Jesus is Sovereign over the Future (Revelation 4-22), cont’d.
Revelation 10-13 Information about the Tribulation, cont’d.
Revelation 13 The Antichrist and his False Prophet (Content Chapter)
This is a Content Chapter. The material that it contains starts at the beginning of the 7 Years of Tribulation and continues through to its end.
Revelation 13:1-10-The Antichrist (Beast from the Sea)
Sometime, not long after the Rapture of the Church…a man will begin a rapid rise to power of worldwide proportion…with the leaders of 10 nations pledging allegiance to his confederation (“ten horns”, :1). Initially, he will gain popularity and power because he proclaims a message and a method for world peace. He is the rider on the White Horse in 6:2. However, as time passes, and he gains more power…he will begin to enforce his will over the people.
The Characteristics of the Antichrist:
Who is this Horseman? He is frequently called the "Antichrist". Why? Because he is the opposite, the opposition of Christ…the “anti” of Christ. Yet, he will try to imitate Christ. We see this in 6:1 as compared to 19:11-16. He tries to have the appearances of a "Messiah", a "deliverer".
Christ will have many crowns (diadem)…the crown of royalty and majesty
Antichrist will have a crown (stephanos)
He is going to imitate. He is going to seek to fulfill the world's idea of what the Messiah should be, since the world has rejected God's Word as to what the Messiah must be. We have only to look at the details of the prophecy to see how far removed this is from the Lord Jesus Christ of the Scriptures. The counterfeit is revealed by a detailed comparison of the two riders. The One whose name is the Word of God has on His head "many crowns." The symbol is of all royalty and majesty. The Greek word is diadema. The horseman of the first seal wears no diadem. The false crown is the stephanas. Its diamonds are paste. It is the shop girl adorned with jewelry from the ten-cent counter imitating the lady born and bred who wears the rich jewels of her inheritance. All is not gold that glitters. No amount of gaudy trappings can deceive the spiritual eye. Clothes do not make the man in spite of the proverb.
(Revelation: God’s Last Word, Donald Grey Barnhouse, p. 122)
Christ will ride a white horse
Antichrist is on a white horse
Christ will have a sharp sword
Antichrist has a bow…he promises peace, but it is a false peace. Notice that he has a bow, but no arrows. He will conquer by "words", not "weapon"…at least, at first
Christ rose from the dead
Antichrist will survive a moral head wound
Christ performed miracles
Antichrist’s false prophet will perform miracles
There are many places in the Scripture that show us the true nature of the Antichrist when he is compared with Christ...
- Christ came from above-Jn. 6:38
Antichrist will ascend from the pit-Rev. 11:7
- Christ came in His Father's name-Jn. 5:43
Antichrist will come in his own name-Jn. 5:43
- Christ humbled Himself-Phil. 2:8
Antichrist will exalt himself-2 Thes. 2:4
- Christ was despised-Is. 53:3; Lk. 23:18
Antichrist will be admired-Rev. 13:3,4
- Christ will be exalted-Phil. 2:9
Antichrist will be cast down to Hell-Is. 14:14,15; Rev. 19:20
- Christ came to do His Father's will-Jn. 6:38
Antichrist will come to do his own will-Dan. 11:36
- Christ came to save-Lk. 19:10
Antichrist will come to destroy-Dan. 8:24
- Christ is the good shepherd-Jn. 10:115
Antichrist is the "idol (evil) shepherd"-Zech. 11:16, 17
- Christ is the "true vine"-Jn. 15:1
Antichrist is the "vine of the earth"-Rev. 14:18
- Christ is the "truth"-Jn. 14:6
Antichrist is the "lie"-2 Thes. 2:11 (ASV)
- Christ is the "holy one"-Mk. 1:24
Antichrist is the "lawless one"-2 Thes. 2:8 (ASV)
- Christ is the "man of sorrows"-Is. 53:3
Antichrist is the"man of sin"-2 Thes. 2:3
- Christ is the "Son of God"-Lk. 1:35
Antichrist is the "son of perdition"-2 Thes. 2:3
- Christ is the "mystery of godliness: God...manifest in the flesh"-1 Tim. 3:16
Antichrist will be "the mystery of iniquity," Satan manifest in the flesh (2 Thes. 2:7).
