Emergence of Day and Night (part two)

God created darkness, by creating Lucifer, the source from which night and darkness emanated. Lucifer was created as the son of the morning, who illuminated the earth. He was adorned with every precious stone, and was blameless in his ways, from the day he was created, until wickedness was found in him. He became filled with violence, and sinned. God then caused a fire to come out from the midst of him, and consumed him, and God turned him to ashes upon the earth. He lost his splendor, his brilliance which illuminated the earth, and because of this darkness covered the earth. (Ezekiel 28:12-18).

Night literally represents the kingdom of darkness, and all the works associated with evil. Darkness represents Satan the devil, the ruler of the kingdom of darkness, who was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth (light), because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies“ (John 8:44).

The same way there is no truth, no light, no life in Satan, but only lies, darkness, destruction, and death; In like manner, ‘there is no lie, no darkness, no death in Jesus Christ, but only truth, light and life, for, in him is no darkness at all. Day and night, light and darkness, emanate from two separate sources.

Jesus Christ is the source of day and light, Satan is the source of night and darkness.

The Sabbath/s therefore, which are holy to the Lord, are not associated with darkness, and therefore the Lord says; ‘I am the Lord and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun, to the place of its setting men may know there is none beside me. I am the Lord and there is no other“ (Isaiah 45:5-6).

Again the Lord says; ‘My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense [prayer] and pure offerings [the sacrificial offering of the body and blood of Jesus Christ] will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations,’ says the Lord Almighty“ (Malachi 1:11).

Before conversion, we are literally living in the kingdom of darkness; and when converted, we are to give thanks to the Father, ‘Who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the kingdom of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins“ (Colossians 1:12-13).

The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.’ In contrast; ‘the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble“ (Proverbs 4: 18-19).

Jesus taught the fear of God by saying; ‘…There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell“ (Matthew 10: 26-27).

We are called to live as children of light, and the apostle Paul said; ‘Now this I affirm and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds; they are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart; they have become callous and have given themselves up to licentiousness, greedy to practice every kind of uncleanness. You did not so learn Christ!“ (Ephesians 4:17-19).

The apostle Paul continues; ‘…For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light, (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deed of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible“ (Ephesians 5:8-14):

The perspective of day and night, light and darkness, are not to be viewed merely as spiritual perspectives, associated with only what is good and evil. They also convey literal applications to the actual day and night, and light and darkness phenomena. For as the word of God plainly says; ‘But you brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you as a thief. You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breast plate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet“ (1 Thessalonians 5:4-8).

This admonition is both spiritual and literal. For the Lord says; My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. And this is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin“ (1John 1:5-7).

And furthermore, Jesus said; ‘I must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world“ (John 9:4)

Remember, Jesus came to set us an example, that we should follow his steps.

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The Emergence of Day and Night (part one)

The Emergence of Day and Night

It is stated quite explicitly in scriptures that, ‘…Since the creation of the world, God’s invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they (mankind) are without excuse’ (Romans 1:20).
Therefore, can day and night, light and darkness, reveal something about God’s eternal power and Godhead, that we naturally would not understand? Where is the source of day and night, light and darkness; how did they emerge? Did they emanate from the same source?

It is evident that from the beginning of creation, God separated the light from the darkness, and called the light day, and the darkness he called night. These two entities which are diametrically in contrast, and are at variance with each other, from all evidences, emerged on planet earth by two separate ways, and evidently from two separate sources. For to the prophet Isaiah the Lord said; ‘I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, have created it“ (Isaiah 45:7).

Although there is not much of a difference in terms of definition, between the word form, and create, nevertheless, I believe that the Holy Spirit inspired the usage of two different words, with almost similar meaning, to convey an important lesson, and to differentiate the process by which both entities emerged.

I will first begin by asking the question, Why was the earth without form and void, and darkness over the face of the deep, when God created the heavens and the earth? Where did the darkness come from, and what caused the earth to be without form and empty? Did God find an existing earth which was covered in darkness! where did it come from? Or did God create an earth without form and empty, with darkness over the face of the deep?

Secondly, is the emergence of darkness upon the earth a secret, or has it been revealed? If it is a secret, it makes no sense trying to find it out because, ‘The secret things belong to the Lord our God,’ but if it has been revealed, ‘it belongs to us and to our children for ever, that we may follow all the words of the law of God. And it is certain that, the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plans to his servants the prophets’ (Deuteronomy 29:29; Amos 3:7).

We can be assured, that there are revelations regarding the creation of the earth, because God in his dialogue with Job asked him the following questions; ‘Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footing set, or who laid its cornerstone…while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for Joy?’

The dialogue continues; ‘Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth? Tell me, if you know all this. What is the way to the abode of light? And where does darkness reside? Can you take them to their places? Do you know the paths to their dwellings? Surely you know, for you were already born! You have lived so many years! (Job 38:18-21).

