Discourse 20 - The Antichrist: the first or the second beast from Rev 13?




The Antichrist: the first or the second beast from Rev 13? / Book W. J. Ouweneel 00, page 343

Who has the miraculous power, the first or the second beast from Rev 13? / Book W .J. Ouweneel 01, page 3558

Table – The Antichrist, the "queen" in the chess of the devil.

Is the Antichrist a Muslim? / Lecture Tibor Zelikovics 00, 2001-04-06

The Antichrist – a Plagiarism of the Christian Salvation Event?

Summary

Table – The World Empires in the Bible.

The first and the second Antichrist / Death and resurrection of Antichrist - Discourse 86, 2007-02-05

Does the Bible say that the Antichrist will be a Jew? / Discourse 101, 2010-02-16

Will the last Pope be the false prophet of the Antichrist? / Discourse 115, 2013-03-01



(Texts in a black frame are quotations from visitors to this site or from other authors.)

(The Antichrist: the first or the second beast from Rev 13? / Book WJO00, page 343)

Every biblical interpreter who agrees that the Antichrist is an actual person is bound to identify him either with the first or with the second beast in Rev 13. The majority see him as the first beast, but some commentators, even at a very early date, identify him with the second (Andrew of Caesarea in the 6th century points to this interpretation). It depends on whether the Antichrist is taken to be a political or rather a religious world leader. In view of the Johannine Epistles and 2The 2,3-8, I favor the latter view, and would identify the second beast with the Antichrist.

W.J. Ouweneel
W. J. Ouweneel

(This extract is taken from the book "Das Buch der Offenbarung" ["The Book of Revelation"] by W. J. Ouweneel
Christliche Literatur-Verbreitung e. V. [Society for the Dissemination of Christian Literature]).



In Rev 13 we are told about these two beasts. The first beast comes out of the sea, the second out of the earth.

The first beast from the sea.

A beast coming up out of the sea and the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority.

Rev 13,1 And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then 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.

13,2 And 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. Rev 13, 1- 2;

They worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast.

Rev 13,3 I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; 13,4 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?" Rev 13, 3- 4;


This first beast, coming out of the sea, is invested by the dragon with his own authority and with great power; it is even given the dragon’s throne. It derives its power therefore directly from Satan.

Now, although the devil appears to have divested himself of all his authority and mighty power, giving these to the beast, it is not the case that this first beast has replaced Satan. In Rev 13,4 we can see plainly that human beings know very well that the power of the beast comes from the dragon, and so they worship both the dragon and the first beast from the sea.

This fact is of great significance for the differentiation of the two beasts, as it shows that the dragon and the first beast are here worshiped as gods, in such a way that a clear "Father-Son" relationship can be seen to subsist between them, similar to that we know of from the Lord Jesus and His Father in heaven.

The second beast from the earth.

He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence.

Rev 13,11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon. 13,12 He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. 13,13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. 13,14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life. 13,15 And it was given to him 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. Rev 13,11-15;


The second beast comes out of the earth, and it "exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence". By contrast with the first beast, however, the second beast plainly does not receive its authority from the dragon, but by "inheritance" from the first beast. Its power therefore derives from the first beast, and this also emerges plainly from the text, where the second beast induces human beings to make an image to the first beast and compels them to worship it.

So we have here the first beast, coming out of the sea, which acts as the "son" of the dragon, so to speak, and along with the dragon is worshiped as a god; and then there is the second beast, coming out of the earth, whose task it is to impress human beings with its signs and wonders and to convince them of the authority of the first beast, from whom its own authority indeed is derived.

Although on this basis it cannot yet be determined beyond doubt which of the two beasts is the Antichrist, one can at least say that the first beast definitely has a greater affinity with the dragon than the second one. Besides, it is only the first beast that has religious worship paid to it, not the second. The second beast, by contrast, has the task of promoting the worship of the first beast. But in the text that we are considering the "Antichrist" is nowhere mentioned. This term is to be found only in the Johannine Epistles.

This is the Antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.

1Jn 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. 1Jn 2,22;

This is the Antichrist who does not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh.

