4. The revelation and career of the Anti-christ.
Who is the Anti-christ? Varied and wild have
been the answers to this question. In pre-christian times there were many who
regarded Antiochus Epiphanes as the one whom Daniel and the other prophets
described. At the beginning of this dispensation Nero was looked upon as the
predicted Man of Sin. After the Reformation the Papacy was selected as the
fulfiller of the prophecies given through the Patmos seer. And in our day
there have been those who consider the Kaiser to be the Son of Perdition. It
cannot be denied that each of these infamous characters have manifested various
characteristics which will yet be fully displayed by the Anti-christ, yet, they
none of them match complete the delineation of the Man of Sin which is given
in the prophetic word. There is one Scripture which is quite sufficient to
prove that none of those mentioned above are the Anti-christ, a Scripture,
moreover, which makes it certain that he has not yet been revealed, and cannot
be revealed until after the Rapture of the Church. We refer to 2 Thess. 2:7,8
- "For the mystery of lawlessness doth already work: only there is One that
restraineth now, until He be taken out of the way. And then shall be
revealed the Lawless One" (R.V.). The One who now "restrains" is the Holy
Spirit, and the time when He is "taken out of the way" is at the removal of the
Church which is His "temple." Here then is a conclusive argument: the
Anti-christ cannot be "revealed" or publicly manifested while God the Spirit is
on the earth.
Who is the Anit-christ? Having shown who cannot
have been the Anti-christ, let us now consider the positive answer to our
question. In the first place, he will be a man, a real man, just as
truly man as the Son of God was the Son of Man. The Anti-christ is termed "The
Man of Sin" (2 Thess. 2:3). In the second place, he will be a Jew,
if he were not he would be unable to make good his claims to be the real
Christ; if he were not a Jew he could not deceive the Jews. That he will be
a Jew, seems clear from Dan. 11:37. In the third place, he will be the
Super-man, he will be a supernatural character, he will be the Son of
the Devil. It is clear from Rev. 20:10 that there is an Evil Trinity, as
there is the Holy Trinity. The Anti-christ will be the second person of the
Evil Trinity as the Lord Jesus is the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. As
Jesus Christ was the God-Man, so the Anti-christ will be the Devil-Man.
There are at least three Scriptures which prove
the super-human character of the Anti-christ. The first is found in
Gen. 3:15. In this verse there is a double "enmity" spoken of: God
says, "I will put enmity between thee and the woman," that is, between Satan
and Israel, for Israel was the woman that bore Christ (see Rev. 12); "And
between thy seed and her seed." Observe particularly that two "seeds"
are here spoken of, "thy seed" (the antecedent is plainly the "Serpent") and
"her seed" the woman's Seed. The woman's "Seed" was Christ, the Serpent's
"Seed" will be the Anti-christ. The Anti-christ then, will be more than a man,
he will be the actual and literal Seed of that old Serpent the Devil, as Christ
was, according to the flesh, the actual and literal Seed of the woman. "Thy
seed," Satan's seed, refers to a specific individual, just as "her Seed" refers
to a specific Individual.
The second Scripture which proves that the
Anti-christ will be super-human, the offspring of Satan, is found in John 8:44
- "Ye are of your father the Devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.
He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there
is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is
a liar, and the father of it." In the Greek there is the definite article
before "lie" - the lie, "The Lie." There is but one other passage in the New
Testament where "The Lie" is mentioned and that is in 2 Thess. 2:11 where again
the definite article is found in the Greek, and here the reference to the
Anti-christ is unmistakable. A threefold reason may be suggested as to
why the Anti-christ should be termed "The Lie." First, because his
fraudulent claim to be the real Christ will be the greatest falsehood palmed
upon humanity. Second, because he is the direct antithesis of the real Christ
who is "The Truth" (John 14:6). Third, because he is the Son of Satan who is
the arch-Liar. But to return to John 8:44 - "When he (the Devil- speaketh
(concerning) The Lie, he speaketh of his own." His "own" what? His "own"
Son - the remainder of the verse makes this very plain - "for he (the
Devil) is a Liar and the father of it" i.e., of "The Lie." The Lie then
is Satan's "Son"! The third Scripture which proves that the Anti-christ will
be superhuman is even still plainer. In 2 Thess. 2:3 he is expressly said to
be "The Son of Perdition."