The fact that God asked Job, ‘Can you take them (light and darkness) to their places? Do you know the paths to their dwellings?’ Signifies that they emanate from two different sources. And since it is stated that, the morning stars sang together, and the sons of God shouted for joy when God created the earth, is a clear indication that when God created the earth, it was not formless, empty, and darkness covering the face of the deep. Furthermore, this is what the Lord says; ‘He who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, he formed it to be inhabited…he says; ‘I am the Lord, and there is no other’ (Isaiah 45:18).

Therefore, the account of creation found in the first chapter of Genesis, beginning with verse two (2) onwards, does not relate to the original creation of the earth, but refers to the renewal of the face of the earth, after the original earth was destroyed, and lay in waste and emptiness, due to Lucifer’s rebellion. God then renewed the earth, making it conducive for man’s existence. And so it is written; ‘When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth’ (Psalms 104:30).

Day and night were not part of the original creation of the earth, They emerged as the result of
Lucifer’s rebellion. Prophecy reveals that, ‘…When the Lord will come, and all the holy ones with him, on that day there will be no light, no cold or frost. It will be a unique day, without daytime or nighttime…a day known to the Lord. When evening comes, there will be light.’ (Zechariah 14: 5-7).
This is typical of the earth which existed from the foundation of the earth, before Lucifer rebelled, and brought darkness into existence.

Day and night, light and darkness, are not just natural phenomena with no apparent significance. There is an important reason why God, from creation, separated them from each other, as he also set apart the seventh day, and distinguished it from the rest of the other six days of the week, by omitting the evening and the morning as being the seventh day. The scripture simply says; ‘Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all his work which he had done in creation“ (Genesis 2:1-3).

The seventh day with the omission of evening and morning, depicts a unique day unto the Lord, a day without daytime or nighttime, a day known to the Lord. When evening comes, there will be light. Typical to the one at creation.

Therefore, just as the seventh day Sabbath has both a physical and spiritual application, for it is written; ‘For if Joshua had given them rest (which he did physically), God would not speak later of another day. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God; for whoever enters God’s (spiritual) rest also ceases from his (physical) labors as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, that no one fall by the same sort of disobedience“ (Hebrews 4:8-11).

Similarly, day and night, light and darkness, have both literal, and spiritual implications. Day is indicative to the kingdom of light, and light is indicative to Jesus Christ, the Ruler of the kingdom of light. Whilst night is indicative to the kingdom of darkness, and darkness is indicative to Satan, the ruler of the kingdom of darkness.

The light which God formed, is Jesus Christ, the only Begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, and proceeded from the Father. And therefore, everything that is good, everything that is true, is associated with light who is Jesus Christ. And so it is written; ‘ In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.“ He is the true light that gives light to every man who comes into the world.“ And Jesus himself said; ‘ I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life“ (John 1:4-5, 9; John 8:12)

This is the same light that will govern the earth, when the kingdom of God is established on earth. For the prophet Zechariah wrote; ‘…Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost. It will be a unique day, without daytime or night time… a day known to the Lord. When evening comes, there will be light. On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and in winter. The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only one“ [There will be no existence of the kingdom of darkness, and no Satan to assume the title lord] (Zechariah 14:5-9).

The apostle John echoed similar sentiments in the book of Revelation, concerning the New Jerusalem. He wrote; ‘I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its light. (Revelation 21:22-25).

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The Coming Conqueror: The Anti-Christ

Introduction

One of the ways that God chooses to reveal Himself is through prophecy. Some prophecies have been fulfilled and some prophecies have not. In this particular case, a prophecy that has not been fulfilled will be looked at in detail. The unfulfilled prophecy that this paper concerns itself with is the identity of the beast in Revelation 13:1-10. There are many points that will be addressed within this theological paper. They include the following: 1.) The Beast Revealed, 2.) The Components of the Beast, 3.) The Beast’s Wound, 4.) The Beast’s Agenda, 5.) The Mark of the Beast, 6.) The Beast’s Religion, and 7.) The Beast’s Destruction. All of these points and more will be discussed in detail, and different viewpoints will be examined until the best possible interpretation in light of biblical evidence is revealed.

