Who Will The Antichrist Be?

Who Will The Antichrist Be?

The Omen, Rosemary's Baby, End of Days, Devil's Advocate, Ninth Gate; endless films have captured us about a character who will herald the end of life on planet Earth in an apocalyptic clash of good and evil. Every time someone reaches great power in the West, speculation mounts: Hitler, Bill Gates, Barack Obama, and now Elon Musk. The Bible is quire clear in its description of who this person will be.

The prophecy itself is straightforward: at the end of times, as the new Earth is about to be instantiated, Satan will counterfeit the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) and desperately attempt to enthrone himself as the God of Israel, enslaving mankind under a world government which mass-murders Christians. Nothing human will be able to stop him.

Understanding Apocalyptic Literature

Revelation was written in 95 AD, during the last year of the reign of Domitian (81-96), around 60 years after Jesus died. Before we start, we need to understand the broader context of the book. It was put into words on the small, isolated Greek island of Patmos in the Aegean Sea, where John had been exiled by the Emperor.

For a cave, it's pretty nice

Patmos had a small population and was known for its rugged landscape. The island spans about 34 square kilometers (roughly 13 square miles), with a coastline characterized by rocky inlets and natural harbors. The highest point on the island is Profitis Ilias, standing at about 269 meters (883 feet) above sea level. The cave where John is said to have received his revelations, known as the Cave of the Apocalypse, is still a site of pilgrimage today.

It wasn't a pleasant place, but it was the perfect place to banish political dissidents to. No, it wasn't famous for psilocybin mushrooms. It's a barren, rocky hell, and John lived in a cave.

Apocalyptic literature is a special genre of religious writing that deals with revelations of the end times, encompassing the ultimate destiny of humanity and the world. It is characterized by symbolic, visionary, and often cryptic language, describing the unveiling or revelation (from the Greek word "apokalypsis," meaning "unveiling" or "revelation") of divine mysteries, particularly concerning the cosmic struggle between good and evil and the eventual triumph of good.

The Book of Daniel (Old Testament) and the Book of Revelation (New Testament) are prime examples of apocalyptic literature within the Bible. Daniel offers visions of future kingdoms and divine judgment, while Revelation describes the end times, the Antichrist, the final battle, and the new heaven and earth. Extra-biblical texts such as 1 Enoch, 2 Esdras, and the Apocalypse of Baruch are examples of apocalyptic literature outside the canonical Bible. These works were influential in Second Temple Judaism and early Christianity.

There were 3 main periods of this kind of writing:

Second Temple Judaism (515 BC – 70 AD)

Daniel and his era. It was marked by significant turmoil, including the conquests by the Persian Empire, Alexander the Great, and the division of his empire among his generals, leading to the Hellenistic period, and ultimately, Roman rule.

Early Christian Period (AD - 2AD)

Christ and Judea under Roman occupation, as well as internal Jewish sectarianism. Texts such as 1 Enoch (and its various components like the Book of the Watchers, the Book of Parables), the Apocalypse of Baruch, and 4 Ezra (2 Esdras) flourished during this period. Obviously John's Revelation, reflecting early Christian concerns about persecution, the end times, and the second coming of Christ.

17th Century Revival - 2000

Interest in apocalyptic literature saw a revival with the Protestant Reformation and has continued into modern times, often linked to millenarian movements and interpretations of contemporary events as signs of the end times. The 19th and 20th centuries, in particular, witnessed the rise of new religious movements and theological perspectives that emphasized apocalyptic expectations (Jim Jones etc).

The Revelation Story: Chapters 12 - 14

The Apocalypse of St John is the most exciting, dramatic, and frankly, insane story you'll read for a long time. But it can be confusing, despite how tight and fat-free the editorial is. The story is the end of the world, and how humanity will suffer through the titanic divine battle of good and evil.

We'll divide it into 3 acts.

Act I: The Woman, the Dragon, and the Child

The church is Christ's bride, and is referred to as female. The dragon is related to the serpent of Eden. And the Child is the Messiah, born human.

DALL-E is quite something.
  1. A woman "clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head." cries out while giving birth. This is Israel, Mary, and the Church.
  2. A great red dragon with seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns on its heads, appears, waiting to devour the woman's child as soon as it is born. This is Satan.
  3. The woman gives birth to a son, "who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter." This is Jesus Christ. The child is snatched up to God's throne, and the woman flees into the wilderness to a place prepared by God, where she is to be taken care of for 1,260 days (42 months, 3.5 years, or Antichrist's reign).
  4. A war breaks out in heaven, with the archangel Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon (Satan) and its angels (demons). The dragon and its followers are defeated and thrown down to the earth, but have great wrath, knowing that their time is short.
  5. The enraged dragon (Satan) pursues the mother (Christians), but she is given two wings of a great eagle to escape into the wilderness, away from the serpent. The earth helps the woman by swallowing the river that the dragon spews out of his mouth to drown her.
  6. The dragon (Satan) makes war against the rest of the woman's offspring—those who keep God's commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus (Christians).

Act II: Dictatorship, Genocide, and the Beasts

We'll cover more of this later, but the general events are two beasts (Antichrist and the False Prophet) arise to oppose God and persecute His people, working in league with the dragon (Satan).

