|Volume 7 Number 12||
|He is prophesied to appear with the
antimessiah and serve as his confirming counterpart. He will heal the
beast from a fatal head wound. He will be able to perform other
miracles in the presence of the beast. He will set up an image (statue)
of the beast on the temple mount and cause it to speak. He will call on
all of the world to worship the beast and use the "mark of the beast"
economic control system. But more than all these things – he is the
future leader of the modern church of today, and the church will
willingly follow him to the great apostasy. He is called the false
Most prophecy students are transfixed by the coming antimessiah and the timing of the rapture. However, the prophesied elements of the coming great tribulation give even more information and warning about what will happen to the believers in the great tribulation. Because of over emphasis of the rapture and in particular the pretribulation rapture, most believers have no idea what will affect them most directly. It is not the antimessiah; it’s the false prophet (another beast that arises). It is not the rapture of the church; it’s the coming apostasy of the church and their following the false prophet.
Let’s examine the direct Scriptural evidence for the false prophet. He is introduced to us in the context of the coming beast (antimessiah).
And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed And he performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life. REV 13:11-14
The Lamb with Two Horns
Lambs don’t have horns. What kind of lamb would have two horns? This natural question should jump off the page for every prophecy student. The prophet Daniel was shown a vision of four great beasts that would rule the world. One of those beasts was a ram with two horns. The two horns represented the Mede and Persian kings. They ruled jointly until Alexander the Great came and defeated the Persian empire. The interpretation of this is clearly given by Daniel.
The ram which you saw with the two horns represents the kings of Media and Persia. DAN 8:20
But the prophecy we are concerned with is a lamb with two horns. Modern Christianity has two elements: Catholic and Protestant. The lamb is the symbol of Christianity; the two horns are its two elements. Just as a lamb should not have horns, so true Christianity should not have two leading elements. But it does! And the book of Revelation symbolizes the false prophet that is to come with this present fact. The false prophet is to become the leader of Christianity with its Catholic and Protestant elements. He will most likely serve in the office of Pope. Why do I say that? Because, ecumenicalism is presently being led by the office of the Pope and Protestant Christianity is joining in.
He Exercises the Authority of the First Beast
The authority of the antimessiah, his power over governments and nations, is the most fearsome aspect of the beast. But the prophecy says that the false prophet exercises the same kind of authority. How can the false prophet do this? How can the false prophet exert authority over all the different parts of Christianity, both Catholic and Protestant, in all the different nations? The answer here is just like the antimessiah beast. Since the nations and the leaders of those nations give their power to the beast, so the churches and the leaders of those churches will give authority to the false prophet. If you can believe that nations will give their power (authority) to the beast, then you should not have any difficulty believing your church will give their power (authority) as well to the false prophet. The Scripture says both will happen.
I’ll address a little later how your specific church will do this.
He Makes the Earth and those Who Dwell in it to Worship the Beast
The Messiah warned us of many false prophets in the last days.
And many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many. MAT 24:11
Paul warned of a great falling away (apostasy) of the church associated with the antimessiah prior to the Lord’s return.
Let no one in any way deceive you, for it [the return of the Lord] will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 2TH 2:3
Let’s use a little common sense for a moment. Obviously, false prophets must emerge within the church as leaders to be effective. The apostasy must first occur within the leadership of the church. Therefore, the false prophet that serves as a counterpart to the antimessiah, calling upon all of us to worship the beast, must do so as the leader of the church. If you can add signs and wonders with this leadership, then you have a powerful combination to mislead many people. Can you imagine a church leader who can cause the storm to quiet, to make the earth rain or not to rain? Yeshua and the prophets of the past have done this. What if the false prophet can do the same? Would he not influence a large number of people to follow his instructions? The Scripture says he will have the power to make people worship the antimessiah.
He Heals a Fatal Wound of the Beast
Another sign used by the false prophet will be the healing of the antimessiah’s fatal head wound. We don’t know the circumstances of this event, but we are told the results. Apparently, the false prophet is able to resurrect the beast (antimessiah) but is not able to completely heal him from the effects of the probable assassination. Zechariah tells us that the antimessiah (the worthless shepherd) will suffer from a withered arm and blind right eye.
