Watch Out For The Beast

by George Spall

The story is told of a staff officer in the army of the Duke of Wellington who approached the Duke with a complaint and an appeal for support. More noted for his uniforms and social graces than for his efficiency, his immediate General Officer Commanding had threatened to hang him if the said officer didn't have the supplies of food and ammunition up to the front line by the following nightfall. "My lord Duke! He can't do that to me." "Oh!" replied Wellington, "did he say that really?" "Yes, indeed he did." "Well then," answered the Duke, "you'd better get busy for I know that general to be a man of his word, and if he said that, you certainly will hang if you do not."

The Eternal keeps His Word. If He did not, Truth would have no reality. When Yeshua said: "Thy Word is truth" , He was thinking of the whole of Tenach, which included the prophetical writings. If they are not true, there is no Word of God.


The writings of Daniel have been under minute examination and fierce attack for many years. It is easily possible to check what he wrote because there is a good deal of written history by which to check his predictions. He gave much attention to the Grecian Empire, and in particular, to one king who oppressed Israel named Antiochus IV.

He chose for himself the name Antiochus Epiphanes, the Illustrious. He was such an unpredictable tyrant that he was nicknamed Epimanes, Madman. The detailed description of him given by Daniel many years before his arrival is so accurate that many scholars refuse to believe that the prophecy could have been written before his coming, so they date the book of Daniel on these grounds, long afterwards.

Conservative scholarship on the other hand, seeing no reason to doubt that God foresees history and can predict it through His servants, accepts the dates 616 to 536 B.C. for the writings of Daniel. That means, of course, that he pre-described the Greek domination of Israel, and especially Antiochus IV, by nearly four hundred years. This terror ruled over Syria, which then included Palestine, from 176 to 164 B.C.

Such careful and accurate prediction, when it does come to pass so long afterwards, authenticates the claims made for the Scriptures. It is important to know this when we are waiting for the fulfilment of other passages in the same writings which were not to come to pass for a further two thousand years. Daniel uses the term "the latter times" twice, and other prophets use it also. Details are provided that indicate that those "latter times" are fast approaching.

As a matter of interest, and to check Daniel 11, we list the historical events: Antiochus Epiphanes, who had been a hostage in Rome for some years was on his way home when his father Seleucus IV died. Heliodorus who had poisoned the king had already declared himself king as had several others.

But Antiochus came peaceably, and using flattery obtained the kingdom. He flattered Eumenes, King of Pergamos, and Attalus his brother, and obtained their assistance. He flattered the Romans and sent ambassadors to court their favour, paying tribute which was in arrears. He flattered the Syrians, taking his throne with their backing.

Antiochus was called a "vile person" because he was every man's companion. He resorted to the common taverns, drank with the lowest men, and sang debauched songs with them. How accurately did Daniel write so many years before he was born!


Several times the Bible used the appellation 'beast' to describe coming kingdoms or their rulers, and even uses it of beings of angelic rank who have mysterious control over earthly nations and their rulers whom they use to govern for them. Generally, the word 'beast' has unpleasant significance.

In Daniel's prophecy, Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome were all seen as 'beasts'. In the last book of the New Testament, The Revelation of Jesus Christ, the final Gentile world ruler is called a beast. He is to be the arch-deceiver, the cruellest tyrant and the most arrogant blasphemer of all time. He will go as far as to claim to be God Himself and will take over the Temple in Jerusalem. The world religious leader who is to be his close collaborator has the same title, Beast.

The revival of Iraq (Babylonia) and Iran (Persia) and Greece are indicative of the fact that these two 'beastly' leaders are likely to be on the horizon. Daniel and other prophets wrote of these things which are to be in the "latter times" , so that we can recognize them and take steps to avoid coming under the devastating and damning control of these two final 'beasts'.

It will be the most important decision that any human being can make, for a choice will have to be made as to whether the World Ruler who was typified by Antiochus is indeed the Messiah or not. He will pretend to be; claim to be. When Yeshua HaMaschiach was here He warned: "I am come in my Father's name, and you receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, you will receive him."

