2.1. Man of Many Names

The title “Beast” is used of the evil individual who figures large in various passages of the book of Revelation (Rev. Rev. 11:7+; Rev. 13:1-4+, Rev. 13:11-12+, Rev. 13:14-15+, Rev. 13:17-18+; Rev. 14:9+, Rev. 14:11+; Rev. 15:2+; Rev. 16:2+, Rev. 16:10+, Rev. 16:13+; Rev. 17:3+, Rev. 17:7-8+, Rev. 17:11-13+, Rev. 17:16-17+; Rev. 19:19-20+; Rev. 20:4+, Rev. 20:10+). This title reflects his vicious character and appears to form an intentional contrast against that of Christ as the “Lamb” (Rev. Rev. 5:6+, Rev. 5:8+, Rev. 5:12-13+; Rev. 6:1+, Rev. 6:16+; Rev. 7:9-10+, Rev. 7:14+, Rev. 7:17+; Rev. 12:11+; Rev. 13:8+, Rev. 13:11+; Rev. 14:1+, Rev. 14:4+, Rev. 14:10+; Rev. 15:3+; Rev. 17:14+; Rev. 19:7+, Rev. 19:9+; Rev. 21:9+, Rev. 21:14+, Rev. 21:22-23+, Rev. 21:27+; Rev. 22:1+, Rev. 22:3+). As parallels between the book of Revelation and Daniel make plain, this individual is also connected with the final beastly kingdom described in Daniel (Dan. Dan. 7:4-11, Dan. 7:19-20 cf. Rev. Rev. 13:2+). A systematic study across Scripture reveals many names which are applied to this individual.

Among the more obvious epithets are: little horn (Dan. Dan. 7:8), insolent king (Dan. Dan. 8:23), prince who is to come (Dan. Dan. 9:26), one who makes desolate (Dan. Dan. 9:27), despicable person (Dan. Dan. 11:21), strong-willed king (Dan. Dan. 11:36), worthless shepherd (Zec. Zec. 11:16-17), man of lawlessness, and the son of destruction (2Th. 2Th. 2:3); the lawless one (2Th. 2Th. 2:8), the beast (Rev. Rev. 11:7+; Rev. 13:1+; Rev. 14:9+; Rev. 15:2+; Rev. 16:2+; Rev. 17:3+; Rev. 13:1+; Rev. 19:20+; Rev. 20:10+).1

These various names, titles or descriptions simply portray the various facets of his character. Taken together, these names portray him as the epitome of evil in the human realm, just as Satan is the epitome of evil in the angelic realm. The various names are as follows: The Seed of Satan (Gen. Gen. 3:15); The Little Horn (Dan. Dan. 7:8); The King of Fierce Countenance (Dan. Dan. 8:23); The Prince That Shall Come (Dan. Dan. 9:26); The Desolator (Dan. Dan. 9:27); The Willful King (Dan. Dan. 11:36); The Man of Sin (2Th. 2Th. 2:3); The Son of Perdition (2Th. 2Th. 2:3); The Lawless One (2Th. 2Th. 2:8); The Antichrist (1Jn. 1Jn. 2:22); The Beast (Rev. Rev. 11:7+).2

Among all these titles, his most commonly known title is “the Antichrist.” Although this title appears in only one passage (1Jn. 1Jn. 2:22), it is an apt description of his character and ministry.

The vast majority of prophetic scholars have used a single name for this future world dictator: the Antichrist. Although this may not be his most common name in Scripture, it is a well-chosen title. It is a title that describes his true intent, which is to be against Messiah. All the other names essentially portray the various characteristics which he will use in his opposition to Messiah.3

Since that is his most widely-used name, we will refer to the Beast as the Antichrist throughout this discussion.

Notes

1 Randall Price, “Antichrist,” in Mal Couch, ed., Dictionary of Premillennial Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1996), 43.

2 Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, The Footsteps of Messiah, rev ed. (Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries, 2003), 207.

3 Ibid.