2Jn 1,7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the Antichrist. 1,8 Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. 1,9 Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. 1,10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; 1,11 for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds. 2Jn 1,7-11;


As John here says, the Antichrist will deny both the Father and the Son. And if the dragon really wants to simulate a Father-Son relationship with the Antichrist, the Antichrist has every reason to deny the true God the Father and the true God the Son. Nor will he want to admit that the Christ, the Messiah, has already come "in the flesh" in the person of Jesus of Nazareth and has therefore already lived on this earth. This allows us to conclude that the Antichrist, whose name, "against Christ", could just as correctly be translated as "instead-of Christ", will present himself in the guise of a "Messiah". And as a result of the satanic power and authority that is conferred on him, he will be able to bring about signs and wonders, so that many human beings will have faith in him and be led astray. And this is precisely what Paul confirms, in his second letter to the Thessalonians:

The one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders.

2The 2,3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 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. 2,5 Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? 2,6 And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. 2,7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. 2,8 Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; 2,9 that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 2,10 and 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. 2,11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, 2,12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. 2The 2, 3-12;


By contrast with these statements (note especially 2The 2,9) in which Paul warns us that the "man of lawlessness", that is the Antichrist, acting in the power of Satan, will appear on earth with great power and with delusive signs and wonders (identical with Rev 13,2!!), Ouweneel asserts in the course of his exposition (p.355) that the first beast from Rev 13 – that is, the Antichrist – will not perform any signs and wonders at all.



(Texts in a black frame are quotations from visitors to this site or from other authors.)

(Who has the miraculous power, the first or the second beast from Rev 13? / Book WJO01, page 355)

"From a political point of view, the second beast is subordinate to the first; it does all it can to ensure that all the earth’s inhabitants will worship the beast ‘whose fatal wound was healed’, that is to say, the leader of the revived Roman Empire (compare the verse Rev 13,3). ‘And he performs great signs’ (verse Rev 13,3a). This characteristic feature is not to be seen in the first beast; what we really have to do with here is a ‘false prophet’ who will try to prove through miraculous signs that he is a true prophet (...)"

(W. J. Ouweneel, The Book of Revelation CLV)



Even though 2The 2,3-12 does not expressly speak of the Antichrist but rather of the "son of destruction" and the "man of lawlessness" (in Luther, "the evil one"), it is nonetheless impossible to doubt that the Antichrist is intended. On the one hand it is the beast from the sea and its kings against whom the Lord Jesus will fight on his Second Coming and whom he will (along with the second beast, the false prophet) finally annihilate (Rev 19,19-21).

On the other, the expression "the man of lawlessness/evil one" could only otherwise refer to Satan himself; the latter, however, is mentioned explicitly and distinctly in the same sentence (2The 2,9). As John does in Rev 13,2, so Paul too here foretells that Satan will transfer his authority and great power to the "man of lawlessness", to the beast that comes from the sea, to the Antichrist – who then will take his place in the temple and proclaim himself as a god.

(See also Discourse 86: "The first and the second Antichrist.")

And just as John expressly tells us in his first letter (1Jn 2,22) that the Antichrist will be a liar, so Paul here too, in 2The 2,9, warns us that the Antichrist will try to lead humanity astray with his lying signs and wonders, inducing them to believe in the lie.

Even if one might be inclined here to object that these signs and wonders in Rev 13,13-14 are also performed by the second beast, one must take into account that the second beast derives its authority from the first beast after all, that is to say from the Antichrist; so that its signs and wonders, in consequence, are effected through his power.

The subsequent mention of these two beasts in the Revelation shows that the first beast occupies the position of precedence.

The dragon, the beast and the false prophet.

Rev 16,13 And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; 16,14 for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. Rev 16,13-14;

And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet.

Rev 19,19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 19,20 And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. 19,21 And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh. Rev 19,19-21;

The lake of fire where the beast and the false prophet are also.

Rev 20,10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Rev 20,10;


Here we see from Rev 19,19-21 that it is the (first) beast which – with the support of the kings of the earth will make war on the Lord Jesus. Now, it is agreed by all that the Lord at his Second Coming will fight against the Antichrist. Therefore, in all consistency the first beast that comes out of the sea must be the Antichrist, and not the second one that comes out of the earth, which is also referred to in the above passage, at Rev 20,10, as the "false prophet".


