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The First Beast of Revelation - Introduction
Although centuries apart, the first of the two beasts seen by John shared many characteristics with the four great beasts seen by Daniel. It would be especially hard to miss the similarities between the fourth beast seen by Daniel and the first beast in Revelation.
Daniel's Vision of Four Beasts
Represented four major kingdoms the first of which was in power at the time of writing. The other three would arise in turn, each becoming a dominant power until it was overthrown.
The Fourth Beast
The fourth beast with ten horns was so horrific that Daniel particularly inquired what it meant and was told that it represented a fourth kingdom on the earth. Ten kings would arise out of this kingdom - followed by an eleventh whom we know as the antichrist. If that wasn't bad enough, this kingdom is very likely to have an unbelievably sinister supernatural dimension.
The Horns on The Fourth Beast
After telling Daniel that the fourth beast with ten horns would be a fourth kingdom that would devour the earth, the interpreting angel told Daniel that ten kings that would arise from the horns followed by an eleventh - the most deadly of them all. While we have no idea of his actual identity, Daniel's vision of the two horned ram and the male goat tell us what he will be like and what he will do.
Antiochus IV and The Nature of Hebrew Prophecy
Hebrew prophecy was often a pattern that repeated itself more than once. The fact that Daniel had so much to say about Antiochus IV Epiphanes has to mean that he was very significant in some way - and so he was. Antiochus IV was what is called a 'type' in Hebrew prophecy - a rough draft or glimpse of someone yet to come. The question is who and what did he prefigure?
The Second Beast of Revelation
The most significant aspect of this second beast is the fact that it is said to have horns like a lamb.
A Word To The Wise
Much of the church believes that Christians will not go through any trials during the end of days. They couldn't be more wrong.
On The Wings of Peace
Daniel's words "he will destroy many while they are at ease" (8:25) is very likely to mean that the antichrist will come under the guise of peace and security. This detail is very alarming for two reasons.
The Name and Number of the Beast
I wonder if anything in Revelation has stirred up as much interest and opinion as this infamous mark. The list of conjectures concerning the name and number of the beast is a mile long.
The Ten Kings
Although these kings will imagine themselves to be totally in control, Revelation 17 says God is using them to execute His purposes. But who are they?
A Comparison Chart of All Three Visions
The First Beast of Revelation
John's vision of two beasts one emerging from the sea and the other from the earth are rather difficult to understand until one compares what he saw with what the visions of the prophet Daniel.
Although the two men lived centuries apart, the first of the two beasts that John saw shared many characteristics with the four great beasts seen by Daniel. This should not be at all surprising. The New Testament is a continuation of the Old - literally built on its shoulders. Thus John's vision was an extension of the events seen by the earlier prophet.
Besides which, Daniel had a distinct advantage. Not only was he divinely inspired to correctly interpret king Nebuchadnezzar's dream that correlated with the visions but on more than one occasion was able to ask an angel who was present to help him understand the meaning of what he was seeing. All this information can then be used to help understand the beasts seen by John.
Comparing The First Beast of Revelation With Daniel's Four Beasts
John: In Revelation 13:1-2 John described the first beast that came up from the sea.
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. (Revelation 13:1-2 NASB)
In summary, The first beast John saw had ten horns adorned with ten diadems, seven heads with blasphemous names. He looked like a leopard, with the feet of a bear and a mouth like the mouth of a lion.
Daniel: The seventh chapter of the book of Daniel states that in the first year of Belshazzar (king of Babylon) he saw "four winds of heaven" stirring up the great sea and four great and very diverse beasts emerging from it. Daniel then went on to describe each of the creatures.
In summary, the first beast was like a lion with eagle's wings, the second like a bear, the third like a leopard with four heads and four wings on its back, and the fourth had great iron teeth and ten horns.
If one compares the two descriptions it becomes obvious that the first beast John saw was a composite of the four seen by Daniel. Thus correctly understanding the beast in Revelation (that has yet to make its appearance on the world's stage) depends on thoroughly understanding what Daniel's four beasts represented.
Daniel's Vision of Four Beasts
Beast 1. (V. 4) "The first was like a lion and had the wings of an eagle. I kept looking until its wings were plucked, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man; a human mind also was given to it.
There is little doubt that the first beast represented Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians who, more than once, were described in the Bible as a lion or an eagle swooping down on its prey (the Jews). For example,
A lion has gone up from his thicket, And a destroyer of nations has set out; He has gone out from his place to make your land a waste. Your cities will be ruins Without inhabitant. (Jeremiah 4:7 NASB) Also See Jeremiah 49:19
Behold, he goes up like clouds, And his chariots like the whirlwind; His horses are swifter than eagles. Woe to us, for we are ruined! (Jeremiah 4:13 NASB) Also See Ezekiel 17:3
Besides which, the symbol of the lion was well known in Babylon, a city world famous for its magnificent architecture. The Ishtar Gate, constructed by Nebuchadnezzar in about 575 B.C., was the main entrance into the city. Both the gate itself and the 1/2 mile long main street called the Processional Way were decorated with blue glazed bricks which, in part, featured reliefs of lions. A lion, presently housed in the Royal Ontario Museum, even decorated the throne room in Nebuchadnezzar's castle. See The Striding Lions of Babylon
Also Daniel's Amazing prophecies - The Rise and Fall of The Empires
Beast 2. (V. 5) "And behold, another beast, a second one, resembling a bear. And it was raised up on one side, and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth; and thus they said to it, 'Arise, devour much meat!'