The purpose of this paper is to educate people on the importance of the Beast. This writing is not designed to be polemical. This paper will look at each view objectively and determine the best objective interpretation. This paper is important to believers and non-believers. It is important to believers because it shows believers that now is the time to witness to the lost, because today is the day for salvation. It is just as important for lost people because if a person were to live during this period of time, then they would have a ravaging Beast with which to deal. If anything, this paper when all said and done, should be used as an evangelistic tool for the lost as well as a treatise that will bring enrichment to the believer’s life. This paper is important to eschatology, the doctrine of the last days, because what a person believes about the Beast, especially whether he is in the future or not, indicates what an individual believes about the entire book.
One delimitation of this study would be that when dealing with the Antichrist it would take an systematic theology to write everything there is to know about the Antichrist. Because of this, Revelation 13 was chosen because it deals only with certain aspects about the Beast as discussed in Revelation 13. It also has to be noted that the sources that are going to be used will consist of books, commentaries, and journal articles. It also has to be noted that this topic is beyond the scope of this paper. This paper will not discuss all the passages in the Bible concerning the Beast, only certain ones in Revelation, Daniel, Matthew, and in the books that Paul writes. With that being said, by no means is this treatise taken lightly, because this is a very deep topic. It is with hope that as this paper is read that the paper will be so enlightening that it will be as if the individual is actually there experiencing the horrors talked about.
This paper will be written from a pre-millennial viewpoint. The paper will account for the other views but in the end it will affirm the pre-millennial position. It is with anticipation and hope that as this paper is read, people will grow to enjoy and even love eschatology. It has to be said outright that this treatise is written from the view that everything mentioned is yet future.
This paper will show that there is a coming conqueror that will appear on the earth and deceive the masses into believing that He is God. He will be a man of intelligence, a man of oratorical skill, a man of war, and man who will at first bring peace to Israel. He will be resurrected satanically in the middle of the tribulation period and he will cause Hell to break loose on the earth. He is known in Revelation 13:1-10 by one title: He is the Beast.

The Beast Revealed

Since the beginning of time, there has been a war raging in the cosmos. It is a war that starts in heaven when Lucifer decides that he wants to be God. Lucifer was God’s most beautiful creation. He walked before the throne room daily and was considered an archangel. But Lucifer became jealous of God, and it was out of that jealously that Lucifer convinced one third of the angels to join his efforts to overthrow God and become God himself. It was at this point He ceased being an archangel and became the Prince of Darkness. The Devil’s revolt resulted in him being cast out of Heaven by God and ever since Satan and God have been enemies.
In our time we look forward to the day that evil will no longer hold sway in the world. We long for a heaven on earth. And one day there will be a new heaven and a new earth. But until that day comes when evil is finally no longer, evil still remains and causes much pain on the earth. John the Revelator knew of the evil on the earth and thought that it could not get any worse than it already was. But John quickly found out that is not the case. John found out that great tribulation is coming, the day of Jacob’s trouble. John saw the world being judged by God and the things he saw were horrific. He saw stars falling from the sky, water turning to blood, large chunks of hail falling to the earth. John saw many things but perhaps the most dreadful thing he sees is people selling their soul to the Devil and paying homage to a Beast, the Beast which rises out of the sea.

Is The Beast Revealed Before Or After the Rapture?

Revelation 13 introduces the reader to the beast. Arthur Bloomfield says that Revelation calls the Antichrist the beast out of the sea. Here is a symbol used for a name. The symbol is a beast that rises out of the sea, the sea being the symbol of the masses of the people. The question that must be asked concerns the revealing of the beast before or after the rapture. It is important not to leave out the doctrine of the rapture. The rapture has been one of the most debated topics in churches today. Why mention it when this paper discusses Revelation 13:1-10? What a person believes about the rapture has an impact on what they will believe concerning Revelation 13:1-10. There are those that believe that the beast is revealed before the rapture, and there are those that believe that the beast will be revealed after the rapture. There are two views that will be discussed concerning this issue and they are the following: Preterism and Futurism. These two views are completely opposite in nature. That is why they need to be looked at in detail.

Preterism

Preterism is a view that states that the book of Revelation for the most part happened in the past under the old Roman Empire nearly two thousand years ago. The preterist’ interpretation of the beast in Revelation is worthy of examination. Preterists believe that the beast … portrays the Roman Empire generally and Emperor Nero Caesar specifically. So the beast of Revelation 13 is not some future world dictator but he has already been. According to preterists he is none other than Nero, the emperor who led Rome from A.D. 54-68. and was responsible for murdering many Christians during his reign. The Nero Redivivus View is gaining steam among many preterists, The Roman Empire was the most dominant empire on earth at the time, and it is easy to see why those that hold to this method of interpretation interpret this passage of Scripture the way they do.

However, there are some inconsistencies that need to be looked at in detail concerning this view. The first inconsistency about believing that Nero is the beast of Revelation 13 is one of duration. Craig Keener says that none of this is to say that Revelation predicts a literal return of Nero from the dead- at least not before the resurrection of the damned. In Revelation 13:% it is made clear that the beast’s reign will only be approximately forty-two months. Now history tells us that Nero reigned for approximately fourteen years. One cannot overlook this fact. Secondly, Revelation 13:4 says that they worshipped the beast and everyone worshiped him with awe. The reason why this has to be mentioned is that the beast of Revelation will rule the entire world and it is only logical to conclude that the worship the beast will receive will be worldwide. Even though Nero does receive worship from Rome, he did not receive it on a worldwide scale like the beast will. These inconsistencies are hard to overlook because Scripture makes it clear that Nero does not meet the requirements according to the Word of God.