  1. The first beast (Antichrist's political empire) emerges from the chaos of the sea, described as having "ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and each head bearing a blasphemous name". The beast resembles a leopard, with feet like a bear's and a mouth like a lion's. It rules for 42 months (3.5 years). Its name is a number: 666.
  2. Its Satanic authority extends over every tribe, people, language, and nation, indicating a near-universal influence. The worst 3.5 years in humanity's history: war, genocide, mass murder, persecution, horrors beyond anything in Nazi Germany.
  3. The whole world bows in terrified worship after the first beast appears to be miraculously resurrected from a fatal wound.
  4. The second beast (the religious False Prophet) comes out of the earth, having two horns like a harmless or righteous lamb but speaking like a dragon. It appears benign but promotes evil.
  5. The second beast performs signs and wonders, even making fire come down from heaven, deceiving the inhabitants of the earth. It instructs them to create an image of the first beast (Antichrist), which it "gives breath" to, allowing it to speak and cause those who refuse to worship the image to be killed. It also enforces the mark of the beast, requiring all people to receive a mark on their right hand or forehead to buy or sell.

Act III: The Return & God's Epic Revenge

God splits the world into two groups: faithful believers, and the rest branded with the beast's mark. It is like a farmer's field, which is harvested.

The boys are back in town, yo
  1. Jesus stands on Mount Zion, accompanied by 144,000 people who have His name and His Father's name written on their foreheads.
  2. The first angel announces the eternal gospel and calls for the worship of God as the creator.
  3. The second angel declares the fall of Babylon, symbolizing the defeat of the corrupt systems represented by the beasts.
  4. The third angel warns against worshiping the beast and its image, highlighting the eternal consequences of allegiance to evil.
  5. The first harvest, reaped by one "like a son of man," symbolizes the gathering of the righteous (Christian believers who didn't take the mark).
  6. The second harvest, involving an angel ripping up grapes with a sharp sickle of wrath, represents the judgment of the wicked, who are "trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses’ bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia."

This echoes John the Baptist's words in Matthew 3:

“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

In chapter 16, we see 7 angels pouring out the horror of God's wrath onto the world as multiple "bowls" of plagues. Finally, in Chapter 20, the dragon (Satan) gets his punishment.

  1. Satan is bound by an angel and thrown into an abyss for 1000 years.
  2. There's 1000 years of peace where the dead are resurrected.
  3. Satan is released, and immediately deceives the nations for one final battle against Christians and the city of Jerusalem.
  4. He is defeated supernaturally by fire from Heaven.
  5. Satan the Dragon (counterfeit father), Antichrist (counterfeit son), and the False Prophet (counterfeit holy spirit) are thrown into the eternal Lake of Fire as punishment.
  6. God sits on His Great White Throne. The dead, great and small, stand before the throne, and books are opened, including the Book of Life. The dead are judged according to their deeds, and anyone not found in the Book of Life is thrown into the lake of fire, as the "second death."

The Purpose and Mission of Antichrist

Antichrist is potentially the most evil man to ever walk on planet Earth. Which is quite an achievement when you think of Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, and the others. He has no limits on his strength and authority, and the whole globe under his control. He will be history’s vilest embodiment of sin and rebellion.

Masquerading as the true Messiah, he wears a crown, while Jesus wears many crowns (Revelation 19:12). In the Greek translation, the crown worn by the rider of the white horse refers to the crown of victory worn by a conqueror.

“Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.” (1 John 2:18)

It will be achieved by mimicking God's triune nature.

  • Satan, imitating God (and, for a short time, having the worship of people worldwide);
  • The Antichrist, masquerading as the Son;
  • The false prophet, impersonating the Holy Spirit.

He will bring about a new religious system that will accommodate everyone (completely inclusive!), and harness the world’s economic system.

The Antichrist is fundamentally characterized by opposition to Jesus Christ. This opposition is not merely political or ideological but is deeply spiritual, aiming to undermine the work of Christ, deceive believers, and lead them away from the truth of the Gospel. Their persecution serves the dual purpose of punishing those who refuse to worship him and coercing others into submission through fear.

His mission is to deceive humanity, with false miracles, lying wonders, and persuasive rhetoric that mimic the truth but lead ultimately to spiritual destruction. He seeks to establish a false system of worship that places himself at the center, demanding allegiance and adoration that belongs to God alone

Ironically, his purpose is to be part of God's divine purpose.

The LORD has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble. (Proverbs 16:4)

Peace on earth is to come at the beginning of the next age. Satan has been given certain authority until New Jerusalem comes from Heaven (Revelation 21:2-3). Until then, Christ is waiting for the “proper time” (1 Timothy 6:13-16). His kingdom on earth begins at the 7th trumpet that is concurrent with the 2nd advent.

The Four Empires of Antiquity

Antichrist's army will be savagely effective, like 3 of the worst which dominated the Jewish people: a leopard, a bear, and a lion:

  • leopard = swift, cunning, agile (Alexander the Great);
  • bear = Medo-Persia (fierce, strong);
  • lion = Babylon (powerful)

Four beasts seen by Daniel in his vision from Daniel 7 are traditionally interpreted to symbolize four empires that played significant roles in the history of the ancient Near East, particularly in relation to the Jewish people. At the time of writing, Daniel was a Jewish prophet enslaved in Babylon.

