Today, we are looking at what the Book of Revelation has to say about the Beast in chapter thirteen (I am capitalizing his name only to differentiate him from the animals). The first verse tells us that the Apostle John saw him "rise up out of the sea." Most students of prophecy understand the term "sea," as it is used here, to mean "out of all of the Gentile nations." That is because in Revelation 17:15, "the waters" is revealed to be the "peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues."
This interpretation gives a whole new meaning to the sound of God's voice (1:15; 14:2; 19:6). Instead of His voice sounding like that of the tumultuous seas, it would mean that He was speaking to all nations in their own languages. It is possible.
In contrast, the second Beast "comes up out of the earth" (13:11). He is the false prophet (16:13; 19:20; 20:10), whose job it is to force man to worship the first Beast (13:12). Many believe he is a Jew, perhaps even the high priest, because they interpret "the earth" as being the land of Israel. While that seems logical, it is still just a guess.
The antichrist is described as "having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns, ten crowns" (13:1). The ten horns are also mentioned in Daniel, where they represent ten kings within the fourth empire, Rome (7:7, 24). The "little horn" (7:8; 8:9) destroys three of the kings (7:24), and appears to rule over the ten areas with the seven remaining kings as his underlings. Based upon the next verse, we know that this occurs midway through the Tribulation.
Daniel 7:25 says, "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 shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time." This phrase is also found in Revelation 12:14. "A time" represents one year, as can be seen by comparing the number of months (Rev. 11:2; 13:5), and the number of days (Rev. 11:3; 12:6) in the second half of the seven year Tribulation "week" of years (Dan. 9:24-27).
Because the antichrist has promised seven years of peace for Israel (Dan. 9:27), and because he intends to break that promise, he wants to change the times and/or the laws (Dan. 7:25). By changing the times, either by the way man keeps time, or more likely, the time described in the seven year pact, he can justify breaking the covenant. By changing the laws, the nations of the world are then free to attack Israel at will.
In Part Two, I mentioned Antiochus Epiphanes as being a type of the antichrist, and his actions described as the "abomination of desolation." Tomorrow, Lord allowing, I would like to focus upon that seminal event in the history of the Jewish people.