(Revelation-Illustrated and Made Plain, Tim LaHaye, pp. 171-172)
Jesus warned His disciples of such men…
Matthew 24:4-5 (NASV)
- 4. And Jesus answered and said to them, "See to it that no one misleads you. 5. "For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many.
There would be many who would make such an attempt to deceive His followers…but none would be so cunning as this one, particular individual. As we read through the Bible this false Christ, the antichrist is mentioned by many names…
The names by which the Antichrist is known in the Scriptures help us to see his real nature:
- “the bloody and deceitful man”-Ps. 5:6
- “the wicked one”-Ps. 10:2-4
- “the man of the earth”-Ps. 10:18
- “the mighty man”-Ps. 52:1
- “the enemy”-Ps. 55:3
- “the Adversary”-Ps. 74:8-10
- "the king of Babylon"-Is. 14:4
- "the Assyrian"-Is. 14:25
- "the little horn"-Dan. 7:8
- "the king of fierce countenance"-Dan. 8:23
- "the prince that shall come"-Dan. 9:26
- "the vile person"-Dan. 11:21
- "the willful king"-Dan. 11:36
- "the one that shall come in his own name"-John 5:43
- "the man of sin"-2 Thes. 2:3
- "the son of perdition"-2 Thes. 2:3
- "the lawless one"-2 Thes. 2:8
- "the Antichrist"-1 Jn. 2:18
- "the beast"-Rev. 13:18
One of the most frequently asked questions about the Antichrist concerns his nationality. Revelation 13:1 indicates that he "rises up out of the sea," meaning the sea of peoples around the Mediterranean. From this we gather that he will be a Gentile. Daniel 8:8,9 suggests that he is the "little horn" that came out of the four Grecian horns, signaling that he will be part Greek. Daniel 9:26 refers to him as the prince of the people that shall come, meaning that he will be of the royal lineage of the race that destroyed Jerusalem. Historically, this was the Roman Empire; therefore he will be predominantly Roman. Daniel 11:36,37 tells us that he regards not "the God of his fathers" (KJV). Taken into context, this suggests he will be a Jew. In all probability the Antichrist will appear to be a Gentile and, like Adolph Hitler and others who feared to reveal Jewish blood, will keep his Jewish ancestry a secret. It may be known only to God, but the Bible teaches that he will be a Roman-Grecian Jew, a composite man representing the peoples of the earth. This technically qualifies him to be the embodiment of all evil men.
(Revelation-Illustrated and Made Plain, p. 172)
John, nor any other Biblical author makes it absolutely specific as the nationality, or ethnic origin of the antichrist.
The One-World Government of the Antichrist:
The opening of the first seal (6:2) marks his rise to power and the beginning of his play for world-wide control…a One-World Government. When he comes to power, according to Daniel, chapters 2 and 7, he will be from the area of Western Europe and lead a group of nations that are geographically located in the area of the ancient Roman Empire. He will quickly come on the scene and will gain power on a world scale...attempting to unite the governments of the entire world under one umbrella organization, or world governing body. His power will result from three primary areas: political (chapter 13), religious (chapter 17) and commercial (chapter 18). Each of these has one soul purpose, to advance his control and dominance over the earth.
How does he accomplish this?
What events precipitate his ability to come to power?
- The spiritual vacuum left after the rapture...He claims to have all the answers...using New Age philosophy including channeling, reincarnation and secular humanism. He will play off the media's emphasis on "Extraterrestrials" (people and beings from other planets). He will establish a world religious organization that will incorporate all religions into one, ecumenical body—The False Prophet will be his evangelist and he will validate his claims through miracles...particularly his own resurrection.
- The world is looking for a great leader...The Superman motif...a man who can unite all the political and philosophical ideologies of the world into a single, composite, workable system. He will have tremendous power of charisma…and eventually will require that he be worshipped.
