Scripture refers to Anti-Christ by numerous names or titles: Anti-Christ (Jn. 2:18), the Beast (Rev. 13:4), the man of lawlessness and the man of destruction (2Th. 2:3), Gog (Ezek. 38:2), the little horn (Dan. 7:8), an extremely powerful and ungodly king (Dan. 11:36), the destroyer and extortioner (Isa. 16:4), the head of the house of evil (Ha. 3:13), and even the personification of the Abomination of Desolation (Mt. 24:15).
Anti-Christ is a man who . . .
1. will claim to be God incarnate (Dan. 11:36; 2Th. 2:3-4).
2. will be an extremely powerful & ungodly military leader (Ezek. 38:4, 8-9; Dan. 11:38).
3. will be given the diabolical power of Satan himself (Rev. 13:12; 2Th. 2:9).
4. is the dead leader of one of the 7 previous beast empires of Satan (Rev. 13:3; 17:11).
5. was killed by a fatal wound to the head (Rev. 13:3) with a military weapon or “sword” (Rev. 13:14).
6. will be a dead man come back to life to rule the final beast empire of Satan (Rev. 13:3, 12; 17:8, 11).
7. will receive the absolute allegiance & worship of the world when they realize he is a dead man brought back to life (Rev. 13:12; 17:8; 2 Th. 2:3-4).
8. is from the ancestral line of Magog (Ezek. 38:2).
9. will be a notorious anti-Semite (Mt. 24:15-21; Rev. 12:3-7).
10. will be immediately recognized, so that when his true identity is revealed as a dead man brought back to life, the world will be so amazed they will follow after him (Rev. 13:3; 17:8).
(The Sign, Robert VanKampen, p. 202, 204-208)
The Beast with 7 heads & 10 horns (Rev. 13:1; 17: 3, 8-12) is an 8th king who’s a unique composite of the previous 7 beast empires symbolized by the 7 heads. The 10 horns are 10 kings from 10 specific ancestral lines that can be traced back to the Table of Nations in Gen. 10, who gain authority with the Beast.
There is direct continuity between the empire of iron (Rome) represented by the legs of iron & the later 10 nation confederacy pictured as the 10 toes of the feet of iron mixed with clay. The key issue is ancestry not geography. Both the city-state of Rome and the Germanic areas of central Europe & western Russia were settled by the descendants of Magog, son of Japheth & ancestor of Gog, the name given to the Anti-Christ in Ezek. 38:2.
The unification of the 3 power-base nations is the only prophetic event that must yet occur before the 70thWeek of Daniel can commence. Gog is a Magogite who will rule over 3 nations--Magog, Meschech & Tubal, in perfect harmony with Dan. 7:8 that pictures the ‘little horn’ overthrowing 3 larger horns. Israel will then make a covenant with the leader of this new confederation for the sake of national security.
Dan. 2:34 & 45 informs us that God’s kingdom which will not be destroyed will crush the iron (Rome), bronze (Greece), clay (10 nation empire), silver (Medo-Persia/Iran), & gold (Babylon/Iraq) kingdoms of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue. Three of the empires are again alluded to in Dan. 7 & Rev. 13 as a Lion (Babylon), a Bear (Medo-Persia) & a Leopard (Greece). Ezek. 38:2-8 gives key clues to the ancestral lines: Gog of the land of Magog (central Europe & western Russia), chief prince of Meschech (Moscow) & Tubal (Toblosk), along with troops from Persia (Iran again), Cush (Sudan & Ethiopia), & Put (Libya), as well as, Gomer (Ukraine) & Beth-Togarmah (eastern Turkey), will in future years come against Israel which had long been desolate (AD 70-1948), but whose people were gathered from the nations & had recovered from war & now live in safety, peaceful & unsuspecting.
The list of possible candidates is limited to only 7 men who have ever lived in all of history. Out of these 7 leaders from the past, we can further eliminate all those who are not from the ancestral line of Magog. This fact, therefore, eliminates the first 5 beast empires—namely the leaders of: 1) Egypt--either Pharaoh Rameses Miamun (1577-1511 BC), who ordered the death of all the male Israelite babies at the time of Moses’ birth, or, more likely, Pharaoh Amenophis (Belus) (1511-1490 BC), who was the Pharaoh of the Exodus and drowned in the Red Sea, both of the line of Ham through Mizraim; 2) Assyria—either Shalmaneser V (727-722 BC), who attacked & besieged Samaria, capital of Israel for 3 yrs. Only to die just prior to conquering it, or, more likely, Sargon II (722-705 BC), his general, who took credit for the Fall of Samaria & subsequent Assyrian Captivity & then usurped the throne after the death of the king—both descendants of Shem through Asshur; 3) Babylon—Nebuchadnezzar II (605-562 BC), who conquered Judah and began the Babylonian Captivity, & who was specifically identified as such in Dan. 2:38, but was either of the line of Shem through Arphaxad or of Ham through Cush and Nimrod; 4) Medo-Persia—either Xerxes I (485-464 BC), a Persian of the line of Japheth through Tiras, or his henchman, Haman, a descendant of Shem through Esau, who attempted to kill all the Jews during the reign of Queen Esther; & 5) Greece—Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-163 BC), who was the proto-type of the Anti-Christ & defiled Jerusalem for 3 yrs., but was a Japhethite through the line of Javan. None of the possible leaders of the first 5 beast empires was from the line of Magog. The logical conclusion, therefore, is that Anti-Christ must be either the dead ruler of the sixth beast empire (ancient Rome) or of the seventh beast empire (Third Reich) who is somehow brought back to life to rule over the eighth & final beast empire.
