From what government will the Anti-christ ascend to power during the tribulation?
ANTI-CHRIST – “FALSE PROPHET”
We try to get folks to understand what the Bible really says. A lot of the time we have an idea that it says something that it doesn’t say. Which is just as important as missing what it does say. In our last lesson we were talking about the 144,000 that will be administering the Gospel of the Kingdom during the Tribulation. Let’s back up to the opening of the Tribulation in Revelation 13. Here is yet another introduction of the man Anti-christ. We talk a lot about the Anti-christ as he is the central figure in these seven years. He is the very emissary of Satan, and will try at the end of the seven years to make war against the coming Christ. So we should have a complete understanding of who and what He is, and what we are seeing tonight that indicates that the time is not too far off for his appearance. So now let’s read what John sees here:
“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.”
Be careful. I’m sure you’ve all seen posters and books with all of these different looking animals that people have portrayed as the Anti-christ. But we are not talking about a beast per se; we are talking about a government. Remember, Daniel, Ezekiel, and John here in Revelation write in symbolic language. You have to search the Scriptures to reduce these symbolisms to a literal thing. It’s going to be a government headed up by the one man, Anti-christ.
The beast here in Chapter 13 is first and foremost the revival of the old ancient Roman Empire. And the reason it is referred to as a beast here, as well as in Daniel, is that the government will be so bestial in its operation, there will be no concerns about individual or human rights. And then the seven heads and ten horns and ten crowns – this again is a twofold picture I think, as Satan is often referred to as the seven heads and so forth, referring I think to his power and his authority. But usually we think of the seven heads and ten horns as the revived Roman Empire. It will be a consortium of ten nations coming out of the Old Roman Empire territory. And I think we are seeing it coming on the scene even tonight as the Common Market, or European Community. At the present time, I think there are twelve nations that make up the EC (it may go a little higher), but when the peace treaty is signed between the Anti-christ and the Nation of Israel there will be only 10. And we will be showing that as we come through our study of Revelation.
Back in verse 1 of Chapter 13, John “stood upon the sand of the sea.” And remember that the sea here is the sea of humanity, the masses of people around the globe. The world is getting “global.” That’s the word you hear and see lately. So out of this mass of humanity will come this empire that has been dead since about 300 AD and will be headed up by this man of sin, the Anti-christ. Now verse 2:
“And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon (Satan) gave him his power, and his seat (throne), and great authority.”
Go back again to Daniel 7. When we studied Daniel several lessons ago I stressed then that when we studied Daniel we would have to study Revelation and Matthew 24 and 25. They just all fit together so nicely. You can’t study one without the other two. Now that mandates a lot of repetition. But as I have learned over the years, repetition is one of the best tools of learning. Here, Daniel is describing a vision that he has had. Which, of course, is looking forward down through history, and he uses practically the same language.
“Daniel spake and said, `I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.” There’s that symbolism again with the mass of humanity. And out of that sea of humanity the following happened:
“And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.” These were governments, not animals.
“The first was like a lion (that was Babylon)… And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear (that was the Medes and Persians empire)… After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard (that was the Greek empire under Alexander the Great)… After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast (or empire), dreadful and terrible (this was the Roman empire)…”
The Roman empire was noble in some aspects, but it was bestial in many others. It had no concern for the lower classes of people. They threw people to the lions and thought nothing of it. They also became grossly immoral, wicked and evil. And, consequently, the empire finally fell in on itself. If you compare this passage with Revelation 13, you will see that John doesn’t list the Roman empire. He begins with the Greek, the leopard, because he is speaking at a time when the Roman empire is still on the scene. So he doesn’t have to list that one. But out of this Roman Empire you are going to see the residue of the previous three great world empires. But here John lists the empires in reverse order. These four empires are the ones the Bible concerns itself with as the times of the Gentiles. We read about the Roman empire that faded off the scene, but now is coming back on the scene in verse 7:
“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 (what?) ten horns.”
Now back to Revelation 13:3. Let’s take this slowly so that we don’t lose the overall picture. We have ancient Babylon, the ancient Medes and Persians, Greek, and Roman empires. Daniel sees all the residue of those empires coming back together in the revival of that fourth (Roman) empire that was dreadful and terrible:
“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 (this empire).