- The source of his power is Satan…He does not necessarily know that he is under the influence of Satan at first, but when he rises from the dead there will be no mistaking it.
- The need for a unifying principle-world government...He will establish a "New World Order"…a system that will do away with all needs for sanctions, taxes, etc. and allow all countries to freely pursue international trade and build a strong economic, commercial system.
- He claims to have all the answers to the world-wide problems of over-population, pollution (acid rain, greenhouse effect/ozone layer, rivers/lakes/oceans, nuclear wastes and by-products, etc.), poverty, world hunger and starvation.
- The fear of total annihilation by nuclear war…He will have a Peace Initiative…though it will require enforcement that will rid the world of its fear of self-destruction.
Antichrist will sign a Covenant with Israel-Daniel 9:27.
This will signify the beginning of the Tribulation period. Initially he will be receptive to all religions, but very soon he will begin to persecute Jews and Christians. 3½ years after he signs the Covenant he will break it. This will coincide will his own willful destruction of the World Religious system he and the False Prophet have developed. Their usefulness are gone and now he will want to become the absolute sovereign dictator of the world.
Two important events will happen at this 3½ year period.
- First, Antichrist will suffer an apparently fatal head wound (13:3). He will either die and be brought back to life, or he will feign death and claim to have been brought back to life. At this time he will be completely possessed by Satan.
- After this, he will proceed to the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and desecrate it, proclaiming himself to be god. This is called the "Abomination of Desolation" (Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11; Matthew 24:15; Luke 21:20-26; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). At that moment, he will have fully and completely given himself over to the possession of Satan. He is the embodiment of Satan on earth (the “antichrist”…the attempt by Satan to do what Jesus had done at the incarnation)…and it is through him that Satan will make his last attempt at worldwide domination and destruction of God’s plan for man’s redemption.
Ultimately, in the end…Antichrist will be cast be thrown into the lake of fire (19:20)
The Person and Activities of the Antichrist
Scripture has a great deal to say concerning the individual who will appear in the end time as the head of the Gentile powers in their ten kingdom federation. His person and work are presented in Ezekiel 28:1-10; Daniel 7: 7-8,20-26; 8:23-25; 9:26-27; 11:36-45; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-10; Revelation 13:1-10; 17:8-14. A synthesis of the truths in these passages will reveal the following facts concerning his activities:
A Chronology of the Person and Program of the Antichrist
(1) He will appear in the "latter times" of Israel's history (Dan. 8:23).
(2) He will not appear until the Day of the Lord has begun (2 Thes. 2:2).
(3) His manifestation is being hindered by the Restrainer (2 Thes. 2:6-7).
(4) This appearance will be preceded by a departure (2 Thes. 2:3), which is the rapture of the saints to be with the Lord (2 Thes. 2:1).
(5) He is a Gentile. Since he arises from the sea (Rev. 13:1) and since the sea depicts the Gentile nations (Rev. 17:15), he must be of Gentile origin.
(6) He rises from the geographical are of the ancient Roman Empire, since he is a ruler of the people who destroyed Jerusalem (Dan. 9:26).
(7) He is the head of the last form of Gentile world dominion, for he is like a leopard, a bear, and a lion (Rev. 13:1). (Cf. Dan. 7: 7-8,20,24; Rev. 17:9-11.) As such he is a political leader. The seven heads and ten horns (Rev. 13:1; 17:12) are federated under his authority.
(8) His influence is world wide, for he rules over all nations (Rev. 13:8). This influence comes through the alliance which he makes with other nations (Dan. 8:24; Rev. 17:12).
(9) He has eliminated three rulers in his rise to power (Dan 7:8,24).
(10) He will receive what appears to be a mortal wound to the head, but will be healed (Rev. 13:3) and will result in many people following him. This will result in worship of him and Satan (:4,8,12,15).
(11) His rise comes through his peace program (Dan. 8:25).
(12) He personally is marked by his intelligence and persuasiveness (Dan. 7:8,20; 8:23) and also by his subtlety and craft (Ezek. 28:6), so that his position over the nations is by their own consent (Rev. 17:13).
