Biblical prophecies are directed toward a final result. In this case, the fact is that God is the victor and His kingdom will be established on this earth. One approach to understanding end-time prophecies is to take the end event and then work backwards, placing the earlier events around it. The Scriptures tell us that there will be an end-time battle where the nations of the world will be summoned together against God’s people, Israel. The opposing forces at the center of this battle are God and Satan.
Revelation 19:11-16 “And I saw the heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and he that sat thereon called Faithful and True; and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. And his eyes are a flame of fire, and upon his head are many diadems; and he hath a name written which no one knoweth but he himself. And he is arrayed in a garment sprinkled with blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and pure. And out of his mouth proceedeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of God, the Almighty. And he hath on his garment and on his thigh a name written, KINGS OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
Comment: Jesus comes from heaven, followed by the armies of heaven. He is the one that treadeth the winepress, which is the wrath of God. This winepress is mentioned in Joel 3:11-15 “Haste ye, and come, all ye nations round about, and gather yourselves together: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O Jehovah. Let the nations bestir themselves, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat; for there will I sit to judge all the nations round about. Put ye in the sickle; for the harvest is ripe: come, tread ye; for the winepress is full, the vats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! for the day of Jehovah is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining”. Revelation 14:19-20. “And the angel cast his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vintage of the earth, and cast it into the winepress, the great winepress, of the wrath of God. And the winepress are trodden without the city, and there came out blood from the winepress, even unto the bridles of the horses, as far as a thousand and six hundred furlongs”. This passage reveals the blood will flow out of the winepress to the horse’s bridles. The question is, how could this physically happen? The seventh trumpet and the seventh bowl tell us there will be great hail, as the kingdoms of this world will become Christ’s Kingdom. These hailstones, weighing around one hundred pounds each, falling from the sky certainly will beat the armies gathered against God’s people to a pulp. As the ice mixed with the blood melts it will flow out of the winepress just as the Bible states. It is very possible that horses will be present because the world as we know it will have changed. The supply of petroleum will be drastically affected by the plagues during the previous seven years. God wins this battle Himself – not Israel’s armies. Zechariah 14:4-5 tells us God provides a valley for them to flee to and escape.
Also, with this battle the Scriptures reveal details about Satan and his earthly forces. They are gathered together in a place called Armageddon, to bring the world armies together. Revelation 16:13-14 reveals there are three identities that are the major controlling forces on the earth. They are the dragon, the beast and the false prophet. They send out their representatives to bring the world against Israel. We are told the representatives are really spirits of demons using signs to convince the world to eliminate Israel. Why is their going out referred to like frogs? It is possible that John saw them hopping around the world in airplanes. To him seeing a plane take off and land reminded him of frogs hopping from one place to another. We today use the term hopping from one country to another for representatives trying to form a peace agreement. It should be noted that the river Euphrates is dried up to make way for the kings of the east. Thus, the main army forces coming against Israel are from countries east of the Euphrates River. The country nearest is Iran. Presently they are Israel’s number one enemy. No doubt they are part of the ten horns of the end-time beast. Next, we need to examine the three identities and their part in the war against God and His followers. These three identities are dealt with when Christ returns. The dragon (Satan) is chained for one thousand years. The beast and the false prophet are cast alive into the lake of fire. As we look backwards on the prophecies, we realize they are all leading up to this conclusion. Looking at how each ends up helps us understand the other visions that describe them. Thus we need to look at each identity to understand the part he plays in the end time.
End-Time Forces in the Book of Daniel
Prophecies found in the book of Daniel also reveal details of the end-time players. Daniel had a number of visions from God. His prophecies cover historical events all the way through to the end. His interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream revealed the succession of kingdoms that God destroys to set up His Kingdom. It should be noted that Daniel remembers each of these visions and the angel who helped him understand it. We need to be careful not to lump all of these events into the same person (the antichrist) when Daniel sees them as separate visions. We should follow the clues and connect each vision with the identity revealed in Revelation. Daniel, Chapter 7 reveals the four end time kingdoms in place when Christ returns. One of them is destroyed and burned with fire (Daniel 7:11). Daniel 7:12 reveals that the other three lose their dominion to Christ, but still continue for a season and a time. Thus these three are not part of the beast or the false prophet who are cast alive into the lake of fire. Since the first three beasts pass through the tribulation and we are fast approaching the end times, these beasts are probably present today.
Daniel 7:4 “The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made to stand upon two feet as a man; and a man’s heart was given to it.”