The Antichrist, the "queen" in the chess of the devil. (LANDSCAPE)

FROM
 WHERE
W H O
H O W
W  H A T
  W H E R E  
 In heaven
dragon, old serpent
great, red


seven heads
ten horns
Rev 12:3-4

Devil, Satan
tail swept away 1/3 of the angels


with seven diadems













 From the sea
beast


<--
like a lion





Dan 7:4





wings of an eagle











wings were plucked











made to stand on two feet
















like a man with human mind













 From the sea
beast



<--
like a bear





Dan 7:5






raised on one side












in his mouth three rips between


















his teeth: devour much meat













 From the sea
beast




<--
like a leopard





Dan 7:6







four wings of a bird













it had four heads




















dominion was given to it













 From the sea
beast





dreadful and terrifying
<-
ten horns




Dan 7:7-25







extremely strong

little horn pulled out three horns












with large iron teeth

it had eyes like a man












devoured and crushed and

its mouth uttering great boasts
->












trampled. It was different from

speaks out against the Most High
->















wears down the saints
->

























rules nations for 3 1/2 times

->

















 From the sea
beast




-->
like a leopard
-->
ten horns with ten diadems





seven heads with


Rev 13:1-8






->
feet of a bear
rules nations 42 months
<-




blasphemous names








-->
mouth of a lion
he overcomes the saints
<-








  V

-->
dragons power, throne, authority
he blasphemes God
<-










he speaks arrogant words
<-






                V




V   

 In wilderness





beast (Satan)





scarlet, full of blasphemous names
Babylon the harlot is sitting on it
it was, and is not, and is about to
come up and go to destruction.
He is himself one of the seven and
also an eight king.


seven heads
seven mountains/kings
five have fallen, one is
7th has not yet come
remains a little while,
beast is one of them.
ten horns
ten kings receive authority one hour
with the beast, and give their power
and authority to him. They wage war
against the Lamb which will overcome
them. They will burn up harlot Babylon
Rev 17:3-16





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________________
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But it can also be seen that this false prophet in the Satanic trinity is always mentioned in the third and last place, and this allows us to conclude that he comes at the end of the hierarchy of these three, and so – for the same reason – cannot himself be the Antichrist to whom "authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given".

And authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him.

Rev 13,5 There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. 13,6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven. 13,7 It was also 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. 13,8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. Rev 13, 5- 8;


Finally, what we are told here, in Rev 13,8, about the first beast – "And all who dwell on the earth will worship him" – confirms that this is the Antichrist, the "instead-of Christ", who will be worshiped by human beings as the false Son of a false God the Father. The second beast coming out of the earth by contrast is only a henchman who has received his authority from the Antichrist and whose task it is to get human beings to worship Satan and the Antichrist.

So we can see that just those scriptural passages which Ouweneel quotes in order to prove that the second beast is the Antichrist – the Johannine Epistles, that is, and 2The 2,3-8 – point without a possibility of doubt, when more closely examined, to the identification of the first beast with the Antichrist.

As for the fact that as early as the 6th century Andrew of Caesarea put forward the view that the second beast is the Antichrist, this only goes to show that an interpretation is not correct just because it derives from antiquity, or because it has been advanced by a famous person.

(See also Discourse 115: "Will the last Pope be the false prophet of the Antichrist?")

For a serious biblical interpreter, moreover, it goes completely against the grain to base an interpretation on the answer to the question "whether the Antichrist is taken to be a political or rather a religious world leader". That would not be an interpretation of Scripture, but rather an opinion poll. Any one who follows this course has already resigned his task as an expositor just at the point where it properly should begin.

So we do not have the option of selecting a specific interpretation on the basis of personal preference: on the contrary, we must take the trouble of examining the Scriptures so that we then may be in a position, in the light of scriptural testimony, to come up with an interpretation that the Scriptures will support.

Ouweneel’s conjecture at the beginning regarding the identification of the Antichrist:

"The majority see him as the first beast, but some commentators, even at a very early date, identify him with the second (Andrew of Caesarea in the 6th century points to this interpretation). It depends on whether the Antichrist is taken to be a political or rather a religious world leader."

– is therefore easy to concretize. The Anti-Christ will be a religious (world) leader. But not only that, he is the, from Satan sent, counterpart to the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, he must also be – like Jesus – a Jew. He will come to Israel and claim to be the ‘real’ Christ (=Christos, =Messiah, =maschiach =the anointed one), whom the Jews have been eagerly awaiting for two thousand years, after they had the true Messiah – Jesus Christ - murdered. (A ‘goy’ would never be recognized by the Jews as their Messiah!)


