Revelation 13:1-10 Seven Characteristics of the Antichrist
SEVEN CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ANTICHRIST IN REVELATION
1. He has a demonic domain (Revelation 13:1-2)
“And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea. He had 10 horns and seven heads. On his horns were 10 diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names.” (Revelation 13:1, HCSB)
THREE IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT HIS DOMAIN
He is a BEAST
When the Bible describes the demonic activity from Heaven’s point of view, they use the word “beast.” We see this in Daniel and Revelation. In this case, he is the beast coming up out of the sea.
He is a BIGOT
The Antichrist will be a Gentile. He will not be Jewish. The “sea” is the waters represent everyone in the world. In Revelation, the groups are listed as peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages. The Antichrist will be a bigot.
“He also said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute was seated, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages.” (Revelation 17:15, HCSB)
He rules a BIG Empire
“The beast I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like a bear’s, and his mouth was like a lion’s mouth. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.” (Revelation 13:2, HCSB)
“The 10 horns are 10 kings who will rise from this kingdom. Another, different from the previous ones, will rise after them and subdue three kings.” (Daniel 7:24, HCSB)
“The 10 horns you saw are 10 kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they will receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour.” (Revelation 17:12, HCSB)
The three animals named in Revelation 13:2 remind us of the four beasts Daniel saw in his dream (Dan. 7): a lion (Babylon), a bear (Media-Persia), a leopard (Greece), and a “terrible beast” (the Antichrist). John saw these animals, or kingdoms, in reverse order since he was looking back, while Daniel was looking ahead. The final world empire will be rooted in all the previous empires and unite in one their evil and power.1
Over time, the Antichrist will subdues three leaders of a ten-nation group of leaders. There are three interpretations of this ten-nation league.
THREE MAIN INTERPRETATIONS OF THE TEN-NATION LEAGUE
1. Revived Roman Empire (European Union)
People take this traditional view. They look at the prophecies in Daniel chapters 2 and 7 and make the conclusion that the Roman Empire is in view. They also conclude that the ten toes are the “Revived Roman Empire.” There are some advantages with this view. It fits nicely into matching the False Prophet coming both from Rome. Since the Catholic Church has been held by Protestants as a person who is evil, they conclude that the Antichrist will also be Roman. He will rule from Brussels. This year’s “Brexit” out of the European Union reinforces this view.
2. The Islamic Empire
One person presents the idea of an Islamic Empire. He presents five reasons why the Antichrist will be Islamic and that he will come out of the Middle East. Let me summarize them for you:
FIVE REASONS THE ANTICHRIST WILL BE ISLAMIC2
1. The Islamic Caliphate is the only empire to fulfill the requirements of Daniel 2, 7 and Revelation 13.
The argument is primarily about the fourth empire. The author of the website makes a case that the statue’s interpretation is both misunderstood and therefore misinterpreted. He goes on to say two important details:
THE FOURTH KINGDOM IS NOT ROME
The fourth kingdom is said to crush the first three empires (Daniel 2:40). Rome never did this. They never conquered Persia, most of the Greek empire, and held on to Babylon for only a very short period of time. Second, the fourth kingdom is symbolized by the legs of a giant statue in Daniel 2. The third kingdom, Greece, is presented as the bronze belly and thighs of the statue. The belly represents Alexander the Great while the two thighs are the two main kingdoms that emerged from Alexander’s mighty empire: the Seleucids and Ptolemaic Egypt.”
The point is that the fourth kingdom (the legs) emerge from the two thighs (the Seleucids and Ptolemaic Empires). This is sometimes thought to have been fulfilled by the Roman Empire’s split into eastern and western empires (as the Seleucid and Ptolemaic Empires were east-west divisions of the Greek Empire). However, this does not match up with the Seleucid and Ptolemaic Empires because they were Middle Eastern. The divide between east and west would have been Syria and Iraq (around the Euphrates River), not the middle of Europe as with Rome. Rome simply does not match up geographically with Syria and Egypt. Instead, the fourth kingdom must cover the same general geography as the divisions of Alexander’s empire.
THE EMPIRES ARE MIDDLE EASTERN, NOT EUROPEAN
Both of these details (the “crushing” and the division between east and west in the Middle East) were fulfilled not by Rome, but only by the Islamic Caliphate which was a Middle Eastern empire (see maps). This is also important since the fourth kingdom in Daniel 7 and the beast in Revelation 13 are the same empire as the legs of iron in Daniel 2. The beast of Revelation 13 is a composite of the first three beasts of Daniel 7 (a lion, bear, and leopard) which were all Middle Eastern empires!”
2. Revelation 17 teaches that the Antichrist will come from a kingdom that exists after the Roman Empire.
3. Gog of Magog is the Antichrist and he comes from the Middle East.
However, it is not entirely correct. Rosh may or may not be a nation, but if it is, it should be placed in the western portion of Iran, not in Russia. Magog should be in Turkey.