The bear referred to the Persian Empire that conquered Babylon. The three ribs in the bear's mouth representing the three nations conquered by them - Babylon, Egypt and Lydia (Lydia's capital Sardis was of the seven churches in Revelation).
Beast 3. (V. 6) "After this I kept looking, and behold, another one like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird; the beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it.
In those days, a head suggested a king or leader of some kind. The leopard that Daniel saw had four heads which leads us to the next world power - the Greeks.
In the light of hindsight, we know that by the time he was about thirty years old, Alexander the Great had conquered much of the known world creating one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from Greece to Egypt and into present-day Pakistan. He even defeated the Persian king Darius III in 331 B.C. (Note: the fall of Persia and the rise of Alexander's Empire were about two hundred years in the future at the time of Daniel's vision). However, at the very height of his power he suddenly contracted a fever and died ten days later.
After his death, four of his generals divided the empire between them. This historical fact not only corresponds with Daniel's second beast in chapter seven but also with a subsequent vision recorded in Daniel 8. (See Daniel's Vision on THIS Page -Scroll down slightly)
Beast 4. (V. 7-8) "After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong; and it had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.
Daniel, both alarmed and distressed by what he saw, then asked what the beasts meant.
I approached one of those who were standing by and began asking him the exact meaning of all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things: 'These great beasts, which are four in number, are four kings who will arise from the earth. 'But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.' (Daniel 7:16-18 NASB)
This explanation is entirely in line with the interpretation of king Nebuchadnezzar's dream as given Daniel some years earlier. At that time, he was told that Babylon itself was represented by the statue's golden head. However, three more kingdoms would arise in turn after Babylon. The second kingdom would be inferior to Babylon, and it would be followed by a third kingdom of bronze, which would rule over all the earth. The fourth kingdom, which represented the Roman Empire, would be as strong as iron crushing the others. See Seven Kings
And The Rise And Fall Of The Empires II.
In other words, the first beast of Revelation represented a kingdom that was connected with the Babylonian, Persian, Greek and Roman empires - sharing some or all their characteristics.
A 'Kingdom' or a Person?
A couple of verses later John wrote
"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 (Gk. autos)?" (Revelation 13:4 NASB).
The words underlined above makes it seem like the empire will be worshipped which is not very likely. However, as J. Hampton Keathley says in his studies in Revelation
Remember that in prophecy it is sometimes hard to determine when a passage is speaking about the king or the kingdom since the kingdom is the epitome of the king from whom it gets its character. For instance, even in the U.S., we often speak of the administration in power by the name of the President, i.e., the Clinton administration. Likewise, a passage may refer to the king in one verse and the kingdom in the next, or vice versa. This is evidently the case here. Verses 1 and 2 look more at the kingdom, the empire; verse 3 includes both, and verses 4 and following refer more to the individual, the satanically controlled or possessed dictator. So "the beast" may refer to the end time kingdom, the empire, or to the dictator or both. 
Incidentally, the Greek word autos does not necessarily mean 'him'. Examples of the different ways it can be translated include,
To the degree that she glorified herself (Gk. autos) and lived sensuously, to the same degree give her torment and mourning; for she says in her heart, ... (Revelation 18:7 NASB)
'I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them (Gk. autos) to be false; (Revelation 2:2 NASB)
The Fourth Beast
Unsurprisingly, it was the fourth beast that made such an impact on Daniel that he particularly asked about it.
(19) "Then I desired to know the exact meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its claws of bronze, and which devoured, crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet, (20) and the meaning of the ten horns that were on its head and the other horn which came up, and before which three of them fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth uttering great boasts and which was larger in appearance than its associates. (21) "I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them (22) until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom. (Daniel 7:19-22 NASB)
In reply the angel explained that,
The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it. (Daniel 7:23 NASB)
Note: It is no coincidence that Nebuchadnezzar's statue had legs of iron representing the Roman Empire, and the fourth beast had iron teeth. The symbolism of the two legs was not apparent until many years later (in 286 A.D.) when, for administrative purposes, the Emperor Diocletian divided the Roman Empire into East and West.
Some disagree with the idea that the fourth beast represented the Romans because, as much as they tried to, their empire did not devour the whole earth, nor break it in pieces. However, Daniel's fourth beast was not limited to the ancient Roman Empire. As Nebuchadnezzar's image clearly showed, the fourth kingdom did not end with the iron legs but mixed with clay continued into the ten toes.
It is fair to say that the "deadly wound that was healed" in Revelation 13:3 refers to the fall and restoration of the Roman empire. And there is another clue. Revelation 17:10 speaks about "seven kings", five of whom have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while." For details see The Seven Kings.
However, if the leader of this coming kingdom were to somehow be healed of a fatal wound, it would cause the entire world to marvel, accept his leadership, and follow him.
In other words, some form or extension of the Roman Empire will become a dominant world power in the years to come. Under it's satanically empowered leader, this 'kingdom' will somehow 'subdue the earth' and wage war with God's people - even overpowering them until the Ancient of Days intervenes and passes judgment in favor of His followers who will then take possession of the kingdom. See Daniel's Amazing Prophecies
Mixed With Clay - A Sinister Dimension?