Futurism

The second view that needs to be discussed is the futurist view. This view is also known as classical dispensationalism. Marvin Pate in the book Four Views on the Book of Revelation says that classical dispensationalism believe the teaching about a two-fold return of Christ which accounts for Revelation 1:1-3. Thus the Rapture can occur at any moment, which will then set in motion the prophecies of the Apocalypse and the revealing of the beast. Those that hold to this view believe that after John talks about the seven churches everything following is future and has not happened yet. Thus Revelation 13 would have to be future making the beast also future. This view is the most consistent among evangelicals today. The futurists believe that the beast will be revealed after the rapture and they get this view from different places in Scripture.

The primary place where futurists go for support of their view is found in Daniel 9 and it is in this chapter that it refers to the prophecy of the seventieth week. In order to understand why this is so important and why this has relevance one must look at this prophesy in detail. One very important piece of information that should be discussed while interpreting the full scale of this prophecy is the doctrine of the rapture and how it relates to Daniel’s seventy weeks. What people believe about the rapture impacts what people believe about the seventieth week of Daniel’s prophecy. Sir Robert Anderson points out that History contains no records of events to satisfy the predicted course of the seventieth week. Most post-tribulationists believe that the seventieth week has already been fulfilled. One question to this interpretation is how can they explain that the tribulation will be started with a seven year peace treaty between the Antichrist and Israel. If the seventieth week has already been fulfilled then where is there in history documented proof of a peace treaty that was signed between the beast and Israel for seven years? This is not possible because Christ would have already come back and this world would be over if the Posttribulationist’s interpretation of the seventieth week is true. One simply cannot ignore that these events are yet future. Even Christ said in His famous Olivet Discourse that there would be wars and rumors of wars. These things can be seen before our very eyes.

Is The Beast An Individual Or is the Beast A World System?

Within the eschatological ranks, there is a question that is permeating among theologians. It is the question, is the beast an individual or is the beast referring to a world system? Revelation 13:1 starts out by saying, And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. There are those out there that believe that Antichrist is an individual. Many attempts have been made to identify who the Antichrist is. Some say he is Nero, some say he is the pope, and others even say that he is Judas Iscariot reincarnated. The point is that many of history’s theologians such as Tertullian, Hippolytus, Irenaeus, and Jerome believed in a personal Antichrist that would wreak havoc on earth at some point of time. Whether he has already existed or is a future world ruler does not take away from the fact that in each case he is looked upon as an individual. There are at least two reasons why people look at the beast as an individual and the reasons are scriptural.

First, the apostle Paul in his letter to the Thessalonians writes in 2 Thessalonians 2 that Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work; only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Paul clearly refers to his beast as the man of sin, the son of perdition. He also states that this individual will oppose and exalt himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped. If he was just an entity or a force then why would Paul refer to him as a man?

Second, it has to be pointed out that what John says in Revelation 13:6 and what Paul said in 2 Thessalonians 2 correlate. In Revelation 13:6, it is evident that this beast is opening his mouth and blaspheming God. The same is going on in 2 Thessalonians 2. So by making this correlation it is evident that the man of sin and the beast are the same individual.

There are also those who believe that the concept of the beast is just a world view, or a way of thinking that is contrary to the things of God. The apostle Paul clearly said that in the last days there would be a great falling away from the truth. According to Samuel J. Andrews, to apostatize means to fall away from the faith. Andrews points out that in this case, apostasy means falling away from the true standing of the Church as appointed by God and in its culmination, as represented in the man of sin and in his adherents, it is undoubtedly a total denial of the Christian faith. He denies both the Father and the Son.

The apostle distinguishes two forms of the apostasy, one being the corruption of Christianity, the other its absolute rejection. With the rise of all the worldly philosophies that permeate the earth, it is easy to see the spirit of Antichrist at work. Anyone that denies Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is Antichrist, and it will be this attitude that coerces people to worship the beast. So with the philosophies of the world, and the church falling away, beginning with the loss of love, it is not to be confined only with doctrine, it embraces the whole spiritual life; and therefore the whole external order of the Church. There cannot be a loss of or a falling away without a corresponding decay in the entire ecclesiastical constitution, its ministries, its sacraments, its activities, and also, in practical godliness. This apostasy which according to Andrews is already happening will lead to the beast receiving worship in Revelation 13. This apostasy can be traced back all the way to the book of Genesis where Satan told Eve that when she ate the fruit her eyes would be opened and she would be like a god, knowing good and evil. Man from this point on has desired to be like God, and one day there will be a literal beast who will declare that he is god and demand worship.

The Components of the Beast

Within this section several questions will be looked at in detail. The first question that will be looked at is what are the seven heads and the ten horns? The second question that will be looked at is what does Daniel seven have to do with Revelation thirteen concerning the appearance of the beast?

The Seven Heads and the Ten Horns

Revelation 13:1 says that the beast has seven heads and ten horns. What does it mean? Well, in Revelation 17:9 it says that the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sittteth. The city of Rome was known in ancient times as being the city that sits on seven hills or mountains. However, the Rome that historians are talking about no longer exists. It was wiped off the map. Could knowing this provide problems with this view? No because, scripture says that in the last days a world empire will arise and rule the world. So if that is the case then it is not preposterous to believe that the Roman Empire will rise again from the ashes to rule the world again in complete dominance.