4. Daniel 8 implies that the Antichrist will come from the Middle East.
5. Daniel 11:36-45 places the origins of the Antichrist in the Middle East.
Daniel 12:1 connects to this section and makes this section a future event.
3. The United Nations Ten Regional PowersThe Antichrist could come from the Middle East. Daniel 8 strongly suggests that. As I have said elsewhere:
The Antichrist will rise from one of the four kingdoms that were split after Greece ended. When one looks at the political map today, those four kingdoms contain the following countries: Ptolemy is Egypt, Pergamos is Turkey, Macedon is in the Balkans in Europe, and Seleucid is in Syria, extending east to Iran. It is significant that each empire in its later form is involved in the Syrian conflict. These include Egypt and the Arab States, Turkey, Russia in support of Assad Bashar, ISIS which proclaims itself as the true Islamic State. The Antichrist will come to power from one of these four groups. “An insolent king” will emerge.3
However, there will be a movement to make the entire world come together. Some call it the “New World Order.” This idea has been around since the end of World War II. The idea is that the United Nations, when it was formed, made plans to divide the world into ten world groups.4
2. He serves a demonic power (Revelation 13:2)
Jesus had a Heavenly agenda. He came to save and to serve.
“just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many.”” (Matthew 20:28, HCSB)
“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.”” (Luke 19:10, HCSB)
Jesus served God. He died. He was raised back to life. The same will happen with the future Antichrist.
He serves Satan instead of God.
“…The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.” (Revelation 13:2, HCSB)
3. He serves a demonic program (Revelation 13:3)
He shadows the Resurrection of Jesus.
“One of his heads appeared to be fatally wounded, but his fatal wound was healed. The whole earth was amazed and followed the beast.” (Revelation 13:3, HCSB)
This faked resurrection will convince many people that the Antichrist is the person they should follow.
4. He invites the demonic worship of the False Trinity (Revelation 13:4-5)
“They worshiped the dragon because he gave authority to the beast. And they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to wage war against him?” A mouth was given to him to speak boasts and blasphemies. He was also given authority to act for 42 months.” (Revelation 13:4–5, HCSB)
We know that the true Trinity consists of God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. There are many places where one can see the true Trinity working together.
““I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak whatever He hears. He will also declare to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, because He will take from what is Mine and declare it to you. Everything the Father has is Mine. This is why I told you that He takes from what is Mine and will declare it to you.” (John 16:12–15, HCSB)
“according to the foreknowledge of God the Father and set apart by the Spirit for obedience and for sprinkling with the blood of Jesus Christ. May grace and peace be multiplied to you.” (1 Peter 1:2, HCSB)
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” (Matthew 28:19, HCSB)
5. He devotes a limited time (Revelation 13:5)
“A mouth was given to him to speak boasts and blasphemies. He was also given authority to act for 42 months.” (Revelation 13:5, HCSB)
As we have seen before, the time of this authority is limited to 3 ½ years. Perhaps prophetically, this time period mirrors Jesus’ time on Earth. Jesus took 3 ½ years to fulfill His mission of salvation. Antichrist will take 3 ½ years to fulfill his mission of death.
6. He devises worldwide plans to rule (Revelation 13:6-8)
“He began to speak blasphemies against God: to blaspheme His name and His dwelling—those who dwell in heaven. And he was permitted to wage war against the saints and to conquer them. He was also given authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation. All those who live on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name was not written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slaughtered.” (Revelation 13:6–8, HCSB)
He blasphemes God and His system. He wages war against God’s people (the saints). He rules over the entire world
7. He persecutes God’s people (Revelation 13:9-10)
“If anyone has an ear, he should listen: If anyone is destined for captivity, into captivity he goes. If anyone is to be killed with a sword, with a sword he will be killed. This demands the perseverance and faith of the saints.” (Revelation 13:9–10, HCSB)
This section ends with a warning and a word of encouragement. The warning is that it will be a tough time for new believers in the faith. Some will be put into prison. Some will be killed. At the same time, John specifically states because of this persecution, that perseverance is necessary. Our lives may be in danger but our faith never will be.
1 Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 604–605.
2 Matt McClellan, Christian Worldview Press, “Five Reasons the Antichrist Will Come From the Middle East,” from http://christianworldviewpress.com/five-reasons-why-the-antichrist-will-come-from-the-middle-east/, Accessed on 08 February 2016, “Islamic Antichrist,” Notes, Logos Bible Software. This outline and its brief description comes from the website. I have quoted it in full as much as I needed. No copyright infringement was intended.
3 Jim Erwin, “The Syrian Civil War and the Rise of the Antichrist,” http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jimerwin/2015/11/17/the-syrian-civil-war-and-the-rise-of-the-antichrist/, 17 November 2015, accessed on 9 July 2016.