Who is the Anti-christ? He will be a man, a Jew,
a supernatural being, the "Seed" of the Serpent, the Son of Perdition.
Where is he today? It is possible that even now he may be on the earth,
though personally we hardly think this is likely. But if he is not yet born
then the unequivocal answer is, He is in the Abyss or Bottomless Pit (Rev.
11:7). This Scripture contains the first reference to "the Beast" in the
Revelation. The question naturally arises, How did he get there? and
when was he sent there? In answering this question we are well aware
that we shall call down upon us the criticism and censure of brethren that we
honor and love, yet, notwithstanding, we must again be true to our convictions
and faithful in presenting what we believe to be the teaching of Holy Scripture
on this solemn and mysterious subject. When was the "Beast" consigned to the
Bottomless Pit? We answer, when Judas Iscariot died! The Anti-christ will
be Judas Iscariot re-incarnated. The proof for this startling assertion
(we may say, a by no means novel one, though our study of this point has been
conducted independently) will now be humbly submitted to the critical attention
of our readers.
Who was Judas Iscariot? He was the one by whom
the Lord of Glory was betrayed. He was a "man" (Matt. 26:24). But was he
more than a man? Let Scripture make answer. In John 6:70 we read,
"Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a Devil?" It is hardly
necessary to say that in the Greek there are two different words for "Devil"
and "demon." There are many demons but only one Devil. Further,
in no other passage is the word "Devil" applied to anyone but to Satan himself.
Now here in John 6:70 our Lord says of Judas that he is "ho diabolos" not
"daimonizomai": the definite article is employed - one of you is "the Devil."
Judas then was the Devil incarnate, just as the Lord Jesus was God incarnate.
Christ Himself said so, and we dare not doubt His word. Again, in John
17:12 He said, "Those that Thou gavest Me I have kept, and none of them is lost
but the Son of Perdition." Here then is the answer of Scripture itself.
Who was Judas Iscariot? He was the Devil incarnate; he was the Son of
Now let us see how Scripture connects the
Anti-christ with Judas and shows that they are one and the same person. In the
first place, as we have already pointed out, the first reference to "the Beast"
(the Anti-christ) in the Revelation is 11:7, where we read of "the beast that
ascendeth out of the Bottomless Pit." We asked, How and when did he go there?
And we answered, at the death of Judas. Have we any Scripture which supports
this assertion? We believe so. Mark the language used in Acts 1:25, "That he
may take part of this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by
transgression fell, that he might go to his own place." Of no one else
in all the Bible is it said that at death he went "to his own place." Put
these two Scriptures together - Judas went "to his own place," the Beast
ascends out of the Abyss. Again, in Rev. 17:8 we read, "The Beast that thou
sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the Bottomless Pit, and go into
perdition." This verse is generally understood to refer to the revived Roman
Empire and with this interpretation we are in accord, but we believe it is a
mistake to limit it to this. In the Apocalypse, the Roman Empire and
its final and Satanic Emperor are very closely connected, so much so, that at
times it is difficult to distinguish between them. But in Rev. 17 they are
distinguishable. In verse 8 we are told that the Beast "shall ascend out of
the Bottomless Pit," and that he shall "go into perdition>" In verse 11 we
are told, "And the Beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of
the seven, and goeth into perdition." Now nearly all expositors are agreed
that the Beast of verse 11 - "the eighth (head, and form of government of the
Roman Empire) is the Anti-christ himself; then why not admit the same of verse
8? In both, the designation is the same - the Beast; and in both, we are told
he "goeth into perdition." We take it, then, that what is predicated of "the
Beast" in 17:8 is true of both the Roman Empire and of its last head or
Emperor (the Anti-christ) - of the former, in the sense that it is infernal in
its character. Viewing it now as a declaration of the Anti-christ, what does
it tell us about him? Four things. First, he "was." Second, he "is not."