The Antichrist will come to power in Israel as a religious leader and – as prophesied in the Bible for the real Messiah in the Millennium – will reach world power with Israel. The false prophet – the beast from the earth – (the Catholic pope?) will gladly help him to participate in this world power.

Bearing in mind the connections we have established between the first and second beast from Rev 13, we now intend to examine another theory on the identity of the Antichrist that has been quite frequently advanced.


(Texts in a black frame are quotations from visitors to this site or from other authors.)

(Is the Antichrist a Muslim? / Lecture TZ00, 2001-04-06)

At an event organized by the "Föderation für den Weltfrieden" [Federation for World Peace] and held in Vienna in April 2001, the Jewish metaphysical thinker Tibor Zelikovics declared that we already find ourselves at the turning point that heralds the last days. And he advanced the opinion that the Antichrist, whose activities are to introduce the last days, is already present on earth. He is said to be dividing his time between Egypt, the Arabian peninsula and Iran, but so far is only operating covertly. An individual with overwhelming charisma capable of appealing to the masses world-wide, he is expected to found a new ideology, a "spiritual socialism", and elevate himself to the position of a world leader whom even the United Nations will recognize. Having established a world government with centralized economic control, he will then unite Europe and Russia against the United States. The Jewish thinker Zelikovics holds that the Antichrist is a Moslem, and claims to know his identity, but is unwilling to reveal it at this time

(From Tibor Zelikovics’ lecture at the "Federation for World Peace" conference in Vienna)



Muslims who were present on this occasion were understandably annoyed by this last assertion, and representatives of the Christian churches also pointed to Mt 24,42-44, where the Lord warns us to be constantly watchful, seeing that no one other than the Father knows when this time is to come.

Now it is true that the Islamic fundamentalists have done everything imaginable in recent years, and right up to the present day, to bring the displeasure, even to some extent the hatred of the world upon themselves. And one probably will not go far wrong in assuming that the individual whose name Zelikovics here declines to give is the famously notorious Islamic billionaire and terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden, who operates in just the geographical area he mentions.

If we consider the connections we have set out earlier, however, there are clear and convincing reasons why the Antichrist cannot be a Muslim. And these reasons apply with equal force to the idea that he might be the second beast from Rev 13.

In the light of the interpretation put forward here – which most adherents of the two views just mentioned likewise accept – the Antichrist will not just be an "against Christ" but (relying on an alternative translation of the Greek preposition "anti") an "instead-of Christ". Now "Christ" comes from the Latin "Christus", which in turn derives from the Greek word "Christos" which was taken in the Septuagint (= LXX, the Greek translation of the Old Testament) as a translation of the Hebrew expression "Messiah" (in the original Hebrew "maschiach", in Aramaic "meschicha"). "Messiah" literally means "anointed", and in Jewish belief the term stands for the glorious king and descendant of David who in accordance with the prophecies of the Old Testament was one day to lead Israel to world dominion.

The Antichrist then will be above all an "Antimessiah", who will proclaim himself to the Jews as the promised anointed one, the savior of Israel. This is likewise the light in which we must understand 1Jn 2,22, where we are told:

This is the antichrist who denies that Jesus is the Christ.

1Jn 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. 1Jn 2,22;


He has of course a vested interest in denying that Jesus has already come as the Christ, that is, the Messiah. And he will meet with a ready audience among the Jews, for the Jews have always known that the Nazarene could not have been the Messiah. Of their Messiah it is written that he will save the people of Israel and make it "chief among all peoples", that is to say, raise it to a position of world power. While Jesus of Nazareth, on the other hand, could not even save Himself from dying on the cross.

It is easy now to understand the reasons – resulting from this position – why it follows that the Antichrist cannot possibly be a Muslim. The Jews would never, not in any circumstances, accept a Muslim as their Messiah. In this view, the Antichrist can only be Jewish. Jn 5,4-6 gives us a further indication:

If another comes in his own name, you will receive him.

Jn 5,41 I do not receive glory from men; 5,42 but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. 5,43 I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. Jn 5,41-43;


Here the Lord expressly points to the fact that He has come in the name of God his Father, and the Jews have not received Him; but if another (the Antichrist) comes in his own name (for he cannot call upon God), then they will receive him.