Comment: The country which today is recognized by eagle’s wings, is the United States. Exodus 19:4 “Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself,” tells us God carried the children of Israel on eagle’s wings from Egypt to the Promised Land. Isaiah 40:31 “but they that wait for Jehovah shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.” We are told that when we wait for God, He will renew our strength and we will be carried along with wings of eagles. To me, Daniel is telling us that the eagle wings will be removed from the United States and will be made to stand up like a man with man’s wisdom to guide it. Thus, this is the removal of God’s blessing, which has carried the United States along, making it a great nation.
Daniel 7:5 “And, behold, another beast, a second, like to a bear; and it was 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.”
Comment: Today we recognize Russia as the bear. It would seem that only one side comes to power with three dominant parts, which causes the death of many people.
Daniel 7:6 “After this I beheld, and, lo, another, like a leopard, which had upon its back four wings of a bird; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.”
Comment: This power has four dominant powers, which carry it along and give it dominion. To me, this seems to represent the European Common Market.
Daniel 7: 7-8 “After this I saw in the night-visions, and, behold, 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. I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.”
Comment: This beast with ten horns relates to the ten-horned beast in Revelation, Chapter 13. This ten-horned beast is the power that receives the mouth which blasphemies God. Daniel, Chapter 8 also refers to a little horn, which is present at the end-time events. However, Daniel does not connect this little horn to the little horn in Daniel, Chapter 7. The description in Daniel 8:25 reveals this horn uses craft to destroy many and stands up against Christ, but is destroyed without human hand. This description connects it to the false prophet of Revelation, Chapter 13 who deceives mankind.
Daniel, chapters 10 and 11 reveal another vision concerning future events. It should be noted this vision ends, and then in Daniel, Chapter 12 the beginning of a time of trouble which has never been experienced since the beginning of nations. Thus, this vision does not include the beast and the false prophet who are destroyed at Christ’s return. I believe this vision ends with the fall of Babylon. It should be noted that Daniel is instructed to seal up these visions because they would not be known until the time of the end, when men will run to and fro and knowledge will be increased. Through Daniel’s writings we know he desired to know the details of the end-time events. The events he saw caused him to be troubled and even become sick for several days. He is told to seal them up until the time of the end, when the wise would understand. The first identity we need to consider in the end time battle against Israel is the dragon. He is the one leading the rebellion, giving the beast and the false prophet the power to accomplish his work.
Revelation 12:9 “And the great dragon was cast down, the old serpent, he that is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world; he was cast down to the earth, and his angels were cast down with him.”
Comment: We are told the dragon is the one we call Satan or the devil. The Bible also refers to him as the god of this world.
Revelation 12:3 “And there was seen another sign in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his heads seven diadems.”
Comment: The devil is pictured as a dragon having seven heads with ten horns and seven crowns on these heads. From Daniel’s prophecies we realize Satan will create this image of himself in the various kingdoms of this world down through history.
Revelation 12:4 “And his tail draweth the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon standeth before the woman that is about to be delivered, that when she is delivered he may devour her child.”
Comment: We are told he has control over a third part of the stars of heaven, and their allegiance to him causes them to be cast down to earth.
Revelation 12:7-9 “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels going forth to war with the dragon; and the dragon warred and his angels; And they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast down, the old serpent, he that is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world; he was cast down to the earth, and his angels were cast down with him.”
Comment: The war Satan and his angels have with Michael and his angels results in Satan’s defeat. Satan and his angels are cast down to earth. It is possible their arrival to this earth is found in Revelation 6:13 “and the stars of the heaven fell unto the earth, as a fig tree casteth her unripe figs when she is shaken of a great wind.”
Revelation 12:12-16 “Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe for the earth and for the sea: because the devil is gone down unto you, having great wrath, knowing that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast down to the earth, he persecuted the woman that brought forth the man child. And there were given to the woman the two wings of the great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness unto her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth after the woman water as a river, that he might cause her to be carried away by the stream. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth and swallowed up the river which the dragon cast out of his mouth.”
Comment: Satan is angry upon his arrival and realizes he does not have much time left. Satan persecutes Israel and tries to destroy her with a flood of water but the earth opens up, allowing the water to go down. This flood is mentioned in Daniel 9:26 “And after the threescore and two weeks shall the anointed one be cut off, and shall have nothing: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and even unto the end shall be war; desolations are determined.”
Revelation 12:17 “And the dragon waxed wroth with the woman, and went away to make war with the rest of her seed, that keep the commandments of God, and hold the testimony of Jesus.”
Comment: Satan seeks to destroy not only Israel, but also all those who keep God’s commandments.
Revelation 13:2 “And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his throne, and great authority.”
Comment: Satan gives the ten-horned beast its power and authority.
