The Mystery Beast of Revelation

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18

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According to Greek legend, the Trojan War began after Helen, the wife of the king of Sparta, left him to be with a man named Paris in the city of Troy. The expedition to avenge the Spartan king was unsuccessful, so the Greeks set sail for Troy in a fleet of 1,000 ships.
After years of fruitless efforts to take Troy, the Spartans resorted to treachery rather than force. They constructed a large wooden horse, and left it—filled with armed warriors—outside the city of Troy. Believing the horse would bring them good fortune, the Trojans brought it inside their city.
At night, Greek soldiers emerged from the wooden horse, and the city of Troy was captured and destroyed. Something promising good fortune instead brought calamity!
As we look at the prophecies of this planet’s final days and the prediction that a time of spiritual crisis will come to the world, the Bible details the rise of a spiritual Trojan horse. Something that seems to o er hope and blessing will instead bring spiritual danger—ultimately preparing the world for Satan’s final, deadly plans.
What does the Bible say about the antichrist?

Many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an _______________________.
Hint

The term “antichrist” is mentioned in only four passages of the Bible—all in the letters of John. In each case, the term is used to portray a false teacher or a deceptive power that corrupts faith within the church.

While the pre x “anti” can mean “against,” it can also mean “in place of.” The antichrist of the last days will not be an open opposer of Christ, but will actually seek to take the place of Christ.

Consider this: the great deception of the last days will result in “all the world” following the beast of Revelation 13. (Revelation 13:8) Someone coming in open opposition to Jesus—standing against Him and refuting the Word of God—would not succeed in deceiving “all the world,” especially the Christian world. But a power espousing Christian virtues and appearing to represent God would be far more likely to deceive the planet.

It was Lucifer who first wanted to take the place of Christ (Isaiah 14:12–14), and it is he who continually opposes and misrepresents Him. But through whom or what will he work in earth’s final days?
Hint

Paul states that before Jesus returns to this planet, the church would experience a major spiritual “falling away,” revealing the “man of lawlessness” (or “man of sin”).

As 1 John 3:4 states that “sin is lawlessness” (or “the transgression of the law,” KJV), it can be expected that the great apostasy of earth’s last days will be characterized by disrespect for God’s authority—and in particular, His law.
Hint

Paul stated that significant problems would arise from within the Christian church.

As stated in It Is Written Bible Study Guides #16 and #17, the earthly temple and its services became obsolete when Jesus died on the cross, and any rebuilt temple would not be of God.

When the Bible says the last-day antichrist will sit “in the temple of God,” it is stating that this entity will rise up in the Christian church. The New Testament refers to God’s people or God’s church as a “temple” numerous times. (See 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16 and Ephesians 2:20–22.)
Hint

In Bible prophecy, symbols are frequently used to represent important realities.

A beast represents a kingdom or a nation. (Daniel 7:17, 23)
The sea represents multitudes of people. (Revelation 17:1, 15)
Wind represents strife or warfare. (Jeremiah 49:36, 37; Revelation 7:1–3)

In Daniel 7, Daniel sees the rise of four powerful nations—the same nations revealed to King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2.
Hint

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What would take the place of the fourth kingdom?

The ten horns are ten _____________ who shall arise from this kingdom.
Hint

Just as the iron legs of Rome divided into the feet and the 10 toes of Daniel 2, Daniel now sees 10 horns rising out of the power of Rome. The 10 horns represent the 10 powers that rose from the divided Roman Empire. Today, these nations are in what we recognize as Western Europe.
What did Daniel see coming up out of the 10 horns?

I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a _______________ one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots.
Hint

Historically, it has been believed that this little horn is the same power as the first beast of Revelation 13—often referred to as the “antichrist.”
What are the characteristics that clearly identify the little horn?
1 It arises from Western Europe, from “among” the rest of the horns.
(Daniel 7:8)
2 It is small. (Daniel 7:8)
3 It arises “after” the 10 tribes of Europe are established. (Daniel 7:24)
4 It destroys three of the other horns/nations. (Daniel 7:8)
5 It is “different from” the other 10 powers. (Daniel 7:24)
6 A man would speak for the little horn. (Daniel 7:8)
7 It blasphemes against God, speaking “pompous words against the Most High.” (Daniel 7:25)
8 It would “persecute” God’s people. (Daniel 7:25)
9 It would reign for 1,260 years—“a time and times and half a time.” (Daniel 7:25) Prophetically, a “time” is one year, “times” is two years, and “half a time” is six months (or “three-and-one-half years” as the Amplified Bible translates it).
Based on the 30-day calendar used by the ancient Scriptures, three- and-a-half years is 1,260 days. In Bible prophecy, a day is a symbolic code for a literal year. (Ezekiel 4:6) Thus 1,260 days represent 1,260 years. Seven times in the books of Daniel and Revelation, this same time period is given—using different phrases—to represent the length of rule for this power.
10 This power “shall intend to change times and law” (Daniel 7:25), indicating an attempt would be made to change the law of God.
Who is the little horn power of Daniel 7?
When Christianity stays faithful to God’s Word, the church is a source of light, grace and blessing. But when Christians stray from faithfulness to the Bible and allow Bible truth to be eclipsed by traditions, false doctrines and church rules, the church cannot fulfill the position God has called
it to. Throughout history, there have been times when the church has misrepresented the Word of God—often with disastrous results.

