Useful Bible Studies > Revelation Commentary > chapter 13

The antichrist appears

Revelation 13:1

The ‘antichrist’ means the enemy of Christ, who imitates Christ in order to oppose him. That word does not appear in the Book of Revelation; it only appears in 1 John and 2 John. However, there are descriptions of the antichrist elsewhere in the Bible. One of the most important of those descriptions is in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12.

Christ, too, warned about false Christs, for example in Mark 13:14-23. The start of that passage refers to the ‘abomination of desolation’ in Daniel 9:27, which also describes the rule of antichrist. The ‘abomination of desolation’ is one of the worst acts of antichrist; it means the ‘terrible act that destroys’.

Together, all these passages describe a very powerful ruler who gains authority over the world, soon before Christ’s return. The antichrist is not just a politician; he also gains power over the world’s religions. He declares himself to be god (2 Thessalonians 2:4) and, by the power of the devil, he carries out astonishing acts (2 Thessalonians 2:9).

His rule will last for one ‘week’ (Daniel 9:27), which almost certainly means for 7 years. In the middle of these 7 years, he will begin to oppose God’s people fiercely (Daniel 11:31-35; Mark 13:14-20). Therefore, his rule is for two periods of three and a half years each. That is the reason for the frequent references to this length of time in Revelation chapters 11 to 13.

John saw the antichrist as the beast (a strong wild animal) that came from the sea in Revelation chapter 13. A second beast comes from the earth in Revelation 13:11; but it seems right that this first beast is from the sea. The sea, like the antichrist, is so powerful that no person can ever control it. The sea also contains animals that are much greater and stronger than those on the land.

The power and strength of the antichrist in this description are similar to the power and strength of the devil (12:3). The antichrist’s heads, which show his authority as a leader, declare his hate for God. His horns (bony points like an animal’s, which show strength) are the source of his royal authority.

Next part: The terrible character of antichrist (Revelation 13:2)


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© 2016, Keith Simons.