However, there is a little more to this than first meets the eye. When it comes to the feet of the statue one unusual, but highly significant statement Daniel made brings up a very grim dimension.
"And in that you saw the iron mixed with common clay, they will combine with one another in the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, even as iron does not combine with pottery. (Daniel 2:43 NASB)
Note: Daniel's use of the personal pronoun "they" (They shall mingle themselves with the seed of men..."). The word they has been translated from the Hebrew le·he·won that was used seven times in the Old Testament and always indicated more than one person. See
The phrase certainly indicates that whoever it is that will 'mingle with the seed of men' are not themselves the seed of men. See Days of Noah
The Horns on The Fourth Beast
After telling Daniel that the fourth beast with ten horns would be a fourth kingdom that would devour the earth (7:23), the angel added some details regarding the ten kings that would arise from the horns and especially the eleventh that would come after them.
'As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings. (25) 'He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. (26) 'But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever. (27) 'Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.' (Daniel 7:24-27 NASB)
John told us that the first beast gets his power, throne, and authority from the dragon (Revelation 13:2). The apostle then went on to write.
(3) 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; (4) 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?" (5) There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. (6) And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven. (7) It was also 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. (8) 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. (9) If anyone has an ear, let him hear. (Revelation 13:3-9 NASB)
It is obvious that both men were speaking about the same person. Although, at this point in time we have no idea who this person will be, we do know whose footsteps he will walk in.
The clue lies in Daniel's vision of the two horned ram and the male goat recorded in chapter 8.
The Two Horned Ram and Male Goat
Daniel's vision of a ram and a goat deals with the overthrow of the Persian empire and the rise of the Greeks (Daniel 8:1-14). Note: The ram is said to have been widely used as a symbol stamped on Persian coins as well as on the headdress of Persian emperors.
The prophet saw a ram with two horns - one longer than the other. For a period of time, the ram remained supreme. However, his reign came to an end with the advent of a male goat with a conspicuous horn between his eyes. With none to rescue or aid him, the ram was attacked by the goat that shattered his two horns (Daniel 8:3-7).
The two horned ram represented the Medes and Persians who together overthrew Babylon. The male goat symbolized the Grecian empire that, under Alexander the great, defeated the Persian king Darius III in 331 B.C.
The prophet went on to write that the male goat magnified himself exceedingly but soon the large horn was broken and replaced by four others. (Daniel 8:8). This prophecy was fulfilled when, after Alexander's untimely and sudden death, four of his generals divided the empire between them.
Which brings us to...
Antiochus IV Epiphanes - The 'Type'
Of the four generals, Daniel wrote,
Out of one of them came forth a rather small horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Beautiful Land. (10) It grew up to the host of heaven and caused some of the host and some of the stars to fall to the earth, and it trampled them down. (11) It even magnified itself to be equal with the Commander of the host; and it removed the regular sacrifice from Him, and the place of His sanctuary was thrown down. (Daniel 8:9-11 NASB)
Antiochus IV Epiphanes, ruler of the Seleucid kingdom set up by one of Alexander's four generals, fit the bill remarkably well. His rise to power also corresponding with the following prediction by Daniel - "In his place a despicable person will arise, on whom the honor of kingship has not been conferred, but he will come in a time of tranquility and seize the kingdom by intrigue (KJV- flatteries)". (Daniel 11:21 NASB)
Antiochus certainly was a despicable hated person. He was nicknamed Antiochus Epimanes (the madman) instead of his preferred appellation Epiphanes (God Manifest).
The "honour of kingship" was never conferred on Antiochus IV whose brother Seleucus IV was the rightful heir. Indeed Seleucus had actually ascended the throne but was murdered by one of his courtiers who attempted to seize the Syrian crown.
Antiochus obtained the kingdom by flatteries (or intrigue). According to Bible Commentator Adam Clarke "He flattered Eumenes, king of Pergamus, and Attalus his brother, and got their assistance. He flattered the Romans, and sent ambassadors to court their favour, and pay them the arrears of the tribute. He flattered the Syrians, and gained their concurrence.”
Note: The early verses in chapter 11 (preceding v. 21) deal with Antiochus II, Antiochus III, and the latter's eldest son Seleucus III. They are so precise that many, who do not believe in supernatural revelation, insist that it is history, written after the fact. See Footnote I - Was Daniel a Prophet or Historian?
That Daniel had so much to say (much more than noted here) about Antiochus IV had to mean that he was very significant. And yet again, history proved the prophet right. Antiochus IV became a vicious persecutor of the Jews who, at the time, were divided into two parties - the very religious Hasideans (Orthodox Jews), and the Hellenistic reform party (that admired and adopted Greek ideas and culture).
As relations between these two factions deteriorated Antiochus IV, who supported the reform party (very possibly for financial reasons), attempted to ban Jewish religious rites and traditions. His extreme steps demonstrated how evil the man was. He...
dedicated the Jerusalem Temple to Zeus, erecting an image of Zeus in his own likeness on the altar and, according to some sources, sacrificed a pig in the Temple. .
Eventually, the Jews revolted. A guerrilla war under Judas Maccabaeus resulted in the Maccabees defeating the powerful Greek armies in 165 B.C. (*He said to me, "For 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the holy place will be properly restored." Daniel 8:14 NASB) The extent of Jewish sentiment is illustrated by the fact that the Maccabees were joined by a company of Hasidæans who were noted for their uncompromising observance of the law, but who decided to fight even on the Sabbath. The re-dedication of the Temple is celebrated by the feast of Hanukah in November or December of each year. Note that, according to John 10, even Jesus celebrated Hanukkah.