The Babylonian Empire (Lion with Eagle's Wings)

Babylon was the empire that destroyed Jerusalem and the First Temple in 586 BC, carrying many Jews into exile. The lion represents Babylon's strength and majesty, while the eagle's wings suggest swiftness, possibly referring to Nebuchadnezzar's rapid conquests. The detail about the wings being plucked and the lion being lifted from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, with a human mind being given to it, is often interpreted as referencing Nebuchadnezzar's humiliation and restoration (Daniel 4).

The Medo-Persian Empire (Bear with 3 Ribs)

The bear is seen as symbolizing the Medo-Persian Empire. It is described as raised up on one side, which may indicate the dual nature of the empire (Media and Persia) or the dominance of one part over the other, with Persia being the more dominant. The three ribs in its mouth are thought to represent three major conquests of the Medo-Persian Empire. This empire succeeded Babylon as the dominant power in the region, notable for its conquests and the dual nature of its leadership, reflecting the partnership and eventual dominance of the Persians over the Medes. Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Persian Empire, is also known for allowing the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple.

The Greek Empire (Leopard with 4 Wings and 4 Heads)

This beast is commonly identified with the Greek Empire under Alexander the Great. The leopard's speed, enhanced by four wings, symbolizes the rapid expansion of Alexander's empire. The four heads are interpreted to represent the division of the empire among his four generals (Cassander, Lysimachus, Ptolemy, and Seleucus) following Alexander's death. The Greek period was marked by significant cultural and political influence over the Jewish people, including the Hellenistic period and the Maccabean Revolt.

The Roman Empire (Iron Teeth and 10 Horns)

Often associated with the terrifying and powerful fourth beast that had iron teeth and ten horns, and later a little horn that spoke boastfully. This beast is not described using an animal figure but is characterized by its strength and the iron teeth, symbolizing Rome's powerful military and extensive political control. The Roman Empire was responsible for the destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple in 70 AD.

Which ultimately leads us to...

Now you know where all the gargoyles came from.
DALL-E really, really is a nightmare generator.
The dragon (Satan) stood on the shore of the sea (the gentile world outside of Israel). And I saw a beast (Antichrist's revived Roman empire) coming out of the sea (the Western gentile nations). It had ten horns (nations) and seven heads (leaders), with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. The beast I saw resembled a leopard (Greece), but had feet like those of a bear (Medo-Persia) and a mouth like that of a lion (Persia). The dragon (Satan) gave the beast (Antichrist) his power and his throne and great authority.

What John is describing in Revelation is a future political empire of an insanely powerful combination of the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, and Greek empires fused together, made up of 10 nations, controlled by 7 leaders gloating in their blasphemy and rebellion against God.

It will be as cunning and fast as a leopard (Greece), be able to move as strongly as a bear (Media/Persia), and roar with the majestic power of a lion (Babylon).

Its power will be derived directly from Satan himself.

Antiochus IV Epiphanes (170 BC): Greece's Worst

Daniel 11 describes an extraordinary period of horror in the ancient world. In the time between the return of Jewish exiles and the rise of the Roman emperors, the land of Judea was caught between two ruling powers: the Seleucid Kingdom of Syria in the north and Ptolemaic Egypt in the south. These kingdoms, both successors of Alexander the Great’s broken empire, warred with each other for more than a century while the Jewish nation sat at the crossroads.

In 170 B.C, Antiochus IV came to power in Greece, and claimed the mantle "Epiphanes", or "God manifest" (or "Epimanes", "mad one" in Judaism). He is most notorious for his persecution of the Jews, as well as his efforts to Hellenize them and suppress Jewish religious practices, including the desecration of the Second Temple.

There were two factions within Judaism: the Hellenists, who had accepted pagan practices and the Greek culture; and the Traditionalists, who were faithful to the Mosaic Law and the old ways. Antiochus made a decree outlawing Jewish rites and worship, ordering the Jews to worship Zeus rather than Yahweh. He set up an altar to Zeus over the altar of burnt offering, and he sacrificed a pig on the altar.

His life and reign are reminiscent of the Antichrist prophecy:

  • He conquered Egypt;
  • He slaughtered thousands of Jews and sold them into slavery;
  • He raided the temple in Jerusalem, stole its treasures, and set up an altar to Zeus, - sacrificing pigs on the altar;
  • He made performing the rite of circumcision punishable by death;
  • He ordered Jews to sacrifice to pagan gods and eat pig flesh.

In 167—166 BC, Judas Maccabeus led the Jews - the Maccabees - in a series of victories over the military forces of the Syrian-Greeks. After vanquishing Antiochus and the Seleucids, the Jews cleaned and restored the temple in c. 165.

Daniel's prophecy invokes these events. He predicts an atrocity in the temple in the end times (Dan. 9:27; 11:31; 12:11). and a coming ruler who will cause the offerings to cease in the temple and set up “an abomination that causes desolation.” Antichrist will model Antiochus IV in his great pride, blasphemous actions, and hatred of the Jews.

Speaking 200 years later, Jesus warned of a future event like Antiochus' savagery in Matthew 24:15–16,

“So when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (the Third Temple) . . . then those in Judea must flee to the mountains.”

In simple terms, the end times will be similar to what Antiochus IV did.