Third, he shall "ascend out of the Bottomless Pit." Fourth, he shall "go into
perdition." The various time marks here concern the Beast in his relation
to the earth. First, he "was" i.e., on the earth. Second, he "is not"
i.e. now on the earth (cf. Gen. 5:24, "Enoch was not for God took him,"
i.e. "was not," any longer on the earth). Third, he shall "ascend out
of the Bottomless Pit" (where he now is) which agrees with 11:7. Fourth, he
shall "go into perdition." We learn then from this Scripture that at the time
the Apocalypse was written that the Beast "was not" then on the earth, but that
he had been on it formerly. Further, we learn that in John's day the
Beast was then in the Bottomless Pit but should yet ascend out of it. Here
then is further evidence that the Anti-christ who is yet to appear has been on
earth before! If this is not sufficient to prove that the Anti-christ will be
a reincarnation of Judas our next Scripture ought to decide the matter. As we
have seen in John 17:12 Christ termed Judas "the Son of Perdition" and in 2
Thess. 2:3 we find that the Man of Sin is similarly designated - "that
Man of Sin be revealed, the Son of Perdition." These are the only two
places in all the Bible where this name occurs, is it not clear then that Judas
and the Man of Sin are one and the same person? What other conclusion
can a simple and unprejudiced reader of the Bible come to?
Who is the Anti-christ? We have dwelt upon his
mysterious person, and we would now call attention to a number of passages in
Scriptures (which the reader will do will to look up and prayerfully study) in
which he is variously denominated and described. He is the "bloody and
deceitful man" of Ps. 5:6. He is the "man of the earth" of Ps 10:18. He is
the "Head over many countries" of Ps. 110:7. He is the "little horn" of Dan.
7:20-27. He is the "vile person" of Dan. 11:21. He is the "proud man" of Hab.
2:5. He is the rider on the four horses in Rev. 6. He is the "fallen star" of
Rev. 9:1. He is the "Beast" of Rev. 13:1-8. He is the "Lawless One" of 2
As can be well imagined the Scriptures draw a
sharp contrast between Christ and the pseudo Christ. It is remarkable how
complete the antithesis is. We give a twelve-fold contrast between their
various designations. The one is called the Christ (Matt. 16:16), the other
the Anti-christ (1 John 4:3). The one is called "the Man of Sorrows" (Is.
53:3, the other "the Man of Sin" (2 Thess. 2:3). The one is called "the Son of
God" (John 1:34), the other "the Son of Perdition" (2 Thess. 2:3). The
numerical value (the gematria) of the name Jesus is 888, the number of the
Anti-christ's name is 666 (Rev. 13:18). The one is called the Seed of the
woman (Gen. 3:15), the other the Seed of the Serpent (Gen. 3:15). The one is
called the Lamb (Is. 53:7). the other "the Beast" (Rev. 11:7). Christ is
called "the Holy One" (Mark 1:24), the Anti-christ is termed "the Wicked One"
(2 Thess. 2: 8). The one is called "the Truth" (John 14:6), the other "the
Lie" (John 8:44). The one is called "the Prince of Peace" (Is. 9:6), the other
"the Profane Prince" (Ezek. 21:25). The one is called "the Glorious Branch"
(Is. 4:2), the other "the Abominable Branch" (Is. 14:19). The one is called
"the Good Shepherd" (John 10:11), the other "the Idol Shepherd" (Zech. 11:17).
The one is called "the Mighty Angel" (Rev. 10:1), the other "the Angel of the
Bottomless Pit" (Rev. 9:11).
Not only do the Scriptures point a complete
contrast between Christ and the Anti-christ in their several names and titles
but the same is true in regard to their respective characters and careers.
Christ came down from heaven (John 3:13), but the Anti-christ comes up out of
the Bottomless Pit (Rev. 11:7). Christ came in Another's name (John 5:43), but
the Anti-christ will come in his own name (John 5:43). Christ came to do the
Father's will (John 6:38), but the Anti-christ will do his own will (Dan.
11:36). Christ wrought in the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:14), but the
Anti-christ will be energized by Satan (Rev. 13:4). Christ submitted Himself
to God (John 5:30), but the Anti-christ will defy God (2 Thess. 2:4). Christ
"humbled" Himself (Phil. 2:8), but the Anti-christ will "exalt" himself (Dan.
11:36). Christ honored the God of His fathers (Luke 4:16), but the Anti-christ
will refuse to do so (Dan. 11:37). Christ cleansed the Temple (John 2:14-16),
but the Anti-christ will defile the temple (Matt. 24:15). Christ ministered to
the needy (Luke 4:18), but the Anti-christ will refuse to do so (Zech. 11:16).