Let’s bring it right up to the present time. Western Europe is coming together more and more as the United States of Europe. Tonight, I think they are at the number twelve, and like I said, they may go to thirteen or more. But whatever transpires, we know they will drop back to ten. This is a revival of that empire that existed what – almost 2000 years ago? It was dead, and yet here it is coming back full force. And the world is amazed. How can this be. Just fifty years ago most of the great cities of Europe were in heaps of rubble, ravished by war. Their industries had been destroyed. Yet where are they tonight. They are almost looking down on us.
I’ve said for years, that it almost seems that there was a conspiracy to destroy our United States of America. I still think there is. Right after World War II, when we had utterly demolished our enemies, the Marshall Plan came on the scene and we just literally rebuilt Europe with American dollars. Since then we have seen our industries leaving. We have all the oil resources we will ever need, but where do we get our oil? Foreign suppliers. Our industries are farmed out to Japan, Europe, Mexico, and Third World countries. Our steel business is almost gone. So you can see it seems there is a conspiracy to just bleed our beloved America dry. And all of it to enhance this revival of the ancient Roman Empire, or what we call the 10 nations of the European Community. But nevertheless, this is all in the end-time picture, and in this EC there will come this leader, this man, this human, who is the other aspect of the beast. So you almost use the term synonymously.
“And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off (now that completed 483 years of the prophecy that was determined in verse 24, which would still leave 7 years still to be fulfilled), but not for himself (He didn’t die because He deserved it, but rather for the sins of the world. Now here comes the prophecy), and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary;…”
That means that the prince that shall come, the Anti-christ, would come out of the empire that destroyed the Temple and city of Jerusalem in 70 AD and we know that was Rome. And that is why the Bible has been looking forward to the end-time when the Revived Roman Empire would once again come to power, and we see that even tonight with the E. C. They already have currency printed for the E. C. with the logo of a woman riding upon a beast as described in Revelation. Isn’t it amazing how an ungodly world, (and Europe certainly is) is falling right into the very format of the Book of Revelation.
I just read a couple of interesting things about the European situation. A gentlemen sent me an article from the news magazine call “Europe” which is strictly a magazine to report the events in Europe, and out of that I picked up something that I had totally missed, and if I missed it I feel a lot of other people also missed it. Beginning in the late 50’s and through the 60’s and 70’s, we had those original 10 nations of western Europe which for the longest time, the world referred to as the “Ten,” then later on they became the common market, and European union, but the connotation was that it was the “Ten.”
So when I taught end time events of prophecy in this Through the Bible study a few years back I naturally referred to the “Ten” then as what I thought was the revived Roman Empire. It fits so beautifully with Daniel and Revelation that I was very comfortable with that, and then all of a sudden the “Ten” expanded to eleven and twelve, thirteen, and fourteen. I just explained to my classes, well maybe it will go on up to fifteen, sixteen, or seventeen, but by the time the anti-Christ is ready appear on the scene, it’ll drop back to “Ten.”
Well now I learn from this magazine “Europe” that there are two separate organizations in western Europe. One of them is the original “Ten.” And for our television audience, I’ll put it on the board, the “Ten” ever since the 60’s is equal to the western European union, it is now referred to now as the W.E.U., but it’s still the “Ten.” But the organization we’ve been hearing the most about lately is the European union without the Western on it. But within that European Union are the original “Ten,” but it’s now up to nineteen nations. So I’m still on solid ground because the “Ten” are still intact, they are a separate organization from these nineteen nations, and so they can still be the revived Roman empire out of which the anti-Christ will come.
Well when we left Indiana last Sunday, somebody had given me the Sunday edition of the New York Times, and one of the front page articles was that the “Ten” was frantically getting their own military established so that the next time something comes up they won’t have to depend on the American military for their power. As I read that I couldn’t believe my eyes. So they have already set a time table to have a real Czar, a real chairman of the board who by sometime in the year 2000 will be in total control of their military, their security, and they hope to have as strong a military force as we now have with the United States involved as well. They want to be able to do what we’ve done in consort, they want to be able to do it themselves. So that just tells me again that we’re getting so close to the time that out of that“Ten” nation complex which will be the real revived Roman empire, out of it will come then the anti-Christ.
So these are just little interesting items of tidbits and all I wanted to bring out of that is, Kosovo in itself, I don’t think, has a real implication on all this, but indirectly now, because of the Kosovo deal the western European union suddenly realized that they are inept militarily for such another fracas, so they’re going to have to really speed things up and get ready in case something else comes along and not have to depend on America. Always remember, there’s going to be three major areas of military power by the time we get to the Tribulation. That will be Western Europe, China, and Africa. I feel that Russia and the United States will somehow meet their demise and will no longer be a factor in the events of the Tribulation period.