May 2013 Yavoh Article

When the subject of the end times comes up in many discussions, a variety of topics come to the forefront. These include the rapture, the tribulation, the antichrist (antimessiah), and the mark of the beast. Setting aside the false rapture expectations, the dominant topic of the great tribulation centers on the identity of the antimessiah and the “mark of the beast” that everyone must take to buy or sell.

In the course of my lifetime I have observed one particular trait about people concerning the topic of the tribulation and the antimessiah, who is called the beast. The tribulation is so bad that no one wants to know any of the details about it and any world leader who emerges, regardless of being popular or not, is considered a candidate for the antimessiah. For example, every president of the United States gets this consideration once he is elected. I have personally heard Christians suggest this about Presidents Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush (senior), Clinton, Bush (junior), and now Obama. Every pope has been suggested as well, regardless of his name and where he came from. Other world leaders have been thrown into the mix including the Royal Family and leading figures in the Muslim world, such as Assad of Syria and the ruling Ayatollahs of Iran. Jewish leaders are also thrown into this mix. In my opinion, this is the most bizarre behavior exhibited by prophecy teachers and students alike. Accusing someone of being the antimessiah (of being the beast) is one of the most derogatory comments you can make of a world leader if it is not substantiated. But here is the irony. The prophecy does not say there is just one beast, there are two of them. The first one is secular and political, the second is religious.

The identity of the beasts is an important part of the end-time prophecy. God has given us clues to their identity in order for us to be wise (know our enemy) and as a confirmation of the days we live in (the final generation). Instead, many treat the subject in a casual fashion and fail to consider how the two beasts work together.

Why does the prophecy define these enemies of God in this fashion? Is this God’s version of “name calling” for His enemies or is there more to this? The first use of the term beast in the Scripture comes from the prophet Daniel’s days. It was applied to the Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon. One day, the King climbed up on the roof of his house and made a bold statement. 

The king reflected and said, “Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?”  DAN 4:30

This statement was a direct affront to the Living God. So God humbled him and taught him a lesson. 

31“While the word was in the king’s mouth, a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: sovereignty has been removed from you, 32and you will be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place will be with the beasts of the field. You will be given grass to eat like cattle, and seven periods of time will pass over you, until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whomever He wishes.’ 33Immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled; and he was driven away from mankind and began eating grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws. DAN 4:31-33

God made him into a beast. And after a time King Nebuchadnezzar repented.

“But at the end of that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever; for His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, “What have You done?” At that time my reason returned to me. And my majesty and splendor were restored to me for the glory of my kingdom, and my counselors and my nobles began seeking me out; so I was reestablished in my sovereignty, and surpassing greatness was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.”  DAN 4:34-37

So why are the antimessiah and false prophet called beasts in the Book of Revelation? From the example of King Nebuchadnezzar, we know that they will make bold statements against the Most High God, setting themselves above Him, and they will be surely judged.

Let’s examine the two beasts of the Great Tribulation. Both are presented in chapter 13 of Revelation.

And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; they worshiped the dragon, because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?” There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven. It was given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them; and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.
REV 13:1-8

The dragon is the one who sends the beasts to the earth.  We know who the dragon is; he is defined for us earlier.

And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; REV 12:9

Chapter 13 concludes with one more clue as to the identity of the antimessiah. This is the clue that all prophecy enthusiasts focus on concerning the antimessiah.

Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six. REV 13:18

Now let us consider the prophecy from the same chapter concerning the second beast who is sent by the dragon.

Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon. He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life. And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast might even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand, or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. REV 13:11-17

Each of these passages are worthy of more analysis, but before we do, let us compare them slightly. First, the first beast (the antimessiah) comes up out of the sea, whereas the second beast (the false prophet) comes up out of the earth (land).

The first beast is symbolized by a composite animal made up of a leopard, a bear, and a lion, whereas the second beast is symbolized by a male lamb.

The first beast is given power by a dragon, whereas the second beast speaks as a dragon.

The first beast has an image (statue) of himself, whereas the second beast is able to cause the image (statue) to have breath and to speak.

There is one more important comparison to be made elsewhere in the Scripture – both beasts are thrown into the lake of fire at the return of the Messiah.

And the beast [the first one-the antimessiah] was seized, and with him the false prophet [the second beast] who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. REV 19:20

As I said before, there is considerable speculation about who the antimessiah is or could be here in the world. There is one clue about the antimessiah that no candidate for the position has in his resume. Apparently, the real coming antimessiah is to be assassinated. He is to receive a fatal head wound and the false prophet is to be part of the healing/resurrection process, yet it is not a full recovery. The Scripture says that while he comes to life again he suffers from permanent damage to his right eye and right arm.