Decisions as grave as this should not be made in a hurry. The Scriptures offer the information so that we may know what we must do. If we arrive at conclusions gradually it is important not to gradually reject the concept that Yeshua has no right to claim to be the Messiah. We might unwittingly choose the Antichrist thereby.

The title WATCH OUT FOR THE BEAST! is valid, because he is to originate from the geographical area that both Greece and Rome held, and at a time when Iran and Iraq are in a state of prominence as well as Greece, and when there is a revival of the old Roman territories under one head. This latter situation is not yet, but who can deny that the shape of things to come does postulate just that?


Chapter seven of Daniel shows that the four nations just mentioned will come into prominence after a time of turbulence in the region of the Great Sea which is the Mediterranean. By all means, fair and foul, the big powers try to court or constrain, bully or buy Algeria, Libya, Tripoli, Spain, Egypt, Italy, Greece, Syria, Lebanon and Israel. Now with oil the black gold as global currency it can be used as much for blackmail as for energy.

Though Iran is not Arab, it is Arab in its thinking through its Islamic religion and sympathies. Communist subversion in Turkey and Syria, both the domain of that ancient Antiochus and part of his Greece, is bringing the area into prominence and focusing our attention on what Daniel had to say.

Daniel chapter 2 shows that the old Roman world is to come into its own again when there is a confederacy of ten states. Chapter 7 adds the information that when this is so a man, described under the symbol of a "little horn" will take over authority among them and subdue three. Daniel chapter 9 says that it is from the people (the Romans) who destroyed Jerusalem (which happened in 70A.D.) that this coming prince will arise.

Chapter 11 gives us much detail about Antiochus and his beastly behaviour, but by no means did all of what was said come true of that same tyrant. Verse 35 makes it clear that the unfinished prophecies are "to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed." What follows adds information about the coming tyrant that never was true in times past of Antiochus.

Whilst Daniel indicates that the coming tyrant will be of Roman origin, the area of this prophecy is in ferment at the present time. As we get nearer to the time appointed for the fulfilment of Daniel's predictions the prophet assures us "the wise shall understand."

The final ruler of the Gentile world will be identifiable: geographically, from a country that was at one time in both the Roman and Grecian worlds; politically, one skilful enough to win the confidence of the Western and Arab worlds but able to persuade Israel to conclude a treaty of peace; character-wise, like Antiochus but able to disguise it for a time; socially, not well known to begin with, and with little to commend him till he makes his initial conquests of three countries early in his career.

Before he is through, he will have earned every title bestowed on him in the Scriptures. Daniel calls him "the Desolator". Paul names him "that Wicked One" and "that Lawless One the Man of Sin" . Daniel says he is a traitor, breaking his treaty with Israel . The New Testament says he is the Antichrist and a pseudo-Christ, an imitation god. Both Micah and Isaiah call him "the Assyrian" bearing in mind his cruelty and cunning and his origin geographically, for Assyria too once held both Turkey and present-day Syria.

Should we not be warned well before time that this arch-deceiver, traitor, despot, blasphemer and tyrant is on the horizon of modern history? Should not our Jewish friends especially be careful?


These are the days when deep consideration should be given to the course of our life for this will decide its destiny. If Yeshua is the Messiah of God, the Truth, the Shepherd of Israel (as one Jew put it, "He that is to save Israel ..." -- Matthew 1:21, which is why He is named Yeshua, Saviour), then to reject that very truth, even without meaning to do so, might result in drifting to the other conclusion, only to find no choice when the frightening compulsions of the False Christ, the Antichrist, mean accepting his mark of authority or starving. This is what the Bible actually sets out to be the final choice.

Many a joke is told against Public Servants who avoid responsibility by the system of passing the buck. It is said that one of them, a clerk, was at last promoted to the desk where decisions simply had to be made. He resigned and found work on a potato farm! His first job, to accustom him to bending his back before the digging stage, was to sort the potatoes. "Put the good ones in this bag, smaller good ones in this. Pitch the bad and broken ones over there," he was told.

After four hours he gave notice. "Your back hurting already?" they jeered at him. "No! It is having to make all those decisions -- good, bad, good, bad. I'm going back to a lower desk job. Decisions kill me."

A wrong one will!