I have been working on a book for the last ten years entitledThe Antichrist and the Second Coming
. After a decade of work, the book became so long (about 1,000 pages) I am making it into two volumes. THE FIRST VOLUME (which looks at Daniel and 2 Thessalonians) IS FINALLY OUT! YOU CAN PURCHASE IT HERE http://www.amazon.com/Antichrist-Second-Coming-Preterist-Examinatio....
To see the cover of the book scroll down and click on the attachment at the end of this article.
The following is partially from volume two, which looks at the Antichrist in the book of Revelation. Note, my footnotes did not pull through. If you wish a particular reference just ask.
THE CORPORATE VS. INDIVIDUAL ASPECTS OF THE BEAST OF REVELATION
In understanding the beast of Revelation there is a somewhat complicated but important concept that one needs to be aware of. Sometimes the beast is representing a confederation of eight (demonic) rulers and other times the beast is referring to the very powerful eighth ruler of that confederation (the beast from the abyss, Rev. 11:7; 17:8). This use of a dual reference to the beast can be seen in Revelation 17:7-11 where the beast is said to be both a confederation of eight kings and also the eighth of those kings.
But the angel said to me, “Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and ten horns. The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition. emphasis mine Revelation 17:7-11
Again, the beast in Revelation is sometimes referring to the confederation of eight rulers and other times referring to the eighth of these rulers. Gentry wrote the following on this: “Most commentators agree that the beast imagery in Revelation shifts between the generic and the specific. That is, sometimes the beast pictures a kingdom, sometimes an individual leader of that kingdom….This feature, as frustrating as it may be, is recognized by commentators of all schools of interpretation.” What Gentry refers to as the “generic” aspects of the beast I call the “corporate beast” (the beast as a confederation of eight rulers); what he refers as the “specific” aspects of the beast I refer to as the “individual beast” (i.e. the especially powerful eighth ruler that was about to come out of the abyss). I will usually give the qualifier of either “individual” or “corporate” when referring to the beast to make it clearer which aspects I think are being highlighted. It is the individual beast, the eighth demonic king of the corporate beast, that is the Antichrist.
Consider how Revelation’s imagery of the beast can quickly shift from a corporate emphasis to an individual emphasis. In Revelation 13:3 one of the heads of the (corporate) beast is said to suffer a mortal wound. While the wounded head is referring to a specific ruler (the demonic king that worked through Nero), it is also making reference to how this ruler’s fall (cf. Rev. 17:10) had a disastrous effect on the beast as a collection of rulers (i.e. the corporate beast). In Revelation 13:4-8 the focus quickly shifts from the (corporate) beast to the specific ruler (the individual beast) who blasphemes God and overcomes the dwellers on the Land (cf. Dan. 7:23-25). Beasley-Murray noted the following on this, “The beast [in Rev. 13:1] stands primarily for the empire, yet the transition is speedily made to the empire as represented in its ruler.” This transition from a corporate focus on an empire to a focus on an individual ruler (the Antichrist) is found in Daniel 7. As Daniel was considering the fourth beast and its ten horns (v. 7) all of a sudden the focus shifts to little eleventh horn that arises (v. 8).
Another example of a rapid shift between the corporate and individual aspects of the beast of Revelation can be seen in Revelation 17:7-11. When John wrote Revelation, the sixth king (the demonic king working through Nero) of the (corporate) beast was currently ruling. The (individual) beast, the eighth king of the (corporate) beast (the demonic king that would work through Titus) had not come out of the abyss yet. The corporate beast (the confederation of demonic rulers) was currently in existence when John wrote even though the individual beast (the eighth of these rulers) had not come yet. Again, the individual beast is the Antichrist; he was the eighth ruler of the corporate beast. The individual beast corresponds to the little horn of Daniel 7.
THE CONNECTIONS BETWEEN THE INDIVIDUAL BEAST OF REVELATION AND THE LITTLE HORN OF DANIEL 7
Below are some of the connections between the little horn of Daniel 7’s fourth beast and the individual beast of Revelation. Again the little horn/individual beast is the Antichrist:
1. The little horn/individual beast is an eighth ruler (Dan. 7:8; Rev. 17:11).
The little horn of Daniel 7 starts out as an eleventh ruler but becomes an eighth when three horns (rulers) are removed before him (11-3=8). The three horns are the three short-lived emperors of AD 68-69 that Titus and Vespasian were victorious over in their take-over of the Roman Empire. The reference to the 11/8th horn being “little” speaks of Titus in AD 70. He was just a general when he destroyed the Jewish nation in AD 70 (cf. Dan. 9:26).
The individual beast of Revelation is said to be an eighth king (Rev. 17:11).