Christ was rejected of men (Is. 53:3), but the Anti-christ will be accepted by
all the world (Rev. 13:4). Christ "leadeth" His flock (John 10:3), but the
Anti-christ will "leave" his flock (Zech. 11:17). Christ was slain for the
people (John 11:51), but the Anti-christ will slay the people (Dan. 11:44).
Christ glorified God (John 17:4), but the Anti-christ will blaspheme God (Rev.
13:6). Christ was received up into Heaven (Luke 24:51), but the Anti-christ
goes down into Hell (Rev. 19:20).
The remarkable career of the Anti-christ is
sketched in a number of different Scriptures, some of which we shall now
briefly consider. In Daniel 7 the prophet is given a vision of the four great
world-empires - Babylonish, Medo-Persian, Grecian and Roman - which are
symbolized by as many "beasts." The fourth beast is described 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 (referring to the conquests under the Caesars), and stamped the
residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were
before it (entirely different in its form of government); and it had ten
horns." In verse 24 these "ten horns" are said to be "ten kings that shall
arise" which corresponds with Rev. 17:12 where the Roman Empire revived
and in its final form is again in view. In Dan. 7:8 we read, "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 a man, and a mouth speaking great
things." The "little horn," which occupies a prominent place in this chapter,
symbolizes the Anti-christ who will be the Head of the revived Roman Empire.
The part that he will play is described in verses 20 to 26 in this same
chapter. "And of the ten horns that were in his head (i.e., of the beast which
represents the Roman Empire), and of the other (the Anti-christ) which came up,
and before whom three fell (three of the kings); even of that horn that had
eyes (symbol of intelligence), and a mouth that spake very great things, whose
look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war
with the saints, and prevailed against them; until the Ancient of days came,
and judgment was given to the saints of the Most high; and the time came that
the saints possessed the kingdom (which looks forward to the Millennium). Thus
he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom on earth (i.e., the
fourth universal kingdom after the Times of the Gentiles had begun), which
shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall
tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns are ten kings that
shall arise (in the Tribulation period): and another shall rise after them: and
he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he
shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the Saints of
the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they (the "times and
laws") shall be given into his hand until a time (a year) and times (two years)
and the dividing of time (half a year - three and a half years in all). But
the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and
to destroy it unto the end." Here we are told, first, that the Anti-christ
will "have a mouth speaking very great things: which we know from 2 Thess. 2
refers to his audacious claim to be God Himself. Second, that he will "make
war with the saints." These "saints" are the godly Jewish remnant which
will refuse to render him homage and in consequence will be slain (cf. Rev.
20:4). Third, he will "speak great words against the Most High" which clearly
identifies him with the Man of Sin. Fourth, he will "think (purpose) to change
times and laws," the reference being to the religious feasts and festivals of
Israel which the Anti-christ will abolish, for everything which bears testimony
to God he will seek to destroy. Fifth, his "dominion" shall be taken away from
him, for at the close of the Tribulation period he will be cast into the Lake
of Fire (Rev. 19:20).
In Daniel 8 the "little horn" is mentioned again.
Many regard this "little horn" as symbolizing a different personage from the
one brought before us in the previous chapter, and this, because here he is
said to arise out of the third kingdom (Greece), whereas in chapter 7 he is
seen coming up out of the fourth (the Roman Empire). But this we regard as a
mistake. To us, this method of interpretation appears very much like the
reasoning of the Jews who of old denied that their Messiah could come out of
Nazareth because it was written that He should be born in Bethlehem. Or, to
make these two "little horns" separate characters seems to us like the device
of the ancient Rabbis who taught there would be two Messiahs, the one
suffering Messiah and the other a triumphant Messiah. No; rather do we regard
each of the "little horns" as representing the same person, but viewing him
in different connections and relationships. That each of the "little
horns" do point to the Anti-christ seems clear from a comparison of what is
predicted of them with what is said of the Anti-christ in other places.
