Four great world empires evolved from Daniel to John: Babylon (the ruling empire when Daniel saw his vision), Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome (the ruling empire at the time of John).
Each empire was subsequently conquered by the empire that followed it except for Rome. The Roman Empire (“different from all the beasts that were before it”) merely dissolved and was never conquered by a subsequent kingdom. Thus making Rome the world’s last great empire; thereby conforming to Daniel’s prophecy that just four great kingdoms would rise up out of the earth starting in his day through to the end of the age; and the reason why it is generally agreed that the “ten horns” of the fourth beast in Daniel’s prophecy signify ten nations that rise to power in the latter days from territories that were once part of the ancient Roman Empire.
“And the dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.” No other insight about Antichrist better explains his position of world eminence, powers of deception, and hatred for God during the second half of the Tribulation better then this one. As stated earlier, I believe that Antichrist cuts a deal with Satan following his assassination at the middle of the Tribulation. He agrees to become the personification of the devil, fully possessed, and with the power, throne, and authority of the devil.
One interesting note before we proceed. Compare the order of the beastly kingdoms given by John to that given by Daniel. Whereas Daniel begins with the lion and concludes with the beast, John lists them in reverse order, beginning with the beast and concluding with the lion. As one commentator observed, this is because Daniel was at the head of the line gazing into the future, whereas John was in the future gazing back into the past.
v.3-8 I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?’ And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blasphemy His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. And it was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Some commentators interpret the head of the beast that’s mortally wounded and resurrected to be a nation, and not an individual. But I disagree, and later will make the argument that the seventh head is in fact that of the Antichrist (notes—Rev.17:9-11). I also accept the notion that the phrase “mortally wounded” implies assassination and is reminiscent to the following prophecy given by Zechariah.
“A sword shall be against his arm and against his right eye; His arm shall completely whither, and his right eye shall be totally blinded” (Zech.11:17)
But that raises another question. Does the “mortal wound” kill the Antichrist? And do the subsequent events suggest that he actually resurrects from the dead? I don’t think so. God alone possesses the power to raise the dead, and there’s no Scriptural evidence He has, or ever will give that power to Satan.
From the world’s reaction, however, it does appear that the ungodly believe Antichrist dies and resurrects; and therefore will exalt and worship him as a god from that point forward throughout the entire three and a half years of the second half of the Tribulation (which is “forty-two months”). The result of which will cast the entire world headlong into the darkest, most violent, and ungodly age that humanity has ever known.
“He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time” (Dan.7:25)
“’Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord God, ‘that I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord, but shall not find it’ ” (Amos 8:11-12)