The fact too that the Antichrist is to set up his image in the Temple in Jerusalem – not to speak of numerous other details – confirms that these events are to take place in Israel and among the Jews. And if among the Jews, then the Antichrist cannot be a Muslim.

And precisely this is the reason why, on this view, the second beast from Rev 13 cannot be the Antichrist. In that passage the second beast coming out of the earth, the false prophet as he is also called in Rev 19,20 and 20,10, is represented as an auxiliary to the first beast, so to speak:

o  it induces all human beings on earth to worship the first beast,

o  it performs signs in the power given it by the first beast,

o  it tells the people dwelling on earth to make an image in honor of the first beast,

o  it causes all to be put to death who do not worship the image of the first beast,

o  it allows no one to buy or sell unless they have on them the mark of the beast, the name of the first beast or the number of his name.


From these statements in Rev 13,12-17 it is plain to see that this second beast cannot be a world leader, seeing that it serves the first beast to the best of its ability – the first beast, from which it has received all authority. It is inconceivable in consequence that the Jews would accept this lackey as their long expected Messiah.

Finally it is also plain from the scriptural passages cited that it is the first beast that is worshiped. So it is the first beast that will proclaim itself as the "Son of God" to whom worship is due. The second beast, on the other hand, does everything in its power to compel the inhabitants of the whole world, under pain of death, to worship its lord in this way.

The one who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached. 

2Cor 11,3 But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. 11,4 For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully. 2Cor 11, 3- 4;


As we can now see, the question which of the two beasts in Rev 13 is the Antichrist can be unambiguously answered on the basis of what we are told in this very chapter. The reason why many expositors get the idea into their heads that the second beast – the beast that comes out of the earth, the false prophet – might be the Antichrist is presumably either because they want to support some preconceived opinion by means of this interpretation, or else, quite simply, they have not taken the trouble to read the text right through to the end.

(See also Discourse 101: "Does the Bible say that the Antichrist will be a Jew?")



The Antichrist – a Plagiarism of the Christian Salvation Event?


What Ouweneel completely ignores is the fact that we are told of this "beast from the sea" in Rev 13,3 that one of its heads was mortally wounded. This may not seem very relevant at first glance, but it is – as we will see in a moment – the key to a biblically sound interpretation of the complex personality of the Antichrist.

Since the "sea" is a biblical symbol for political systems, and thus the cradle of political leaders (the 7 heads of the beast), this beast from the sea stands for human rulers, namely the seventh. Therefore it is a human being, identical with the "lawless one", who according to Paul (in 2The 2,8 below) will be killed by the Son of God.

As a human being, however, he must have been in the realm of the dead after his death, according to the Bible. And thus the statement that his wound was healed, and the beast became "alive" again, gets a meaning with much further reaching implications.

A beast coming up out of the sea and his fatal wound was healed.

Rev 13,1 And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I sawa 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. 13,2 And 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. 13,3 I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; 13,4 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?" ?

13,5 There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. 13,6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven. 13,7 It was also 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. 13,8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. 13,9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear. 13,10 If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints. Rev 13,1-10;


Most commentators agree that the "beast from the sea" is the Antichrist. The "beast from the earth" in Rev 13,11, which is wrongly interpreted by Ouweneel as the Antichrist, must come from a religious context, because the "earth" biblically tends to stand for a religious background.

 The "beast coming up out of the earth" exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence.

Rev 13,11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon. 13,12 He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. 13,13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. 13,14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life. 13,15 And it was given to him 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. Rev 13,11-15;


And according to this view, this second "beast from the earth" can only be the false prophet (Pope?), who stands by the Antichrist and brings the people to him. And exactly this, of course, is also expressed in the further description of this beast, in Rev 13,12-15 above.
There it is documented that this beast from the earth has received all his power and strength from the Antichrist – that is the "beast from the sea" (which, as we will see later, is also the "beast from the abyss") – and that its whole activity consists in seducing mankind to worship the Antichrist. – So much, then, for the beast from the earth.

But what has not been noticed at all, in the description contained in the two above Bible passages from Rev 13, is the fact that we are already talking about two Antichrists here. In the course of the description we completely lose sight of the fact that this beast from the sea was finally killed and – as mentioned above – has been in the realm of the dead.

