In the last two posts Robert Fisher told us about the character of the Antichrist, and why it is important for believers to know about him. But the question remains: Who is the beast, or where does he arise from?
There are a number of theories as to his identity, based on different approaches to interpreting end time passages which talk about him. I will briefly explain a few of them. Then I will explain my reasoning for my favorite of these theories. We must keep an open mind, however. Scripture says the key sign to his identity is when he brings the Abomination of Desolation upon Jerusalem, brings an end to sacrifice and offerings in the temple, and sits in the temple of God presenting himself as if he were God (Dan 9:24-27; 12:1ff; Matt 24:1ff; 2Thess 2:3-8; Rev 12, 13).
One popular theory is that he will be Islamic, perhaps from Turkey or Russia (Gog/Magog). This is based on the chief prince of Gog being the beast. While I do not know the details, Islamic prophecy says that Muslims will conquer the world for Allah, their God. If this view is true, then perhaps the temple will not be rebuilt for the end time. They have their Dome of the Rock built on the temple mount, in a location some scholars believe the Jewish Temple stood. Thus it would be an Abomination.
However, prophecy suggests that the main Temple will be rebuilt in the last days, except for the court of the Gentiles. Some scholars believe the Temple itself was actually at a different spot on the mount, and could be rebuilt. But the location of the Islamic Dome is where the court of the Gentiles was located. I personally believe the seven year treaty confirmed by the beast and the many (Dan 9:24-27) will allow the Jews to build their Temple in return for allowing a Palestinian state, or some other major concession. Then in the middle of the seven years, the beast will set up his image in the temple, bringing the Abomination of Desolation.
Another view is that the Antichrist is the office of the pope, or will be the final Pope. The leaders of the Reformation (i.e. Luther, and others) believed that the papal throne was the beast empire. They understood that the Antichrist must come before Christ gathers the church, therefore believing Christ could come at any moment because the Antichrist had come. Thus when pre-tribs cite them as believing in an any-moment coming, they ignore the fact that the reformers were historical post-tribs. Thus it does nothing to support the pre-trib theory, which says Christ gathers the church before Antichrist is revealed.
That is a historicist or preterist view. Some futurists believe it is the final pope who will be the Antichrist. They blend the view that the papal throne is the beast empire with the popular pre-trib rapture theory.
Another theory is that Adolph Hitler will either be raised from the dead or cloned, or something. Revelation 12, 13 says the final beast empire is the eighth head of the dragon. But this is the seventh head, who is apparently slain and brought back to life. This is based partly on the view that the Nazi empire, the Third Reich, was the seventh beast empire. Robert Van Kampen spends a lot of time explaining this view in The Sign (Crossway, 1993). An alternative, related view is that it will be the Nazi empire reborn – and Neo-Nazi is popular in parts of Europe right now. If it is related to the Third Reich, then I personally believe it will be the Nazi movement rather than Hitler himself. They would then have a new leader arise with the charisma of Hitler, who successfully raises up an empire.
A popular view is that the beast empire will be the European community. The Roman Empire destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD. Daniel 9:24-27 says the people of the prince who is to come would do this. Then later the prince would come who would bring the Abomination of Desolation. This is a near/far prophecy of first the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD, then the final Abomination in the last days. Thus the beast is likely a descendant those who controlled the Roman Empire.
The Roman Empire was ruled over by the Ceasars, but each country was allowed to have its own rulers, subject to the laws of the Empire. It spanned roughly the same area which is now the European Community. That is why many believe this is the power base for the Antichrist. If they ever come together to elect a single ruler over the E.U., then this view is very possible.
I lean more toward a worldwide Antichrist kingdom, which follows the ideals of the Roman Empire. The beast himself will likely come from Europe. But his power base will be the New World Order, which many parts of the world are joining. Scripture seems clear that much of the entire world will fall under the sway of the one world government under the beast. The NWO plans to divide the world into ten major regions like the E.U. These would each have a “king.” They would then elect someone to be the king over all.
Revelation 12 says the ten kings give their authority to the beast for 3 1/2 years. One of Jesus’s titles is King of kings (Rev 19). Satan likes to imitate Christ in mockery of Him. Thus his beast would be a king of kings, just as the Roman ceasars were kings over the kings of the nations they conquered.
I recently heard a theory that explains this election, which sounds very possible. Scripture says the Antichrist, the little horn, comes up and displaces three of the ten horns on the head of the beast. This theory says each king can give authority to the beast for six months. Seven of the ten kings support the candidate for the over-ruler, which gives him 7 x 6months = 42 months (3 1/2 year). This in essence conquers the remaining three kings, who are subject to the decision of the majority. While this may not be correct, it somehow rings true to my ears.
Now I will present my favorite candidate for the Antichrist.
There is a world leader living at the time of this writing who meets virtually every prophecy directly and clearly related to the Antichrist. While I do not declare his identity as a certainty, he certainly must be watched closely. I will briefly summarize the information here. More, with complete documentation, can be found online. The information I present here I have independently verified.
My candidate is Prince Charles of Wales. Revelation 13:16 poses this riddle: Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, ofr it is the number of a man, and that number is 666. The name Charles according to books on the meanings of names is literally a man. If you take his name and title above, in Greek and English (using the Gr. method) it adds up to 666.
Revelation says the beast is the last head of a seven-headed dragon, which represents kings and the kingdoms they rule (Rev 17:10). If Prince Charles becomes head of the E.U. or a worldwide NWO Empire, then he will be the seventh ruler named Charles to rule the Roman Empire.
Some believe the Antichrist will be of the line of King David of Israel, and claim to be the long-awaited Messiah. This could explain why Israel is willing to sign a treaty with him. Jesus said that He came in the Father’s name and they did not receive Him, but if one comes in his own name, they will receive him.(John 5:43). The Antichrist will come and ultimately declare Himself God and demand worship, whereas Christ at His first coming did not demand it, but received it when offered. Prince Charles traces his family tree to King David.
The dragon who gives the beast power is fiery red (Rev 12:3). The flag of Wales is a red dragon.
According to Revelation 12:11-17, the False Prophet sets up an image of the beast, forcing the world to worship the image. A statue has been made of Prince Charles, titled Prince Charles Saves the World, or Prince Charles, Savior of the World. This statue depicts him in a victorious pose standing on a mountain of skulls. Matthew 24 says unless Christ amputates the great tribulation, no flesh will survive. But He will amputate it at the sixth seal.
Revelation 13:1 describes the beast with the mouth of a lion, the body of a leopard, and the feet of a bear. This creature appears on Prince Charles’s coat of arms. On the other side is depicted a unicorn. There are two versions, one with a chain around it, and one with a broken chain. Psalm 2 says the kings of the earth want to break off the chains of God.
Daniel 9:26-27 says the people of the prince who is to come would destroy the Temple and Jerusalem, which was fulfilled in 70 AD. The he (the prince) would confirm a covenant with many for one week, but in the middle of the week end sacrifice and offerings, bringing the Abomination of Desolation (Matt 24:15). Notice his title is prince. It is rumored that the queen of England has named Prince William to be the next king of England when she dies, rather than Prince Charles. If so, then he will still be a prince if the queen dies before and if he become the antichrist.
There are numerous other signs pointing to this possibility. He must be watched closely.