To quote now from Daniel 8: "And out of one of
them came forth a little horn which waxed exceeding great, toward the south,
and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land (Palestine). And it waxed
great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the
stars to the ground and stamped upon them (probably a symbolical reference to
his deposing of certain rulers, corresponding with the plucking up of the
"three kings" in the previous chapter). Yea, he magnified himself even to the
prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away (which action
clearly identifies him with the Anti-christ), and the place of his sanctuary
was cast down. And a host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason
of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practiced
and prospered" (vss 9-12). Here again the Anti-christ is seen subduing
governmental powers and enlarging his own kingdom. Here again we see him
inflated with egotism - "magnifying himself," which is a characteristic mark of
all the prophecies which describe the Anti-christ, a mark by which we are
enabled to identify him. And here again we see him opposing the Jews,
and destroying that which bears witness to God - "taking away the daily
In Dan. 11:36-45 we have another prophetic
picture of the character and career of the Anti-christ. We do not quote the
whole of this passage but merely the first two and last verses of it. "And the
king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify
himself (the last two words showing that he is the same character as
symbolized by the "little horn" - compare 8:11) above every god, and shall
speak marvelous things against the God of gods (cf. 7:25). and shall prosper
till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be
done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women,
nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. And he shall plant
the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain;
yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him." Here we are told the
Anti-christ will be a "king." He will be king of the Jews and king over the
restored Roman Empire in its ten-kingdomed form. He will be a king of kings.
His blatant impiety is pointed out in the words "he shall exalt himself, and
magnify himself against every god." The words "Neither shall he regard the God
of his fathers" call attention to his Jewish nationality. "Nor the Desire of
women" (cf. Haggai 2:7) is a Hebraism for the Messiah. The birth of the
Messiah was the great hope of Israel and every Jewish maiden desired above
everything else to have the honor of being the mother of the promised One. The
Anti-christ then will deny both the Father and the Son (see 1 John 2:22). The
closing verse refers to his destruction.
In 2 Thess. 2 we also read, "Let no man deceive
you by any means: for that day (the day of Christ - the Millennium) shall not
come, except there come a falling away first, and that Man of Sin be revealed,
the Son of Perdition; 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. ** For the Mystery of Iniquity
doth already work: only He who now letteth (restraineth) will let (restrain),
until He (the Holy Spirit) be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked
One be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and
shall destroy with the brightness of His coming (to the earth itself) even him,
whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and
lying wonders, and will all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that
perish; because they received not the love of the truth, they that they might
be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they
should believe the Lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the
truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (vss. 3,4,7-12). Incredible as it
may seem, Satan will be permitted to travesty the miracle of Bethlehem.
Observe that the incarnation of the Son of God is termed "the mystery of
godliness" (1 Tim. 3:16) while, above, the incarnation of the Son of Perdition
is styled "the mystery of iniquity." Satan is going to send forth his own son
into this world, born under supernatural circumstances and combining in his
person the human and Satanic natures. The daring blasphemy of the coming
Anti-christ is also mentioned again. He will "sit in the Temple" a re-built
Temple in Jerusalem "shewing himself that he is God." He will assume the place
and prerogatives of the true Christ, will in fact claim to be Christ Himself.
His audacious claim will be supported by imposing credentials, for he will work
miracles by which he will deceive the whole world, Apostate Christendom,
previously "spued out" by Christ (Rev. 3:16) will be given over by God to
believe the Lie, that is, they will be completely deceived and will readily
accept the Anti-christ as the Lord Jesus. But his end is sure. The Lord shall
"consume him with the spirit of His mouth, and destroy him with the brightness
of His coming."
One other Scripture must suffice. In Rev. 13 we
read, "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. 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 (the Devil) gave him (the Anti-christ) his power, and
his seat, and great authority. 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. And they worshipped the Dragon which gave power unto the Beast:
and they worshipped the Beast, saying, Who is like unto the Beast? who
is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking
great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty
and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme
His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given
unto him to make war with the saints and to overcome them: and power was given
him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the
earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the
Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (vss. 1-8).
The last quoted Scripture is a case in point
where it is difficult to distinguish between the kingdom and its king, the
empire and its emperor. The "beast" which is here seen rising out of the "sea"
symbolizes the revival and restoration of the old Roman Empire and corresponds
with Daniel's fourth beast. In Scripture the "sea" figures the restless
nations away from God. Revelation 13 contemplates a time of political upheaval
and social disturbance. Out of revolutionary conditions will issue the revived
Roman Empire, the last head of which will be the Anti-christ. Many students of
prophecy regard the head of this Empire as another person than the Anti-christ.
