Among the personages associated with prophetic events that surround Daniels seventieth week (Daniel 9:26), the Beast out of the sea (the False Prince) and the False Prophet (the Beast out of the land) are two of the most powerful and dominating leaders of that day and of all time. Very soon after the rapture of the church, when the Great Tribulation spoken of by the Lord in Matthew 24:14 has commenced, these men will come to the fore.
During this time Satan will intensify his activities on the earth (Rev 12:12) and will take up his abode in these two powerful individuals (Rev 13:2 and 11). They will subtly and dramatically influence the global, political, and religious arenas with their devastating campaigns. The Beast out of the Sea will rise from the Western confederacy and the False Prophet will emerge from the Land of Palestine, occupied by apostate Israel.
Let us consider:
Their Rise to Prominence during the Great Tribulation. Who are they?
The Beast out of the sea (Rev 13:1), with its seven heads and ten horns having ten crowns upon his horns, represents a real man with a vast empire. He will influence the worlds political arena for a short time. This personage will epitomize many features of the beastly leaders of former empires who are described in Daniels prophecy and will be empowered by the great dragon, Satan himself.
On the other hand, the Beast out of the Land (Rev 13:11), with two horns like a lamb but who spoke as a dragon, represents the False Prophet. He will exercise great authority and influence on the apostate part of the nation of Israel. He will appear with his lamb-like features of gentleness and harmlessness, but his subtlety and deception will soon be manifested. Millions will bow to his sway and Satanic power that they cannot resist.
These coming events seem to be already casting their shadows as we see the dispensation of grace drawing quickly to a close. In fact, these two men could be living in our world today.
Surely we have only a very little time left to represent our Lord and Master in the place where He is rejected. May God give us a vision of the perishing and a desire to win them for His Kingdom!
Their Reign of Terror. What will they do?
Revelation 13 describes what these Leaders will seek to accomplish under the control of the great dragon. After the Beast out of the Sea (the political leader) signs the covenant with apostate Israel for one week (Daniel 9:26), his military strength will increase. He will have power over all kindreds, tongues, and nations speaking blasphemous words against God until he will suffer severely when one of his heads will be wounded as it were to death. His deadly wound will later be healed, causing the whole world to worship and wonder after the Beast until the middle of the week when the covenant with apostate Israel will be broken (Daniel 9:27).
During the next part of the week, the False Prophet (Anti Christ) will command that the Image of the Beast out of the sea be set up in the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem. This event the Lord referred to as the “abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet”(Matt 24:15). This will trigger the most severe conditions of suffering and deep despair that the world has ever witnessed, when the vials of the wrath of Almighty God will be poured out.
In this environment, the False Prophet will demonstrate his mighty power calling down fire from heaven on the earth in the sight of men and doing miracles to deceive many. Having obtained their allegiance, he will attempt to control the whole world economically for the rest of the week by demanding that all men take the mark of the Beast on their right hands or foreheads.
What catastrophic conditions are ahead when wicked men will be controlling the tribulation earth! How good of our God to take us home before these severe conditions commence.
Their Removal from the Earth. How will they end?
These powerful leaders will expect to be on the earth for a long time to direct world affairs, but God, who is still in control, will only allow them to go so far. When Divine purpose for the nation of Israel has been fulfilled and the times of the Gentiles have been completed, God will deal with these men in His own sovereign way.
The Great Tribulation will conclude when the Lord returns in manifestation glory to the Mount of Olives (Zech 14:4). He will enter the city of Jerusalem through the Eastern gate which has been closed for centuries (Ps 24:7-10), and will appear as the Messiah to deliver the remnant from their oppressing enemies. Almost concurrent with this, the Beast out of the sea will destroy the Whore that sits on many waters (Rev 17: 1-18) and Babylon the Great will fall in one hour (Rev 18:17-19). A great slaughter will take place at the battle of Armageddon (Rev 16:16) in the valley of Megiddo, after which the Judgment of the nations will be set up. When all of this has taken place, the Beast and the False Prophet will be cast alive into the lake of fire, the first to enter that awful abode, for the ages to come (Rev 19:20 and Rev 20:10).
As we contemplate such terrible events we are humbled and thankful that we heard the voice of God through the gospel, which translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son. What a prospect to share with Him when all His enemies are defeated and He sets up His Millennial reign on earth, the place where He was rejected and despised! With joyful anticipation the hymn writer wrote:
“And when He comes in bright array to lead the conquering line,
It will be glory then to say, that Hes a friend of mine.”