In Revelation 13, the Bible describes the main portion of the Antichrist's career.
5The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. 7He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. (Revelation 13:5-8)Here we can learn a number of things about the Antichrist:
- he has authority for 42 months (3.5 years).
- He is incredibly arrogant and speaks against God
- He persecutes God's people
- He has world domination
- Everyone on earth besides God's people worship the Antichrist
- It is important to note how this parallels Daniel 7. This chapter also describes a ten-horned beast. A little horn rises to power, blasphemes God and persecutes God's people for 3.5 years.
23 "He gave me this explanation: 'The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. 24 The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. 25 He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time. (Daniel 7:24-25)
The False Prophet
In the remainder of Revelation 13, we learn about the Antichrist's main assistant. He is referred to as the "False Prophet" after this point in Revelation.
11Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. 12He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. 13And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. 14Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed.16He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, 17so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. 18This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666. (Revelation 13:11-18)
Here we can learn the job of this False Prophet:
- he represents the Antichrist and acts on his behalf
- He makes the entire world worship the Antichrist, whose fatal wound was healed
- He is able to perform many miracles and signs
- He ordered people to set up an image of the wounded Antichrist
- He can make this image talk. This image demands that anyone who fails to worship it should die.
- He forces on earth to wear a mark that is required for buying or selling anything. This mark is connected to the number of the Antichrist: 666
The Fatal Wound
One of the heads of the beast has a fatal wound. Nevertheless, it has healed. This prompts the entire world to worship both the Antichrist and Satan.
There are two prevailing views on this fatal wound:
- It represents a physical wound to the Antichrist, which miraculously heals due to demonic power
- It represents a past Empire (specifically the Roman Empire), which miraculously comes back in the end times.
Though it can be shown that the Roman Empire does indeed return in the end times, the fatal wound extends to far more than simply that.
This is the case for many reasons:
- The return of an Empire would not prompt sudden astonishment and worship by everyone on earth
- The "Beast" is a man. (13:5-8;18) He is said to sustain a fatal wound by the sword, but survives nonetheless. Since the beast is a man, the fatal wound is to a man.
- The image of the "beast" that survives the fatal wound seems to be the image of a man, since the image speaks.
- If the image was simply the image of an empire that died and rose, it would not make sense in light of the passage, because the image is depicted an image of a person who is worshiped.
- Many people believe that the Antichrist and his fatal wound is Satan's attempt to mock the death and resurrection of Christ.
Both Jesus and apostle Paul make clear that in the end times there will be incredible false signs, wonders and miracles, performed by Satan's power. Against these we must always remain on guard. Jesus makes clear that when he comes, it will be very clear and public event that everyone will be aware of. Therefore, if we have to go anywhere to see Jesus, whether it be out in the desert or to another room, we can know it is not Jesus, because the second coming of Christ will be visible to all everywhere.