Caesar Nero (54 AD): Rome's Worst

Everyone knows Nero, the one who played the fiddle while Rome burned, and executed both Peter and Paul. He ruled for 14 years from AD 54 until AD 68 as one of history's worst tyrants - 30 years before Revelation was written. Nero is infamous for blaming the fire which devastated Rome on Christians, resulting in the brutal mass murder of thousands of believers.

The exceeding cruelty by which they were killed beggars belief:

“Covered with the skins of beasts, [Christians] were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as nightly illumination when daylight had expired”

Tacitus - (The Annals, trans. by Brodribb, W. J., 15.44

Nero was potentially the source of the first mainstream "conspiracy theory", known as the Nero Redivivus legend. The description of the wounding and healing of the Beast in Revelation 13:3 and the mention of the 8th king who is also one of the earlier 7 kings in Revelation 17:8-11 are linked to this idea. The earliest written version of this legend is found in the Sibylline Oracles, which claims Nero did not really die but fled to Parthia in order to raise an army to re-take Rome.

Nero fits conveniently into Antichrist theories. Upon closer inspection, it simply doesn't work. Revelation was written three decades after his reign, and describes a future event. The apocalyptic story ends with his defeat by Christ and the establishment of the new Earth. He scapegoated Christians for his own mistake.

Nero died on 9 June 68, by his own sword - his own blow, or his secretary's, ending the Julio-Claudian dynasty and started the civil war known as the Year of the Four Emperors.

Understanding the Jewish Messiah

Antichrist is a counterfeit of the Jewish Messiah ("Mashiach" in Hebrew, meaning "anointed one"), and it's crucial to understand the prophecies behind this individual.

The Jewish concept of the Messiah is more focused on earthly, tangible achievements—such as peace, justice, and spiritual renewal—than on the futuristic New Earth witnessed by John.

In short, Jews think the Messiah's kingdom is on this Earth. Christians believe it is of a second, new, different reborn Earth.

  1. He will be a direct descendant of King David, as per the covenant promises made in the books of Samuel and the prophecies of Jeremiah. This lineage ensures the Messiah's legitimate claim to the throne of Israel.
  2. He will be a leader of exceptional moral and spiritual quality, endowed with wisdom, integrity, and justice.
  3. He will lead the Jewish people in the observance of the Torah and command universal respect for his righteousness.
  4. He will oversee the rebuilding of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, restoring it as the center of worship and religious life for the Jewish people, in accordance with the prophecy of Ezekiel.
  5. He will gather the Jewish people from the diaspora, bringing them back to the Land of Israel.
  6. He will usher in an era of worldwide peace, as described by the prophets Isaiah and Micah, where "nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore."
  7. He will promote the knowledge of God, leading to a universal recognition and worship of the God of Israel.
  8. He will judge the nations and put an end to oppression and injustice.
  9. The era will be marked by miracles, both as signs of the Messiah's power and as a restoration of a more direct relationship between God and humanity, reminiscent of the Exodus.

Antichrist will counterfeit each of these. He will:

  • Claim to be a descendant of David;
  • Be an exceptional powerful leader;
  • Be a pretend protector of the Jewish people;
  • Oversee the building of the Third Temple;
  • Gather Jews back into Israel from other countries;
  • Appear as a peacekeeper, bringing peace and protection to the region;
  • Deceive people with magic tricks duplicating miracles.

Where he deviates though, is demanding worship for himself. Halfway through his 7 years being the counterfeit Messiah of Israel, he will betray his covenant with them by walking into the temple, desecrating it with his own image, and launching a genocidal war against God and His people which will dwarf anything we've ever seen before.

The Characteristics of the Antichrist

He will be a person without a strong traditional religious background who arises as a global leader in a European nation. As a highly-convincing counterfeit of the long-prophecised Jewish messiah, he will be a certified genius in intellect, commerce, war, speech, and politics - and exceptionally attractive in a way he cannot be resisted.

The rebuilt Third Temple of Jerusalem, according to DALL-E.

He has many names:

  • The little horn (Dan. 7:8);
  • The king of fierce countenance (Dan. 8:23);
  • The willful king (Daniel 11:36-40);
  • The prince that shall come (Dan. 9:27);
  • The man of sin or lawlessness (2 Thess. 2:3-10);
  • The rider on the white horse (Rev. 6:2);
  • The beast (Rev. 13:1);
  • The antichrist (1 John 2);
Midjourney is always creating a video game.

A male gentile

Specifically, he will be a man (1 John 2:22) who comes from the "sea" of gentile nations (Rev. 13:15; Dan. 7). He will not be Jewish or Muslim yet will have a keen interest in Israel and Jerusalem. His system will become the final form of this Gentile world power.

Babylonian Religion

He will start out supporting, as all other Gentile powers before him, the ecumenical religion of Babylon (sin, worldliness, Satanism, and spiritual captivity), the harlot system of the first half of the Tribulation (Rev. 17:7). He will ultimately turn against the false religious unity he has provided in order to declare himself God and demand man's worship (2 Thess. 2:4; Rev. 13:17:16-17).

Irresistibly charismatic

He will be exceptionally attractive and eloquent; able to seduce billions of people across cultures and languages. With great persuasive power, personality magnetism, craft and oratorical skill, he will persuade the West (Europe and probably the Americas) he has the answer for peace (his persuasive power is described as being so great that it could deceive even the Elect, if that were possible). He will possess a fierce countenance and the world will marvel at him.