Now we know that a human being – and clearly the beast from the sea, thus the first Antichrist, is a human being – can only come back to life from the realm of the dead by raising from the dead. But this now means that this man, after he became "alive again", is no longer the original human Antichrist, but a raised up demonic being.

And this is what must now be taken into account. It is only the first two verses in Rev 13 that actually speak of the first, human Antichrist (a politician?). From verse 3-8 on and in the following description of the second beast from the earth and its ministry, we only find mention of the raised up demonic being, the second Antichrist.

However, this view that there are two Antichrists is also confirmed by the fact that, according to Scripture, two Antichrists will die. On the one hand, we have Paul’s statement here below, in 2 The 2,8, that the Lord Jesus, at His Second Coming for the Rapture, will "bring to an end the lawless one" – who is generally interpreted as the Antichrist – and "slay him by the breath of His mouth."

That lawless one whom the Lord will bring to an end at His coming for our gathering together to Him.

2The 2,7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. 2,8 Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; 2,9 that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 2,10 and 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. 2,11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, 2,12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. 2The 2,7-12;


It may seem puzzling that Paul here speaks of the "breath of his mouth" as the means whereby the lawless one is killed, whereas the wound of the beast from the sea, according to Rev 13:14, is from a sword; but this question can be quickly clarified if we look at the description of the Son of God at the battle of Armageddon, in Rev 19:15 and 19:21:

From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations

Rev 19,14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 19,15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 19,16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." 19,17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, "Come, assemble for the great supper of God,

19,18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great." 19,19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 19,20 And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. 19,21 And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh. Rev19,14-21;


The "breath" from the mouth of the Son of God is therefore a double-edged sword, with which the Lord Jesus will kill the beast from the sea (the first, human Antichrist). Now Rev 13:14 says, however, that the beast had "come to life again". Although often overlooked, there is biblical evidence for this as well.

But before that we have to note that this man, the first Antichrist, was indeed killed and has been in the realm of the dead. According to Scripture, the realm of the dead is called "Sheol (Hebrew שְׁאוֹל Šəʾōl). The name occurs 66 times in the Tanakh and represents a place of darkness to which all the dead go, both the righteous and the unrighteous, a place of silence and darkness cut off from life." (Wikipedia).

Also in the Old Testament, we find a reference to Sheol in Job 26:6 for example: "Sheol is naked before him, and Abaddon has no covering." "Abaddon" is a Hebrew word meaning the abyss. Or in the NT Rom 10:7: "Who will go down into the abyss? that is, to bring Christ up from the dead". And just this information, that Sheol, the realm of the dead, is also called "abyss", leads us now to the "coming alive", to the "raising up" of the slain first Antichrist.

Earlier, in the description of this first beast from the sea in Rev 13, we find a somewhat mysterious statement. There it is stated in Rev 13,7: "It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them." While some exegetes puzzle over who these "saints" might be, and many of course interpret it primarily as the "Christian congregation", let us stay with Revelation and look at an indirect parallel passage.

Here below, in Rev 11:3-12 is the account of the two witnesses whom God will send and who will prophesy in Jerusalem, clothed in sackcloth, for three and a half years. And in this report we find the statement, of particular interest for us, that "the beast that comes up out of the abyss"  (abussoz - abyssos - abyss) will fight with these two witnesses and kill them.

The amazing thing is that these Two Witnesses have been endowed by God with tremendous power. Thus during the three and a half years of their prophesying they will withhold the rain, so that no rain falls on the earth. They will also turn the waters into blood, and strike the earth with every plague whenever they choose to do so.

They also have power to kill anyone who wants to attack them by fire coming out of their mouth. And you can imagine that during these three and a half years countless "supermen", fighting units and even whole armies would have already tried to eliminate these tormentors of mankind.

These have the power to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire.

Rev 11,3 "And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth." 11,4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. 11,5 And if anyone wants to harm them, fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies; so if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way. 11,6 These have the power to shut up the sky, so that rain will not fall during the days of their prophesying; and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire.

11,7 When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them.

11,8 And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. 11,9 Those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb. 11,10 And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. 11,11 But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them. 11,12 And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here." Then they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them. Rev 11, 3-12;


And so it is astonishing that there is nevertheless someone who can defeat these two witnesses of God, namely here, in Rev 11,7 "the beast that comes up out of the abyss". But as we have noted above, "abyss" is only another name for Sheol, the realm of the dead.

