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THE FALSE PROPHET - PART 2
Dr. Allen M. Barber
September 20, 2007

 

In the first article on the False Prophet, we proved that he is a man, a human being, not a system or government, even though he will reign with the Antichrist as part of Mystery Babylon, which is a Satanic system and governance.  However, the Bible emphasizes the person of both beasts, and therefore proper hermeneutics must begin where the Scriptures do - with the personage of the False Prophet.  People do not follow governments per sae, but the leaders of governments they trust and believe represent their best interest. The same will be true of the False Prophet.

This is not hard to prove, for every four years we elect a leader of the United States, someone we think will continue the ideology that has made this nation the greatest nation on the face of the earth. Sadly, that is no longer true as secular humanism has taken hold of this nation. Our choice today seems to be the lessor of two evils. When the Bible defines the ancient nations who once ruled the world, it focuses on the leaders. Egypt had its the Pharaoh's; Assyria, Sargon the Great; Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar; Medo-Persia, Darius and Cyrus; Greece, Alexander the Great, and Rome, its Caesars. In the modern world, men like Hitler, Mussolini, Tojo, Stalin, Churchhill, Roosevelt, De Gaulle, etc. represented what was the good and bad of leaders and nations during the second great world war. Their legacy lives on still in the present time and while the ideology of the nations they once ruled may have changed and new leaders emerged, it is the leaders that identify the nations. The leaders are what people perceive to be the nation. How do the majority of the peoples of the world understand a nation's government - by looking at its leaders right or wrong?  In the eyes of the world, President George Bush represents what the United States is however unfortunate that may be. The same is true for Russia, China, Iran, and Venezuela .  Putin, Jintao, Ahmadinejad, and Chavez, the respective heads of those nations, reflect the political ideology of their governments in the minds of the world community. The same will be true of whoever becomes the False Prophet and the Antichrist. Therefore, it is these two personages, the Antichrist and False Prophet, that will become the centerpiece of the world's political and religious forums. Their government is secondary, though very important.

Drake, in his study bible by the same title, makes a valid point that "allos," the Greek world for "another" in Revelation 13:1 necessitates the False Prophet as being a man and not a nation or government for the Antichrist is also a man. When the Lord returns during the Battle of Armageddon (actually Armageddon is a campaign and not just one battle), he does not cast a government or a system into the Lake of Fire, but the person of the Antichrist and False Prophet. Nations or governments are not cast into the Lake of Fire, but their wicked leaders are.  Satan shall join his two witnesses in the Lake of Fire after the millennium.

In spite of the overwhelming evidence in the Scriptures that the Antichrist and the False Prophet are men- human beings, not spirits from the abyss or nations and systems of the world, many still go looking for the Antichrist and the False Prophets in the systems they will head. Unless there are men - human beings guiding and fomenting the wicked rule of Mystery Babylon, the system or government does not advance.  God Himself did not choose a corporate nation to implement His plan for the ages - No, he started with a man - Adam, then Noah, and finally Abraham from whose loins came Jesus Christ, the second man and last Adam.  Satan, the great copy-cat will do the same. He will choose his personages to lead the systems of Mystery Babylon.

Because the Antichrist and the False Prophet are human and not spirits from the pit or governments, they must be born during the end-time generation, which I believe began in 1897 (See my article on the 120-Year Generation).  They are more than likely alive today, but do not yet know they have been chosen by Satan to lead the world into total depravity and apostasy. While the spirit of Antichrist has been in the world since the Apostle John's day (See I John 2:18-23) the person of the Antichrist and his prophet will make their world debut soon.  May I say that it is not that Satan will force his will upon these two men, but he will find willing hearts in these men to carry out his diabolical schemes; probably two men who are already demon possessed. Christians who know little about the supernatural realm of Satan involving demon possession, do not realize how demons operate in the soul area of people, both Christian and non-Christians.

