For centuries, the ability to identify the Beast and the false prophet who are mentioned in the Books of Daniel and the Revelation has eluded Bible scholars. Now, as the end of this age approaches and Christ's return draws near, many answers concerning the prophetic Beast of Revelation and the False Prophet have been revealed. An understanding of the books of Daniel and Revelation is important because they were recorded for those living in the tumultuous time just before the return of Jesus Christ. If indeed this is the prophetic time spoken of in these two books, an understanding of these prophecies is a matter of life or death. The Beast is the leader of a governmental system that will control an alliance of nations, which will exist for a short time just before Christ's return. It is a system that merges religion and government in such a way that it gives those who administer it absolute authority, power, and control over all religious, philosophical, economic, and political aspects of the lives of people who come under its control. Paul observed, "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places." Ephesians. 6:12.