After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words. Daniel 7:7-8
The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition. Revelation 17:11
Daniel 7 provides the required background for identifying the beast of Revelation. Identifying Titus as the eleventh ruler (the little horn) of the fourth beast of Daniel 7 is much easier than identifying him as the eighth ruler of the beast of Revelation. That the little eleventh horn becomes an eighth ruler is the key to understanding the identity of the Antichrist in Revelation. When John wrote that wisdom was required to identify the beast (Rev. 17:9), I believe the wisdom he references comes from a proper understanding of Daniel 7 and its fourth beast (cf. Rev. 13:1-2). Look at the list of Caesars and observe that the eleven rulers minus the three pulled out in Daniel 7:7-8 equals the eight rulers of Revelation 17:9-11.
1. Julius Caesar (49-44 BC)
2. Augustus (31BC-AD 14)
3. Tiberius (AD 14-37)
4. Gaius (Caligula) (AD 37-41)
5. Claudius (AD 41-54)
6. Nero (AD 54-68)
Galba (AD 68-69) -------------
Otho (AD 69) ---------------------- 3 horns pulled out (Dan. 7:8)
Vitellius (AD 69) -------------
7. Vespasian (AD 69-79)
8. Titus (a general in AD 70)
The conservative preterist position correctly says that the harlot of Revelation represents first-century Jerusalem (Rev. 17-18; cf. Ezek. 16).73 Our interpretation fits this perfectly. It was Titus who destroyed Jerusalem (cf. Dan. 9:26-27); if harlot Babylon refers to Jerusalem, then it follows that Titus should be the eighth king of Revelation 17 (the one who destroyed the harlot city).
I was intrigued to learn that my interpretation of the little horn of Daniel 7 is consistent with the traditional Jewish interpretation. Jewish commentator Hersh Goldwurm (citing Rashi and others) writes the following regarding Daniel 7:7-8 and its eleven rulers:
These ten horns were later (v. 24) identified by the angel as ten kings who would rule Rome before the destruction of the Holy Temple (Rashi) . . . During his father’s reign, Titus, son of Vespasian, destroyed the Holy Temple (Mayenei HaYeshuah 8:5) . . . Another horn, a small one. This refers to Titus (Rashi). [Vespasian’s son and eventual successor was in command of the Roman armies in the Holy Land and was responsible for the destruction of the Temple. He is referred to as another horn, a small one, probably because he was not yet emperor at this time.] . . . And a mouth speaking haughty [lit. big] words. Titus spoke and acted with great arrogance in the inner sanctum of the Holy Temple as recounted in Gittin 56b (Rashi).
[Rabbi Hersh Goldwurm, Daniel: A New Translation with a Commentary Anthologized from Talmudic, Midrashic and Rabbinic Sources, ArtScroll Tanach Series, eds. Rabbis Nosson Scherman, Meir Zlotowitz (New York: Mesorah Publications, 1998), 201-203.] See Rashi's commentary at http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/16490/showrashi/true
2. The little horn/individual beast speaks great blasphemies against God (Dan. 7:8, 11, 20, 25; Rev. 13:5-6).
…that [little] horn which had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words, whose appearance was greater than his fellows. Daniel 7:20 He shall speak pompous words against the Most High… Daniel 7:25
And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies…Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. Revelation 13:5-6
Ladd notes the following on the blasphemous words of the (individual) beast in Revelation 13:5 and how it is a direct reference to the little horn of Daniel 7, “This [Rev. 13:5-6] is based directly on Dan. 7:8, 20, 25. The little horn had a mouth ‘speaking great things’ and spoke ‘words against the Most High.’”
Consider the following account from Jewish writings about the pompous words that Titus spoke when he destroyed the Temple:
Vespasian sent Titus who mocked, Where are their gods, the rock in whom they sought refuge? (Deut. 32:37). This was the wicked Titus who blasphemed and insulted Heaven. What did he do? He entered the Holy of Holies and with his sword slashed the curtain. Through a miracle blood spurted forth and he thought he had killed God Himself. He brought two harlots and, spreading out a scroll beneath them, transgressed with them on top of the altar. He began to speak blasphemies and insults against Heaven, boasting “One who wars against a king in a desert and defeats him cannot be compared to one who wars against a king in his own palace and conquers him.”25
3. The little horn/individual beast wages war against the saints and overcomes them (Dan. 7:21; Rev. 13:7).
I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them... Daniel 7:21
It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. Revelation 13:7
The saints would have been understood by Daniel as the Jews. While the reference to saints is expanded in the NT to include believing Gentiles (cf. Rom. 2:28-29; Rev. 3:9), the focus of the Antichrist is on the Jews and their Temple (Dan. 9:26-27; 11:40-12:1; 2 Thess. 2:4). While the great tribulation would come on the whole world, it would focus on the dwellers on the Land, the Jews (Rev. 3:10; cf. Rev. 11:2).