Daniel Two And Daniel Seven’s Relation To Revelation Thirteen’s Message Concerning The Appearance of the Beast

The literal interpreters believe that the head of gold that Daniel saw in Daniel 2 symbolizes the Babylonian Empire. The breast and arms of silver Daniel saw symbolize the Medes and Persians. The thighs made of brass symbolize the Greeks, and the legs of iron and feet and toes of iron and part of pottery symbolizes a future empire. The name of the final empire Daniel does not give. However, there has been much speculation as to what this empire is. Most literal interpreters such as John Walvood believe that the Roman Empire is the future empire that is symbolized.
The non-literal interpreters agree that the first four empires are Babylon, the Medes and Persians, and even believe that the fourth is Rome. Where they differ is concerning the interpretation of the stone. The non-literal interpreters such as the amillenialists and the postmillennialists interpret the stone as meaning the Lord Jesus Christ. They say that the meaning of the stone is evident when Jesus came to earth the first time and introduced the gospel, assuring the ultimate victory of the saints over the evil powers of Gentile political rule. However, the premillenialists say that this interpretation is not correct. The literal interpretation is that this vision stretches forward in time to the second coming of Jesus Christ. They believe that the image that Daniel saw has for the most part been fulfilled. However, the feet stage, including the implied ten toes, is yet future and is related to a period just before the second coming of Christ. The point is that the Roman Empire in some form or fashion will be revived and therefore the ten toes representing a ten-nation confederacy are yet to be fulfilled.

Secondly, the vision of Daniel 7:7-8 is depicted and shows that this chapter does correspond with Daniel 2. The difference is that in Daniel 7 he sees four beasts. These four beasts represent the same empires as in Daniel 2. The lion represents Babylon, the bear represents the Medes and the Persians, the leopard with four wings on the back on four heads represents the Greeks, and the beast with ten horns represents the revived Roman Empire. Walvood points out that this vision is more detailed than the one of Daniel 2. Daniel 7 tells the reader that the four beasts are four kings or kingdoms. Daniel 2 does not go into detail, however on the fourth empire. Daniel 7 does. It tells us that a little horn will arise and will uproot three of the kings or horns. There is a question that one can postulate. Has the little horn appeared? Walvood sums it up by saying that any reasonable literal interpretation of this prophesy requires the expositor to take the position that this is yet future from the standpoint of the twentieth century. If this vision is to be viewed as prophetic then people have to ask themselves, has the ten-nation confederacy ever been on earth? The answer is no. So then it requires a future ten-nation confederacy as a key to the political and international situation in the days just preceding the second coming of Christ and his kingdom.

Finally, two more important passages must be looked at in detail, and they are Revelation 13:1-3 and Revelation 17:3,7, 12-18. Revelation 13:1-3 describes a beast rising out of the sea having seven heads and ten horns. The description of the beast is very similar to the one prophesied hundreds of years before by Daniel. The beast John saw was like a leopard, and the feet were the feet of a bear, and his mouth the mouth of a lion. The fact that it mirrors the beast in Daniel 7 confirms that it is the same beast, and the ten horns and ten crowns suggest ten kings who rule ten kingdoms. What is different from Daniel’s prophesy is John’s mentioning of the seven heads. One possible interpretation that Walvood points out is that the seven heads represent seven successive rulers in the Roman Empire which are succeeded by a ten-nation confederacy which has ten simultaneous kings.

Revelation 13 makes it clear that this prophesy is yet future. The beast is given power to rule for forty-two months. The forty-two months describes the future great tribulation, and appears to be the last three half years of the tribulation. Revelation 17 says the same thing as Revelation 13, only this time it adds a wicked woman to the equation. The visions that each prophet had were alike and that is amazing. The ten-nation confederacy will come in the last days. It is not to be taken allegorically, but it is to be taken literally. All of the evidence that the Bible gives indicate a coming world ruler, the little horn, who will rule the world with the help of these ten kings.

The Beast’s Wound

In Revelation 13:3, the verse tells the reader that one of the heads was wounded unto death, and then this wound was miraculously healed. Within this section, questions will be answered concerning this issue. The first question that will be answered is will the beast be resurrected from the dead? Finally the last question that will be answered is how will the world react to this resurrection? All of these questions are important and if the best possible interpretation is to be expounded then these questions need to be looked upon with detail in order to understand this issue.

Will The Beast Be Resurrected From The Dead?

There are several viewpoints that must be looked at concerning this issue. First there is the reincarnation view which postulates the wound of the beast refers to the reincarnation of some individual such as Judas Iscariot.