However, to claim that Daniel's "little horn," prophecy was completely fulfilled by Antiochus IV would be to ignore ...
The Nature of Hebrew Prophecy
To our way of thinking, a prophecy is made and then fulfilled. However, Hebrew prophecy was often a pattern that repeated itself more than once. In other words, although there is one ultimate fulfillment, there often was one or more 'smaller' fulfillment along the way, each of which was a 'type' of the ultimate fulfillment. See Typology
Following this pattern, Daniel was seeing events that would not occur for some 400 years (Daniel was probably born around 620 B.C. Antiochus IV ruled from 175 B.C until his death in 164 B.C. Again refer to Footnote I) In the angel Gabriel's words,
(19) "Behold, I am going to let you know what will occur at the final period of the indignation, for it pertains to the appointed time of the end. (20) "The ram which you saw with the two horns represents the kings of Media and Persia. (21) "The shaggy goat represents the kingdom of Greece, and the large horn that is between his eyes is the first king. (22) "The broken horn and the four horns that arose in its place represent four kingdoms which will arise from his nation, although not with his power.
John, writing close to the turn of the first century A.D., was given glimpses of these events that, even at his time of writing, were a long way away in the future. (However, more than two thousand years later we are on the brink of the final fulfillment of the events that both men prophesied).
Who and What Did Antiochus Prefigure?
As previously mentioned John's vision reflected, continued and added to Daniel's. In other words, someone is coming who will walk in Antiochus IV Epiphanes' footsteps. The following section of Daniel 8 contains some very telling details,
(23) "In the latter period of their rule, When the transgressors have run their course, A king will arise, insolent and skilled in intrigue. (24) "His power will be mighty, but not by his own power, And he will destroy to an extraordinary degree and prosper and perform his will; He will destroy mighty men and the holy people. (25) "And through his shrewdness He will cause deceit to succeed by his influence; And he will magnify himself in his heart, And he will destroy many while they are at ease. He will even oppose the Prince of princes, But he will be broken without human agency. (Daniel 8:23-25 NASB)
Part of this particular description well fitted Antiochus Epiphanes. According to the ancient historian Josephus, the king "fell into a distemper" that "lasted a long while" before he died, which would mean he was broken without "human agency". 
However, it was not at all unusual for two entirely separate events to be curiously intermingled in Hebrew prophecy. In this case, Daniel's words not only referred to Antiochus IV but also to the antichrist who, wielding someone else's power, will "oppose the Prince of Princes". He will "speak out against the Most High" and, just as Antiochus did, will wear down (make war with) the saints for a set period of time.
Is it any surprise that Paul called the antichrist "the man of lawlessness" and "the son of destruction" who would exalt himself above every god or object of worship and take his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being god (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4), and opposing the Prince of princes" as Daniel said. However, this time it will not be the Maccabees who defeat him but, like Antiochus IV, he will be broken without "human agency" - by the Lamb Himself.
This defeat was also foretold in Nebuchadnezzar's dream in which the final scene was a stone cut "without hands" out of a mountain, which struck the statue on its feet and completely crushed it. In Daniel's words...
You continued looking until a stone was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and crushed them. "Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. (Daniel 2:34-35 NASB) See Daniel Sets The Stage in Seven Kings
Suffice to say, the stone that grew into a mountain and filled the entire earth is representative of God's kingdom that, after destroying all man-made kingdoms, will endure forever. [See The Antichrist]
However, it is John who presents us with more details about the antichrist, including how deceptive he will be.
The Second Beast of Revelation
In the book of Revelation after John described the first beast a second, said to have horns like a lamb, enters the picture.
(11) 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. (12) 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. (13) He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. (14) 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. (15) 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. (Revelation 13:11-15)
This beast will be able to perform supernatural miracles including calling down fire from Heaven. This will cause many to erroneously conclude that he is the perceived savior of mankind who will lead humanity into a golden or 'New Age'. As a result, people will obey when he instructs them to make an "image" of the first beast which he then proceeds to give breath to causing the image to 'speak'.
Note: While we can only speculate as to what a 'speaking image' means, what we do know is that the second best then goes a step further causing those who do not worship this image of the first beast to be killed.
However, the most important aspect of beast number 2 is the fact that it is said to have horns like a lamb. The only person in the Scriptures described as a "lamb" is the Lord Jesus Himself. Ex. the "Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29) . The fact that this second beast is described as being like a lamb seems to suggest either a false mild demeanor - evil disguised under a facade of peace and goodness - or something far more ominous.
The English word 'antichrist' comes from the Greek antichristos (an-tee'-khris-tos), Christos meaning 'messiah' or 'anointed one'. English speakers are accustomed to taking the word 'anti' to mean 'opposed to' however, in Greek the word can also mean 'instead of'. Therefore antichristos does not necessarily mean 'against' or 'opposed to' Christ, but can mean 'instead of' Christ.
This is another way of saying one who seeks to 'take the place of' Christ. In other words, the antichrist is a clever counterfeit of God's Messiah, which is why he is seen as riding a horse the same colour as Christ's in Revelation 6:1-2. When the First Seal is broken he, astride a white horse, will go out "conquering and to conquer" .
Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, "Come." I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. (Revelation 6:1-2 NASB)
(See The End Of The Age Part II... The Seven Seals)
A Word To The Wise
If end time events mirror the actions of Antiochus Epiphanes, then it may be well to study some of his atrocities. The books of Maccabees are non canonical because they endorse prayers for the dead and the doctrine of purgatory etc. (See The Canon of Scripture and The Apocrypha). However, they are very valuable in terms of historical details. For example the two books of Maccabees say this about Antiochus IV Epiphanes.
Raging like a wild animal, he set out from Egypt and took Jerusalem by storm. He ordered his soldiers to cut down without mercy those whom they met and to slay those who took refuge in their houses. There was a massacre of young and old, a killing of women and children, a slaughter of virgins and infants. In the space of three days, eighty thousand were lost, forty thousand meeting a violent death, and the same number being sold into slavery.” (2 Maccabees 5:11–14)
He plundered the city, burned it with fire, and tore down its houses and its surrounding walls.... "He arrogantly entered the sanctuary and took the golden altar, the lamp stand for the light, and all its utensils. He took also the table for the bread of the Presence, the cups for drink offerings, the bowls, the golden censers, the curtain, the crowns, and the gold decoration on the front of the temple; he stripped it all off. He took the silver and the gold, and the costly vessels; he took also the hidden treasures which he found".... (1 Maccabees 1:21-23, 31)
Most Christians are looking forward to the return of Christ, which will be the single most sublime event in the history of the world. However, because much of the church believes that they will not go through any trials, but will be wafted away to 'heaven' before the going gets rough, it is going to be a harsh reality check when they find themselves being persecuted or even killed for what they believe.
I have no doubt that, at that time, the faith of many will be sorely shaken because they will think that God has abandoned them, and the Bible lied about the timing of the Rapture. I wonder how many will realize that it was not the Bible that misled them, but that they, "wanting to have their ears tickled", accumulated for themselves "teachers in accordance to their own desires" (2 Timothy 4:3). In other words, they heed false teachers who tell them exactly what they want to hear.
If you are a believer be prepared to be severely tested, persecuted, betrayed and even to die for your faith. In fact, it is the slaying of His people that finally sparks the 'Great Tribulation' of God's wrath. See The End Of The Age Part II (Link Above)
On The Wings of Peace
Daniel's words "he will destroy many while they are at ease" (8:25) is very likely to mean that the antichrist will come under the guise of peace and security. This detail is very alarming because
A.) Many of the world's religions looking forward to a coming messiah. For example, many Hindus believe in the ten incarnations of the god Vishnu with one more (Kalkin) yet to come. In the Bhagavad Gita Krishna tells Prince Arjuna: "Whenever there is a decline of righteousness [dharma] and rise of unrighteousness then I send forth Myself. For the protection of the good, for the destruction of the wicked, and for the establishment of righteousness, I come into being from age to age".
The Imam Mahdi ("the guided one") is redeemer who, according to some Islamic traditions, will appear and rule for a few years (the exact number of years differ) before the Day of Judgment when he will rid the world of evil.
B.) A large portion of the New Age movement believes the present phase of human existence is one of transition, and there is a new age dawning. However, the utopian age will only come about under the leadership and guidance of a world leader/teacher. This makes it is easy to see how a charismatic leader who promises (and seems to deliver) utopia will be accepted, nay, even welcomed by much of the world.
Overview of the New Age
The New Age has a very dark side. It is fueled by unholy forces that oppose both God and man, shepherded by humans outside the church who have no comprehension of the dark forces they deal with and, of course, by an 'evil and adulterous generation' inside the church who so easily ignore the warnings from the God they profess to serve.
Alice Bailey, Lucis Trust, and The Reappearance of "The Christ",
Alice Bailey, under the guidance of an ectoplasmic apparition from hell, who called himself Djwhal Khul ("The Tibetan"), wrote some 24 books and founded several organization that is centered around making conditions suitable for what they call "The Reappearance of The Christ". Except that this Christ has nothing to do with Jesus Christ of the Bible.
The Global Alliance
In recent years there has been an explosion of individuals and organizations actively working towards creating the conditions necessary for the Reappearance of the Christ. Some of the methods used are occult mediation, the Great Invocation etc.
The Name and Number of the Beast
The Name of The Beast - The Significance of Names in Ancient Times
In the modern world, we usually choose names for our children based on what we like. However, in Jewish thought (especially in the ancient world) a person's name had deep significance. As said by the Jewish Virtual Library, names were not
"... merely an arbitrary designation, a random combination of sounds. The name conveys the nature and essence of the thing named. It represents the history and reputation of the being named.
This is not as strange or unfamiliar a concept as it may seem at first glance. In English, we often refer to a person's reputation as his "good name." When a company is sold, one thing that may be sold is the company's "good will," that is, the right to use the company's name. The Hebrew concept of a name is very similar to these ideas.
An example of this usage occurs in Ex. 3:13-22: Moses asks God what His "name" is. Moses is not asking "what should I call you;" rather, he is asking "who are you; what are you like; what have you done." That is clear from God's response. God replies that He is eternal, that He is the God of our ancestors, that He has seen our affliction and will redeem us from bondage. 
Combine the significance of names with the fact that imagery is widely used in both the Old and New Testaments. For example...
