7.8 The Beast becomes the Antichrist's world empire
In chapter 5 with illustrations, I clarify my understanding of the prophecies of the appearance of the Antichrist, his reign and his ultimate judgment.
Here, we fill in some facts from Daniel 7, and Revelation 13 and 17:
- Humanity's last world empire is represented by a remarkable beast, who has inherited characteristics from all the previous empires. It thus has a leopard's body, a bear's feet and the great mouth of a lion. I interpret this to mean that it rapidly conquers and devours much flesh (that is, it quickly expands into new territories). In this manner, first a new European superpower will arise, including several states from the former Roman empire. (Dan.7:23-27)
- The 7 heads of the Beast indicate that it carries a cultural heritage from all 7 earlier world empires. The fact that none of the heads has a crown signifies that none of these empires remains in power. The kingdom of the Beast develops first according to plan into a significant trading power. However, unexpected wars and crises with time seem to be able to bring forth an ever stronger unified military power. Somewhat later (Dan.7:24), 10 horns with 10 crowns appear on the Beast, which could mean that the leaders of several nations build a solidified inner core group.
- So far everything seams to be in order. But suddenly Europe will be hit by the third world war with extremely hard consequenses. Hundreds of millions will be killed, and the world economi enters into chaos. The leaders of the peoples will be taken aback by anarkists and mobs.
- Afterwards, the Antichrist appears as an 11th, completely different horn. The cry of the peoples for a strong leader cause now the 10 leaders to voluntarily give their authority over to him. The Antichrist starts off as smooth and appealing, as the defender of the world's religions and a social administrator, a super-intelligent leader who makes peace and brings order to the world's economy.
- But then he probably succumbs to illusions of grandeur, and becomes totally possessed by the Devil, at which point the Antichrist's kingdom is transformed into the regime of a beast. With the support of the religious harlot, the Beast begins to persecute all Christians who refuse to worship him and submit to him.
Antichrist then also begins to mock God in Heaven in such a very challenging way that people are greatly astonished. (See also illustrations 5.7, 6.2,and 7.9. )
- The Antichrist receives his knowledge and power from the Devil himself, symbolized by a Dragon/Beast. His propaganda minister is the false prophet. Together these three make up an evil trinity.
- With time, the Antichrist's military power becomes very strong, but how much of the world he succeeds in subjugating remains an open question for me. The rest of the world says in any case, "Who can fight against him?" (Rev.13:4)
The decisive battle, however, takes on a spiritual nature, and is not fought with human weapons.