This is why the conclusion is obvious that here, the "beast from the abyss" is the same beast as that in Rev 13, namely the "beast from the sea", i.e. the first Antichrist. He was killed by the Son of God, and after that was in the realm of the dead, Sheol or the abyss. Then his "wound was healed" and he came back to life and rose up out of the abyss.

If we thus have the proof of the "resurrection" of the first Antichrist, the beast from the sea, we also have an explanation for the identity of the "saints" mentioned in Rev 13,7, whom the beast from the sea will fight and overcome. They are the Two Witnesses of God mentioned here above in Rev 11:7.

So we can see very clearly the problem of interpretation that is involved here. The announcement that the beast from the sea will fight with the saints was made in Rev 13:7, in connection with the rest of the description of this beast. That the beast was killed in the meantime, however, is something we learn only incidentally, in Rev 13,3 a few verses earlier.

According to the analysis presented here, however, that being which defeated the "saints" is not the "beast from the sea", that is, the first, human Antichrist, as Rev 13,7 might be taken to insinuate. This man was killed previously, was in the realm of the dead / the abyss, and rose up as the second, demonic Antichrist, as the "beast from the abyss", and defeated these Two Witnesses of God.

With this, however, we also recognize that this beast with its seven heads is actually Satan himself and the seven heads are the rulers of the seven historical world empires: Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, Persia, Greece, Rome, and ultimately the yet to come Antichrist Empire. In the Antichrist (seventh king), Satan will manifest himself and he will then at the end of the world become the eighth king (See also the table at the end of the document: "The World Empires in the Bible .").

The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction.

Rev 17,9 "Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, 17,10 and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while. 17,11 "The beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction. Rev 17, 9-11;


According to this analysis the final Antichrist is neither the first nor the second beast of Rev 13, but the beast coming up out of the abyss of Rev 11:7 , the resurrected "lawless one" of 2The 2:8 , who will start his ascent as "beast out of the sea" and "rider on the white horse" in Rev 13:1 and Rev 6:1 respectively.


Summary



In the Great Tribulation there will be two Antichrists. The first, a human ruler (Rev 6:1-2: the rider on the white horse, 2The 2:3-6: the lawless one or also Rev 13:1-8: the beast out of the sea), will live and rule in the time of the Seal Judgments of John's Revelation (Rev 6:1-7).

He will be killed by the Son of God at His Second Coming for the Rapture, at the time of the Sixth Judgment of the Seals (2The 2:8; Rev 13:1-3). But then he will be raised up by Satan (Rev 11:7) and endowed with all the latter’s – Satan’s – own power and might, and even his throne. This is then the second, the demonic and far more dangerous Antichrist.

And on the basis of this insight, the somewhat mysterious statement in the last part of chapter 13 of Revelation, which we are analyzing here, can now also be explained.

The number of the name of the beast, is the number of a man.

Rev 13,16 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 13,17 and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. 13,18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six. Rev 13,16-18;


There have been countless attempts in the past to interpret the number "666" in the Revelation of John. Since we are asked in Rev 13,18 to calculate this number as the number of the name of the beast, it may be assumed that gematria is intended here.

Gematria is based on the fact that neither the Hebrew nor the classical Greek script had special signs for numbers. Instead, the letters of either alphabet were used as numerals. The first letter of the alphabet stands for 1, the second for 2 and so on. After 9, the value continues in steps of ten with 10, 20 etc. and is continued after 90 with 100, 200 and so on.

Consequently in these languages each word can also be interpreted as a group of numerals. The cross sum of these individual numbers is then this "number", which stands for the word or the name.

Here, in Rev 13:17-18, this number "666" stands for the name of the beast (the beast from the sea and then from the abyss), that is, the second, demonic Antichrist. And since this being will only appear in the future, so too this numerical index of the name can only be used to calculate the name when this future point in time is reached.

In the last words of this chapter, in Rev 13,18 – "the number of the beast, (…) the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six" – we can however find a confirmation of our analysis above. This beast originally, in Rev 13:1, came "out of the sea" (emerging from the political systems), and so was a human ruler, a man.

Whereby it is here the last one of the seven heads mentioned in Rev 13,1 (seven worldly rulers), which was killed as the "first Antichrist" by the Son of God ("one of his heads was as if it had been slain"). It was then in the realm of the dead, i.e. the abyss, from where it was raised up by Satan ("its fatal wound was healed").