Because of his hatred of both Jews and Christians, Nero (AD 54-68) is probably the best candidate for ruler of the Roman beast empire. To escape accusations that he had set fire to Rome on July 18, 64 AD so he could rebuild it as he wanted & fiddled while it burned, he accused the Christians of having set the fire, thus, beginning a persecution that didn’t end for centuries. It was also on his orders that Titus began a campaign against Israel in AD 67 culminating in the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. This fulfilled Daniel’s prophecy, “The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city & the sanctuary” (9:26). He committed suicide by stabbing himself in the neck with a dagger (a military weapon but not in a military setting). His ancestral line was also from Japheth, most likely through Magog.
Last, but not least, is Adolph Hitler, the diabolical ruler of the seventh beast empire, who persecuted the Jews while they were scattered throughout the world without a homeland. Hitler boasted that his empire, the Third Reich, would last 1,000 years. Although it lasted a mere 12 years, it perpetrated the worst persecution of the Jews in all history. Still known as the Holocaust, it will only be exceeded by the Great Tribulation, a.k.a. “the Time of Jacob’s Trouble,” in the Last Days. Hitler’s ancestry is Japhethite, from the line of Magog. He also killed himself with a military weapon, a pistol. Although a pistol is not a sword per se, the word “sword” is used in Scripture and in much of ancient literature to represent warfare or deadly violence in general (see Jesus’ use of the word in Mt. 26:52). More that a dozen witnesses saw Hitler’s corpse with a fatal bullet wound to the head, but no one knows where his bones may now be found.
(from The Sign by Robert VanKampen, pgs. 202, 204-208)
The Eighth Beast Empire of Anti-Christ
* Both Antiochus and the Anti-Christ enter into a covenant to protect Israel (Dan. 9:27a; Isa. 28:15; 1 Macc. 1:11-12).
* Both make their covenants with many within Israel (Dan. 9:27a; 1 Macc. 1:11, 43, 52).
* Those Jews who enter into the covenant are, in both instances, said to apostatize (Isa. 57:8-9; 1 Macc. 2:15; 2 Th. 2:3).
* Both Antiochus and Anti-Christ break their covenant (Dan. 9:27b; 11:31; Isa. 28:18; 1 Macc. 1:20-21; Mt. 24:15).
* Both Antiochus and Anti-Christ break the covenants by introducing a false god into the Temple (1 Macc. 1:20-21; Mt. 24:15; 2 Th. 2:4; Rev. 13:15).
* In both instances some Jews oppose this false religion, and as a result many perish (1 Macc. 1:62-62; Mt. 24:9).
* In both instances, religious Jews flee to the mountains (hills) to escape (1 Macc. 2:27-29; Mt. 24:16-20).
* In both instances, many of these religious Jews will die because they will not violate the Sabbath (1 Macc. 2:29-37; Mt. 24:20).
* In both instances, many women and children will perish (1 Macc. 1:60-61; Mt. 24:19).
(From pgs. 202-205, The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church by Marvin Rosenthal.)
"In the middle of the 70th Week he [Anti-Christ] will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one [Anti-Christ] who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate" (Dan. 9:27b). Referring to the prophecy of Daniel, Christ warns those Jews who will again be living in Jerusalem to flee, "when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (Matt. 24:15). Paul adds that when "the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship . . . [then] he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God" (2 Thess. 2:3b, 4).
It was this first "abomination of desolation" by Antiochus that led to the eventual revolt of Jews under the Maccabees. That rebellion so incensed Antiochus that he not only was more determined than ever eradicate Jewish religion, he also wanted to eradicate the entire Jewish race. Through numerous means, the Lord frustrated that satanic scheme against His chosen people.
It will be the second "abomination of desolation" -- that is, Anti-Christ -- who will demand worship by the entire world, with death being the cost of refusal. And again there will be Jews unwilling to worship the beast or his image, like the Maccabeans in the days of Antiochus. When the Great Tribulation of Anti-Christ is "cut short" by the appearance of Christ's coming, these Jews, like the Maccabeans dwelling in the Judean wilderness, will revolt against Anti-Christ and his armies in a campaign [VanKampen] refers to as the Jehoshaphat Campaign. As Zechariah predicted, "In that day I will make the clans of Judah like a firepot among pieces of wood and a flaming torch among sheaves, so they will consume on the right hand and on the left all the surrounding peoples [armies of Anti-Christ], while the inhabitants again dwell on their own sites in Jerusalem" (Zech. 12:6).
Jesus Himself foretold the events that will inaugurate the Great Tribulation by Anti-Christ. As recorded in Matthew's account of the Olivet Discourse the Lord warns His people:
"So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel — let the reader understand— then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now — and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. At that time if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'There he is!' do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect — if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time. (Matt 24:15-25)
Christ warns those living specifically in Jerusalem to flee, because Anti-Christ's purge of the natural line of Abraham will begin in the city of Jerusalem. Eventually two out of three Jews living in Israel will die at his hands (Zech. 13:8), preferring death rather than submission to the worst Jew-hater in history.
At that time, when the Abomination of Desolation is set up in the Temple, Satan (the Dragon) will give Anti-Christ (the Beast) "his power and his throne and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; and they worshipped the dragon, because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshipped the beast, saying 'Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?'" (Rev. 13:2-4).
(from The Sign, by Robert VanKampen, pgs. 140-141, 192, 201)