Woe to the worthless shepherd who leaves the flock! A sword will be on his arm and on his right eye! His arm will be totally withered, and his right eye will be blind. ZEC 11:17

Let’s quickly summarize the first beast’s description given to us in Revelation chapter 13.

1And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea... 11And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth...

The first beast is contrasted with the second beast, but what does it mean? It alludes to a common destination for both beasts. That destination is Israel.

And out of one of them came forth a rather small horn [the first beast] which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Beautiful Land. DAN 8:9

There is no debate about the definition of the Beautiful Land; it is referring to Israel, the Promised Land. The prophet Jeremiah had used the same term to describe Israel previously in his chapter 3:19. The prophet Daniel goes on to use this term directly about Israel whenever the beast goes to Israel.

Therefore, it seems that the origination of the antimessiah is north and west from Israel. But, he must travel by way of the sea to reach the land of Israel. The second beast travels the same direction but he can come by way of the land. It is a fascinating clue that helps us to confirm the identity of the two beasts.

There is another clue as to where the antimessiah originates from given in Revelation 13.

...having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. REV 13:1-2

To put it in terms we can understand, the antimessiah rises in the midst of ten modern kings (the ten horns), but they all come from a kingdom that is known for seven heads. This is a riddle of sorts that is specifically defined in Revelation chapter 17. By the time we get to chapter 17 we have also been given more information about the false prophet, that he is the leader of a false religion called BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS (REV 17:5).

Here is some clarification of the riddles, heads and horns.

Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman [harlot] sits, and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while. The beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth, and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction. The ten horns which you saw are ten kings, who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour. These have one purpose, and they give their power and authority to the beast.
REV 17:9-13

It turns out that the seven heads are not only a specific location but they also represent seven previous kings associated with that location. The seven kings also have a specific history detailing the first five, the sixth, and finally the seventh. This history is crucial in defining the antimessiah.  The antimessiah rises in the midst of ten horns (ten rulers) as the little horn but he is somehow connected to the seven previous kings. He becomes the eighth king of the previous seven.

Now if you are still reading this, I am sure that you have more questions than answers as to what the prophecy is really saying. How can ten horns sit on seven heads and so forth. So, let me share some insight and try to pull this together a little bit.

The antimessiah is to come to power at the start of the Great Tribulation out of the remnants of the ancient Roman Empire. He is to be a Prince of the people who destroyed the second temple. The Romans destroyed the temple and Jerusalem in 70 A.D. but even more so, he is to emerge from the remnants of the Holy Roman Empire that used Christianity as the state religion. The Holy Roman Empire is known historically for their emperors and, in particular, seven specific emperors named Charles. If you study the Holy Roman Empire, you will find historians summarizing the subject with the history of these seven kings with the name Charles. Charlemagne was the first. The city of Rome is central of the definition of the Holy Roman Empire and is more than the capital of Italy. It is the location of the Vatican, the very center of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, the very same religious system that was the Holy Roman Empire. The antimessiah will arise out of this ancient governmental system with the aid of the False Prophet who heads the same religious system. (We will discuss him shortly.)

Currently, the European Union is a secular system birthed out of the ancient one; however the EU has twenty-seven nations. It does not conform to the definition of ten kings. But there are calls within the current EU to narrow the structure to ten nations with ten rulers ,electing a single leader with a term of office like the American President. We see this possibility precisely fitting the prophecy of how the antimessiah is to come to power in the future.

And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour. REV 17:12

Just as the prophecy says, these ten kings have not yet received a kingdom. As they do, the antimessiah comes to power. He will be the first leader and only leader brought to power in that way.

The prophecy is specific and states that the antimessiah must emerge from within the ancient Holy Roman Empire and yet come from the sea to reach Israel. There is only one nation in the Holy Roman Empire that can satisfy this requirement, England. Britannia was the head of the Western Roman Empire. Britannia also played a key role in the Holy Roman Empire. In fact, England, Germany, and France began to play central roles in the definition of those emperors.

And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. REV 13:2a

Many prophecy enthusiasts have tried to interpret this verse by breaking out the three animals. But this verse ties right back into the Holy Roman Empire and the subject of heraldry to this day. This composite animal has been with us for more than 500 years.  It is a composite recognition of the ancient Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire. The leopard represents France, the bear represents Germany, and the Lion represents England. In fact, this exact creature is called an Heraldic Beast. It is used by the monarchy of Great Britain and referred to as the Lions of England or the Leopards of England on a crest within the Coat of Arms for the Monarchy.