Summary: The Dragon
Even though humans will be unable to see the devil, we know he will have a human representative. We know this because Revelation 16:13-14 states there are three representatives who go to the whole world to bring the countries to the final battle. My conviction is that Satan will be pictured to mankind in the form of the image of the beast that the false prophet causes to be made. The image is allowed to speak, causing the world to worship the image or be killed. Revelation 13:14-15 “And he deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by reason of the signs which it was given him to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast who hath the stroke of the sword and lived. And it was given unto him to give breath to it, even to the image to the breast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as should not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” This image gives mankind a physical god to worship. The image also gives Satan the means to deliver his message to mankind. Satan, through the physical force from the ten-horned beast and the deception of the false prophet, will be able to communicate his message, allowing him control of the world as the god of it. I believe Satan’s personal representative represents the image. This representative would be the little horn of Daniel, Chapter 7, which plucks up three of the ten horns. Thus, the ten-horned beast remains with only seven crowned horns and Satan’s representative leads the other three horns as a separate unit, the core of Satan’s force.
Revelation 13:1 “and he stood upon the sand of the sea. 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.”
Comment:The beast is identified by its seven heads with ten horns and ten crowns. The beast comes out of the sea (sea of mankind). In Daniel, Chapter 2 we are told of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, which pictured the formation of an image which is destroyed by Christ’s return. We are told the formation of the image describes kingdoms down through history. Revelation 13:1 also tells us the seven heads have names of blasphemy. These heads are kingdoms, which did not accept Israel as God’s chosen people and placed their gods over the Israelites instead of Jehovah. The Scriptures tell us of the first two heads that blasphemed God in Isaiah 52:4-5 “For thus saith the Lord Jehovah, My people went down at the first into Egypt to sojourn there: and the Assyrian hath oppressed them without cause. Now therefore, what do I here, saith Jehovah, seeing that my people is taken away for nought? they that rule over them do howl, saith Jehovah, and my name continually all the day is blasphemed.”
Daniel has a vision, which he reveals in Daniel, Chapter 7, that includes four different beasts. The ten-horned beast is number four, which God destroys with Christ’s return. This beast is cast alive into the lake of fire in Revelation 19:20 “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought the signs in his sight, wherewith he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast and them that worshipped his image: they two were cast alive into the lake of fire that burneth with brimstone.” It should be noted the other three beasts are allowed to live for a season and a time. Daniel 7:12 “And as for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.” Thus these three are not part of the Nebuchadnezzar image. Revelation 13:2 “And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his throne, and great authority.” This passage reveals certain ways that the ten-horned beast has characteristics similar to the other three beasts of Daniel, Chapter 7. Its body is patterned after the leopard, representing the third beast, possibly Europe. The feet are like those of the bear, representing the second beast, possibly Russia. These feet are used to destroy much flesh. The beast has a mouth like that of the lion, representing the first beast, possibly the United States. It tells the world of all its greatness. The ten-horned fourth beast is empowered by Satan and has great authority over the other three beasts.
Revelation 13:3 “And I saw one of his heads as though it had been smitten unto death; and his death-stroke was healed: and the whole earth wondered after the beast”
Comment: One of the seven heads receives a mortal wound. It should be noted that at the time of the mortal wound, the beast is near its completed form. The seven heads, ten horns, and ten crowns are in place. The only thing lacking is the little horn before which three horns fall, leaving seven crowns. Thus the mortal wound could be to any one of the seven heads (empires which have ruled over Israel).
Revelation 13:4 “and they worshipped the dragon, because he gave his authority unto the beast; and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? And who is able to war with him?”
Comment: The dragon gives power to the beast, which is the mouth of the image. This power causes the people to worship Satan. The world realizes this kingdom is not one that they can defeat.
Revelation 13:5-6 “and there was given to him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and there was given to him authority to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth for blasphemies against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, even them that dwell in the heaven.”
Comment: The mouth given to the beast comes at the middle of the tribulation. It seems this is when the image is given breath to speak and is placed in the temple as god, thus blaspheming Jehovah and His rightful place of worship. Satan now has a mouth to deliver his message and a way for people to worship him. The beast places itself above and against God. The mouth reveals the message that those who do not worship the image of the beast should be killed. No one can buy or sell without receiving the mark. Also this mouth blasphemes those who dwell in the heaven. Satan is the one who knows about heaven.
Revelation 13:7 “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and there was given to him authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation.”
Comment: The beast makes war against the saints and overcomes them. This includes all saints around the world. The power of the beast has the support of the whole world.
Revelation 13:8-10 “And all that dwell on the earth shall worship him, every one whose name hath not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb that hath been slain. If any man hath an ear, let him hear. If any man is for captivity, into captivity he goeth: if any man shall kill with the sword, with the sword must he be killed. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.”
Comment: The saints round the world come under the power of the beast, but refuse to worship the beast. Some countries do not believe in capital punishment, and will put the saints in prison, but others do and they will kill them.
