The Beasts of Revelation 13
Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.
– Daniel 9:26
As was prophesied in Daniel 9:26 and discussed in the previous episode, Jesus the Messiah, was “cut off” by his death on the cross. The people who destroyed the city and the sanctuary in 70 A.D. were the soldiers of the army of Titus of Rome. The “prince who is to come,” known in popular culture as the Anti-Christ, clearly emerges from the Roman Empire.
The European Union: A revived Roman Empire
And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea…
– Revelation 13:1
On May 5, 1949, five years after the end of World War II, ten European countries created the Council of Europe. This was followed a year later by the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community, a merger of economic interests ultimately growing into the European Union of today. Two treaties were signed in Rome on March 25, 1957, establishing the European Economic Community.
At its completion in 1995, the Justus Lipsius Building in Brussels became the seat of the Council of the European Union. In 2017, an addition known as the Europa Building was completed. The new building houses the European Council and the Council of the European Union. The office of the President of Europe is one of the 250 offices in the Europa Building.
The addition is framed in a giant twelve-story patchwork of reclaimed oak windows from the member states. Though a reinforced behemoth, its haphazard-appearing façade resembles an oversized matchstick house. The structure creates an atrium housing a massive glass lantern containing the meeting rooms and offices of the new building.
Its atrium and lantern are illuminated with thousands of LED lights. When the sun is down and from a distance, the lantern resembles a large, glowing egg behind the patchwork of wood and glass. Public relations have billed the Europa Building the “beating heart of Europe.”
The media’s nickname: Space EGG.
In a later episode of Behind Blood Falls, we will examine what the Bible tells us about the beast of Revelation. For now, we can glean the following from the Scriptures:
- He will be a male, possibly homosexual.
- He will rule nations for seven years.
- He will be arrogant, blaspheming God and demanding the worship of every person alive.
- His power and authority come from Satan.
- He will persecute and kill the saints who have turned to Christ during the Tribulation.
- He or one of his satellite nations will suffer a deadly blow and be thought dead, only to rise again in a satanic resurrection.
- He will work in league with another “beast,” this one arising from the earth.
The second beast
Is the Anti-Christ the false messiah?
Though people mix the offices of the two beasts of the seven-year Tribulation, their roles are very different. While the leader of the revived Roman Empire will be hailed as the world’s savior, the title of messiah will likely go to the second beast, the false prophet who rules beside the Anti-Christ.
Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon. He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men.
– Revelation 13:11-13
It is believed by some scholars that the false prophet described in Revelation is of Jewish heritage. He springs from the earth, or the land, as opposed to the the first beast, who comes from the sea. Israel has long been associated with its land, the nations with water.
But the wicked are like the tossing sea….
– Isaiah 57:20
The false prophet will mimic the Old Testament prophets, but he will be a fraud and blasphemer. He is described in the Revelation as having the image of a lamb, an obvious reference to the Lamb of God. But he speaks as a dragon, described in Revelation as being Satan. He will appear to perform signs and wonders like the prophets of old. His job is to inspire humanity to worship the first beast, the Anti-Christ.
The appearance of the Anti-Christ, false prophet, and Satan provide the world with a counterfeit representation of the Trinity: Anti-Christ as the father, the false prophet as the son, and Satan as the spirit who indwells and empowers the other two.
A mahdi and a messiah
The concept of the Mahdi, though not mentioned in the Quran, is accepted in Islam among the Sunni and Shia. It has been included in the Muslim creed for 1400 years. The term means “guided one” in Arabic—a divinely guided person who will restore Islam to a place of power and religious purity in the world.
It is believed this messianic deliverer will bring in peace and prosperity for the last seven to nine years before the end of the world, will convert all nations to Islam, and will prepare the way for the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Messiah or usurper?
As those in the Muslim faith long for their Mahdi, the Jewish nation yearns for its Messiah.
The hope of a leader to deliver Israel from her enemies and reign over a period of peace and prosperity has long been in Jewish hearts. This leader is described as Melech HaMoshiach, or the King Messiah, in Talmudic literature.
The Hebrew word for Messiah is Moshiach and means “anointed.” Talmudic literature reserves this title and the title Melech HaMoshiach (King Messiah) for the leader anointed to bring in the Messianic era at the end of days.
And now behold, I go to my people: come, I will admonish thee what this people will do to thy people at the end of days.
– Numbers 24:14 (DARBY)
While Westerners tend to interpret the phrase “end of days” to mean “end of the world,” it is connected in Jewish religious thought to the coming Messianic era. The prolific author Rabbi Moishe ben Maimon (1135-1204) taught the eventual rise of a Jewish leader from the lineage of David who would rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem and regather the Jewish people from their exile around the world.
This Messiah is believed to usher in an era of worldwide peace and a time when all nations will worship the one God.
Though scholarly views within the Jewish community differ on the genesis and development of the Messianic theme, the Tanakh clearly promised a king from the line of David to Israel. There is evidence of the longing for a Messianic kingdom in the Second Temple Period, although these expectations varied. Apocryphal works are not considered inspired text but still attest to the traditional Jewish understanding of a single Messianic figure.
The New Testament bears witness of this hope, as expressed in this exchange between John the Baptist and the religious leaders at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry:
This is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” And he confessed and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” They asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” Then they said to him, “Who are you, so that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?” He said, “I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.”
– John 1:19-23
Therefore when the people saw the sign which He had performed, They said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.”
– John 6:14
Some of the people therefore, when they heard these words, were saying, “This certainly is the Prophet.” Others were saying, “This is the Christ.”
– John 7:40-41
His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone confessed Him to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.
– John 9:22
But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel.
– Luke 24:21
Rejected by His own people
When the long-awaited Deliverer and king arrived, He was rejected by most of His own nation. Speaking of this rejection, Jesus prophesied of a coming usurper who would take the name of Prophet and Messiah for himself.
I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him.
– John 5:43
Jesus was likely speaking of the false prophet, or false messiah, described in Revelation.
A crown for a king.
You shall also make a plate of pure gold and shall engrave on it, like the engravings of a seal, ‘Holy to the Lord.’ You shall fasten it on a blue cord, and it shall be on the turban; it shall be at the front of the turban.
– Exodus 28:36-37
In 2018, the rabbi of King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion and direct descendant of King David launched a project to gather the funds to craft a golden crown for the coming Messiah. Rabbi Yosef Berger believes we are now living in the time of the beginning of the messianic period and anticipates the soon arrival of the Messiah prophesied in the Hebrew Scriptures.
A golden crown specifically crafted for the high priest has already been completed, however.
The Temple Institute, a Jewish organization dedicated to the rebuilding of the temple and the establishment of the temple priesthood and service, displays a golden crown made especially for the high priest of the temple in its museum. At its unveiling, its value was estimated to be around $30,000.
The true Messiah wore a crown of thorns.