Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Rise of Antichrist & His False Prophet

Revelation Chapter 13

In our previous blog we discussed John’s vision of two wonders in heaven. After these visions John is now upon the seashore. While standing there John watches as a beast comes from the sea. As the beast begins to arise out of the sea John describes him to us.

Let me first say this about the sea in this chapter; the sea in this verse, like many other times in the bible refers to people. This beast will arise from the masses. It is also a symbol of the abyss in which the beast comes from.

The beast had seven heads and ten horns, and upon each horn was a crown. John tells us that the beast had the body of a leopard, feet like a bear; the mouth of a lion and the dragon is the one giving him his power. This does not mean that the dragon has given him his own throne, but he did give him the power and a throne and great authority.

The description of this beast brings us back to the book of Daniel. In the book of Daniel we saw each of these beasts represented a kingdom that would rule upon the earth. The book of Daniel is broken down into four main visions by Daniel and a dream by Nebuchadnezzar. All of these deal with the “times of the Gentiles” in relationship to the latter days.

In chapter two Nebuchadnezzar had a dream in which God revealed that there was to be four world wide empires leading up until the time in which a “Stone Kingdom” or the millennial kingdom of Christ is set up. In this same chapter we are told that Babylon was the first of these four kingdoms. As the book progresses we are told who the second and third empires will be and we are given a clue revealing who the fourth will be.

Forty-eight years after this dream Daniel has a vision. In this vision Daniel is standing upon the sea shore and watches as four beasts come forth from the water. I believe if you study these beasts you will see the similarity to John’s vision. Remember that John saw a wild beast which had the body of a leopard, feet like a bear and a mouth like a lion.

So that is:
  1. wild beast
  2. leopard
  3. bear
  4. lion

Now turning back to Daniel’s vision let us notice what he saw. Daniel describes the four beasts in the following order.

  1. Lion with wings of an eagle (Babylon Empire)
  2. Bear (Medio Persian Empire)
  3. Leopard with wings of a fowl (Grecian Empire)
  4. A wild beast (Roman Empire / Revived Roman Empire under Antichrist)

I think that it is obvious that these two men were seeing the same thing. Daniel looking from the present toward the future saw the kingdoms of the world leading up until the end time in which Antichrist would rule. John saw from the future in which Antichrist ruled backward through history. This man, Antichrist, will be a terrible man. He will be composed of men ago: Nebuchadnezzar, Xerxes, Alexander the Great and Caesar Augustus. He will be a great humanitarian, the friend of men (especially the Jew) and he will persuade all that he is there to usher in the kingdom pictured by the prophets. He will intoxicate men with strong delusion, he will be slain and arise from the dead having lost none of his power, and the world will accept him.

Now as we turn back to John’s vision of this man we see that the beast has seven heads and ten horns, and the horns are crowned. When we see the crowns upon the head of the beast it speaks of the height of his power. John actually had two visions of this beast. One is in this chapter and one in chapter 17.

John also sees this beast in chapter 17 coming up out of the abyss, but at that time the heads of the beast are not crowned. This means that the beast we see in chapter 17 represents the Antichrist before he receives his power and kingdoms, or the Antichrist at the beginning of the week, and the crowned beast we see in chapter 13 is the Antichrist in the middle of the week.

We also notice that the beast in chapter 17 is being ridden by a woman, who represents the papal, one world; church that comes into power after the true church is removed from this world. As the judgment of God begins to fall upon the world and wars begin to break forth there will be ten kingdoms that will unite for mutual protection, and no doubt the fake church will play a large part in this merger.

Because of her help she will be rewarded with political power, thus we see the woman riding the beast or dominating it. But when the beast receives its power or crowns we see that the beast becomes angry with the woman or “whore” as she is called and will hate her, make her desolate, eat her flesh and burn her with fire according to Revelation 17:16.

While we know that the seven heads of the beast represent seven mountains, which represent the Roman Empire, we are also told that they represent seven kings.