First there is the reincarnation view which postulates that wound of the beast refers to the reincarnation of some individual such as Judas Iscariot. There are several reasons why some people think that when the wound is miraculously healed that the spirit of Judas Iscariot will enter into the body of the beast, and thus the beast will be Judas reincarnated. The reason people ascribe to this view can be found in the book of Acts. In Acts 1:25 it says that Judas went to his own place. It is not clear what that means. Die he die and go to Heaven or did he die and go to Hell? A.W. Pink argues for Judas Iscariot when he says that the Antichrist is Judas Iscariot reincarnated. However, it can be said that this view can not be scriptural because the Bible says that when a person dies, then the only thing that is left is judgment. Second there is the Revived Roman Empire View. This view means that the great Roman Empire which fell would be revived in the end of days. Thus the wound of death that will be healed refers to the revived Roman Empire, and not the beast. Third, there is the Antichrist View. This view states that an individual yet to appear on the world scene will arise and receive the wound. Then after he receives the wound he will die and then be resurrected from the dead. After all, Satan is the imitator of Jesus Christ. However, it is not clear whether Satan will have the power to resurrect him from the dead unless God gives him the power.

The wound of the beast in the Tribulation, when it is truly dissected should never lean toward an allegorical interpretation. Instead, it should be taken as literal, and in the context of Revelation 13, it refers to an individual man, ( the beast out of the sea), who will receive a wound and will miraculously be resurrected. The only other plausible view is the Revived Roman Empire View, but again context is very important in Revelation 13 and will all the facts out there, it is with the utmost certainty that an individual man that has not been revealed on earth is the one who receives the wound and not the Revived Roman Empire.

How Will The World React To The Resurrection Of The Beast?

Before, it was mentioned that the doctrine of the rapture is important. Based on biblical study there is enough evidence to suggest that the Church, the collective body of Christians as a whole will be snatched away before the tribulation and before the beast is revealed. This view is known as the pre-tribulation view. In other words, all the Christians will be in Heaven with Jesus before the beast takes center stage. There are other views out there.

There is the Mid-Tribulation View which states that Christians will be caught up into heaven in the middle of the tribulation period, just before the worst part of the tribulation starts, the last three and a half years of the tribulation. There is also the Post-Tribulation View which postulates that the Christians will have to go through the tribulation and thus experience all the horrors that everybody else will have to experience during the tribulation, including the reign of the beast. J. Dwight Pentecost thinks that the reason why the pre-tribulation rapture theory stands out is because of the role of the restrainer, the Holy Spirit. Pentecost says that explanations as to the person of this restrainer such as human government, law, the visible church will not suffice, for they will all continue in a measure after the manifestation of this lawless one. He goes on to say that as long as the Holy Spirit is resident within the church, which is His temple, this restraining work will continue and the man of sin cannot be revealed. Thus, this ministry of the restrainer which will continue as long as His temple is on earth and which must cease before the lawless one can be revealed, requires the pre-tribulation rapture of the church, for Daniel 9:27 reveals that the lawless one will be manifested at the beginning of the week, or the tribulation. Why is all of that important? It is important because Christians will not be present on earth during the reign of the beast. That is why the whole world will be in awe of the beast when he resurrects from the dead. Those that are left behind will be those that do not believe in Jesus and will be blinded from the truth. They will think that the Antichrist is the long awaited Messiah and they will worship him. If Christians were left on the earth then they would be able to discern then that the Antichrist was not the Messiah. Even the Jews for a period of time will think that he is their Messiah until he desecrates the temple and declares that he is God.

There are two reasons why people will worship him. First, they will worship because of all the miracles he will do, and then they will worship him out of fear for their lives. If one does not worship him then a certain death is awaiting them. There will be people saved, but there will be many more during the tribulation period that will not get saved because the beast will be the master of deception. People are being deceived today by various cults, but compared to what will happen in the tribulation when the beast rules the world it will fail in comparison.

The Beast’s Agenda

Now, we are on to a very important part about the beast, and it is the beast’s agenda. What will his agenda be during the tribulation period, which is forty two months. Approximately seven years? What are his characteristics? Will he be a military genius? Will be he a peacemaker? Will he be a Jew? Will he be a religious person? These are all questions that need to be answered, and it is with hope that they will be answered according to what Scripture says.

The Characteristics Of The Beast

According to Revelation 13:6-8 it says, And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

The one thing that should be noticed is that the beast is in direct defiance against God and against the Lamb, Jesus Christ. In fact, the beast and Jesus Christ contrast in their nature. Here are some ways in which they contrast. Christ came from above (John 6:38), whereas the beast will ascend from the pit (Rev. 11:7), Christ came in His father’s name, and the Antichrist will come in his own name, Christ humbled Himself, the Antichrist will exalt himself, Christ was despised, the Antichrist will be admired, Christ will be exalted, the Antichrist will be cast down to hell, Christ came to do His Father’s will, the Antichrist came to do his own will, Christ came to save, Antichrist will come to destroy, Christ is the Good Shepherd, the Antichrist is the idol shepherd, Christ is the true vine, the Antichrist is the vine of the earth, Christ is the truth (John 14:6), the Antichrist is the Lie (2 Thessalonians 2:11), Christ is the Holy One, The Antichrist is the lawless one (2 Thessalonians 2:8), Christ is the man of sorrows (Isaiah 53:3), the Antichrist is the man of sin (2 Thessalonians 2:3) , Christ is the Son of God (Luke 1:35), the Antichrist is the son of perdition, Christ is the mystery of godliness, God’s manifestation in the flesh, the Antichrist will be the mystery of iniquity, Satan manifested in the flesh (2 Thessalonians 2:7). One can clearly see that the Bible makes it clear that the beast and the Lord are two different people. They are opposite and contrast in everything they do.