As I live, declares the Lord God, "surely because My flock has become a prey, My flock has even become food for all the beasts of the field for lack of a shepherd, and My shepherds did not search for My flock, but rather the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock"; (Ezekiel 34:8 NASB)
Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. (Matthew 10:16 NASB)
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8 NASB)
Quite obviously, Ezekiel was not talking about literal sheep, pagan nations are not literally wolves, and Satan is not a literal lion.
The book of Revelation takes this figurative language to a whole new level with a bewildering array of symbols.... beasts emerging from the sea, a 'bottomless pit', a dragon with seven heads, a woman sitting on a scarlet beast etc. However, it is highly unlikely that real monsters are going to rise out of the sea and equally unlikely that we are going to see a literal beast with horns like a lamb that speaks like a dragon. Similarly, although Revelation 17:5 talks about the Harlot with Mystery Babylon, Mother of Harlots written on her forehead, it would be foolishness to look for a literal woman with literal writing on her forehead. See The Great Harlot Chapter 17
It would be equally foolish to think we are going to see a whole planet of people walking around with a tattoo or implanted computer chip.
God's Name Written on His People
Scripture makes several references to God's marks or seals none of which were literal...
"These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. "You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. "You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. "You shall write them on the door posts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:6-9 NASB)
The Lord said to him, "Go through the midst of the city, even through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in its midst." But to the others He said in my hearing, "Go through the city after him and strike; do not let your eye have pity and do not spare. "Utterly slay old men, young men, maidens, little children, and women, but do not touch any man on whom is the mark; and you shall start from My sanctuary." So they started with the elders who were before the temple. (Ezekiel 9:4-6 NASB)
In Revelation 3:12 the Lord told the church at Sardis: "He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem...".
Revelation 7:3 has God instructing the four angels not to "harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads".
Revelation 14:1 says the one hundred and forty-four thousand, have His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads. See The 144,000
Revelation 22:3-4, referring to the time after the second coming, says His bond-servants will serve Him, they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.
Since God doesn't pull out His pen and write Scripture on someone's heart, nor His pocket knife to carve laws on our foreheads or in our minds, having the name of Christ or the Father written on one's forehead simply indicates allegiance and loyalty. Therefore, the mark of the beast, that has so gripped public imagination, should be understood as the Satanic equivalent of the 'seal of God'. In other words, it is not a literal mark, but John's way of symbolically describing ownership and loyalty.
The Beast's Name Written on 'his' People
Similarly, since the name of the beast conveys his nature, spiritual character, history and reputation, receiving his name associates the person with everything the beast stands for.
The Number of The Beast.
John wrote that the second beast
(16) ... 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, (17) 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. 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. (Revelation 13: 16-18)
Note: As seen above the NASB reads " the number is that of a man" and your Bible may do so as well. However, the verse actually reads the "the number of man" - the 'a' absent from the original manuscripts. Adding the English 'a" to man (Gk. anthropos) in verse 18 has given millions of people the idea that the number 666 strictly means a single individual. This is not necessarily true. (See Footnote II)
I wonder if anything else in the book of Revelation has stirred up as much diverse opinion and public interest as this infamous mark. From the time that John penned the book of Revelation (probably around A.D 95) men have been trying to figure out the meaning of the beast and his number. The list of conjectures concerning the meaning of the number is almost as long as the list of commentators on Revelation.
Many see it as a literal financial identification such as an implanted computer chip. However, considering that the population of the world currently stands at a staggering 7 billion, this theory is not only untenable, but well beyond the bounds of possibility. I would love to know how a country like India with its 1.35 billion people (A fifth of the world's population) would even begin to afford a program like this. Even the polio vaccine drive had strong opposition with the Pakistani Taliban killing nine health care workers
Taking their cue from "let him count (calculate) the number of the beast" many interpreters have used the ancient Hebrew Gematria, the system of assigning numerical value to an alphabet. For example, an Alpha could be the number 1 and a Beta the number two etc. A series of letters could form a word and indicate a number at the same time.  Drawing from Paul Boyer's book, When Time Shall Be No More, Don Closson wrote..
The advent of the computer has caused some to see it as the Beast. One writer noted that if the letter "A"= 6 and "B"= 12 and "C"= 18, and so on, the word computer adds up to 666. The same writer also observed that the words "New York" added up to 666. Some pointed to John Kennedy because he had received 666 votes for the vice-presidency in 1956. Others pointed to Henry Kissinger because his name in Hebrew added up to 111 or 666 divided by 6. Even Ronald Reagan was considered because his first, middle, and last names all had six letters.
The striking number of attempts to identify the Antichrist and the significance of the number 666 should at least give us a sense of humility before adding another name to the list. Perhaps we should follow the example of Irenaus in the second century. Seeing the many efforts to identify the Antichrist in his day, he cautioned against the practice and believed that the name was deliberately concealed until it would be obvious in the day of the Antichrists's arrival. 
However, it is impossible to believe that John intended his first or second century readers to figure out that the numbers 666 stood for a particular person who would be born many centuries later. They were not psychic.
While there can be considerable difficulty in figuring out the details, it is imperative that we recognize the antichrist when he makes his appearance and fully understand that he is empowered by Satan, not the savior he will pretend to be. See The Antichrist
Unlike most of the theories that attribute the number to a specific individual, one in particular stands out because it relates to the Roman empire as a whole. This fits in with the whole revived Roman Empire, fourth kingdom, seventh head scenario and probably made sense to John's first century readers who lived under Roman occupation.