And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. REV 13:3

The symbol of the Western Roman Empire was a Red Dragon. In fact, it the same symbol for Wales within Great Britain. Any person who is of the lineage of the Monarchy for Great Britain receives his or her investiture with the title of Wales. In the case of Prince Charles, the firstborn son of Queen Elizabeth, his specific title is Prince Charles of Wales, despite having a host of other titles. The title of Wales outranks the others because it says he is the heir apparent after the Queen. What is especially fascinating about Prince Charles is that he first received this title in 1969 in Wales with banners adorned with this red dragon and also emblazoned on his throne chair. And, upon placing the crown on his head for the title, his mother quoted the same words from the verse in Revelation above.

This is one of the reasons why this event and other facts about Prince Charles make him such an interesting candidate for the position of the first beast. I should add that Prince Charles would like the position of being the head of the Holy Roman Empire. He sought that very position when the EU was forming in 1993 and believes he could bring stability to the government and put the world on the path to sustainability (his words). His coat of arms bears the heraldic beast and his name “Charles” fits the riddle of Revelation 17 precisely. His name “Charles” is the same as the seven previous kings and it means “man or manly.” So when the prophecy says it is the number of a man, the name Prince Charles of Wales calculates to 666 in both English and Hebrew using the Hebrew gematria.

There is even more evidence about Prince Charles, but it only suggests him as a candidate. The determination of whether he or another is the antimessiah will be revealed to the world at the start of the Great Tribulation and everyone will know then.

Let’s shift gears and consider who the second beast, the False Prophet, could be and where he will come from. If Rome (the city of seven hills) is the place where the Harlot rides the beast, and the false prophet leads the Harlot, then there is ample reason to look for someone coming out of the Vatican in the city of Rome. A future pope is the leader that seems to fit these prophecies. Consider this description of the Harlot riding upon the governmental system that will bring the antimessiah to power.

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality.” And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality, and on her forehead a name was written, a mystery, “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Yeshua. When I saw her, I wondered greatly. REV 17:1-6

The symbol of Europe is a woman riding a large bull (beast). Her name is Europa and she comes from mythology. Quite honestly, there is nothing holy about the Holy Roman Empire. It is truly a blasphemous title. The Catholic Church and the Vatican remain today as the symbols of the Holy Roman Empire. Even more so, the opulence of the ceremonies conducted at the Vatican conforms to the prophetic description like nothing else in this world. Observers of these ceremonies today find themselves wondering greatly.

By the way, one of the symbols of the Catholic Church is a lamb with a staff.

If the pope is going to be the future False Prophet, then he will have to do some specific things to satisfy the prophecies. Consider the following items:

And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. REV 13:12

The False Prophet must be a person who can lead the world in worship. I have seen the pope lead the Catholic world in worship many times. It is not a significant event to me; he does it frequently, especially when he travels to other nations. However, the world sees it as a significant event and they broadcast it and speak of the thousands upon thousands of people in attendance.

He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. REV 13:13

This particular miracle is significant. This is the same miracle that Elijah requested when he contended with the prophets of Baal upon Mount Carmel. Elijah used this sign to compel the Israelites to make a decision; either follow Baal or follow the God of Israel. You can be assured that if the False Prophet performs this miracle, he will make the same argument that Elijah did; however, he will compel men to follow the antimessiah, not the God of Israel.

Miracles are a common topic within the church today, especially the Catholic Church. I am sure you have heard of various statues that either bled or shed tears. The story of the children at Fatima was made into a movie and the prophecies from it were held in high esteem throughout the last century. Still, to this day, there is concern and controversy as to the content of the final prophecy from the Lady of Fatima. Some have suggested that it concerns a final apostasy within the Catholic Church and the final judgment of God. What matters is that statues are significant elements of Catholic worship and sources of inspiration. There is also a famous Catholic prophet name Saint Malachy who had prophesied the lineage of the popes with a series of cryptic Latin phrases dating back several hundred years. According to his prophecy there is to be one final pope named Peter the Roman taking office after the present Pope Benedict. The final pope is to be the Pope when the final judgment comes to the Earth. Whether those things are true or not is not important. But this brings about the very spiritual atmosphere for a prophesied false prophet to come from.

