One Beast

In Daniel and Revelation , the “ Beast ” is a single history-spanning entity that has existed since at least the dawn of human civilization, beginning with the first attempt at global domination when humanity founded Babel and “ SET UP a high tower to make us a name, lest we be scattered upon the face of the earth .” That incident is alluded to in the Book of Daniel as the Babylonian crown prince subjugated Jerusalem and took the “ vessels of the house of God into the land of Shinar to the house of his god .”

Faithful Until Death

The church of Smyrna is only one of two of the seven Asian churches that received no correction, the other being Philadelphia. What set this congregation apart was the level of persecution that it endured because of its “ testimony ,” and its steadfast refusal to “ eat meat offered to idols ” and otherwise compromise with the Greco-Roman culture. Its members stood firm in their refusal to participate in the imperial idolatry of Rome, and consequently, they suffered “ tribulation ” and persecution due to false accusations against them made by Satan’s agents.

Food Offered to Idols

Upon his arrival in the imperial city, Daniel was confronted with a predicament. If he consumed the food and drink of the pagan king, it would violate his ritual purity. While he might have wished to avoid eating “unclean” meats, more likely, his concern was that consuming the royal “delicacies” would mean his participation in the idolatrous rituals of the Babylonian court and religion. Either way, the young man's decision could have dire consequences.

The Reigning Lamb

In the Book of Revelation , Jesus is called the “ Faithful Witness ” and the “ Ruler of the Kings of the Earth ,” and the two designations are inextricably linked. The first title establishes HOW he obtained the second and established his sovereignty over the Earth. It was by his sacrificial death that he made the saints into a “ Kingdom of Priests ,” and because of his redemptive act for them, God exalted him to reign over all things as the “ Lamb .”

The Spirit of Antichrist

The Antichrist is viewed as a political tyrant intent on world domination in many interpretations. Whether this proves to be true, Jesus and his Apostles expressed more concern about the deceivers who will ply their trade in the Assembly. Where the term Antichrist is found, it is applied to false teachers who were infiltrating the Body of Christ, distorting apostolic teachings, and raising false expectations about the future. The “ Spirit of the Antichrist ” manifests itself in deceivers, false prophets, and their deceptive activities.