Irenaeus, a disciple of Polycarp who in turn was said to be a disciple of John, suggested that since the beast is the sum of all apostasy committed over the course of six thousand years, the 666 might refer to Lateinos (the Greek form of the Latin word 'Latinos', by which the Romans designated themselves). He said
Then also Lateinos has the number six hundred and sixty-six; and it is a very probable [solution], this being the name of the last kingdom [of the four seen by Daniel]. For the Latins are they who at present bear rule: I will not, however, make any boast over this [coincidence]. 
Additionally, added together the numerical equivalents of the letters in the word Lateinos results in the number 666. Together they cover both the name of the beast and the number of his name. Irenaeus was very reserved about his interpretation, content to believe that the meaning of the number would be revealed when the Antichrist made his appearance.
The Ten Kings
We should know by now that we are faced with the prospect of the rise of a 'beast' with ten horns that springs from the fourth kingdom (the dormant, not dead, Roman Empire) that will be the dominant force in the world when our Lord returns. However, three of them will be supplanted by an eleventh who will "speaks great things", blaspheme the Most High, and make war with the saints.
Since Revelation 13:4 tells us that it is the dragon or Satan who gives his authority unto the beast, it is obvious that this revived Empire will be under the leadership of Satan himself. However, although these kings will imagine themselves to be totally in control, Revelation 17 says God is using them to execute His purposes.
"For God has put it in their hearts to execute His purpose by having a common purpose, and by giving their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God will be fulfilled. (Revelation 17:17)
John was clearly speaking about the same person when he said
It was also 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. (Revelation 13:7-8 NASB)
And added that the ten horns of the beast were ten kings who (at the time of writing) had not yet received a kingdom, but would "receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour.
(12) "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. (13) "These have one purpose, and they give their power and authority to the beast. (14) "These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful." (Revelation 17:12-14 NASB)
Note: If they hadn't yet received a kingdom in John's day, they certainly hadn't received one in Daniel's time.
Which brings us to the question of who these ten kings might be. The short answer is that we simply do not know - yet.
The European Union?
I initially wondered if they had anything to do with the Council of Europe (CoE), an intergovernmental consultative organization founded in 1949 by the Treaty of London and signed in that city by ten states (Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom).
However, the European Union later adopted both the flag and the anthem of the CoE, which it has close connections with. In fact, to quote Jean-Claude Juncker (President of the European Commission since 2014) "the Council of Europe and the European Union were products of the same idea, the same spirit and the same ambition. 
"Ten EU foreign ministers participating in a 'study group for the future of Europe' aim to exert pressure to transform the EU into a federation along the lines of the US. Together they have prepared what the front-page headline in what Die Presse (a German daily broad sheet newspaper based in Vienna, Austria) describes as a "Plan for transformation into a European state." 
The ten ministers are from Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Spain. A translation of a relevant article in Die Presse,
... the European Union would have a completely new democratic structure, one similar to that of the United States of America - "a bicameral parliamentary system with a directly elected EU president. The model would disempower the current dominant leaders and create a quasi-state" 
According to a 2012 report by german-foreign-policy.com
BERLIN (Own report) - Just days before the opening of the EU crisis summit at the end of the week, the German government is increasing its pressure on the crisis ridden Euro countries to surrender their national sovereignty. The German finance minister rudely rejected Italy's demands to receive the badly needed help, without having to concede its sovereignty. Germany recently turned down similar Spanish efforts. The measures are part of a comprehensive program to consolidate German hegemony over the continent, under the motto of converting the "European integration" into a state-like Euro zone structure, based on the right of interference in national budgets of the economically weaker countries. Around the globe, the protest against Berlin's austerity dictate is growing, because the German government's power ploys are driving not only European crisis countries into impoverishment but are also threatening to critically damage the global economy. 
France seemed to have jumped on the bandwagon in 2015 , but Poland reacted negatively (with "fury and panic") to a French and German blueprint
"... to effectively do away with individual member states in what is being described as an "ultimatum". Under the radical proposals EU countries will lose the right to have their own army, criminal law, taxation system or central bank, with all those powers being transferred to Brussels" 
However, as of writing (2019) the EU situation is very fluid making it hard to come to any firm conclusions about who the 'ten kings' might be. The best we can do is keep an educated eye on events as they unfold.
Note: If you are wondering what the EU has to do with Biblical prophecy and the Roman Empire, it is largely a federation of nations that were once a part of the old Roman empire. The article The Other Is Not Yet Come".... The European Union? goes a long way in explaining the connection between what seems like two widely disparate worlds.
Footnote I - Was Daniel a Prophet or Historian?
King Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to Jerusalem in 589 BC. He not only plundered the Temple and the palace, but carried away countless hostages, including Daniel and his three friends who were "nobles, youths in whom was no defect".
Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, the chief of his officials, to bring in some of the sons of Israel, including some of the royal family and of the nobles, youths in whom was no defect, who were good-looking, showing intelligence in every branch of wisdom, endowed with understanding and discerning knowledge, and who had ability for serving in the king's court; ... Now among them from the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. (Daniel 1:3-4, 6 NASB)
If Daniel was 'a youth' around 590, he was probably born around 620 B.C. or even earlier. Antiochus IV ruled from 175 B.C until his death in 164 B.C.