The Military Genius

Revelation 13:7 states that the beast will be given power to make war against the saints and he will be given charge over the whole world. How will he be able to do this? The answer is that he will be a conqueror. He will literally conquer the world and establish a one-world government. He will have help in establishing this one-world government. He will have help from ten king who are the ten horns that are spoken of in Revelation 13:2. These ten kings will help the beast achieve world domination. These kings will not rise up against the beast. Instead, they will pay homage to him and worship him like the rest of the world.

The Peacemaker

Everyone in the world wants peace. Politicians have been trying to make peace for years. There will be a man that will rise on the scene (the beast) who will convince the leaders of the world that world peace can happen. The beast will make a covenant with Israel for seven years and within that covenant the beast will promise Israel peace, but it is a false peace. After the first three and a half years of the tribulation the beast will break that peace treaty with Israel and will enter into Jerusalem and proclaim to the world that he is god. When he does this then Israelites will see his true colors and will flee to the mountains, possibly to Petra. So in reality, although he promises peace, true peace never happens in the world.

The Jew

Why will the Jewish people at first believe that the Antichrist is their long awaited Messiah? The reason is because he regards not the God of his fathers. This is found in Daniel 11:36-37. The beast will not regard Jehovah as his father. The only god he has is power. He is not a religious person. He desires worship for himself. So in this way he is a humanist. He believes that he is god. Humanists believe that man can control his own fate. Ed Hindson says that the New Age philosophy has an paradigm. Its logical paradigm is, All is god, God is all, man is part of all, therefore man is god. The Romans borrowed this philosophy from the Greeks. Caesar was worshipped as God. In the twentieth century after Darwin’s theory of evolution, humanism had all it needed. The beast will reinstate emperor worship and he will receive worship. The beast is a humanist. Of course the Father of Lies, Satan himself is behind this. When the beast resurrects from the dead he will get the worship he desires, and the Jews will believe that he is the Messiah because the Old Testament tells the Israelites that the Messiah will rise from the dead and that he would rule the world. For three and a half years the beast will be the Jews political Messiah because he will bring peace to the land and all will seem to be going well. They will be duped by the master of deception himself, Satan.

The Beast’s Destruction

Within this section it will briefly be discussed how the beast will be destroyed and what is the beast’s final destination? When it comes to how the beast will be destroyed, the beast will gather his armies, all the armies of the world, and they will meet at a place called Armageddon, which is in the valley of Megiddo. There the final battle will be fought, and it will be between the armies of Christ and the armies of the world. Revelation 19:11-20 best illustrates this battle: And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15And out of his mouth goeth 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 and wrath of Almighty God. 16And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. 17And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; 18That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. 19And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. 20And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

Conclusion

This paper has shown many different viewpoints. This paper has shown that the Antichrist is an individual who is the head of the revived Roman Empire. This paper has shown that the beast will be given a wound and he will resurrect from the dead. It has also shown that his agenda is that of complete world domination, and to establish a false peace with Israel. The beast has not appeared on the earth yet. He is waiting for the Lord to rapture the Church before he comes on the scene. He will be the embodiment of evil let by Satan himself. He is the beast. This paper was written to Christians because it will show them that there is a time coming on earth that is much worse than it is now. It reminds Christians that they should witness to a lost and dying world. This was written to lost people, people who do not know Jesus Christ as their Savior. It is with hope and anticipation that many people will be saved before it is too late. If people are saved then they will be in heaven during this time, and if not then they will have to experience a ravaging beast and worst of all they will have to face the Great Tribulation.

The Problem of Evil!

The Problem of Evil

Since the beginning of time, there has been a war raging in the cosmos. It is a war that starts in heaven when Lucifer decides that he wants to be God. Lucifer was God’s most beautiful creation. He walked before the throne room daily and was considered an archangel. But Lucifer became jealous of God, and it was out of that jealously that Lucifer convinced one third of the angels to join his efforts to overthrow God and become God himself. It was at this point He ceased being an archangel and became the Prince of Darkness. The Devil’s revolt resulted in him being cast out of Heaven by God and ever since Satan and God have been enemies.