Daniel 7:23-25 “Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all the kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And as for the ten horns, out of this kingdom shall ten kings arise: and another shall arise after them; and he shall be diverse from the former, and he shall put down three kings.”
Comment: The little horn comes up among the ten horns and three horns are removed. Thus the picture of the dragon in Revelation, Chapter 12 is completed for mankind to understand (seven heads, ten horns, and seven diadems). This little horn will probably be the dragon’s representative, who helps bring the world against Israel. He will be the representative of the image of the beast set up in the temple which mankind is forced to worship as god. Matthew 24:15 “When therefore ye see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let him that readeth understand).” II Thessalonians 2:3 “let no man beguile you in any wise: for it will not be, except the falling away come first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.”
The False Prophet
Revelation 13:11-13 “And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like unto a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the authority of the first beast in his sight. And he maketh the earth and them that dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose death-stroke was healed. And he doeth great signs, that he should even make fire to come down out of heaven upon the earth in the sight of men.”
Comment: The false prophet comes out of the earth, signifying an appointed kingdom, not one elected from mankind. He has authority just like the first beast. Thus he is either the clay or the iron of the feet in Nebuchadnezzar’s image. The false prophet causes mankind to worship the first beast. He does this through supernatural signs such as causing lightning to come down out of the sky.
Revelation 13:14-15 “And he deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by reason of the signs which it was given him to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast who hath the stroke of the sword and lived. And it was given unto him to give breath to it, even to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as should not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”
Comment: He convinces mankind by deception to worship the first beast. He deceives mankind into making an image of the beast, which they can worship. This image represents the head that had victory over the mortal wound. Satan allows the false prophet to give breath to the image, making it possible for this image to speak and convincing the world to kill those who do not worship the image.
Revelation 13:16-17 “And he causeth all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free and the bond, that there be given them a mark on their right hand, or upon their forehead; and that no man should be able to buy or to sell, save he that hath the mark, even the name of the beast or the number of his name.”
Comment: Complete control over all mankind is accomplished when mankind is unable to buy or sell without joining his system. Each person must receive a mark identifying him and showing that he has joined the system. Today we can understand how a microchip under the skin would accomplish this. There would be no stolen identity, they could locate each person by global satellite positioning, and they could control crime, the world financial system, health records, and so forth. Through the promise of personal security they would be able to control every aspect of our lives.
Revelation 13:18 “Here is wisdom. He that hath understanding, let him count the number of the beast; for it is the number of a man: and his number is Six hundred and sixty and six.”
Comment: This system will be able to identify each person by a number. The false prophet’s number is 666, which will identify who he is. The vision Daniel saw which seems to shed light on the false prophet is found in Daniel, Chapter 8.
Daniel 8:25 “And through his policy he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and in their security shall he destroy many: he shall also stand up against the prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.”
Comment: The connecting link between Revelation and Daniel’s evil king is deception. He also is broken without hand when he stands up against Christ, thus he would be either the false prophet or the beast. He destroys many by giving them the hope of security.
Daniel 8:23 “And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.”
Comment: This king is referred to in the singular form, thus he is not the beast with ten horns. Daniel’s vision in Chapter 8 traces the background of the false prophet, indicating he will arise out of the area where the four horns came out of the empire of Greece. He would also represent the iron of Nebuchadnezzar’s image (the Roman Empire). The Pope is chosen from countries around the world; thus I believe the False Prophet will come from the area of the world represented by the four horns.
Summary of The Dragon, The Ten-Horned Beast and The False Prophet
Satan himself spearheads the evil forces that are determined to blaspheme God and destroy His people. He accomplishes his desires through the beast and the false prophet. Satan does not physically manifest himself to mankind, yet he has a representative who is one of the three who bring the world against Israel. All three of these representatives are demon-possessed. My conviction is that Satan’s message is delivered to mankind and he receives their worship through the image placed in the temple. The ten-horned beast and the false prophet form the eighth and final world kingdom ruling over Israel before Christ’s return. This kingdom comes from the same area of the world as the previous seven heads. Satan is able to subject mankind with physical force through the ten-horned beast. The beast has power from Satan to overcome the followers of God, even the final two witnesses. Satan’s deception of mankind is accomplished through the false prophet. The false prophet deceives mankind into making an image where Satan can receive their worship. This image also has the ability to speak, delivering Satan’s message of “Either worship the image or be killed.” He also causes the world to create a system of financial control, so that mankind will not be able to buy or sell without being a part of this system. For this system to be enforced he must have representatives around the world. I believe Satan’s personal representative is the little horn, before which three horns of the beast are plucked up. He controls the worship of the image and the destruction of those who do not worship it.