Bible prophecy notes that several evil entities will arise in the last days. These entities are not merely symbols of evil; they are evil individuals, systems or governments that Satan will work through to advance his agenda. In different ways, these entities are evil personified—and depict Satan’s rage, for he knows “his time is short” (Rev. 12:12). Read-on to learn more about who or what these evil entities are and what they are prophesied to do.
Evil Entity #1 – The Antichrist
The Antichrist is one of the principal characters in the book of Revelation. He is evil personified. There are more than eighty references to him in Scripture—none are positive. It is true that the Antichrist will be attractive, politically savvy, and wise, but these qualities are quickly overwhelmed by his vicious ruthlessness, and his hatred of God, His plan, and His people. The Antichrist will be a man but will be indwelt by Satan. The scope of the pain and suffering he will inflict on the world will have no equal. He is the arch-enemy of all that is good.
Revelation 13 provides a poetic profile of who he is and what he does.
“The dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. 2 The beast I saw resembled a leopard but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. 3 One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast. 4 People worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can wage war against it?” 5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months… 7 It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. 8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
The Antichrist will likely enjoy an unprecedented rise to power. He will impress and sway world leaders by his wit, wisdom, cunning, bribery, and ability to solve global issues. Though initially welcomed by the world and lauded for brokering a peace covenant/agreement with Israel (likely bringing peace to the middle east), his seven-year reign will soon tarnish as he reveals his true agenda and nature. By the midpoint of the Tribulation, there will be no pretenses. He will usurp control of all world systems, demand worship, and be indwelt by Satan.
War, violence, pride, vanity, and the persecution of all who refuse to worship him will be the hallmarks of his rule. His power will be absolute, and those who defy him will perish by the sword. During his reign, he will proclaim himself to be God, imbue his false prophet with the power to manifest miracles and lead many astray, and passionately persecute the Jewish people. Presented below are several verses which profile his nature and work.
The timing of his coming
- His identity will be known (to those who know Scripture) when he leads in confirming a “peace covenant with the many,” including Israel (Daniel 9:27).
- The Antichrist will be a great deceiver. Displays of power, signs, and wonders will embolden his claim to be an agent of good (2 Thessalonians 2:9).
- He will be unusually wise and cunning (Daniel 8:23).
- He will prosper in everything that he does (Daniel 8:24).
- He will not regard the desire of women (Daniel 11:37).
- He will sit in the temple of God and claim to be God (2 Thessalonians 2:4).
The early part of his rule
- The Antichrist will ascend to power on a platform of peace (Daniel 8:25).
- The Antichrist will arise from among ten kings (Daniel 7:8)
- The Antichrist will form a world government, which he will dominate (Revelation 13:1-2).
The latter part of his rule
- The Antichrist will assume complete control over the world government 3 1/2 years after he confirms the covenant with Israel. He then will continue to reign for 42 months (Revelation 13:5).
- The antichrist will war against God’s people—culminating in the battles of Armageddon (Rev. 6-19).
- The Christ will consume the Antichrist, and all enemies of God with the “spirit of his mouth,” which is the Word of God (2 Thessalonians 2:8).
- The Antichrist will be cast alive into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 19:20).
- The Antichrist will be tormented day and night forever and ever (Revelation 20:10).
Evil Entity #2 – the Beast
There are differences of opinions regarding the identity of the Beast. The Bible references a Beast and the Beast. The Beast of Daniel 7 seems linked to an evil system or government. The Beast of Revelation 13 seems to be an individual. Though there are a few verses which make identification of the Beast difficult, most scholars who review all biblical references to the Beast see the high correlation between the attributes of the Beast and the attributes of the Antichrist, and therefore identify the Beast as the Antichrist.
Verses which appear to differentiate the two merely speak to different aspects of Satan’s plan or nature. For example, the socio-economic system of the Tribulation period is referred to as a Beast as it is vicious and evil. However, it will be the Beast that governs this global system. The attributes of the system he governs depict the nature of the Beast. The global system he governs will point to his vast authority. The beastly attributes of this system will evidence the evil forces that undergird it. The signs and wonders associated with the Beast point to the supernatural—his agenda links him to the demonic, and his attributes, which mirror that of the Antichrist, makes him one with the Antichrist. Just as there is a symbiotic relationship between the Antichrist and Satan, there seems to be a shared identity between the Beast and the Antichrist. Revelation 13 references the system of the Beast, and the work of the Beast.
“I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. And it performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of the people. Because of the signs…it deceived the inhabitants of earth…It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666.” (Revelation 13:12-18)
Evil entity #3 – The False Prophet
The false prophet, like the Beast, noted above, is a mysterious being. His work is specifically referenced in Revelation 13, 16, and 19 (though intimated elsewhere). Revelation 20 notes that in the end he will be judged and thrown into the lake of fire.