(13) He rules over the nations in his federation with absolute authority (Dan. 11:36,38), as manifested by the change in laws and customs (Dan. 7:25).
(14) He controls people through commerce-666 (Rev. 13:16-17)
(15) As the head of the federated empire he makes a seven year covenant with Israel (Dan. 9:27), which is broken after 3½ years (Dan. 9:27).
(16) He introduces an idolatrous worship (Dan. 9:27) in which he sets himself up as god (Dan. 11: 36-37; 2 Thes. 2:4; Rev. 13:5).
(17) He bears the characterization of a blasphemer because of the assumption of deity (Ezek. 28:2; Dan. 7:25; Rev. 13:1,5-6).
(18) He is energized by Satan (Ezek. 28:9-12; Rev. 13:4), receives his authority from him, and is controlled by the pride of the devil (Ezek. 28:2; Dan. 8:25).
(19) He is head of Satan's lawless system (2 Thes. 2:3) and his claim to power & deity is proved by signs wrought through satanic power (2 Thes. 2:9-19).
(20) He is received as God & ruler because of people’s blindness. (2 Thes. 2:11).
(21) He becomes the great adversary of Israel (Dan. 7:21,25; 8:24; Rev. 13:7).
(22) There will come an alliance against him (Ezek. 28:7; Dan. 11:40,42) which will contest his authority.
(23) In the ensuing conflict he will gain control over Palestine & adjacent territory and will make his headquarters in Jerusalem (Dan. 11:42,45).
(24) This ruler, at the time of his rise to power, is elevated through the instrumentality of the harlot, the corrupt religious system, which consequently seeks to dominate him (Rev. 17:3).
(25) This religious system is destroyed by the ruler so that he may rule unhindered (Rev. 17:16-17).
(26) He becomes the adversary of the Prince of Princes (Dan. 8:25), His program (2 Thes. 2:4; Rev. 17:14), & people (Dan. 7:21,25; 8:24; Rev. 13:7).
(27) While he continues in power for 7 years (Dan. 9:27), his satanic activity is confined to the last half of the tribulation (Dan. 7:25; 9:27; 11:36; Rev. 13:5).
(28) His rule will be terminated by a direct judgment from God (Ezek. 28:6; Dan. 7:22,26; 8:25; 9:27; 11:45; Rev. 19:19-20). This judgment will take place as he is engaged in a military campaign in Palestine (Ezek. 28:8-9; Rev. 19:19), and he will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 19:20; Ezek. 28:10).
(29) This judgment takes place at the second advent of Christ (2 Thes. 2:8; Dan. 7:22) and constitutes a manifestation of Messianic authority (Rev. 11:15).
(30) The kingdom over which he ruled will pass to the authority of the Messiah and will become the kingdom of the saints (Dan. 7:27).
(adapted from: Things to Come, J. Dwight Pentecost, pp. 322-324)
Revelation 13:11-18-The False Prophet (Beast from the Earth)
The leader of the world-wide religious ecumenical movement of the Antichrist will be a man called the “False Prophet”. He leads people to worship the Antichrist and Satan. He appears to be a man of peace (he looks like a “lamb”, :11), but he is really an agent of Satan (“spoke as a dragon”, :11). He is given what appears to be supernatural power by Satan (:13-15)…performing miracles. He has an image made in the appearance of the Antichrist and apparently brings it to life (:14-15). He then causes everyone to receive a "mark on their right hand, or on their forehead"...it is necessary to buy food. It incorporates the "number of his name" which is 666…which is some kind of identifying mark. Even as Satan attempted to usurp the position of God the Father, so the Antichrist tried to portray himself in the position of Christ (the new savior of the world)…and the False Prophet tries to portray himself in the image of the Holy Spirit. There is the unholy trinity…Satan, Antichrist, False Prophet.
We find here a man referred to as "another beast". The Greek word "another" means "another of the same kind". The first beast that was mentioned was the Antichrist.
He arises from the earth, meaning from "the great land masses outside the Mediterranean nations”.
