares himself to be God.
- He sits in the temple, vs. 4, evidently a restored Jewish temple.
- He can be revealed only in God’s appointed time, vs. 6.
- He is destroyed by Christ at His glorious appearing.
- He exercises Satan’s power, vs. 9.
- He deceives all who “do not receive the love of the truth.” Upon such, God Himself imposes a “strong delusion” to the end that He may bring into outward manifestation that which is concealed and latent in the evil heart.
Several clear identifications of this ruler are given:
- As the head of the federated empire he makes a seven year covenant with Israel, which is broken after 3 ½ years, Dan 9:27.
- In the midst of the great Tribulation, he will be seen to “stand in the holy place,” according to the prophecy quoted from Dan 9:27; 11:31; 12:11, by Christ, Mat 24:15, note the context, and “sitting in the temple,” doubtless a restored Jewish temple, as predicted by Paul, 2 Thes 2:1-12.
- He introduces an idolatrous worship in which he sets himself up as god, Dan 9:27; 11:36-37; 2 Thes 2:4; Rev 13:5.
- He has a deadly wound and yet lives, Rev 13:3.
- He is accompanied by a miracle-working “false prophet,” Rev 13:11-18; 19:20.
- There will come an alliance against him, Ezek 28:7; Dan. 11:40, 42, which will contest his authority. In the ensuing conflict he will gain control over Palestine and adjacent territory, Dan 11:42, and will make his headquarters in Jerusalem, Dan11:45.
- He is primarily identified through Scripture by his blasphemous assumption of deity, giving expression to the master passion of Satan which is revealed in Satan’s own words, “I will be like the most High,” Isa 14:14.
Description of the Antichrist includes:
- Blasphemous, Dan 7:8, 11, 20, 25; Rev 13:1, 5-6.
- Persecutes the saints, Dan 7:21, 25; Rev 13:7, 15.
- Opposes God and His Son, Dan 7:25; 11:36; 2 Thes 2:4; Rev 13:6; 19:19.
- Self-deifying, Dan 7:25; 11:36-39; 2 Thes 2:4.
- Granted power and authority, Dan 7:25; Rev 13:2, 4-5, 7, 12 (cf. 17:13).
- Profane, Mat 24:15; 2 Thes 2:4; Rev 13:14-15 (cf. Dan 11:31).
- Lawless, 2 Thes 2:3, 8.
- Seeks universal worship, 2 Thes 2:4; Rev 13:4, 12; 19:20.
- Temporarily restrained, 2 Thes 2:6-7.
- Allied with the second beast (or false prophet), Rev 13:11-15; 19:20 (cf. Mat 24:11, 24.
- Has an identifying number, Rev 13:17-18.
- Forms political alliances, Rev 17:12.
The Reign of the Antichrist is noted in Scripture:
- Duration of his reign; the 7 year Tribulation, especially the last 3 ½ years, Dan 7:25; 12:7; Rev 11:2; 12:6, 14; 13:5; cf. 17:10.
- Universality of his reign, Rev 13:7, 16.
- Restrictions under his reign, Rev 13:16-17.
- Type of reign, (i.e., Antiochus IV Epiphanes), Dan 8:9-12; cf. 8:23-25.
- Miraculous signs related to his reign, Mat 24:24; 2 Thes 2:9; Rev 13:13-15; 19:20.
- He is expressed in denial of the Father and the Son, 1 John 2:22.
- He denies the Messiahship and incarnation of Jesus, 1 John 2:22; 4:3; 2 John 7.
- Followers of the antichrist are noted in 2 Thes 2:10-12; Rev 13:8, 12; 19:20-21; 20:15; cf. John 5:43.
The Counterfeits by Satan Through the Antichrist Include the Following:
- Jesus came out of the water (river Jordan) to begin His ministry, Luke 3:21-22.
Counterfeit: The Antichrist came out of the water (sea) to begin His ministry, Rev 13:1.
- Jesus has seven horns as the Lamb, Rev 5:6.
Counterfeit: The beast has ten horns, Rev 13:1.