Asexual or homosexual

He will have no interest in women, what they want, or what they care about (Daniel 11:37).

A political peacemaker from obscurity

He will appear from nowhere and gain his ascendancy to power as a peacemaker (Dan. 8:25; 1 Thess. 5:3; Rev. 6:2; Dan. 9:27) in a revived form of the old Roman Empire (Daniel 7:16-24) . He will offer relief from the constant need for peace and safety in an unstable world. The Roman Empire encompassed most of modern Europe and the nations touching the Mediterranean Sea, including the nations of North Africa.

He is the "rider on the white horse" (Rev 6:2), offering peace:

"And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer."


What marks out his character is how he backs out of the deal to keep Israel at peace (Rev. 12:13; 2 Thess. 2:3f; Dan. 8:24; 9:21) thereby breaking his covenant in order to exalt himself. Israel's great protector will completely betray her.

Boastful, blasphemous and narcissistic

He will be the most appalling blasphemer ever to stand on planet Earth (Rev. 12:13; 2 Thess. 2:3f; Dan. 8:24; 9:21). He will be fascinated with the military and exalt himself above everything and everyone else. He will even changes calendars and laws to glorify himself. He will have visions of world power (Dan. 8:25; 11:36; 2 Thess. 2:4). He will actually regard Israel as an extension of himself, and any attack against Israel will be an attack against him.

A ruthless killer

His character as a beast indicates bloody, uncontrolled, wild, heartless, cruel savagery underneath his smooth veneer. He will persecute and execute with cold impunity. He will personally have a direct role in the deaths of the two witnesses (Rev 11:7)

Completely unstoppable by humans

No human hand or device will be able to stop him, as his power comes from Satan himself (2 Thess. 2:9; Rev. 13:2), known as  the counterfeit "son" of the "father" Dragon (cf. 9:11; 11:7; 17:6; 16:13). He will have authority over a nation or confederation of 10 countries with seven national leaders. He will be so powerful nobody of any people, tribe, language, and nation will dare fight back (Rev 13:4).

The Bible provides a list of 27 things about him.

  1. He comes from among ten kings in the restored Roman Empire; his authority will have similarities to the ancient Babylonians, Persians, and Greeks [Daniel 7:24; Rev 13:2 / Daniel 7:7]
  2. He will subdue three kings [Daniel 7:8, 24]
  3. He is different from the other kings [Daniel 7:24]
  4. He will rise from obscurity…a “little horn” [Daniel 7:8]
  5. He will speak boastfully [Daniel 7:8; Rev 13:5]
  6. He will blaspheme God, [Daniel 7:25; 11:36; Rev 13:5] slandering His Name, dwelling place, and departed Christians and Old Testament saints [Rev 13:6]
  7. He will oppress the saints and be successful for 3 ½ years [Daniel 7:25; Rev 13:7]
  8. He will try to change the calendar, perhaps to define a new era, related to himself [Daniel 7:25]
  9. He will try to change the laws, perhaps to gain an advantage for his new kingdom and era [Dan 7:25]
  10. He will not be succeeded by another earthly ruler, but by Christ [Daniel 7:26-27]
  11. He will confirm a covenant with “many”, i.e. the Jewish people [Daniel 9:27] This covenant will likely involve the establishment of a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem [see Dan 9:27; Matt 24:15]
  12. He will put an end to Jewish sacrifice and offerings after 3 ½ years and will set up an abomination to God in the Temple [Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15];
  13. He will not answer to a higher earthly authority; “He will do as he pleases” [Daniel 11:36];
  14. He will show no regard for the religion of his ancestors [Daniel 11:37];
  15. He will not believe in any god at all [except for himself] [Daniel 11:37];
  16. He will have "no regard for the desire of women": He will either be asexual or homosexual [Dan 11:37];
  17. He will claim to be greater than any god [Daniel 11:37; 2 Thess 2:4];
  18. He will claim to be God [2 Thessalonians 2:4];
  19. He will only honor a “god” of the military. His whole focus and attention will be on his military. He will conquer lands and distribute them [Daniel 11:39-44]
  20. His arrival on the world scene will be accompanied by miracles, signs and wonders [2 Thess 2:9]
  21. Either he, or his companion [The False Prophet], will claim to be Christ [Matt 24:21-28]
  22. He will claim that Jesus did not come in the flesh, or that Jesus did not rise bodily from the grave [2 John 7]. He will deny that Jesus is the Messiah [I John 2:22]
  23. He will be worshipped by many people [Rev. 13:8]
  24. He will hate a nation that initially will have some control over his kingdom, but he will destroy this nation [Rev 17:16-18]
  25. He will appear to survive a fatal injury [Rev. 13:3; 17:8]
  26. His name will be related to number six hundred and sixty six—but not necessarily an obvious fashion [Rev 13:17-18].
  27. He will be empowered by the devil himself [Rev. 13:2]

Christ's Opposite & Antithesis

Antichrist is literally everything Christ isn't, and a counterfeit of holiness. This person is mentioned several times in the Bible:

  • The imposing, boastful king who oppresses the Jews and tries to “change the set times and the laws” (Dan 7:25);
  • The leader who establishes a 7-year covenant with Israel and then breaks it (Dan 9);
  • The king who sets up the abomination of desolation (Mark 13:14, Dan 9:27);
  • The man of lawlessness (2 Thess 2:1–12);
  • The rider on a white horse (representing his claim to be a man of peace, Rev 6:2);
  • The first beast (Rev 13).

