THE DECEPTIVE MIRACLE-WORKING FALSE PROPHET
“And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. (Revelation 13:11-18).
As the tyranny and oppression of political power will reach their climax in the great Tribulation, so will the deception and persecution of false religion. The antichrist will be the political leader while the false prophet will be the religion leader. (Revelation 13:1-10) reveals the rise of the first beast, the antichrist, out of the sea, that is, out of the raging, tumultuous sea of chaotic humanity. This great final tyrant, the antichrist, will rise to rule over the whole world with the authority and power of the dragon, the devil. The second beast “comes up out of the earth” and he is identified as the false prophet (Revelation 16:13; 19:20; 20:10). The first beast and the second beast, that is, satan, the antichrist and false prophet will work closely together during the great tribulation. This unholy trio will try to counterfeit the Holy Trinity. The dragon is anti-God (Revelation 12:3, 4, 9), the first beast is anti-Christ, the son of perdition (Revelation 13:4-7; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4) and the second beast is anti-Spirit (Revelation 12:11-15). Satan is the master counterfeit – with a great purpose and plan to deceive all men. The main function of the Holy Spirit is to direct praise to the person of Christ. The false prophet’s major function is to direct the worship of the people to the antichrist, who is the second person in the unholy trio.
1. THE DESCRIPTION AND PORTRAIT OF THE FALSE PROPHET
Revelation 13:11-12; Matthew 7:15; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; Revelation 16:13-14; Daniel 8:3-4; Matthew 24:1-26; 1 John 2:18; 4:1.
“And I behold another beast coming up out of the earth.” Personal attributes are ascribed to “the beast” – speaking, exercising power, influencing people, doing great wonders before the people, and deceiving them that dwell on the earth. “And he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as dragon.” Looking like a Lamb, he has the voice of a dragon. To deceive the world, he outs on the pleasing personality and calmness of a Lamb, but in reality, has the nature and wickedness of satan, the dragon. The false prophet, like all false prophets before him, will be a great deceive. He looks like a Lamb. There will be gentleness about him, a softness about him that is deceiving. Let us take note that he has two horns but the real Lamb of God is revealed a having seven horns – the fullness of the power of the Almighty (Revelation 5:6). The lamb-like false prophet is an imitation, a counterfeit, a deceiver. He imitates all of the things that are of the Lord “and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do: (Revelation 13:14). His “lying wonders” are used to force those who dwell on earth to worship the antichrist (Revelation 13:12). All who are influenced by those miracles of the false prophet are doomed and will be damned and sent to the lake of fire forever (Revelation 14:9-11; 19:20; 20:10).
2. DECEPTION THROUGHT THE POWER OF THE FALSE PROPHET
Revelation 13:13-15; 16:13-14; Matthew 24:24; 7:15-23; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12; Revelation 11:3-5; 16:1-2; 19:20; 20:10.
This end-time false prophet with a composite lamb-dragon appearance and nature had power. “he exerciseth all the power of the first beast.” “he had power to give life unto the image of the beast.” “he had power to do miracles in the sight of the beast.” He doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the in the sight of men.” The purpose of his miracles is not deliver men from present and eternal suffering but to “deceive them that dwell on the earth” and “cause the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast.” The source of the power of the false prophet is the dragon, the devil. The purpose of his performing miracles is to make men irredeemable slaves, servants, worshippers of satan and thereby make them suffer eternal punishment with satan in hell-fire for ever.
The events of the thirteen chapter of Revelation will take place at the mid-point of the seven years of the tribulation. The events will not take place suddenly. There will be a gradual build-up for these events cast their shadows before them. The false prophet in Revelation chapter thirteen is the epitome of all the false prophets who have gone before him. Today, we need to be warned against false prophets who come with the personality and calmness of a lamb, but who speak and operate in the power of satan. Beware, be not deceived.
3. THE DEMAND AND PERSECUTION BY THE FALSE PROPHET
Revelation 13:16-18; 14:9-13; 20:11-15; 2:4; Proverbs 22:3; Hosea 14:9; Deuteronomy 32:29; Romans 8:17-18; Matthew 24:13.
“and he causeth ALL, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no ma migh buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
We are near the end of time and the stage is set for the antichrist and false prophet. It is now possible to buy food and an assortment of other things without money, cheque, and charge electronic cards. Planting a chip in the hand or on forehead, that is, giving a mark of identification in the right hand or in the forehead in order to buy or sell is now possible. The vast possibilities in this age of information technology prepare the stage for the events of Revelation chapter thirteen.
The mark of the beast indicates that the one wearing it is worshipper of the beast and that he submits to his rule. To be without the mark is to be labeled a traitor. The people who do not have the mark will be killed of starved to death because they will not be able to get the food and other things they need to stay alive. The people who do not have the mark of the beast will also suffer, suffer eternity in the lake of fire (Revelation 13:15-17; 14:9-11). The number of the beast is 666. The only sure way of escape is to be genuinely saved and live for Christ and endure till end. Shalom!