Footnote II - Six Hundred and Sixty Six - "A" Man?
As seen above the NASB reads " the number is that of a man" and your Bible may do so as well. However, the verse actually reads the "the number of man" - the 'a' absent from the original manuscripts. As I understand it, NT Greek has no indefinite article 'form' (English a, an) but instead uses an indefinite pronoun (tis) - anyone, someone, or the number one (eis, mia, heis).
Example 1. But He said to him, "A man (Gk. tis) was giving a big dinner, and he invited many; (Luke 14:16 NASB)
Example 2. Seeing a lone (Gk. mia) fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it except leaves only; and He said to it, "No longer shall there ever be any fruit from you." And at once the fig tree withered. (Matthew 21:19 NASB)
Example 3. "Whoever receives one (Gk. heis) child like this in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me does not receive Me, but Him who sent Me." (Mark 9:37 NASB) Note: In English this would have been better rendered "a child".
Example 4. and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a (Gk. heis) place by itself. (John 20:7 NASB)
Example 5: Then I looked, and I heard an (Gk. heis) eagle flying in midheaven, saying with a loud voice, "Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!" (Revelation 8:13 NASB)
Example 6: Then a (Gk. heis) strong angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, "So will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence, and will not be found any longer. (Revelation 18:21 NASB)
In Scripture the Greek word anthropos was often used in gender-neutral way as is the English man and mankind. It sometimes referred to the male of the species and sometimes to humans in general.(https://www.biblehub.com/greek/444.htm) For example,
So also it is written, "The first man (Gk. anthropos), Adam, became a living soul." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. (1 Corinthians 15:45 NASB)
"Two men (Gk. anthropos) went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. (Luke 18:10 NASB)
But He answered and said, "It is written, 'man (Gk. anthropos) shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'" (Matthew 4:4 NASB)
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men (Gk. anthropos) (Titus 2:11 NASB)
And inasmuch as it is appointed for men (Gk. anthropos) to die once and after this comes judgment, (Hebrews 9:27 NASB)
Adding the English 'a" to man (Gk. anthropos) in verse 18 has given millions of people the idea that the number 666 strictly means a single individual. Although in this case, all the evidence point to a single male, the Greek does not necessarily indicate this. [PLACE IN TEXT]
 J. Hampton Keathley. The Beast and the False Prophet (Rev 13:1-18).
 Concerning the Death of Antiochus Epiphanes.
 http://www.australiaoncd.com.au/faith/coming_Beast2.htm. Link is no longer active
 Don Closson. Millennial Cautions. http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/millennl.html
 Irenaeus. Against Heresies (Book V, Chapter 30. Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL).
 Jewish Concepts: The Name of God. Copyright © 2016 American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise;
 The Council of Europe's Relations with the European Union. http://www.coe.int/t/der/EU_en.asp
 10 countries for a United States of Europe 20 June 2012.
 Umbauplan für einen EU-Staat.
 german-foreign-policy.com. All or Nothing. http://www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/fulltext/58314/print
 Nick Gutteridge. European Superstate to be unveiled: EU nations 'to be morphed into one' post-Brexit.
Nebuchadnezzar’s Statue [Daniel 2]
Daniel’s Vision.. The Four Beasts That Came up From The Sea. [Daniel 7]
John’s Vision.. The Beast That Came up From The Sea. [Revelation 13]
The Seven Heads Are … Seven Kings [Revelation 17:9-10]
Five Are Fallen
Egypt: The world’s first great empire that enslaved the Israelites
Assyria: Took the northern kingdom of Israel into captivity in 722 B.C.
The statue's golden head represented King Nebuchadnezzar (Babylon)
The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings:
his mouth was the mouth of a lion
Babylon: Babylon took the southern kingdom of Judah into captivity.
The breast and arms of silver was to be Medo-Persia
A second, like a bear… raised up on one side, and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.
his feet were as the feet of a bear
Medo-Persia: Under this empire a remnant of Israel were allowed to return and rebuild the city and the temple.
The bronze torso and thighs represent the Greeks that followed the Medo/Persian empire...
The third was a leopard that had four wings and four heads;
And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard,
Greece: Alexander the great and his four successors
The iron legs in the statue represent the Roman Empire that came after the Greeks.
The symbolism of the two legs was not apparent until many years later (in 286 ad), when the Emperor Diocletian divided the Roman Empire into East and West for administrative purposes.
A fourth beast, terrible and powerful, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth; it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns
Rome: The sixth kingdom was the Roman empire, which at the time of writing was the ruling kingdom. Rome besieged and destroyed Jerusalem, looted and burned Herod's Temple and enslaved or massacred a large part of the Jewish population.
However there is yet another empire portrayed... The toes of the statue are partly iron and partly clay, probably symbolizing a continuity of the Roman Empire, mixed in with ‘clay’.
“The Other Is Not Yet Come”
The Revived Roman Empire/ the Ten Horns/The Ten Kings, which in John’s time was very much a future kingdom, but one with it’s roots in the sixth…
"And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay." [Daniel 2:43]
And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns, and seven heads, and on his horns ten diadems, and upon his heads names of blasphemy...and the dragon gave him his power, and his throne, and great authority....
“And The Beast That Was, And Is Not, Is Himself Also An Eighth, And Is Of The Seven”
The beast becomes an eighth kingdom while at the same time being one of the seven.