Satan equips this being, which now is a demon, with all his power and strength and it now rises again as a "beast from the abyss" in the person of the "second Antichrist", kills the Two Witnesses of God and will, with the support of the "beast from the earth" (the false prophet) subjugate the whole earth to itself.

"The number of the beast" from the abyss – thus of the second Antichrist – "is the number of a man", namely of that man who once was this being, now raised from the dead, during his lifetime. As a human ruler and "beast from the sea" he initiated the Great Tribulation and was killed by the Son of God.

Besides this evidence for both, the appearance and death (2The 2,8, Rev 19,20) of two Antichrists in the Bible, the statement at the end of chapter 13: "The number of the beast (...) is the number of a man", is now the third confirmation for the view that we are dealing with two Antichrists in the Great Tribulation, who are, however, identical in person.

The first Antichrist will be the last human ruler before the Millennium. He will be killed by the Lord Jesus at his Second Coming, but will be resurrected by Satan and continue to rule as a demon and as the second Antichrist. In the battle of Armageddon, he will then be finally defeated by the Son of God and will be thrown with his false prophet into the lake of fire. (Rev 19,20-21). 

Barney Blankenship, a US-American visitor to Immanuel.at, who is also actively engaged in biblical exegesis and has examined these connections from a different perspective, comes to the same conclusion in his commentary quoted in Discourse 86, when he writes:


Thus, it can be suggested that one of the reasons for counting (calculating) the number of the Beast is because it contains as a component of, constructed within it, the number of a man. Therefore, the ‘total calculated number 666’ of the Beast includes both the number of the Beast itself and the number of the man Antichrist - the two become one.

Barney Blankenship word@shalach.org / www.shalach.org/







The World Empires in the Bible.(LANDSCAPE)


Kingdom of
Egypt



Kingdom of
Assyria



Kingdom of
Babylon



Kingdom of
Medo-Persia



Kingdom of
Greece



Kingdom of
Rome



Kingdom of
Antichrist

(The Great Tribulation)

Millennium
(Kingdom of peace)



Last Fight



Rev 17:9-11
Thutmosis

Rev 17:9-11
Assurnasirpal

Rev 17:9-11
Nebukadnezzar

Rev 17:9-11
Cores (Cyrus)

Rev 17:9-11
Alexander

Rev 17:9-11
Augustus

Rev 17:9-11
Beast

Rev 20:4-7
Jesus Christ

Rev 17:8-11
Satan (beast)
1st
head / king
he has fallen

2nd
head / king
he has fallen

3rd
head / king
he has fallen

4th
head / king
he has fallen

5th
head / king
he has fallen

6th
head / king
he is

7th    
  1st Antichrist                head / king               2nd Antichrist
   Sea / Rev 13:1             he will come           Abyss / Rev 11:7
Judgments of Seals                      Day of the LORD




8th
head / king
he was 7th














Rev 6:2

R
A









































2Thess 2:1-8
Mt 24:29
Rev 7:14





































2Thess 2:1-8
Mt 24:29
Rev 7:14









Eze 31:2-11






P
T
Eze 39:1-13

Eze 38:1-13



Isa 10:5-26











U

















Dan 2:32.37-38
head
of fine gold


Dan 2:32.39
breast, arms
of silver


Dan 2:32.39
belly, thighs
of bronze


Dan 2:33.40
legs
of iron


Dan 2:33.41-43
feet
iron, clay


R
E



Dan 2:42.44
toes
iron, clay
ten kings

Dan 2:34-35. 44-45
mountain stone
without hands



















Dan 7:4
lion
wings of eagle
|
|

Dan 7:5
bear
raised side
|
|

Dan 7:6
leopard
four heads
|
|

Dan 7:7
beast
iron teeth
ten horns
|

Dan 7:8
little horn
boaster
|
|


Dan 7:11
given to
the fire
|
|

Dan 7:13-14
Son of Man























V
Rev 13:2
mouth of lion




V
Rev 13:2
feet of bear




V
Rev 13:2
like leopard




V
Rev 13:1
ten horns




V
Rev 13:3
slain to
death but
was healed



V
Rev 13:4.14
false prophet;
alive into the
lake of fire
Rev 19:20







Rev 20:2-6






Rev 20:7-10