With Pope Benedict’s resignation last month and the new pope to be announced in March of 2013, the subject of the False Prophet will be propelled to the forefront of many prophecy discussions. It will be significant to watch whether the new pope politically lines up with Europe and the ten kings. It will be even more significant to see him take a liking to the Prince of Wales and begin interacting with him to any degree. 

The False Prophet is also to play a key role in promoting the mark of the beast technology to buy and sell. Presently, the world is preparing to move all credit and debit cards away from the magnetic strip in this year 2013 and replace it with a chip and PIN (personal identification number). The credit card will actually have a chip about the size of a dime affixed to the card. You will then enter your PIN to verify its use. The public knows that a pin number can be misused by thieves. What comes on the heels of the “chip and PIN” is a BioID. A BioID is a grain size personal identification device injected under the skin that can then be scanned electronically when you make a purchase. The technology already exists. The problem is that most people have also heard the prophecy of the mark of the beast and will refuse to take it.

Enter the False Prophet! It will take a powerful, world renowned religious man to say that they can take the mark and that it’s not what they fear it to be, hence his title as false prophet. The False Prophet will have to compel people to use this new type of credit card.

With this technology looming this year, it will very interesting to see if the new pope endorses the technology as the prophecy requires.

Finally, the False Prophet will be required by the prophecies to make a trip to Israel and be present on the temple mount after the altar is shut down. He is to be instrumental in helping to set up the image of the antimessiah and call upon the world to worship him just as the prophecy says.

And he [the False Prophet] deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life. And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand, or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. REV 13:14-17

The pope will not have a problem with a miracle involving a statue. As I said before, statues and seeming miracles are common occurrences for Catholics. These will be powerful signs to the whole world causing a strong delusion; even believers will be shaken to some degree.

Let me remind you of vitally important characteristic of our God. He does not share His Glory with anyone or anything like an idol. God does not speak out of the mouth of idols (statues) to proclaim His word. According to Scripture, this will be pure deception from the enemy. The sad part is that many in the world will be deceived. If they do bow down to the beast—the man or the statue—and take the mark, their eternal destiny is set.

... “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or upon his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name. REV 14:9-11

The two beasts of the Great Tribulation will most likely begin to appear prior the Great Tribulation. It is logical that the combination of the two will be an important part of setting the stage for the deception and the resulting Great Tribulation.

Imagine, for a moment, this scenario: A new pope emerges who wishes to “bring the church forward into modern times.” It includes the world’s liberal agenda of sexual promiscuity, homosexuality, many ways to find God, more globalism and less nationalism, the need for more governance, concern for world resources and their proper management, promoting world leaders with messianic credentials. Prosperous European nations separate from the not-so-prosperous nations forming their own independent structure. Prince Charles suddenly emerges as an ideal force to bring stability to the structure. As his name is brought to the forefront, he is suddenly assassinated. Then, just as suddenly, he is healed by the efforts of the new pope. Great acclaim is given to the both of them. That miraculous event is followed by others, including fire from heaven, and everyone is beginning to pay close attention to their partnership and what they say. Meanwhile, the Jews have set up an altar on the temple mount, proclaiming the God of Israel. There is a showdown of sorts and the forces of the antimessiah and the false prophet cause the altar to be shut down. The first and second beasts appear on the temple mount proclaiming that the first beast is the Savior of the World. It will be decision time for the world. Who is the real God of this World?

This is how the Great Tribulation begins. The God of heaven and earth proceeds to pour out judgments on the earth proving that He is the One True God. Satan, the antimessiah, and the false prophet are phonies—pretenders.

When you step back from this scenario, it seems utterly fantastic and almost surreal, but I can assure you that when it actually unfolds before the world, it will be an even greater wonder for many. The reality of those days will be like a stranglehold on the world and only those who know the Lord will be able to step back and see the Word of the Lord. The next verse says it powerfully.

Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Yeshua. REV 14:12

Let’s conclude our discussion of the two beasts of the Great Tribulation.

Is Prince Charles the antimessiah? No. Does he fit the profile of the first beast and could he emerge in Europe thus satisfying the prophecies? Yes, but we won’t know for sure until the Great Tribulation begins.

Is the new pope taking office in March the False Prophet? No. Does the office of the pope fit the profile of one who could do the things the False Prophet is prophesied to do? Yes, but we must watch as he moves forward in time until he reaches the temple mount and proclaims the beast as Savior of the World.

We will continue to watch for the two beasts as they rise up in our days.