- Jesus has many diadems on His head, Rev 19:12.
Counterfeit: The beast has 10 diadems on his head, Rev 13:1.
- Jesus has a unique name written on Him, Rev 19:12, 16; 17:17, “King of kings, Lord of lords.”
Counterfeit: The beast has blasphemous names written on him, Rev 13:1.
- “Who has seen (Jesus) has seen the Father,” John 14:9.
Counterfeit: Who has seen the sea beast has seen the dragon, (both have seven heads, ten horns, and multiple crowns), Rev 12:3; cf. 13:1.
- Jesus received authority from the Father, Rev 2:27; cf. John 10:18.
Counterfeit: The sea beast received authority from the dragon, Rev 13:2.
- Jesus received a mortal wound, Rev 5:6; “as if slain,” cf. Gen 3:15; Rev 5:9, 12; 13:8.
Counterfeit: The sea beast received a mortal wound, Rev 13:3, “as if it had been slain.”
- Jesus came back to life to be presented with great power and was received with intense worship, Rev; cf. Mat 26:32; Mark 14:28; John 2:22; 21:4; Acts 2:24, 32.
Counterfeit: The beast comes back to life to be presented with great power and was received with intense worship, Rev 13:3-4.
- “Who is like the Lord our God,” Ex 15:11; Psa 35:10; 89:6; 113:5; Isa 40:18, 25; 46:5.
Counterfeit: “Who is like the beast,” Rev 13:4.
- Jesus wages war against the wicked, against the fallen angels with His sword, Rev 1:16; 2:16; 12:7-11.
Counterfeit: The beast wages war with the saints and kills with a sword, Rev 13:4, 7, 10.
- Jesus’ ministry lasted for 3 ½ years.
Counterfeit: The beast’s activities lasted for forty-two prophetic months; 3 ½ years, Rev 13:5.
- Jesus uses his mouth to praise the Father, Mat 11:25; Luke 10:21.
Counterfeit: The beast uses his mouth to praise himself in blasphemies against God, His Tabernacle, and His people, Rev 13:5-6.
- Jesus’ territory includes, “every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation,” Rev 5:9; 14:6-7.
Counterfeit: The beast’s territory includes, “all tribes, and tongues, and nations,” Rev 13:7.
- The Lord Jesus Christ will be freely worshipped by all those who believe; those whose names remain written in the Book of Life, Rev 4:8, 11; 5:9-14.
Counterfeit: The beast will be worshipped and served by those who do not believe; those whose names are blotted out of the Book of Life, Rev 13:8.
- Jesus Christ is the Lion and the Lamb, Rev 5:5-6, 12; 13:8.
Counterfeit: Combining the Antichrist with the False Prophet, we see Satan’s counterfeit of the lion and the lamb, Rev 13:2, 11.
Taken as a whole, the first ten verses of Rev 13, predict a future world government, which from God’s point of view will be a continuation of the ancient Roman Empire expanded ultimately to cover not only the area of the ancient empire, but “the entire world.” This government will be empowered by Satan, and its primary objective will be forcing the whole world to worship Satan and his human representative, the world dictator, the Antichrist.
The purpose of Satan to counterfeit and take the place of God in this future great Tribulation is the motivating power behind Satan’s activities today. Satan’s desire to be like God originally plunged the universe into sin, Isa 14:14. His program has never changed, and he is seeking today, as throughout his career, to lure men to obey him instead of God. In the great Tribulation, this purpose will be transparently clear, and after its manifestation it will be brought into Divine judgment, Rev 19:20.
The final judgment of Antichrist is seen in 2 Thes 2:8-9; Rev 17:11; 19:11-21, especially vs. 20-21; 20:10. His end is also seen in Ezek 21:25-27; 28:7-10; Dan 7:11, 26-27;8:25; 9:27, where he and the false prophet will be thrown into the Eternal Lake of Fire at the conclusion of the Tribulation, prior to the beginning of the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ one earth. It is strange that almost every passage that makes reference to the activities of the Beast also includes a notice of his final doom. God is going to overthrow this satanic masterpiece of delusion and imitation violently.