In our time we look forward to the day that evil will no longer hold sway in the world. We long for a heaven on earth. And one day there will be a new heaven and a new earth. But until that day comes when evil is finally no longer, evil still remains and causes much pain on the earth. In God’s original creation everything that God created was good. In fact for a time, humanity itself knew no sin. Then man sinned, and evil manifested itself into the world. Evil can be defined “as the refusal to accept the true God as God. True evil elevates itself or another to replace God.” The question often arises, if God being holy and just knew that evil and sin would come to the earth than why did He not prevent it or stop it? There are three reasons why God allows evil to continue in the world and they are the following: 1.) God created man with free will and thus gave man the ability to choose to accept Him or reject Him, 2.) The fact that evil and suffering is so prevalent in our lives reveals the fact that we have our own inadequacies and that we need God, and 3.) God allows evil because He does not want His children to get used to the present life because as the Bible says, we are just pilgrims and sojourners passing through and as believers, Heaven is our final eternal state.
God created man with free will and thus gave man the ability to choose to accept Him or reject Him. God did not create evil. God did create persons with freedom who could practice it. So we are who actualize evil, not Him. He could have created a world without the possibility of evil, but He preferred a world with free choice. God created us with the power of choice. To quote from Ravi Zacharias,
“What would it take to create a loving world void of evil? A world in which love is capable of meaningful expression and experience would also imply a world in which there is choice. If someone tells you that they love you, those words mean something because they are freely given. If you learned that someone had told you they loved you but that they had been forced to say it, their words would not mean very much. Thus, if we want to speak of a loving world, we must also speak of a world in which choices are exercised. And in such a world, there is also the possibility of choosing a course of action that is not loving, i.e. evil.”
True love implies and demands a free choice! Or else you would have a fixed environment in which humanity would be robots. Alvin Plantinga claimed the following:
“If God creates human beings with true, morally significant free will (where humans can freely decide to act in ways that really do advance goodness in the world, or really do cause evil in the world against self, others or world), and if God wants a world in which there are significant amounts of moral goodness, it’s possible that God cannot get that kind of world without significant amounts of moral badness as well. After all, if people are left free by God, then the morally significant states of the world will in large part be up to the decisions of humans, not up to God.”

The fact that evil and suffering is so prevalent in our lives reveals the fact that we have our own inadequacies and that we need God. Simply put, all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God. When Adam and Eve sinned, God promised that one day there would be one coming that would be a sacrifice for sin and would make a way for people to have there relationship restored to God. That was done when Jesus died on Calvary. Jesus took all of humanities sins, and bore them for all of humanity so that people might have a chance to be saved and inherit eternal life. We see here that “Christ’s atonement guarantees the final end of evil and suffering”. Alcorn says, “The drama of evil and suffering in Christ’s sacrifice addresses the very heart of the problem of evil and suffering. One day it will prove to be the final answer.” The answer to the problem of evil and suffering according to Alcorn,“is not a philosophy, but a Person; not words, but the Word.” Jesus Christ is the answer to the problem of evil. Only He can help us with the feeling of inadequacies and the feelings of hopelessness. Only He can save humanity from their sins. Only Jesus can provide true lasting peace.
God allows evil because He does not want His children to get used to the present life because as the Bible says, we are just pilgrims and sojourners passing through and as believers, Heaven is our final eternal state. If everything was perfect and no problems ever surfaced and there was no pain in life then people would not have to rely upon God anymore for anything. Alcorn points out that “in order to appreciate our eternal future, we will remember the sufferings of the present.” Because we have pain and suffering, we must rely upon an Almighty God. Human beings do not have all the answers. Dinesh D’ Sousa writes.

The only way for us to really triumph over evil and suffering is to live forever in a place where those things do not exist. It is the claim of Christianity that there is such a place and that is available to all who seek it. No one can deny that, if this claim is true, then evil and suffering are exposed as temporary hardships and injustices. They are as transient as our brief, mortal lives. In that case God has shown us a way to prevail over evil and suffering, which are finally overcome in the life to come.”

So in reality, in the big picture evil and suffering is only temporary. So every trial and every tribulation that we may face in life is well worth it, because one day those that believe in Jesus will receive new resurrected bodies that will no longer be corrupted. We will be in Heaven where Jesus is, and there will be no more sin. Revelation 21:1-7 best illustrates what will happen in the end: 1And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. 6And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 7He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
In conclusion, we have seen the three reasons why God allows evil to exist in our present world. According to Ed Hindson and Emir Caner,
“What evil forces us to conclude is either God is not good, or that our conception of God’s relationship toward us needs serious rethinking. The evidence about evil drives us decisively to this latter conclusion. God uses evil, suffering, and disorder to drive us to Himself. If He gave only good, we would be self-satisfied. If he had given immediate death when we sinned, He would be just. That He gives us partial goodness and partial suffering now forms a texture of hope that in the future, He will in fact make all things right in a final consummation and restoration. God is not through: He will continue to work on us, like a persistent sculptor working the metal with hard blows and constant lighter corrections, to help us become worthy of happiness if we receive Him and submit to His plan. On most occasions, it seems, we do not know why God allows certain evils. But we know someone who knows these things, and we can therefore trust Him to make good on His promise that “he who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”