Woe to the worthless shepherd who leaves the flock! A sword will be on his arm and on his right eye! His arm will be totally withered, and his right eye will be blind. ZEC 11:17
He Performs Great Signs
Calling down fire from heaven is a great Biblical sign. It is the sign that Elijah used in defeating the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel. The false prophet will imitate Elijah with this miracle and demand that we all choose just as Elijah challenged Israel in his day, "Choose whom you will serve!"
How can you argue against a leader of the church who heals and calls down fire from heaven? Isn’t this the evidence of a true prophet? Surely, he must be a true prophet! However, the prophecy warns us beforehand that these specific signs will be used to deceive the believers. A true prophet is not determined by signs; they just use them to get your attention. A true prophet is determined by his words and deeds. Do they align properly with Moses and the Messiah? The false prophet will have great signs, but his words and deeds will not match Moses and the Messiah. However, the false prophet will match the prophecies we are warned to watch.
He Deceives the World and Sets up an Image of the Beast
The setting up of an image on the temple mount presents some interesting questions by itself. Jews don’t make and set up statues, nor do Moslems; however, Catholics have no difficulty with setting up images or bowing to them. In our generation alone, we have all heard of different miracle phenomena concerning Catholic statues. Whether they are bleeding or forming tears, the idea of a Catholic statue and a miracle occurring with it seem to go hand in hand. Therefore, a false prophet, serving as the Pope, setting up an image that speaks, will be about as different as another phase of the moon to this world.
And there was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast might even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand, or on their forehead, and he provides that no one should be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. REV 13:15-17
He Compels the World to take the Mark of the Beast
Here is an interesting question for you. If the mark of the beast is the identification and economic control system of the antimessiah, then why does the false prophet promote its use and call for everyone to use it? Why doesn’t the beast promote and require its use?
Of all the end time prophecies, except the return of the Messiah Himself, the mark of the beast prophecy is the most well known. Virtually everyone knows about this prophecy and that they should not take it. So, when the system does come forth, it will require a religious man to calm everyone’s concerns and instruct people to take the mark. This is one of the key prophecies of the false prophet.
What is the Mark of the Beast?
Before we go further, let’s talk about the mark of the beast economic control system. This has been the subject of much speculation and discussion among prophecy students.
The modern world already has credit cards, checking accounts, driver’s licenses, photo ID’s, passports, and other ways to confirm a persons identification and make purchases. But they can all be falsified by criminal elements. The recent September 11 attacks by terrorists showed that they used falsified identification to enter and move about the country. The world needs a new identification system to know who is who. This would prevent future terrorist activity of this type and significantly reduce theft by false identity.
This is why governments of the world are seriously considering a whole new kind of identification system for the citizens of the world. They want to find a way of matching the person with the identification materials. The solution is called biometrics.
Biometrics takes a fingerprint or a scan of an eye’s retina to match the identity. An ID card would contain biometric data of the person in a small chip along with their name, etc. Once this card is matched by a machine with a scan of the person’s fingerprint or eye, the ID is confirmed. While it is a great idea, it simply won’t work for the number of people who need identification. Besides, fingerprints can be faked with overlays and the eye retina scan is not perfect. Women who become pregnant have changes in the retina of the eye. Only in small applications can these methodologies work (i.e., a secure facility, or workplace). For the traveling and buying public a much more efficient system is required.
The only workable system would be a biometric chip inserted into a person that responds to an electronic interrogation signal. Any person purchasing something would be checked by the cash register and their account would be charged accordingly. Any person stopped by law enforcement or security personnel would be scanned by a device that advises the personnel who they are and whether they should be arrested or not. To accomplish this you need two things: a biometric chip inserted under the skin of the person and a huge, centralized data base with electronic access to all electronic information about everyone.
Well, here we are in the 21st century and the technology does exist. However, the government has not yet set it all up. That is, not yet. But, with the war on terrorism underway and the office of homeland defense being established, we are well on our way to setting it up with other countries in the world. We are about to consolidate our social security number, credit cards, bank accounts, driver’s licenses, company ID’s and anything else on electronic data bases to begin exchanging information about who we are to a whole new standard. Privacy rights advocates are about to suffer a great loss as a trade-off for security from terrorists and criminals is made. However, most people are aware of the mark of the beast prophecy and are resistive to any national ID card system because of it.