As Protestant Reformers such as Martin Luther, John Calvin and John Knox studied the book of Daniel, they identified the Roman papacy as the “little horn” power.

Historically, Vatican City has been seen by many as fulfilling the identifying marks of the little horn of Daniel 7. Is there any validity to this conclusion?

Each of the 10 points above applies to the Roman papacy:
1 The Vatican arose in Western Europe.
2 The Vatican is a “small” nation.
3 The Vatican arose after the other 10 nations. The rest of the 10 kingdoms were established by AD 476. The Vatican came to full political power in AD 538.
4 The Vatican conquered three nations as it rose to power—the Heruli, the Vandals and the Ostrogoths. All three kingdoms were “plucked out by the roots.” They have disappeared from Europe.
5 The Vatican is “different” from the other nations in that it is both a religious and a political
power.
6 Daniel said that in the little horn were “eyes like the eyes of a man.” (Daniel 7:8) There would be a man “seeing” for— or leading—this power.
7 The Bible defines blasphemy as a person claiming to have the ability to forgive sin (Luke 5:21) or a person claiming to be God. (John 10:33) The Vatican blasphemes against God by claiming to have the power to forgive sin, and by claiming the prerogatives of God. In 1870, the Vatican Council declared that the pope was infallible whenever speaking from his position of papal authority.
8 The Vatican has persecuted Bible-believing Christians down through the centuries, and is responsible for the deaths of multiplied millions of people.
9 The Vatican gained ultimate power in AD 538, and reigned until 1798—a period of 1,260 years. In 1798, the Emperor Napoleon had Pope Pius VI taken captive, and the Vatican lost its status as a self-governing civil power—the “deadly wound” prophesied about in Revelation 13:3.
10 The Vatican attempted to change God’s law by substituting Sunday for the Bible Sabbath, removing the second commandment from its official teachings and dividing the 10th commandment into two separate commandments.
How influential will the little horn’s role be in planet Earth’s final days?

I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was _______________. And all the world marveled and followed the beast.
Hint

The first beast (nation) of Revelation 13 and the little horn of Daniel 7 are the same entity. Notice the similarities: both speak blasphemies (Daniel 7:25; Revelation 13:5, 6), both persecute God’s people (Daniel 7:21, 25; Revelation 13:7), and both rule for 1,260 years (Daniel 7:25; Revelation 13:5).

The entire world will be so influenced by this power that those who do not receive its mark will not be able to buy and sell. (Revelation 13:17) Everyone on the planet—with the exception of those who remain faithful to Jesus—will worship this power. (Revelation 13:8)
How can something be wrong when it looks so good?

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of _____________.
Hint

William Shakespeare once wrote, “All that glisters is not gold.” While it is undoubtedly true that Vatican City stands for much that is good and right, many of her teachings deviate far from the truth of the Bible.

And these deviations are not insignificant:

  • Pope Pius XII stated in 1953 that “the Church alone is the entrance to salvation: She alone, by herself, and under the protection and guidance of the Holy Spirit, is the source of truth.” (Pope Pius XII, in an address to the Gregorian University, October 17, 1953)

  • While Rome teaches that salvation comes through faith in Christ, it does not teach that salvation comes through faith in Christ alone.

  • The church of Rome has altered the Ten Commandments. Rome has replaced observance of the Bible Sabbath with Sunday sacredness (Catechism of the Catholic Church, statements 2174–2176), has removed the second commandment from her official teachings—combining it with the first commandment (Catechism of the Catholic Church, statement 2083), and has divided the 10th commandment into two separate commandments (Catechism of the Catholic Church, statements 2514–2557).

  • The Vatican teaches that confession of sin should be made to a priest (Catechism of the Catholic Church, statements 1449, 1461, etc.), while confession to a priest is nowhere taught in the Bible and strikes at the heart of the key Bible teaching that “there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:5)

  • The Vatican encourages prayer to deceased “saints” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, statement 2683). In contrast, the Bible teaches that “the dead know nothing.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5) No amount of praying to the deceased can be of any use to the living. Jesus taught us to pray to the Father, in His name. (Matthew 6:9; John 14:13, 14)


  • These and many other unbiblical ideas demonstrate that Rome’s teachings do not build faith in the Bible or in Jesus as the Savior of the world. Rather, they undermine the Bible and are in opposition to the teachings of Jesus.

    Churches don’t typically set out to misrepresent the Word of God. In fact, in most cases, those who are teaching unbiblical doctrines are unaware they are doing so, and are intending to be a blessing to the world.

    But when Bible truth is rejected, churches can only o er the world a gospel that is riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies. Such errors are never harmless, and some are dangerous and misleading. False teachings also misrepresent the character of God, making it di cult for people to truly understand God’s grace and mercy, and the beauty of the gift of eternal life.
Hint

Faith in Jesus Christ, demonstrated by a moment-by-moment connection with Him, will prepare any person to live a heaven-bound life ready for Jesus’ Second Coming.
Hint

Jesus pledges to live in the lives of all who surrender themselves unreservedly to Him. When your life is given to Christ, you have the assurance that His power fills you, directs you and keeps you.

No one is left to fight the power of evil on his or her own. Jesus living His life in you enables you to live a life of faith and victory! Romans 6:16 (KJV) says, “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, you can live a life of surrender today!