The Beast of Revelation 13

1. What does the Bible say about the antichrist?

For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

2 John 1:7

The term “antichrist” is mentioned in only four passages of the Bible, all in the letters of John. In each case, the term is used to portray a false teacher or a deceptive power that corrupts faith within the church.

While the prefix “anti” can mean “against,” it can also mean “in place of.” The antichrist of the last days will not be an open opposer of Christ, but will actually seek to take the place of Christ.

Consider this: the great deception of the last days will result in “all the world” following the beast of Revelation 13 (Revelation 13:8). Someone coming in open opposition to Jesus–standing against Him and refuting the Word of God–would not succeed in deceiving “all the world,” especially the Christian world. But a power espousing Christian virtues and appearing to represent God would be far more likely to deceive the planet.

It was Lucifer who first wanted to take the place of God (Isaiah 14:12-14), and it is he who continually opposes and misrepresents Him. But through whom or what will he work in earth’s final days?

2. How does the Bible describe the power that will bring spiritual danger to the world?

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

2 Thessalonians 2:3

Paul states that before Jesus returns to this planet, the church would experience a major spiritual “falling away,” revealing the “man of lawlessness” (or “man of sin”).

As 1 John 3:4 states that “sin is lawlessness” (or “transgression of the law,”), it can be expected that the great apostasy of earth’s last days will be characterized by disrespect for God’s authority-and in particular, His law.

3. From where did the Bible writers warn apostasy would arise in planet Earth's final days?

29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

Acts 20: 29-30

Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

2 Thessalonians 2:4

Paul stated that significant problems would arise from within the Christian church.

The earthly temple and its services became obsolete when Jesus died on the cross, and any rebuilt temple would not be of God.

When the Bible says the last-day antichrist will sit “in the temple of God,” it is stating that this entity will rise up in the Christian church. The New Testament refers to God’s people or God’s church as a “temple”  numerous times. (See 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16 and Ephesians 2:20-22.

4. What did Daniel see emerging from a windswept sea?

Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.

And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.

Daniel 7:2-3

In Bible prophecy, symbols are frequently used to represent important realities:

A Beast represents a kingdom or a nation (Daniel 7:17, 23)

The Sea represents multitudes of people (Revelation 17:1, 15)

Wind represents strife or warfare (Jeremiah 49:36, 37; Revelation 7:1-3)

In Daniel 7, Daniel sees the rise of four powerful nations-the same nations revealed to King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2.

5. What were the four nations Daniel saw?

The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.

And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.

After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.

After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.

Daniel 7:4-7

Just as in the prophecy of Daniel 2, the nations Daniel saw in Daniel 7 are the nations shown below:

6. What would take the place of the fourth Kingdom?

 

24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom 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.

Daniel 7:24

Just as the iron legs of Rome divided into the feet and the toes of Daniel 2, Daniel now sees 10 horns rising out of the power of Rome. The 10 horns represent the 10 powers that rose from the divided Roman Empire. Today, these nations are in what we recognize as Wester Europe.

7. What did Daniel see coming up out of the 10 horns?

I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

Daniel 7:8

Historically, it has been believed that this little horn is the same power as the first beast of Revelation 13-often referred to as the “antichrist,”

8. What are the characteristics that clearly identify the little horn?

  1. It arises from Western Europe, from “among” the rest of the horns (Daniel 7:8)
  2. It is small (Daniel 7:8)
  3. It arises “after” the 10 tribes of Europe are established (Daniel 7:24)
  4. It destroys three of the other horns/nations (Daniel 7:8)
  5. It is “different from” the other 10 powers (Daniel 7:24)
  6. A man would speak for the little horn (Daniel 7:8)
  7. It blasphemes against God, speaking “pompous words against the Most High” (Daniel 7:25)
  8. It would “persecute” God’s people (Daniel 7:25)
  9. It would reign for 1,260 years-“a time and times and half a time” Daniel 7:25). Prophetically, a “time” is one year, “times” is two years, and “half a time” is six months (or total “three-and-one-half years”). Based on the 30-day calendar used by the ancient Scriptures, three-and-a-half-years is 1,260 days. In Bible prophecy, a day is a symbolic code for a literal year (Ezekial 4:6. Thus 1,260 days represent 1,260 years. Seven times in the books of Daniel and Revelation, this same time period is given-using different phrases-to represent the length of rule for this power.
  10.  This power “shall intend to change times and law” (daniel 7:25), indicating an attempt would be made to change the law of God.

 

9. Who is the little horn power of Daniel 7?

When Christianity stays faithful to God’s Word, the church is a source of light, grace, and blessing. But when Christians stray from faithfulness to the Bible and allow Bible truth to be eclipsed by traditions, false doctrines, and church rules, the church cannot fulfull the position God has called it to. Throughout history, there have been times when the church has misrepresented the Word of God-often with disastrous results.

As Protestant Reformers such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, and John Knox studied the book of Daniel, they identified the Roman papacy as the “little horn” power.

Historically, Vatican City has been seen as fulfilling the identifying marks of the little horn of Daniel 7. Is there any validity to this conclusion?

