I will start with the disclaimer that he material I use for discussing the Jewish Messiah is gleamed from Internet sites about Judaism. Readers are all encouraged to do their own research on the issues raised on the site.
Like any ethnicity or nation or people, Jewish society is quite diverse. However, for sake a brevity, and for our discussion, there are two main streams of Jewish thought concerning the Jewish Messiah. For the secular Jew, one who does not believe in God, they do not believe that a Messiah (Jewish by definition) will come. They do believe in the concept of a messianic age where man will create a better and perhaps, almost perfect world to live in. For the religious Jew, one who does believe in God as described in the Torah, belief in the coming of the Messiah is considered an essential element of their faith. Some of the generally agreed upon expectations about the messiah is:
1. He will be a man — i.e. not a prophet or spiritual leader.
2. He will be from the tribe of David.
3. He will rebuild the Temple and restart religious services therein.
4. He will establish a world government to rule both Jew and gentile (non-Jew).
When I read about these expectations, I was startled by them. I especially was surprised to see that both the Jewish messiah and the Beast are expected to rebuild the Jewish Temple. In the case of the messiah, he will restart animal sacrifice among other religious services. Even for the religious Jew, the messiah is a very secular figure. He will be a Jewish political leader, as his coming will be marked by his rise to power over gentile nations, bringing both Jew and gentile under his rule.
The secular Jew may not be concerned about the rebuilding of the Temple, but they are very politically active and motivated. They use their considerable wealth in their efforts to influence elections and public policy. Though no direct linkage can be made from these efforts to the rise of the Beast, one can easily imagine that they will someday attempt to elect a Jewish President in the US or seek to install a Jewish person as head of the European Union. One day they will indeed be successful. At the start, they will be so pleased, they may think that they are on the threshold of the messianic period –a son of David will be the leader of the West, he will have brought peace to Israel as well as the rebuilding of the Third Temple. They may even see it as the start of the rule of Jew over gentile and the ascension of Judaism over rest of the world’s religions. However, the joy of both the religious and secular Jew will turn to sorrow. When the Temple is finished, their messiah will usurp it and command that he be worshipped as the true God. Famine and disease will wreck havoc in the world, as this will be the time when God will allow great tribulation to befall upon the world. In the end, this false messiah will use his power to bring the great armies of the world to Israel, to battle the returning Christ at Armageddon. Perhaps it will be through this betrayal that many Jews will find their salvation.
The Beast will come to power in the End of Days — that cannot be stopped. However, that does not mean he is destined to rule America or any particular European nation. Believers must work to keep their nation free from his power. Christ commanded us to love our neighbors as we would love Christ himself. Out of this love, we must seek to protect others from the Beast and his children, because suffering and pain follow in their wake. There can be no compromise with evil.