One Anti-Christ Or Two?

Q. I’m doing a study on the book of Revelation and I ran into a bit of a snag. While the Beast is supposed to have killed the prophets(chapter 11) and the tribulation saints are being martyred, The Beast doesn’t seem to show up until Chapter 13. How does this work? Also, I have been debating with someone who insists that the BEAST and the Anti-Christ are two different characters, despite the fact that they share the same characteristics. But because the name/title ANTI-CHRIST aren’t mentioned in Revelation, this person is arguing that they are separate persons.

A. The term anti-Christ is exclusive to John’s letters where it appears 4 times beginning in 1 John 2:18. It really isn’t the Bible’s preferred term for the coming ruler. According to some scholars there are as many as 42 titles in the Bible that refer to him. Anti-Christ happens to be the one that man has made popular. Therefore the fact that John didn’t use this term in the Revelation does not raise an issue of identity.

The anti-Christ will first appear as the man on the white horse in Rev. 6:2 but he won’t officially be indwelt by Satan until Rev. 13 at the outset of the Great Tribulation. Up until that time he’ll be functioning as a world leader, doing Satan’s bidding but still in the strength of a man. That explains the persecution, martyrdom, etc. in the first half of the 70th Week. His real power comes when Satan is kicked out of Heaven and enters into him. Jesus warned those in Judea to flee for their lives when that happens (Matt. 24:15-16)

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