The Rise of the Anti-Christ
I want to take a look now at the rise of the anti-Christ, which is detailed in many places throughout the Bible. Once we have looked at his actual rise to prominence, we shall go on to examine the things he will do once in a position of influence. I find it to be useful when someone collates all relevant information in one place, and as I cannot find any publication which has done that so far, I thought, on this particular subject, I might have a go myself. It should provide an interesting opportunity for comparison of prophecy, if nothing else.
I will start where I left off in Part Six – that is Daniel 11:21:
“And in his place shall rise a vile person, to whom they will not give the honour of royalty; but he shall come in peaceably, and seize the kingdom by intrigue.”
So, here we have notice that the anti-Christ shall rise up out of the Kingdom of the North – the ‘in his place‘ refers to one of the kings or rulers in the power struggle of the Middle East, which is about to start in earnest. There are several accounts of the anti-Christ’s rise to power, especially in the book of Daniel.
The first account is in Daniel chapter seven:
“I was considering the (ten) horns (of the fourth beast), 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 7:8 (My brackets)]
Here we see reference to the very same ‘vile person‘, this time in the wider setting. The ten horns of the beast are likely to represent ten Islamic nations which will exist after the rise of, firstly, the two-horned ram (Iran), and the subsequent attack and victory over the ram by the large-horned goat (Turkey). In the aftermath of Turkey attacking Iran and the death of the large horn (the ruler or first ‘king of Yavan‘), the entire region will be divided to the four winds of heaven. It is likely that these ten horns will represent the entire region. However, the area under the control exclusively of the large horn will be represent by three of those ten horns. The little horn will grow up out of those three horns and wipe them out.
This is likely to be a consolidation of power rather than a victory in war, because we know from Daniel 11:21 that this little horn will come in peace to start with. I suspect that after the fall of the large horn, the region which he ruled would have covered three separate nations. The little horn will rise up and unite these three nations and possibly rename them as a single nation or kingdom.
This fits in with the interpretation of what Daniel saw by the angel, who said:
“The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom (the fourth beast). And another shall rise after them; he shall be different from the first ones, and shall subdue three kings.” [Daniel 7:24 (My Brackets)]
The next account in Daniel of the emergence of the anti-Christ is found in Daniel chapter eight:
“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 (this describes the ruler or king of Turkey becoming great and dying and the entire lands he conquered, the ten horns, being divided to the four winds of heaven). And out of one of them came a little horn which grew exceedingly great towards the south, towards the east, toward the Glorious Land.” [Daniel 8:8-9 (My Brackets)]
The consistency of the description of the anti-Christ’s rise continues with the angel Gabri’el’s interpretation of what Daniel saw:
“…the male goat is the kingdom of Yavan. The large horn 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 transgressions have reached their fullness, a king shall arise, having fierce features, who understands sinister schemes.” [Daniel 8:21-23]
The next reference to the actual rise to power of the anti-Christ is found in the Revelation. I think it is key to introduce the main characters who will be involved in the final showdown before the return of Christ. There will be the anti-Christ, whom we are discussing right now; the False Prophet – who will be seen to be either Yeshua or Elijah by Jews and Christians; and there will be Satan, who will control the two of them. It is important to differentiate between them, as it can get quite complicated. We shall examine what each of them do and how to identify them as we go. But first, let’s look at what the Revelation gives us about the anti-Christ’s appearance on the world scene.
You will recall that when it comes to prophecy using phrases like ‘beast’ or ‘king’ or ‘prince’ or ‘kingdom’, that there can often be multiply layers of meaning. As a basic rule, with the word beasts, for example, it would be best to view any of the beasts described in Daniel, Ezekiel, or the Revelation, as spiritual entities that have been given life and a set of rules within which to work, by God Himself, in order to achieve His purposes. We saw in the book of Daniel that the word beast could, at various times, describe a king or his kingdom, a dominion, or even a nation of the world. When we look at the beast described in Revelation chapter thirteen, we are looking at something which begins in the spiritual realm but then exists in the earthly realm and takes on multiple aspects, such as we have just described. Let’s go through the relevant parts of Revelation 13 one verse at a time. It is wise when considering the things of the book of the Revelation to remember that John was taken into the heavenly realm, so what he saw there were how they appear in that realm. On earth, their manifestation could be quite different.
“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.” [Verse 1]
So, this is John speaking. He is in the spiritual realm and standing on the shore of the sea, which we have already established as being the peoples and multitudes of the earthly world. He sees a beast rising up from the peoples of the earth. This beast has been brought into being by God many years ago in order to fulfil His purposes. The beast, at this stage, represents the prominent empires of the world. These empires are the seven heads on the beast. Those seven kingdoms are likely to have been, in this order, the Egyptians; the Assyrians; the Babylonians; the Medo-Persians; the Greeks; the Romans; and the Arab/Islamic/Ottomans. The blasphemous name written upon the heads will be the god which each of these empires has ultimately served. Each age and empire may have given this god different names, but it was always the dragon, Satan, in his various forms. I think it is safe to say that what most nations refer to as the moon god is the disguise Satan uses. This same moon god which appears in virtually all false religions across the globe; in each tradition with its own name, all point to the same being. The different names for the same entity are probably explained by the events around the Tower of Babel when God separated the people and their languages.