Christ (gematria: 888) is called:

  • Christ (Matt.16:16);
  • the Man of Sorrows (Is.53:3);
  • the Son of God (John 1:34);
  • Seed of the woman (Gen.3:15);
  • the Lamb (Is.53:7);
  • the Holy One (Mark 1:24);
  • the Truth (John 14:6);
  • the Prince of Peace (Is.9:6);
  • the Glorious Branch (Is.4:2);
  • the Good Shepherd (John 10:11);
  • the Mighty Angel (Rev.10:1).

And He:

  • came down from heaven (John 3:13);
  • came in Another's name (John 5:43);
  • came to do the Father's will (John 6:38);
  • wrought in the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:14);
  • submitted Himself to God (John 5:30);
  • "humbled" Himself (Phil.2:8);
  • honored the God of His fathers (Luke 4:16);
  • cleansed the Temple (John 2:14-16);
  • ministered to the needy (Luke 4:18);
  • rejected of men (Is.53:3);
  • "leadeth" His flock (John 10:3);
  • was slain for the people (John 11:51);
  • glorified God (John 17:4);
  • was received up into Heaven (Luke 24:51).

In direct contrast and opposition, Antichrist (gematria: 666) is called:

  • the Anti-christ (1 John 4:3);
  • the Man of Sin (2 Thess.2:3);
  • the Son of Perdition (2 Thess.2:3);
  • Seed of the Serpent (Gen.3:15);
  • the Beast (Rev.11:7);
  • the Wicked One (2 Thess.2:8);
  • the Lie (John 8:44);
  • the Profane Prince (Ezek.21:25);
  • the Abominable Branch (Is.14:19);
  • the Idol Shepherd (Zech.11:17);
  • the Angel of the Bottomless Pit (Rev.9:11).

And he:

  • comes up out of the Bottomless Pit (Rev.11:7);
  • will come in his own name (John 5:43);
  • will do his own will (Dan.11:36);
  • will be energized by Satan (Rev.13:4);
  • will defy God (2 Thess.2:4);
  • will "exalt" himself (Dan.11:36);
  • will refuse to do so (Dan.11:37);
  • will defile the temple (Matt.24:15);
  • will refuse to do so (Zech.11:16);
  • will be accepted by all the world (Rev.13:4);
  • will "leave" his flock (Zech.11:17);
  • will slay the people (Dan.11:44);
  • will blaspheme God (Rev.13:6);
  • goes down into Hell (Rev.19:20).

Who Is This False Prophet?

The third element of the counterfeit trinity is a lackey, or an assistant to the Dragon and the Beast. He is the "Second Beast". He gins up the crowd, and is the mimicry of the Holy Spirit.

  • He has the full authority of Antichrist;
  • His purpose is to make mankind fall down in worship of Antichrist;
  • He emanates from the lowly circumstances of Earth;
  • Lambs have small horns; helpless creatures eliciting sympathy, pity, and trust;
  • He speaks like a dragon, which means the content or message of what he says is Satanic;
  • His means are extremely convincing duplicates of miraculous phenomena, created by visual/sensory trickery;
  • His keynote trick is the ability to appear to bring fire from the skies of Heaven to the Earth.

What's significant about the False Prophet (the second beast) is how he is contrasted with the Antichrist (the first beast). The latter is brutal and sheer power; the former is meek and compassionate. They have separate methods of deceit which compliment each other, working hand in glove, with brutal effectiveness.

What's most curious is how he achieves his trickery. He does 3 things: miracles, an image, and a trade marking.

Pyrotechnics: fire from heaven

This is a clear reference to miracles from the Bible.

Midjourney is epic.
  • God rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah as a judgment against these cities for their wickedness. (Genesis 19:24-25);
  • In a contest against the prophets of Baal, God answered Elijah's prayer by sending fire from heaven to consume the sacrifice, wood, stones, and water, demonstrating His supremacy over Baal. (1 Kings 18:38);
  • Fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and fat on the altar. Upon seeing this, all the people shouted for joy and fell facedown. (Leviticus 9:24)
  • When David built an altar to the Lord and offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering on the altar. (1 Chronicles 21:26);
  • Nadab and Abihu, sons of Aaron, offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded. Fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. (Leviticus 10:1-2);
  • Elijah called down fire from heaven to consume two groups of fifty soldiers sent by King Ahaziah to arrest him, demonstrating God's protection of His prophet. (2 Kings 1:10-12);
  • When a Samaritan village did not welcome Jesus, James and John asked if they should call fire down from heaven to destroy the village, reminiscent of Elijah's act. Jesus rebuked them, showing His mission was one of salvation, not judgment. (Luke 9:54-55)

This is about the unholy trinity mimicking Elijah, and demonstrating Baal's (their) vengeful supremacy over God.

First, the False Prophet is extremely competent at practical magic effects, and highly informed on the effects of magical thinking on those with religious predilections:

What OpenAI DALL-E outputs for that verse.
"And it performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of the people."

