The Beast from the Sea itself has many facets. They can be read about in the first two parts:
Those will give background for this third part which focuses on the Beast from the Sea’s leader, the Antichrist. (Also see When/Where Will the Antichrist First Be Seen?)
A Horn, King, and Beast (Head)
Scripture uses several terms to refer to the Antichrist because of his multifaceted character and exploits. Each one gives a slightly different perspective. He is called a horn, a king, and a beast (head).
The Antichrist is a “little horn” in Daniel 7:7-8.
7 After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and extremely strong; and it had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed, and trampled down the remainder with its feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. 8 While I was thinking about the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the previous horns were plucked out before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like human eyes, and a mouth uttering great boasts. Daniel 7:7-8
Horns indicate authority and power, and this is no exception. This little horn, the Antichrist, rises up among the ten horns/kings of a “revived Roman Empire.”
In Daniel 7:24-25, the Antichrist is a “king.”
“As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will humble three kings. 25 And he will speak against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be handed over to him for a time, times, and half a time.” Daniel 7:24-25
The Antichrist will arise as the final king (ruler) in the midst of ten other kings. He will be powerful like a king and yet greater than these other ten. He will have the authority to persecute the saints until their vindication by God.
And in Revelation 13:3, the Antichrist is referred to as a “beast” (head).
“I saw one of his heads as if it had been fatally wounded, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast;” Revelation 13:3
He is called a beast because he is in line with all of the other kings/kingdoms referred to as beasts that persecuted Israel (see Daniel 7). This beast also has a representative “head” (leader) and evidently only one – the Antichrist.
A note about the fatal wound that is healed: Biblical commentators have interpreted this in various ways over the years. But it’s usually viewed in two main ways. It is either referring to a revived kingdom or revived person (who is the head of the final kingdom). There is already biblical justification for a revived kingdom coming forth out of the fourth beast of Daniel as a final beast. But if it is a person, it seems that what normally would have been a physical death blow – was not – but rather healed. And, whether this is really an accident or a staged event remains to be seen. But what this beast does following the death blow seems to be quite associated with an actual person. Either way, the people of the earth are enamored with what they see and follow after and worship the beast (the Antichrist).
We get to the specifics of this head/beast, the actual person, in Revelation 17:11-13, 16.
The beast which was, and is not, is himself also an eighth and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction. 12 The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour. 13 These have one purpose, and they give their power and authority to the beast…16 And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the prostitute and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire. Revelation 17:11-13, 16
It says that “he was and is not” and is an “eighth” but is also one of the seven. This might refer to the Antichrist’s being “revived from a mortal wound,” or it might be a way of emphasizing his unique position. Or, it might be referring to the reality that the ten kings will become seven and the little horn is the eighth in the midst of them at that time. (Daniel 7:8,20, 24)
A Type of the Antichrist
We should not be surprised by the Antichrist’s tactics. Looking back in history we see Antiochus IV Epiphanes who persecuted the Jews as well. He reigned over the Seleucid Kingdom from 175-164 b.c. He was prophesied about in Daniel 8:9-19 and called a “small horn” who would persecute the people of God (vs 10) and magnify himself (vs 11). He would trample the sanctuary and remove the offering (vs 11-12). [167 b.c.] [Read more from a Jewish perspective in 1 Maccabees 1:10-64] [For further reading see New World Encyclopedia: Antiochus IV Epiphanes]
Daniel is told in 8:17 “understand that the vision concerns the time of the end.” Therefore, “small horn” must somehow be a type or historic example of the final little horn – the Antichrist. What Antiochus did to the people of God, the city of Jerusalem, and the sacrifices ordained by God, foreshadows what the Antichrist will also do when he rises to power. The future will show that these prophecies of the Antichrist will come true just as we have seen the specifics of Antiochus come true in history. (See also Daniel 11:25-35)
The actions of the Antichrist can also be seen in Daniel 11:36-45. These texts of Scripture have had no fulfillment in history – so they must be referring to this future Antichrist. This section tells us that he will do as he pleases and exalt himself above all gods.
Making Sense of it All
The spirit of antichrist has been at work over the centuries and is currently at work. The final object of its worship will be revealed in the one man, Antichrist. So let me ask a very important question: where is the spirit of antichrist most at work?
Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. 1 John 2:18-22 (NASB)
This tells us that many antichrists have originated within the visible church. (See also What Does “Test the Spirits” Mean?) Will not the same be true of the final Antichrist?
“Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 NASB
Paul says “he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.” The Antichrist will be seen in the visible church by saints – as he leads the apostasy of the visible church that has fallen away. (See Will Christians Know Who the Antichrist Will Be?)
The Antichrist will not only be busy inside the visible church, but he will also be the head of the ten-horned kingdom that rules the entire world economically, supported in his pursuits by the False Prophet (See The Beast From the Earth Part 1: The False Prophet), and carrying the Great Harlot for a time (See The Great Harlot)
So the Antichrist will arise as the head of the Beast from the Sea. He will become the centerpiece of the world’s worship and submission. He is able to achieve this with the help of his “Chief Propagandist and Implementation Officer,” the False Prophet, who supports him through the mark of the beast and the signs he performs. But eventually, the Antichrist’s hatred of the true God will become evident and manifest itself against the Jewish people and the rest of her seed/believers (Revelation 12:17) during the 70th week of Daniel (see What Are the Seventy Weeks of Daniel?). After all, he is called the man of lawlessness in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. But in the midst of his hatred of God and God’s people comes an encouraging prophecy:
“I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.” Zechariah 12:10 NASB
This is believed to be a Messianic prophecy regarding Jesus and the Jewish remnant yet to be fulfilled.
Things will move downhill very quickly for the Antichrist as God begins to pour forth His wrath. This is prepping both the Antichrist and the False Prophet for their place in the lake of fire (Revelation 19:20) as the end of this present evil age comes to a close at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ!
During the time when these prophecies are coming true, the saints of God must remember that God is sovereign, all-powerful, and does not forsake His own. He knows ahead of time what will happen, and these things won’t come like a thief in the night for true saints.
But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness, so that the day would overtake you like a thief; 1 Thessalonians 5:4
Therefore, saints should take courage when told:
“Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.” Revelation 14:12 NASB
For More on the Book of Revelation & End Times
Is Revelation in Chronological Order?
Five Reasons Why Revelation is Hard to Understand
When was the Book of Revelation Written?
The Beast from the Sea Part 1: Seven Heads
The Beast from the Sea Part 2: Ten Horns
The Beast from the Earth Part 1: The False Prophet
End Time Events: A Brief Overview
War on Israel – Ezekiel 38
The Church’s New Agenda
Will Christians Know Who the Antichrist Will Be?