Satan imitates the things of God (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). During the Tribulation period, Satan will arrange for the building of a new Temple in Jerusalem, through the Antichrist and False Prophet he will compel the world to worship him, and with the Antichrist and False Prophet, he will create a pseudo-trinity. Whereas the primary work of the Beast/Antichrist will be to govern political, social, and economic systems, the primary work of the False Prophet will be to lead a corrupt religious system (designed to lead the world away from acknowledging God and His Son Jesus Christ). The False Prophet will speak words which persuade, and have the power to manifest signs and wonders to deceive the masses. The False Prophet will lead a global religion designed to honor Satan and the Antichrist. Many who refuse alliance will die as martyrs. (Revelation 14:9-12, 20:4-6)
Evil entity #4 – The Woman who rides the Beast
The book of Revelation references a mysterious evil entity—referred to as Mystery Babylon, The Whore of Babylon, The Great Prostitute, and The Woman Who Rides The Beast. Revelation 17 reads,
“One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, ‘Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits by many waters. 2 With her the kings of the earth committed adultery, and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.’ 3 … I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. 5 The name written on her forehead was a mystery: Babylon the great the mother of prostitutes and of the abominations of the earth.6 I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of God’s holy people, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus. When I saw her, I was greatly astonished. 7 Then the angel said to me: ‘Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman…8 The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and yet will come up out of the Abyss and go to its destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because it once was, now is not, and yet will come. 9 This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. 10 They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for only a little while. 11 The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction. 12 “The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast…14 They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them…15 Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. 16 The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. 17 For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose… 18 The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.’”
What the text reveals about the Woman Who Rides The Beast
The Old and New Testaments reference this evil entity. She is referred to as a ”mystery” because the nation or system was yet future and would be very different from other empires or nations noted in Scripture. She is referred to as a “whore” because she is unfaithful to the God she claims to love. She is referred to as a “daughter of Babylon” because she embraces many of the pagan philosophies and practices of ancient Babylon. The many descriptive phrases for this “Woman who rides the Beast” may provide a clue to the identity of the nation or system she represents. Presented below are prophetic, descriptive phrases which to many – this writer among them – show the “Woman who rides the Beast” to have an association with the United States of America in Prophecy.
- She is noted for her architecture, buildings, and skyline (Isaiah 13:22).
- She is the lone or newest notable world power (Isaiah 47:5,8).
- She is respected and envied by the world, and yet at the same time, hated by the world (Isaiah 18:2).
- She has a unique and remarkable beginning (Isaiah 18:2).
- She is a “Queen among nations” (Isaiah 47:5,7; Revelation 17,18; Isaiah 13:6).
- She is called a lady (Isaiah 47:7-9).
- She is a land quartered by mighty rivers (Isaiah 18:2).
- She destroys her land, with pollution/waste (Isaiah 14:20, 18:2, 7).
- She is a democracy—ruled by many counsels (Isaiah 47:13).
- Her governmental system will break down (Isaiah 47:13).
- She is known for religious confusion (Isaiah 47:12-13).
- She is a virgin nation; her lands untouched by foreign invaders (Isaiah 47:1).
- Her enemies lie on the other side of the world (Isaiah 13:5).
- Her people think they are God’s elect and chosen (Isaiah 47:7-8).
- She acts carelessly before the Lord (Isaiah 47:8).
- She is proud, haughty, and does not consider her end (Isaiah 47:7-8).
- She is the youngest and greatest of the end time nations (Jeremiah 50:12).
- She is a most powerful nation (Isaiah 47, Jeremiah 50, 51, Revelation 18).
- The strength of her armies will make her the “Hammer of the whole earth” (Jeremiah 50:23; Revelation 18:23).
- She is a land rich in minerals (Jeremiah 51:13) and agriculture (Jeremiah 50:16,26-27; Revelation 18).
- She is a leading import/export nation (Jeremiah 51:13, 51; Revelation 18).
- She sits upon “many waters” (Jeremiah 51:13).
- She turns on her heritage (Jeremiah 50:11-12).
- Her leaders lead their flocks astray (Jeremiah 50:6; implied Revelation 18:2).
- She has a mother nation that remains to her death (Jeremiah 50: 12).
- Her mother has the symbol of the lion (Daniel 7:4; Ezekiel 38:13; Jeremiah 51:38; Psalms 17:12).
- She will turn against her own people (Jeremiah 50:7,33; 51:35; 39; Daniel 7:25; Revelation 13:7; 17:6; 18:24).
- She trades with many via ships all year round (Revelation 18:17-18).
The prophet Jeremiah (chapters 50-51) and the Apostle John in the book of Revelation (chapter 17) note the fate of the “Woman who rides the Beast.”
Eschatology (the study of the last days) and is a weighty and solemn subject—but there is hope. Having peace in the midst of tribulation is possible. The Apostle Paul wrote of a “peace that surpasses understanding” (Phil. 4:6-7). The first step toward experiencing this peace is to accept Jesus into your heart as Lord and Savior and put your faith in Him. From that decision flows forgiveness, joy, hope, and the promise of eternity in heaven (presented at the end of this article are links to additional information on How To Be Sure Of Your Salvation).
The timing of some key future events (and the identity of some key future individuals or entities) may be unknown, but we can know that in the end, Jesus will return and in the epic struggle of good versus evil, God will prevail. Until that time there will be unrest. There will be wars and rumors of wars and “troubles.” Are you ready? Will you commit to being ALL IN for Him (which means you are committed to making serving Him, growing in Him and witnessing for Him the priority of your life)? God expects believers to be active in well doing (Galatians 6:9). Be encouraged: A great reward awaits those found doing the right thing, in the right way, at the right time, at the right place, and with the right heart when the Lord returns.
“So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.” (Matthew 24:44-46)
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