It's not noted whether this is physical flames or the visual representation of them, but it has enough grandeur to fool people as a deception of divine spectacle. Which means it probably has scale - it's BIG. This will be one of many performances which will require great planning and assembly - unless of course, it's supernatural power. Better than Criss Angel, David Blaine, or Derren Brown.

Atmospheric disruption of this kind would involve combustion to produce flame, as part of a pyrotechnics display. It would need to "come down" (downwards), and it's unlikely this would be practical at scale over several miles. It would need to be televised, and in front of a large crowd. The best deceit here would be smaller-scale, as the conditions require control.

Fire igniting in the sky requires a trigger, and to weigh more than air. It would then spread out and burn things on the ground underneath, or dissipate (burn out).

Things which fit the bill:

  • Gaseous napalm;
  • Flame projectors;
  • Synchronised aerial drones;
  • Digital projection mapping.

If it isn't supernatural, chemistry will supply the answer to how it's done.

An animated religious image

Next, what is this "image"?

"It ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed."
DALL-E really upping the nightmare fuel here
Not sure if that's better at all

A painting? A hologram? A video? Whatever this is, it:

  • Must be assembled;
  • Can be animated with movement;
  • Emits light to be perceptible by human eyes;
  • Produces an audible noise perceivable by the human ear as "speech" in different languages;
  • Has the ability to physically kill someone, or mark them for execution.

"Image" in Greek is εἰκών (eikōn). This word implies a likeness, representation, or image. It is where the English word "icon" derives from. "Speak" in Greek is λαλέω (laleō) means to talk, to utter words, or to speak. It encompasses the act of producing vocal sounds and communicating by talking. "Give breath to" is translated from the Greek phrase "πνεῦμα δοῦναι" (pneuma dounai). πνεῦμα (pneuma) can mean "breath," "spirit," or "wind." δοῦναι (dounai) is the infinitive form of "to give." So, "πνεῦμα δοῦναι" literally translates to "to give breath" or "to give spirit" to something, implying the act of animating it or bringing it to life in some sense.

Midjourney interprets "beast" to be a lion.

It's not clear whether this is a form of puppetry or ventriloquism, requiring the False Prophet to program it or speak through it. It may of course, be "given breath" to speak on its own initiative, like Frankenstein's monster or some AGI neural network.

Next, what is this brand, or "mark"? We know it is the first beast's name.

"It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name."
You know it's bad when dystopia is better

We know this applies to trade, so it can only be 3 things:

  1. Means or methods of payment (exchange or currency);
  2. Identification of the buyer and seller (to each other, or government);
  3. Authorisation to make such a trade (by the bank, or government).

And we know it will decode to the letters 666 somehow, being so universal it can reach all people, rich and poor. Someone on a Caribbean or Pacific island will have to have it to be able to do anything financially.

The Greek word for "mark" is χάραγμα (charagma), which means a stamp, imprint, or mark. It was used in ancient times for the mark that a stamp or seal would leave on an object, and could also refer to a mark branded upon animals or slaves, or a mark of ownership.

The Greek word for "forehead" is μέτωπον (metōpon), referring to the forehead or the space between the eyes. In ancient cultures, the forehead was often a place for marks of identification or dedication. The use of "right hand" or "forehead" for the placement of the mark carries both symbolic and practical implications, indicating a visible sign of ownership and loyalty that affects daily life and interactions.

The "mark" will literally be a cattle branding stamp, without which trade is not possible.

The Apocalyptic Timeline

The planet is 4.6B years old, and humans maybe 200,000 years old. The entire timescale of this insane story is 7 years. That's it.

The story goes like this:

The Antichrist will use Western military might to invade Israel and the Middle East. There he will conquer Israel, erect an image of himself in the Third Temple, and demand the worship of the world. In doing so, he will blaspheme not only God, but also all other gods, in order to establish a global dictatorship that worships him alone. Although nations will resist him, demonic forces will gather these nations together in Israel to fight spiritually against God himself. There the Antichrist and the armies of the world will be destroyed by a triumphant Jesus with his sword dipped in blood.

Years 1 - 3

  • Antichrist arises out of obscurity as a leader of a 10-nation confederacy bringing peace and prosperity to the Palestine conflict;
  • A covenant is made with Israel for its protection, ultimately lasting 7 years;
  • He becomes Israel’s special protector;
  • There is total peace under a one-world government, whereon Israel begins and finally completes the construction of the Third Temple in Jerusalem.

Just shy of half way through this period, chaos erupts when Israel is attacked and Antichrist backs out and takes it all for himself - after his armies avenge her.