It should be remembered that the earth is also symbolic of Israel in certain instances in the Scripture. It might be well, therefore, though we would not press the point, that this anti-Spirit would be a Jew, and that he would be used of Satan to deceive Israel if possible"
He is the religious side-kick, the evangelist of the Antichrist. He will have great power, which he gets from Satan, to perform miracles. He causes men to worship Antichrist and to receive a mark that will identify them as one of his followers…666. This mark allows them to buy food, etc. It unites Antichrist's religious and commercial powers together. He is the evil parody of the Holy Spirit (Who glorifies Chris, John 16:14) since he seeks to cause men to worship the beast.
Three times in Revelation (16:13; 19:20; 20:10) he is called the "False Prophet". Jesus warned that there would be false prophets (Matthew 24:24). This false prophet will emerge as the…
…patriarch (or pope, or ayatollah, or guru or, more likely, simply 'prophet') of this universal religion. He will originally counterfeit the gentle character of Christ ('two horns like a lamb')...
He has great miracle working powers that he gets from his master, Satan. These include the ability to call down fire from Heaven…
One phenomenon which had been used by Christ's two witnesses to intimidate the unbelieving world for three-and-a-half years (Revelation 11:5). Even though the beast had prevailed against them and killed them, their resurrection and rapture was known around the world, and people still feared their power. It was important that men everywhere should see (perhaps on television) that the beast and false prophet had powers similar to those of the witnesses...Often it is true that the more skeptical a person has been about the miracles of God the more gullible he will become when he sees a demonic miracle. Although neither Satan nor his angels can perform miracles of creation (since only God can create), they can and do sometimes manipulate natural processes so as to produce unusual and apparently inexplicable phenomena. Thus miracles (except for genuine miracles of creation) are not necessarily of divine origin and must always be tested in relation to their purpose and fidelity to Scripture (Isaiah 8:20).
Jesus and the Apostle Paul tell us that in the last days there would be such apparent miracles performed by false prophets and false christs (Matthew 24:24; 2 Thes. 2:9,11).
The Function of the False Prophet
The False Prophet will lead the world to worship the Antichrist. The Antichrist will appear as the perfect man...having conquered the world, the two great witnesses of God and death itself. He will appear as the ultimate of human evolution in the physical, mental and spiritual dimensions. He will be fluent and powerful in all realms of religion, commerce and politics. He will be everything that secular man could ever dream of being. But the dream is really a nightmare, because it is all a facade perpetrated by the father of lies, the deceiver himself, Satan...whom the Scripture says…
2 Corinthians 11:14
disguises himself as an angel of light.
One may contrast this mark (the Greek word is “charagma”) with the protective 'seal' (the Greek word is “sphragis”) provided for the servants of God on their foreheads (Revelation 7:3). That seal is apparently the name of the Father (Revelation 14:1), and it seems that the beast intends to imitate this by branding his name either on their foreheads or in their right hand.
The mark will dictate the ability for people to survive…because only those who have it will be able to purchase food.
"Gematria" was the ancient method of number coding and of spelling out numbers by the use of the letters of the alphabet.
To 'count' the number of a name means, obviously simply to add up the numbers attached to all the letters in that name. If the man's name is Greek, this would be a straightforward operation. If his name is in some other language, then his name could be easily transliterated into Greek
Since the Book of Revelation was written in Greek, it is probably the Greek language in which the instruction applies specifically. Every letter in Greek has a corresponding numerical value, so that each word likewise has a numerical value equal to the sum of the values of each letter in the word. Thus the Greek letter alpha (a) was also used for the number 'one,' beta (b) was used for 'two,' iota (i) means 'ten,' rho (r) means 'hundred,' and so on...The Greek word for 'number,' incidentally, is arithmos (from which we get our English word 'arithmetic')...
The number 666 is significant in its own right. Since 'six' is one short of 'seven' and since man was made on the sixth day, the number six has long been associated with man in his imperfection. The three sixes together may be suggestive of the unholy trinity-the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet.
Further, 666 has the interesting characteristic of being the sum of the first 36 numbers (1+2+3+...36), and 36 is 6 x 6. This 'number of man' seems to permeate the number 666, and so is uniquely appropriate for the beast to use as his number. It is also remarkable that John refers to him by the name 'beast' exactly thirty-six times in Revelation.