The ten crowns on the ten horns are significant kings which the dragon has been able to influence at different times. Imagine that it is as if God has decreed, at any one time, that ten kings may exist in the world. To each title of king He has given power and authority. It is likely that God has granted to Satan the choice of whom he allows to posses each title and the power that comes with it. Sometimes, the title is only in use by one or two earthly kings, but all ten still exist, even if they are not being used. In the last days we know that all ten will be in use because of what we have already covered in Daniel. It is as if Satan can choose exactly whom he wishes to be his puppet king. He will probably try to find individuals whom he can influence first before he sends the demons in his control to possess those people.
“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.” [Verse 2]
What John saw is very similar to what Daniel saw in Daniel 7, except that Daniel saw three beasts who looked like a lion; a bear; and a leopard respectively, and then a fourth beast with ten horns. John is just seeing the fourth beast but God is revealing to us that this fourth and most terrifying of beasts is actually an amalgamation of the first three beasts which Daniel saw. You will recall that it was from amongst the ten horns that the little horn of the anti-Christ arose in Daniel’s vision. You will also recall that this little horn will rise up in the place of three horns. I suspect that the fourth beast which Daniel saw and the beast which John saw are the same. Satan has given the combined power and authority of the first three beasts to the fourth one.
Note here that it is the dragon, that is Satan, who gives the beasts its power. The beast itself represents Islam – the amalgamation of all the previous gods as worshipped by the peoples of the earth. When Muhammad came to Mecca, he destroyed 359 of the 360 idols that the Arab people had been worshipping – one for each day of their lunar year. He left one idol, and told everyone to worship that god alone. He gave that god the name Allah, but we know it to be Satan.
“And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marvelled and followed the beast.” [Verse 3]
When we come to Revelation 17 we see more of this head and its wound in context. However, we can be sure that this head, the seventh head, which was mortally wounded and is healed is the Ottoman Empire or Islamic Caliphate. In 1922 the Ottoman Empire was defeated, and disbanded in 1924. Turkey, where its headquarters was, declared itself a democratic republic. This year, under President Erdogan, Turkey has effectively reversed that declaration and anointed Erdogan as its first king. This is the ‘first king’ which the book of Daniel speaks of – the first king of Yavan. Erdogan, over the past few years, has repeatedly stated that he intends to bring about what he calls the Neo-Ottoman Order. The mortally wounded head is healing before our very eyes. Today. Right now. Whether Erdogan is the ‘large horn’ or that is still to come, remains to be seen. However, if Turkey manages to bring the Caliphate back to life and unite Islam under one Caliph, then the world will indeed marvel, because the world thinks that particular beast is dead, and all of the Muslims of the world will follow that beast. They are all waiting for a new Caliph to arise to lead them.
The last passage from the Revelation I wish to draw your attention to is that of chapter 17, and the description of the beasts upon which the Mother of Harlots sits.
“Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are mountains upon 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 for a short while. The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition.” [Revelation 17:9-11]
Firstly, remember that John is in the heavenly realm, so what he is seeing exists there and may look differently upon the earth. Mountains, we know from previous studies can represent both physical places and kingdoms or authorities. In this case I suspect that the seven mountains represent both. It is highly likely that the Mother of Harlots is actually the city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Mecca sits upon seven hills. This will be explained fully in a later article. We will leave Mecca to one side for the moment and instead look at the kingdoms described in the text.
At the time that John was shown this vision the five kingdoms which had fallen were the Egyptian; the Assyrian; the Babylonian; the Medo-Persian; and the Greek. The one who ‘is’ was the Roman Empire. And the other who was yet to come was the Arab/Islamic/Ottoman Empire. This empire was considered dead in 1924. Note in verse 11 it says that ‘the beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth’. This is a reborn Ottoman Empire from which the anti-Christ will rise. Imagine the West’s suprise when the Ottoman Empire comes back from the dead and starts to rule right across the Middle East.
Now, there is one last Scripture I wish to turn to regarding the rise of the anti-Christ and that is found in Isaiah and has been the subject of much confusion.
The anti-Christ is often referred to as The Assyrian and much has been devoted to the notion that he will rise up out of modern day Syria. With everything that is currently going on there it is easy to see that. However, I must encourage caution here because this notion comes from Isaiah 10:5 in which (depending on your translation) ‘the Assyrian’ is mentioned as the rod of God’s wrath. The reason why I urge caution is that we need to place the right context upon when and what was said about it. Isaiah was speaking during the time of the Assyrian Empire, which stretched way beyond the borders of modern day Syria. To confine the rise of the anti-Christ to just Syria is to take Isaiah’s prophecy out of context. The Assyrian Empire stretched pretty much as far and wide as any of the other six empires.
The truth is, the actual identity of the anti-Christ will not be revealed until it is almost too late. Mid way through the seven year peace deal with Isra’el is when the Bible teaches us that the world will be in no doubt about who he is. Before that, he will deceive much of the planet into believing that he is a man of peace.
In the next instalment we will look at the actions of the anti-Christ which people will be able to use to recognise him once he rises to power. There are other scriptures that mention the rise of the anti-Christ but I have decided to include them in the next part, and particularly what Paul and John said about him, as well as the prophecies found in the book of Ezekiel.