It is supposed there will be two men on earth at this time, the one controlling
political affairs, the other dominating the religious realm. But we fail to
see anything in Scripture which justifies this distinction. On the contrary,
it seems most in accord with analogy to believe that just as the Lord Jesus
will yet combine these offices and functions, so the pseudo christ will
fill this double role. It is true there
will be two Satanic characters on earth during the Tribulation period and the
second of these if brought before us in the second "Beast" of Rev. 13. This
second Beast we regard as the "False Prophet" of Rev. 19:20; 20:10. He
is the third person in the Trinity of Evil. That the Second Beast of Rev. 13
is Satan's parody of the Holy Spirit (the Third Person in the Holy Trinity)
rather than of Christ Himself, seems clear from what is here predicted of him.
Just as the Holy Spirit "speaks not of Himself" (John 16:13) but is here to
glorify Christ, so the second Beast causes men to worship the first Beast. And
just as the advent of the Holy Spirit was accompanied by the descent of tongues
of fire (Acts 2:3), so this second Beast "maketh fire come down from heaven on
the earth in the sight of men" (13:13). Finally, that the second Beast (and
not the first) is the "False Prophet" is abundantly clear from Rev. 19:20 where
we are told, "And the Beast was taken, and with him the False Prophet that
wrought miracles before him with which he deceived them that had received
the mark of the Beast, and them that worshipped his image." The marks of
identity here are so plain that it seems impossible to mistake them. In Rev.
13 it is the second Beast that "deceiveth them that dwell on the
earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the
sight of the Beast;" and here in Rev. 19 it is the False Prophet that is
said to have "wrought miracles before him" with which he deceived
the Beast's worshipers. Hence we unhesitatingly affirm that the False Prophet
is the Second Beast of Rev. 13.
We do not now attempt a full interpretation of
the symbolical description of the Anti-christ contained in what is said above
of the first Beast, a hint here and there is all we shall essay. The
Anti-christ will combine in his personality the characteristics of the leopard
(beauty and subtlety) of the bear (strength and cruelty), and of the lion
(boldness and ferocity). He will be vested with full power and authority from
Satan as the Lord Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit. He will compel the
admiration of the whole world and will be universally worshipped. He will be a
warrior of international renown and none will be able to resist his terrible
power. But his career will be cut short: after his rise to full power only
forty-two months, or three and a half years, will be allowed him by God.
Putting together the various Scriptures at which
we have little more than glanced, we learn that the Anti-christ will be a
supernatural being - the Son of Perdition; that he will be revealed subsequent
to the departure of the Holy Spirit from the earth (which occurs at the Rapture
of the saints); that he will be the greatest soul-destroyer that has ever trod
this earth. He will be the Super-Man for whom the world is already looking.
He will personify all the godless culture of the last days, and will be endowed
with a supernatural wisdom. He will be the consummation of vileness - "the
Wicked One;" he will be the personification of evil - "the Man of Sin;" he will
be the incarnation of the Devil - "the Son of Perdition." He will pose as the
Christ of God and will substantiate his claims by performing wonderful
miracles. He will be welcomed and cordially received by all Christendom. He
will utterly deceive the majority of the Jews who will hail him as their
long-expected Messiah. He will rule over a restored Roman Empire thus
travestying Christ who, in the Millennium, will sit as a priest upon His
throne. He will be a warrior of world-wide renown, a statesman of
unrivaled skill, a man of transcendent genius, before whom the exploits of
Caesar, Charlemagne and Napoleon will appear trifling. Kings will be his toys
and thrones his playthings. Toward the close of his reign he will throw off
his mask, no longer assuming to be the real Christ, but standing forth in his
own colors he will deny both God the Father and God the Son, will seek to
exterminate the Jews and everything else which bears witness to the living God;
will set up his own image in the rebuilt Temple at Jerusalem, and under pain of
death will compel all to worship it and receive his mark upon their bodies.
But he will meet with summary judgment at the end, as we shall yet see. We
turn now to consider,
It is further to be noted that the
Anti-christ is twice termed "Death and Hades" (Is. 28:18; Rev. 6:8) as if to
intimate he came from Hades the place which receives the souls of the dead.
See "Appendix" P. 397.