It is bound to be significant that, in contrast to the number of the name of the beast, the number of the name of Jesus Christ in Greek (that is Ihsous) is equal to 888. Just as the number 'six' is associated with man, especially sinful man and the man of sin, so the number 'eight' is associated with the second man, the perfect man, the God-man, Jesus. Each of His eight name, as used in the New Testament (that is, 'Lord,' 'Jesus,' 'Christ,' 'Lord Jesus,' 'Jesus Christ,' 'Christ Jesus,' 'Lord Christ,' and 'Lord Jesus Christ') have numerical values which are multiples of 'eight'. As the first man, Adam, was made on the sixth day, so the second man, Jesus, was resurrected on the eighth day (the second first day of the week).
...there is a strong possibility that the number of his name (Antichrist) will be written as the Greek number Chi Xi Stigma (Cxs). The number value of C is 600, of x is 60, and of s is 6. This would be the normal way of writing the number '666' in New Testament Greek.
This mark to which John refers, and the number of the name, namely 666, can be understood in two ways:
1- Literal Interpretation: The number 666 would the numerical value of the letters of the name, so you can know who is the Antichrist.
2- Symbolic or Spiritual Interpretation: Number 6 in the Bible is the number of imperfection, so, the Antichrist would have the triple total imperfection, in his religious, political and social dimensions, symbolizing the climax of man's failure and wickedness
For one reason or another all these religious and political celebrities and institutions have been considered the Antichrist by someone: Papacy, Luther, Pope John Paul II, Pat Robertson, Mormons, Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Sun Myung Moon, Freemasonry, Illuminati... Arafat, Ayatollah Khomeini, Saddam Hussein, Kennedy, Gorvachev, Clinton, Al Gore, Bill Gates, David Rockefeller, Kissinger, Mussolini, Hitler, Nero, Reagan, Saddam Hussein, Willy Brandt, Caligula, King Juan Carlos of Spain, Emperor Frederick II of Germany, King George II of England, Emperor Justinian, Nikita Khrushchev, Napoleon Bonaparte, Czar Peter the Great, Josef Stalin, Kaiser Wilhelm, Boris Yeltsin, Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg...
There have also been those who have tried to connect the number 666 to the means of identification that the False Prophet will enforce on people. For instance, some people believe that the 666 is identified as the barcode used by almost all retail markets. Notice that the number 6 is positioned in the exact same spot on all barcodes.
Today, nearly every product we buy from the store has a UPC (Universal Product Code) symbol—commonly called a "bar code."
In 1974, a strange, new mark began appearing on products. Until today, virtually every product is now marked with that familiar UPC barcode. And there are three embedded numbers on every UPC barcode.
What are the three hidden numbers?: YOU GUESSED IT! 666!...they start the code, mark the middle, and they finish the code (stop).
All of the marks, or bars are associated with numbers at the bottom, except the marks at the first, middle, and end. Notice the marks for the number "6" are "||". And these marks are the same marks at the first, in the middle and at the end!
Still others believe that the number 666 will be applied to people through the implanting of a micro chip, or universal identification number such as a Social Security number, or a Smart Card (kind of an all-in-one credit card), or Fingerprints, DNA, Eye Scanners, retinal readers, voice recognition systems, and signature dynamics.
For a more extensive explanation of the Antichrist and the False Prophet see:
Once again, God’s sovereignty is on display. Five times in chapter 13, speaking three times about the Antichrist and twice about the False Prophet, it uses the words, “given to him”…
- :5-“And there was given to him a mouth…”
- :5-“forty-two months was given to him.”
- :7-“And it was given to him to make war…”
- :14-“It was given to him to perform…”
- :15-“there was given to him to give breath…”.
These two do nothing without the permission of God. John continues to make it clear that God is in control. Sovereignty.
Prayer: Lord, please help me to share Your gospel with as many people as possible and help them to be saved...in order that they might do the same...so that they will not be a part of this terrible time of tribulation.