Let’s be clear about what the prophecy says about taking the mark of the beast. There are two elements: bowing down, pledging allegiance to the beast and taking the mark. A national ID card system consolidating the state driver’s license with your social security number is not the fulfillment of the prophecy; that is, it is not the specific prophecy. Furthermore, the specific prophecy of a "mark" means "to pierce." An implanted biometric chip under the skin is our most likely candidate for the mark. Secondly, and more importantly, bowing down and pledging or swearing allegiance is far more spiritual in its implications.
I just learned from some brethren in Canada that there is an oath of allegiance that is taken for citizenship. The words of the oath direct the allegiance to the Queen or her heirs (since Canada is part of the Royal Commonwealth). I would expect that receipt of the implant biometric chip will also include an oath of allegiance similar to the one required for citizenship in the Commonwealth.
The prophecy says that the mark of the beast system will happen and that the false prophet will have to compel people to use it. However, the prophecy also says that accepting the mark will seal a person’s fate for eternity.
And another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or upon his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; and they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name." Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. REV 14:9-12
How will the False Prophet Deceive the Believers?
Again, before we go further, let’s be straight forward about what the prophecy says. If you presently attend or are a member of a good ol’ Sunday go-to-meetin’ type church that keeps holidays like Christmas and Easter, you can be guaranteed by the authority of the Scripture that your church will be subject to the false prophet during the great tribulation.
What does Sunday observance and the holidays of Christmas and Easter have to do with this? Christianity today has two elements called Catholics and Protestants. While Protestants complain and take issue with the Pope and his authority, the fact remains that the Pope is seen by governments and the rest of the world as being the leader of Christianity. Protestants (erring brethren according to Catholics) still maintain key doctrines and customs under the authority and leadership of the Pope. They may dispute that authority but they still follow it (i.e., first day worship, holidays such as Christ Mass and Easter, etc.). I emphasize this point for the following reason: Christians that remain in the modern church of today will be subject to the authority of the future false prophet. His pronouncements and authority will be from the modern church. The false prophet will most likely be a Pope.
This is not my teaching nor conclusion alone. Most Protestant prophecy students already believe the Pope will have something to do with the final prophecies. Some even think he will be the antimessiah. Even Evangelical church leaders believe that the church they attend will be subject to these prophecies. Ask all those preachers that believe in the pretribulation rapture. They will tell you that after the rapture (before the tribulation) that those who remain in church will be apostate and follow the false prophet and antimessiah. However, they have made a fundamental mistake. The teaching that there is a rapture before the tribulation is absolutely false. The Scripture says that the church will be present in the great tribulation and it will become apostate under the leadership of the false prophet (and many false prophets). God’s people in those churches are not raptured up before or during the great tribulation. Instead, they are warned to come up out of those churches so as not to receive its plagues (punishments) during the great tribulation.
And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, "Come out of her, my people, that you may not participate in her sins and that you may not receive of her plagues; for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities." REV 18:4-5
Approximately a year ago I participated with a group of other prophecy teachers in an open debate over the timing of the rapture. There were representatives from the pretrib and prewrath views along with myself (the post tribulation view). The defining moment of the debate/discussion came at the very end. The speaker for the pretrib view asked a question not expecting any answer. "Why is the church not mentioned after Revelation 4:1 and until Revelation 19 as the bride of the Messiah?" This question was then answered by himself, "They obviously have been raptured and are not present at the time of the great tribulation." I then answered, "The church IS mentioned in that time frame, but you don’t like the title the Bible gives it – Babylon, the Mother of Harlots!" Needless to say, there was quite an uproar in the assembly.
Babylon, the Mother of Harlots
The church in the great tribulation is called BABYLON, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS. The modern church today is like a Catholic mother with her Protestant daughters. This is NOT true Christianity; this is NOT the teaching of Yeshua and the Apostles. The modern church of today IS the product of the church fathers and church history. It is better defined as the religion of Churchianity. The apostle of the true church, the prophet John, was shocked to see what Christianity would become in the last days.