Sulpicius Severus, a fourth-century Christian writer, painted a picture of Titus that showed ill intent to both Jews and Christians. In his Chronica, Severus writes:
Titus is said to have first summoned a council and deliberated whether or not he should destroy such a mighty temple, for some thought that a consecrated shrine, which was famous beyond all other works of men, ought not to be razed to the ground. Their argument was that to preserve it would bear witness to the moderation of Rome, while its destruction would forever brand her as cruel. Others, however, including Titus himself, opposed this view and said that the destruction of the Temple was a prime necessity in order to wipe out more completely the religion of the Jews and the Christians; for they urged that these religions, although hostile to each other, nevertheless sprang from the same sources; the Christians had grown out of the Jews: if the root were destroyed, the stock would easily perish.34
It is suggested that Severus’ source of information may have been the writings of Roman historian Tacitus, which are no longer extant.35 According to Severus’ account, Titus was intent on destroying both Judaism and Christianity. This would be consistent with the idea that the Antichrist spirit was working through Titus as a means of eliminating God’s kingdom, destroying both Jews and Christians, root and branch.
4. The little horn/individual beast has a three and a half year reign of terror (Dan. 7:25; 13:5).
The phrase “a time and times and half a time” of Daniel 7:25 is a period of three and a half. It is usually taken to be three and a half years or forty-two months, which is the form it takes in Revelation 13:5. This three and a half year reign of terror of the little horn/individual beast is the last half of Daniel’s seventieth week. It was the time of the coming of the one who would destroy Jerusalem and the Temple and make Israel desolate (Dan. 9:26-27). This last half of Daniel’s seventieth week would end with the destruction of the Jewish nation (cf. Dan. 12:7). This is shown in Revelation 11:2 where we are told that Jerusalem would be trodden under foot by the Gentiles for forty-two months. Forty-two months is the time that it took Titus to destroy the Jewish nation, from around March/April of AD 67 to August/September of AD 70.
…Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time. Daniel 7:25
… and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Revelation 13:5
5. The little horn/individual beast is defeated by the Second Coming (Dan. 7:21-22; Rev. 19:11-13, 19-20).
In Daniel this is shown as the coming of the Ancient of Days; in Revelation it is shown as the coming of the Word of God. In Revelation the Son of Man is shown as having the characteristics of the Ancient of Days (the white hair, Rev. 1:13-14; cf. Dan. 7:9) The Son of Man having white hair is symbolic of the eternality of Jesus (cf. Is. 9:6), the Word of God (John 1:1). The fact that Revelation shows the Son of Man as having the characteristics of the Ancient of Days is symbolic of the fact that Jesus is both God and Man. Revelation is thus showing Daniel 7’s coming of God to defeat the little horn in the form of the coming of the Word of God to defeat the individual beast. (Dan. 7:21-22; Rev. 19:11-21).
I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints… Daniel 7:21-22
Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God…And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured… Revelation 19:11-13, 19-20
6. The little horn/individual beast is thrown into the lake of fire at the time of the Second Coming (Dan. 7:11; Rev. 19:19-20).
I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame. Daniel 7:11
Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence…These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. Revelation 19:20
Daniel 7:11 shows that the entire fourth beast (not just its little horn) was thrown into the fire at the coming of God. In Revelation it is the corporate beast (the eight demonic kings behind the pre AD 70 Roman Empire) that was destroyed at AD 70, not just the individual beast. Obviously the Roman Empire was not destroyed in the lake of fire at this time. An empire being thrown into the lake of fire (which is the second death, Rev. 21:8) does not make sense. What was thrown into the lake of fire at the AD 70 Second Coming was the confederation of eight spiritual rulers behind the pre-AD 70 Roman Empire (cf. Rev. 17:8-11). The Roman Empire had well over a hundred emperors over the course of its existence. The eight kings of Revelation 17:9-11 are ultimately demonic kings, not physical emperors; the fact that the eighth of these kings comes out of the abyss confirms this. A similar example of a confederation of spiritual rulers can be found in Daniel 10:13, where we are told of the "kings of Persia": “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia.”
Again, it was not Titus nor the Roman Empire that was destroyed at Jesus' Second Advent; it was the demonic beast from the abyss that was thrown into the lake of fire at AD 70.
Finally, Revelation 17:8 NASB says, "the beast that you saw was, and is not and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction . . . ."
If the individual beast was about to come, then the Second Advent, when he is defeated, was about to happen (Rev. 19:11-21)