Years 3 - 7

  • Israel will be simultaneously attacked from the North (Syria), and the South (Egypt), to which Antichrist responds with a massive invasion of the Middle East with Western military power;
  • His armies move downwards from North to South, invading and occupying Israel in the process. He will be so anxious to march to Egypt, he will leave Jordan alone;
  • He will conquer Egypt clear over to its western border with Libya and down to Sudan, before turning his army around due to another massive attack on Israel from the North (Russia) and the Islamic East (Iran);
  • Israel's enemies will be defeated supernaturally by God in the mountains (Ezekiel 38), creating a political vacuum. They are given 7 months to bury their corpses, and to offer 7 months of munitions/weapons for Israel. Antichrist will build a a presidential palace between the Dead and Mediterranean seas on Mount Zion and make Jerusalem the capital of the world (Dan 11:45);
  • One of the national leaders will appear to miraculously be resurrected after a fatal assassination involving a mysteriously-healed head wound, mimicking Christ's resurrection;
  • Antichrist will walk into the the rebuilt Temple of Jerusalem. a city under his complete control, to stop all Jewish religious rituals and blasphemously declare himself God, slandering the Jewish God of the Bible (Yahweh, Hashem);
  • He will be assisted by a soft-speaking, sycophantic religious figure (mimicking the Holy Spirit) with the same power, whose magic tricks will simulate fire coming down from Heaven;
  • His dictatorship starts, in which he wages a genocidal against anyone who believes in God. It will be worse for Israel than the Holocaust (Daniel 9:27);
  • His assistant will animate the construction of a image, statue, or hologram in the Third Temple depicting Antichrist which is able to speak, and must be worshipped on threat of death;
  • It will work: mankind will worship him. Those who don't, will be murdered;
  • Commerce will require traders and customers to be branded with the circumcision/ownership mark of Antichrist's name on their right hand or forehead;
  • 3 of his national leaders will rebel, but will be defeated;
  • He will be challenged from the East at the end of the 7 years (Rev. 16:12-16);
  • All the remaining armies, those aligned with the West and those of the East will be brought together to fight at Megeddo in Israel (Rev. 16:16; 19:17-19). Antichrist will headquarter himself on the Temple Mount;

Then Jesus appears on the Mount of Olives and his mere presence nukes him: (Rev. 19:19-20; Dan. 7:22, 26; 8:25; 9:27; 11:45).

Jesus destroy the armies at Armageddon to rescue the Jewish people in Jerusalem, who, by this time, have recognized Him as the Messiah (Zech. 12:1-14; 14:1-5; Rev. 19:11-21). Then God will set up a Kingdom of righteousness on earth that will endure for 1000 years (Rev. 20).

It's a foolish endeavour with a pretty grim prognosis for the three chaps in the false trinity.

The breaking of the covenant with Israel and the "abomination of desolation" will herald the beginning of the worst 3½ years in history.

Decoding 666

666, or the Number of the Beast,  is a code for Antichrist's name. It identifies a specific person. In Revelation 13:16, it says:

"This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man [is humanity’s number]. That number is 666."

In Greek, it looks like this:

ἑξακόσιοι ἑξήκοντα ἕξ, hexakósioi hexēkonta héx

The number 6 in biblical numerology is often considered the number of imperfection, one short of the perfect number 7. 666 could symbolize ultimate imperfection or evil, repeated three times for emphasis.

Most commonly, 666 is believed to be gematria, where letters are assigned numerical values. In this context, 666 is often interpreted as the numerical equivalent of a name.

The oldest preserved manuscript of the Revelation - Papyrus 115 -, as well as other ancient sources like Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus, give the number of the beast as χιϛ or χιϲ, or 616 (χιϛ), not 666.

Nero Caesar's name in different languages:

  • Greek: Nron Qsr --> נרון קסר in Hebrew (gematria value: 666)
  • Latin: Nro Qsr --> נרו קסר in Hebrew (gematria value: 616)

It's not Nero. Or Hitler. No-one knows. But the Bible says it will be made extremely obvious when the branding starts.

Knowing When To Worry

The Bible, despite being apocalyptic and slightly mystical about it, is strikingly clear over when things are about to go bad. The events are written out in stone and will take place in order.

Israel is a nuclear power with over 200 weapons - many of them submarine-bound thermonuclear hydrogen bombs which could eviscerate every country and army in the middle east. Since its inception, it has won the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the 1956 Suez Crisis (Sinai War), the 1967 Six-Day War, the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the 1982 Lebanon War, and the 2006 Lebanon War (Second Lebanon War).

For the end times to come to fruition, the following things must be present:

  • The Third Temple must have been rebuilt;
  • People must be desperate for peace in the Middle East, regarding aggressors Egypt, Russia, Syria, and Iran;
  • A protectorate must have been established over Israel;

The prophecy is specific: Israel must need or accept external Western protection for some reason. She is betrayed by her military protector; invaded, overrun, and occupied; - as she is being defended and her enemies are sacked. It is this act of conquering half of her whilst pursuing her defence which leads to the desecration of the Third Temple, signaling the End.

The man himself will be:

  • An otherwise-unknown, exceptionally-attractive, "fierce"-looking secular European male gentile with no interest in women;
  • An unstoppable political force obsessed with Israel's protection and delivering an impossible 7-year peace (the rider on his white horse);
  • An ever-increasingly-boastful egotist whose mask slips as he descends into outright hatred of God.

Jesus' warning stands in place: when you see the Third Temple in Jerusalem being desecrated, run. That's the signal the world is about to end. And as He also says in Matthew 24, no-one knows when it will be.

... "As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives...." (where the prophecy says he will reappear to vanquish Antichrist, the counterfeit of the Jewish Messiah):

"At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time."

Break: back to Revelation 13, which talks of the False Prophet assistant:

"Then I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. It exercised all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. And it performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of the people. "

Simple advice: you'll see it; don't believe it. Which makes the rest of Jesus' words sound like comfort, frankly:

Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

We have these scrolls carbon-dated to AD 70 - 85, a decade before Revelation.

Whatever you believe, it's a fascinating mystery.