Revelation 17:9-10

This tells us that in John’s day five kings had already fallen, the sixth was in power and ruling in John’s day, and one was yet to come. The last or seventh king no doubt will be the Antichrist. In this verse John tells us that one of the heads of the beast had received a deadly wound.

Revelation 17:11

The only clear explanation is that the seventh head, or the Antichrist is the one who receives the deadly wound, probably at the hand of an assassin. The body of the Antichrist will lay dead.  Before the burial, his body will come back to life and he will therefore become the eighth king as well as the seventh. From Eden until the end time Satan has always counterfeited the works of God. This is no different. It would not surprise me if the Antichrist does not lay dead for three days, and at the end of three days come back to life.

This will make the world wonder after him and they will proclaim, “Who is able to make war with the beast?” This will take place at the middle of the week, the time in which the dragon is cast out of heaven, and it will account for the drastic transformation in the attitude of the Antichrist. It will be at this time he will break his covenant with the Jew, desecrate the temple and calling himself God according to Daniel chapter 9.

Also consider the following verses.

“And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change the times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.”  Daniel 7:25

“And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.”   Daniel 8:25

“And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.”   Daniel 11:36

After John sees and describes the first beast that he saw which came up out of the sea, he then sees a second beast coming up out of the earth. Again John begins to describe what he sees.

As John begins to describe this beast he describes him as being like a lamb. John does not say that this beast was a lamb but that he was like one in that he had two horns. Because of this resemblance to a lamb many try to claim that this beast is actually the antichrist and imitating Christ. While Christ is called a lamb many times throughout this book we do notice a difference between this beast and the description given to Christ. Christ is said on multiple occasions to be a lamb with seven horns while this beast only has two.

This second beast is actually given a name, the “False Prophet.” This name is used for him three times in the scriptures begin in chapter 16. Christ spoke of him when He said the following.

“There shall arise false Christ’s’ and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders: insomuch if it were possible they shall deceive the very elect.”   Matthew 24:24

So in this chapter we see three main characters: the dragon, the antichrist and the false prophet. These three will make up the “satanic trinity.” The dragon will imitate God the father, the antichrist will imitate God the son and the false prophet will be an imitation of God the Holy Spirit.

The false prophet will cause an image to be erected of the first beast. He will give power to the image so that it can speak, and will demand that all people worship the image. I can imagine that replica images will be sold, people will have them in their homes, they will be at government buildings and no doubt at all “mark” application facilities.

As the followers of Christ are sealed with the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption, so shall the followers of antichrist be sealed. They will be sealed with what we call the mark of the beast, which is the name, or number of the name of the antichrist, 666. All both will be forced to receive the mark of the beast under the penalty of death.

This mark will either be a tattoo or a brand in the fore head or right hand. It seems likely that this will be accompanied with a micro chip. This chip will contain information such as your banking information, maybe your social security number, maybe even the kingdom in which you live. We are not far from this today. With technologies such as debit cards, smart phones, and the internet. Consider technologies such as “Google wallet” which allows you to pay for purchases by waving your cell phone over the cash register. We are not far from just waving our hand over the register. It would be harder to steal a hand than it would be a cell phone.

This number, 666, is the number of man. This is the number, which stops short of perfection, which is the number 7. Man was created on the sixth day. Goliath, the opposer of God’s people, a type of Satan, was 6 cubits in height, he had 6 pieces of armor and his spearhead weighed 600 shekels. The image of Nebuchadnezzar was 60 cubits in height, 6 cubits wide and 6 musical instruments played when people fell down and worshipped it.

In this day no one can shop without the mark under the penalty of death. If men cannot buy or sell without the mark then they must be forced to beg, or starve. The names of those killed will no doubt be published to place fear in the hearts of all the undecided.

Imagine the local news containing footage of some “rouge fanatic” that would not accept the mark of Antichrist. No doubt they will show them lead to the guillotine and maybe even show them having their head removed.

This all will continue until the Lord returns and cast the dragon into the bottomless pit for 1,000 years and cast the antichrist and the false prophet into the lake fire.

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