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"Evolution" of the beast and the spirit of anti-Christ

Do you think there has been an evolution of who the anti-Christ is or the beast in preterist theology recently?

I know that Nero has been seen as the beast for a couple of decades but it seems like the more that is written about Titus that he fits the bill for fulfilling most of the prophecies about "the beast" or the anti-Christ. Nero seems to be too much focused on the Christians and yet Titus seems to be the person carrying out God's punishment on the unbelievers. Titus seems to fit with the old testament use of an evil king to fulfill God's plan. Duncan McKenzie's book about the horns of Daniel and Revelation convinced me that it isn't Nero.

Does anyone else feel the same way?

I feel like the best arguments against preterism that are made by non-preterists are that Nero couldn't fulfill scripture. But I haven't heard a single one make that argument against Titus.

Also, Koine Greek scholar Nyland translates "antiChrist" as anti-anointing. She believes that the word Christ really just means anointed Jesus. I think that's an okay distinction since there were many men named Jesus but only one was the anointed one.

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Interesting that you should bring this up. I was actually asking nearly the same question, but I would add to your question that if Titus was the beast, then who was the false prophet?

Additionally, I have a problem with the battle of Armageddon. That was the valley of Megiddo, and  it was prophesied in Zechariah 14 that the armies would be destroyed there. Yet the armies of Titus weren't destroyed, so who/what was destroyed at Armageddon?


Doug, this is where I am willing to listen to Ed Stevens interpretation, or anyone else, of who is the false prophet (maybe a Jewish leader?).

So for Armageddon (or Harmagedon) I don't see armies described in Revelation just kings.

I am using Nylands the Source translation for Revelation. So I see Armageddon followed by the "hailstones" of the Roman army from the catapults. However these 'kings' I connect to the kings in Enoch.

From Nyland's translation of Enoch, I have put ellipses in for brevity.

(Karl's note-Context:Noah's flood has just happened in Enoch 54 so 'sign in the heavens' is the bow from Genesis.)

Enoch 55:1-4

Afterwards the Ancient of Days...swore by his great name, "From now on I will not act like this to all the inhabitants of the earth. But I will place a sign in the heavens...When I wish to seize them, by the hands of angels, in the day of trouble and pain, I will certainly cause my anger and my rebuke to stay on them," says the Lord, the Lord of spirits. "You powerful kings who live on the earth, you will see my chosen one sitting on my splendid throne. And he will judge Azazel, all his associates, and all his hosts, in the name of the Lord of spirits."

Enoch 62:1-16

In that day all the kings, the mighty, the exalted, and those who possess the earth, will stand up, see, and perceive that he is sitting on his splendid throne, and that the just are judged justly in his presence, and no useless word is spoken in his presence. Then pain will come on them, as on a woman in childbirth whose labor is severe, when her child comes to the mouth of the womb, and she has difficulty birthing. One part of them will look at the other. They will be astounded, and have downcast faces.Pain will seize them, when they see this human sitting on his splendid throne.

Then the kings, the mighty, and all who possess the earth, will praise him who has dominion over all things, him who was hidden, for from the beginning the human existed in secret, and the Most High kept him in the presence of his power, and revealed him to the chosen...all the chosen will stand in his presence on that day. All the kings, the mighty, the exalted, and those who rule over all the earth, will fall down on their faces in worship before him. They will set their hope on this human, will pray to him, and petition him to show compassion.

Then the Lord of spirits will hurry to expel them from his presence. Their faces will be full of confusion, and darkness will grow deeper on their faces. The angels of punishment will take them, so that they will be repaid for the wrong done to his children and his chosen.

Enoch 63:1-12

In those days the might kings who possess the earth will beg the angels of his punishment, to whom they have been handed over, to give them a little rest, so that they may fall down and worship in the presence of the Lord of spirits, and admit their wrongdoings to him...And now we long for a little rest but do not find it, we are driven away and do not possess it. Light has passed away from in front of us, and darkness will be where we will live for ever. For we have not believed him, we have not praised the name of the Lord of spirits, we have not praised the Lord for all his works, but we have trust the scepter of our kingdom and of our magnificence...His judgments have no respect for persons, and we must leave his presence on account of our deeds as our wrongdoings are certainly without number. Then will they say to themselves, "Our inner beings are full of criminal gain, but that doesn't prevent us going down into the fiery middle of Sheol!"

Afterwards, their faces will be filled with darkness and confusion before the human, and they will be driven from his presence, and the sword will remain in there midst, in his presence. The Lord of spirits says, "This is the decree and the judgment against the mighty, the kings, the exalted, and those who possess the earth, in the presence of the Lord of spirits."

Revelation 16:13-21 And I saw three unclean spirits that looked like frogs. They came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the creature, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are spirits of demon-gods performing miraculous signs. They go out to the kings of the whole world to gather them for battle on the mighty Day of God Almighty. “I come like a thief! Happy are you who keep your wits about you and keep your clothes with you, so that you won’t walk around naked, and they will all see your indecency!”