And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality, and upon her forehead a name was written, a mystery, "BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. And when I saw her, I wondered greatly. And the angel said to me, "Why do you wonder? I shall tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns. The beast that you saw was and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and to go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth will wonder, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come. REV 17:3-8
The woman riding the beast is the modern harlot church led by the false prophet working cooperatively with the antimessiah (beast).
There is great parallel in Scripture between Revelation and Isaiah describing the apostate church of the great tribulation with ancient Babylon. First let’s look at the passage from Revelation then from Isaiah.
To the degree that she glorified herself and lived sensuously, to the same degree give her torment and mourning; for she says in her heart, "I sit as a queen and I am not a widow, and will never see mourning." For this reason in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong. And the kings of the earth, who committed acts of immorality and lived sensuously with her, will weep and lament over her when they see the smoke of her burning, standing at a distance because of the fear of her torment, saying, "Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come." And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargoes any more; cargoes of gold and silver and precious stones and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet, and every kind of citron wood and every article of ivory and every article made from very costly wood and bronze and iron and marble, and cinnamon and spice and incense and perfume and frankincense and wine and olive oil and fine flour and wheat and cattle and sheep, and cargoes of horses and chariots and slaves and human lives. And the fruit you long for has gone from you, and all things that were luxurious and splendid have passed away from you and men will no longer find them. REV 18:7-14
Sit silently, and go into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans; for you will no more be called the queen of kingdoms. I was angry with My people, I profaned My heritage, and gave them into your hand. You did not show mercy to them, on the aged you made your yoke very heavy. Yet you said, "I shall be a queen forever." These things you did not consider, nor remember the outcome of them. Now, then, hear this, you sensual one, who dwells securely, who says in your heart, "I am, and there is no one besides me. I shall not sit as a widow, nor shall I know loss of children." But these two things shall come on you suddenly in one day: loss of children and widowhood. They shall come on you in full measure in spite of your many sorceries, in spite of the great power of your spells. And you felt secure in your wickedness and said, "No one sees me," Your wisdom and your knowledge, they have deluded you; for you have said in your heart, "I am, and there is no one besides me." But evil will come on you which you will not know how to charm away; and disaster will fall on you for which you cannot atone, and destruction about which you do not know will come on you suddenly. ISA 47:5-11
Both of these passages describe the future church as declaring herself as the Queen of Heaven. This title speaks to the haughtiness of asserting herself as the bride of the Messiah. Instead of testifying to God’s grace, the apostate church asserts herself. The judgment to come upon the apostate church is also described as sudden and against a backdrop of self deception. "No one sees me" and "I am, and there is no one besides me," are expressions that open the door wide for the false prophet to gain control.
The great tribulation will be a time of great denial for the church. They will deny that the great tribulation has begun. They will deny that they are apostate. They will deny the truth. They will also deny the brethren.
Who is it that will be turning in true believers that are hiding and trying to escape during the great tribulation? The church and churchmen. The Messiah said it this way.
Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name. And at that time many will fall away [the apostasy] and will deliver up one another and hate one another. MAT 24:9-10
Hanging around the modern church during the great tribulation will do one of two things to you and your family: suck you into the deception and lead you to taking the mark of the beast or, get you arrested and taken captive by the aid of your fellow churchmen. Either way, it isn’t good.
So, what do we do?
Okay, so you're hanging around a church that thinks more highly of themselves than they should. They think this tribulation thing is for others and that they will be zapped out before anything bad happens. They will be in denial when the raptured doesn’t happen and the great tribulation gets underway. They will follow the false prophet and bow before the beast taking the mark. If you resist, you will be turned in by your own brethren. So, what should you do?
Here is my advice. You might want to investigate and find another group of Christians that will be known as the future tribulation saints. They are said to believe in Yeshua, the Messiah. They keep His commandments and don’t take the mark of the beast. They also escape, survive, and endure to see the coming of the Messiah. They are the true bride of the Messiah. Revelation describes the future tribulation saints this way.
These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne shall spread His tabernacle over them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; neither shall the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne shall be their shepherd, and shall guide them to springs of the water of life; and God shall wipe every tear from their eyes. REV 7:14-17
The advice offered by the book of Revelation is as follows:
If anyone has an ear, let him hear. ... Here is the
perseverance and the faith of the saints. REV 13:9a-10
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