Each of the 10 points above applies to the Roman Papacy:

  1. The Vatican arose in Western Europe
  2. The Vatican is a “small” nation.
  3. The Vatican arose after the other 10 nations. The rest of the 10 kingdoms were established by AD 476. The Vatican came to full political power in AD 538.
  4. The Vatican conquered three nations as it rose to power-the Heruli, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths. All three kingdoms were “plucked out by the roots.” They have disappeared from the Europe.
  5. The Vatican is “different” from the other nations in that it is both a religious and a political power.
  6. Daniel said that in the little horn were “eyes like the eyes of a man” (Daniel 7:8). There would be a man “seeing” for-or leading-this power.
  7. The Bible defines blasphemy as a person claiming to have the ability to forgive sin (Luke 5:21) or a person claiming to be God (John 10;33). The Vatican blasphemes against God by claiming to have the power to forgive sin, and by claiming the prerogatives of God. In 1870, the Vatican Council declared that the pope was infallible whenever speaking from his position of papal authority.
  8. The Vatican has persecuted Bible-believing Christians down through the centuries, and is responsible for the deaths of multiplied millions of people.
  9. The Vatican gained ultimate power in AD 538, and reigned until 1798-a period of 1,260 years. In 1798, the Emperor Napoleon had Pope Pius VI taken captive, and the Vatican lost its status as a self-governing civil power-the “deadly wound” prophesied about in Revelation 13:3.
  10. The Vatican attempted to change God’s law by substituting Sunday for the Bible Sabbath, removing the second commandment from its official teachings, and dividing the 10th commandment into two separate commandments.

10. How influential will the little horn's role be in planet Earth's final days?

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.

Revelation 13:3

The first beast (nation) of Revelation 13 and the little horn of Daniel 7 are the same entity. Notice the similarities: both speak blasphemies (Daniel 7:25; Revelation 13:5, 6), both persecute God’s people (Daniel 7:21, 25; Revelation 13:7), and both rule for 1,260 years (Daniel 7:25; Revelation 13:5).

The entire world will be so influenced by this power that those who do not receive its mark will not be able to buy and sell (revelation 13:17). Everyone on the planet-with the exception of those who remain faithful to Jesus-will worship this power (revelation 13:8).

11. How can something be wrong when it looks so good?

12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Proverbs 14:12

William Shakespeare once wrote,” All that glisters is not gold.” While Vatican City appears to stand for much that is good and right, many of her teachings and actions deviate far from the truth of the Bible.

And these deviations are significant:

  • Pope Pius XII stated in 1953 that “the Church alone is the entrance to salvation: She alone, by herself, and under the protection and guidance of the Holy Spirit, is the source of truth” (Pope Pius XII, in an address to the Gregorian University, October 17, 1953).
  • While Rome teaches that salvation comes through faith in Christ, it does not teach that salvation comes through faith in Christ alone.
  • The church of Rome has altered the Ten Commandments. Rome has replaced observance of the Bible Sabbath with Sunday sacredness (Catechism of the Catholic Church, statements 2174-2176), has removed the second commandment from her official teachings-combining it with the first commandment (Catechism of the Catholic Church, statement 2083), and has divided the 10th commandment into two separate commandments (Catechism of the Catholic Church, statements 2514-2557).
  • The Vatican teaches that confession of sin should be made to a priest (Catecism of the Catholic Church, statements 1449, 1461, etc.) nowhere in the Bible is confession to a priest taught and it strikes at the heart of the key Bible teaching that “there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).
  • The Vatican encourages prayer to deceased “saints” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, statement 2683). In contrast, the Bible teaches that “the dead know nothing” (Ecclesiastes 9:5). No amount of praying to the deceased can be of any use to the living. Jesus taught us to pray to the Father, in His name (Matthew 6:9; John 14:13, 14)

These and many other unbiblical ideas demonstrate that Rome’s teachings do not build faith in the Bible or in Jesus as the Savior of the world. Rather, they undermine the Bible and are in opposition to the teachings of Jesus.

Churches don’t typically set out to misrepresent the Word of God. In fact, in most cases, those who are teaching unbiblical doctrines are unaware they are doing so, and are intending to be a blessing to the world.

But when Bible truth is rejected, churches can only offer the world a gospel that is riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies. Such errors are never harmless, and some are dangerous and misleading. False teaching also misrepresent the character of God, making it difficult for people to truly understand God’s grace and mercy, and the beauty of the gift of eternal life.

12. Where should our faith be directed in preparation for the return of Jesus?

31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Acts: 16:31

Faith in Jesus Christ, demonstrated by a moment-by-moment connection with Him, will prepare any person to live a heaven-bound life ready for Jesus’ Second Coming.

13. How can a person hope to be faithful to God in a time when "all the world" follows this entity?

13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Philippians 2:13

20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.

Galatians 2:20

Jesus pledges to live in the lives of all who surrender themselves unreservedly to Him. When your life is given to Christ, you have the assurance that His power fills you, directs you, and keeps you.

No one is left to fight the power of evil on his or her own. Jesus living His life in you enables you to live a life of faith and victory!

16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

Romans 6:16

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, you can live a life of surrender today!