 And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, “Armageddon.”
And the seventh Messenger poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple and said, “It has happened!”

And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, claps of thunder, and a severe earthquake. The earthquake was so massive, that there had never been one like it ever before, not since people have been on the earth. And the mighty city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his anger. Every island fled away and the mountains were no more. Huge hailstones weighing about a hundred pounds each fell out of the sky on people. The people blasphemed God because of the plague of hail, as the plague was so extremely severe. 

There are a few chapters before 55 in Enoch where the judgment of the kings is tied to the reign of God's chosen one. I could quote them also if you want. This is why I think "kings" might either be spirits or powerful Jewish leaders who rejected Christ.

I tried to edit my comments and I don't think it worked, I must have timed out. Anyway I understand there is more in Revelation regarding the armies of the kings so forgive my comment on armies. I would think the Jewish leaders were those led astray by the Slander-Liar (Devil) who is the Adversary (Satan). I don't see the Romans being specifically led astray by Satan (they were led astray by everyone else), Satan seemed to be concerned with only Adam's descendants. Again from the Source translation.


And I saw the creature and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the Rider on his horse and against his army. And the creature was captured, and so was the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs in his presence. With these miraculous signs he had misled those who had taken the inscription of the creature and worshipped his image. Both of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. The rest of them were killed with the large broadsword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh. 


And when the 1,000 years are over, Adversary will be released from his prison and will go out to mislead the nations in the four corners of the earth - Gog and Magog - to collect them for war. Their numbers are like the sand on the shore. And they went up across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the armed forces of the people devoted to God and the beloved city. Fire came down from heaven and burnt them all up. And Slanderer-Liar who led them astray was thrown into the fiery lake where the creature and the false prophet are. They will be tortured day and night forever and ever.

Doug, I have done some more research on the gog and magog and realized that the Septuagint reads in Amos 7-

1Thus the Lord showed me and behold, an early offspring of grasshoppers coming, and behold, one locust larva, Gog the king. 2And it will be, if they finish to devour the grass of the land—and I said,

“O Lord, O Lord, be gracious. 

Who will raise up Iakob,

because he is very small? Repent, O Lord, at this.”

“Even this shall not be,” says the Lord. 

4 Thus the Lord showed me, and behold, the Lord called for a sentence by fire. And it devoured the voluminous deep and devoured the portion. 5And I said, 

6“O Lord, O Lord, do cease! Who will raise up Iakob, because he is very small? Repent, O Lord, at this.”

“Even this shall not come about,” says 
the Lord. 

So I don't know what that means for Gog and Magog but I think the connection with grasshoppers is evidently demonic. Grasshoppers in Revelation are demons. Therefore I think the armies might not be physical.

So do "spirit beings" devour physical grass?

In the Greek, the word 'anti' means 'Like.'  For example, Antipater means 'Like Father.' There were many 'antichrists' in the first century claiming to be the Messiah from the tribe of Judah.  Only ONE, however, was not.  'The scepter shall not depart from Judah UNTIL.....he to whom it belongs comes.'  'Without mother, without father, without ancestry...'  and another place Jesus said to those who called him 'Son of David,'  'How can he be the son of David when David called him Lord?'  and another place, 'I am from above; you are from below.'
The entire Jewish nation claimed to be sitting in the Queen's position, next to the King, but they were dead wrong. 'ISREAL is my firstborn SON.'

In the Greek, the word 'anti' means 'Like.'  For example, Antipater means 'Like Father.'

Actually just for future reference, this is not quite correct: ‘Anti’ <ἀντί> means... over against, opposite to, before, instead of, in place of (something/someone).

Meanings of words have changed through the ages...

Yep that is true, especially when ‘Latinized’… which is why sticking with the NT usage is so important when trying to make a biblical argument etc; but, all good. :)

It is true that there were many "antiChrist's" whether they were against Christ or trying to be like Christ but what is important to me is the understanding of who was THE spirit of the Anti-Christ? And it seems like Titus fits the bill for the person most likely to have been influenced by the spirit of the anti-Christ. On his path to destroying Jerusalem he took the same path as Christ did before Christ entered Jerusalem the last time. But as Christ had healed, Titus destroyed. It seems to me that the singular spirit of the anti-christ could only have manifested through the one man who was roman version of the "son of god".  If you remember that Titus's father was seen as a god since he was emperor, Titus was the son of god. Titus had almost the same power as his father when he was leading the armies through Judea. The parallels and the opposition to Christ are amazing. Judith, have you ever read anything about Titus being a candidate for having the spirit of the Anti-Christ?

Sry, I didn't receive notice of your reply.  Indeed, I have read that Titus was anti-christ but when considering the dichotomy of the scriptures: Hagar vs Sarah, flesh vs spirit, old covenant Jersualem vs New Covenant Jerusalem, it's much more likely that the 'ADVERSARY' was the one in authority in the temple.  Isaiah says as much in 66:6.  His enemies were not Romans.  The Whore of Babylon was diametrically opposed to the Bride of Christ.


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