Demons can be vile, violent, and crude or they can be sophisticated, intellectual, and cultured, thereby deceiving not only their victims, but also those who know them. I know this to be true in counseling people who have demons spirits.   While I am on the subject, I recommend a book by Dr. Joe Allbright, entitled, "Liberating the Bruised," a renowned expert if their is such a thing, in dealing with demonic possession, MPD, and SRA cases. I have personally witnessed and benefited by Dr. Allbright's counsel into the dark realm of the wicked spirits, as he has uncovered demon spirits lurking in the soul area of countless victims and sends them to the pit. In addition, I have observed him, by the power of God upon his life, fuse fragmented personalities back to the core that God gave the victims when they were conceived.  Dr. Allbright also was given the revelation of the Ancestral Demon - the power demon that operates his network in the lives of demoniacally invaded victims.  I have a link to his website and you can order his book from there.

The reason, I mention this is that the False Prophet, a Satanically deceived person himself, will have a host of demon spirits working in cohort with him to deceive the people in the great end-time apostasy. Demonic possession will be common-place during the tribulation.  The antidote for such is to be born-again by the Spirit of God and to be a student of the Word of God and a knee-bowing prayer warrior.  Religion or carnality is not going to cut the mustard when the tribulation breaks out upon the unsuspecting world.

Before (we may not actually get there today) examine the two horns of the second beast, let's look at how some of the theologians attempt to interpret the mystery of the two-horned beast.  Walvoord, in his commentary on the book of Revelation makes the second beast, the False Prophet, to be the head of the apostate Church and therefore, synonymous with the Harlot of Revelation 17:

There is some evidence pointing to the conclusion that the second beast is the head of the apostate church during the first half of Daniel's 70th Week...The second beast,...survives the destruction of the church which has been under his control and he assists the first beast in making the transition...into the final form of apostate religion. (Walvoord, The Revelation of Jesus Christ, p. 205).

While I admire Dr. Walvoord and have read many of his books, I part company with his belief in traditional dispensationalism, which purports to remove the Church from the world in a secret rapture before the bad stuff hits the fan.  In addition, I have to reject his interpretation above, for there is no Scriptural evidence that the second beast is the head of the Harlot Church. Because he is called the False Prophet, many assume that makes him a religious person who heads apostate Christianity. Both the Antichrist and the False Prophet will have a religious nature and thereby deceive the worldlings - the unsaved, but the False Prophet's mission is to promote the Antichrist as God, not lead an apostate church with its many separate gods, although they unite in an interfaith tolerance of each individual's god and religion. As we mentioned in the previous article, the False Prophet and Antichrist will be in competition with the Harlot Church, and is the reason they destroy the Harlot, for the two beasts are not going to allow any competition with other religions. Again, the Bible does not teach the second beast or False Prophet will somehow survive the destruction of the apostate church he allegedly heads. Think for a moment and use your brains, more so your discerning spirit. What did Jesus say about a kingdom divided against itself?

Matthew 12:24-26 NLT

24 But when the Pharisees heard about the miracle, they said, "No wonder he can cast out demons. He gets his power from Satan, the prince of demons."  25 Jesus knew their thoughts and replied, "Any kingdom at war with itself is doomed. A city or home divided against itself is doomed.  26 And if Satan is casting out Satan, he is fighting against himself. His own kingdom will not survive.

If the False Prophet is the head of the apostate church and the Antichrist and the ten horns destroy the Harlot system, then the False Prophet has become the enemy of Satan. That is absurd for Satan is not going to attack or destroy his prophet for that would be doing what Jesus said, Satan casting out Satan. The False Prophet works with the Antichrist as his PR agent right up to the Second Coming of Jesus and will be in cohort with the Antichrist when he destroys his competition, the Harlot Church. The False Prophet will be too busy promoting the Antichrist as a great world leader, then the supreme deity to be involved with the diverse elements of the polytheistic Harlot Church.  While the False Prophet will not stand in the way of the Harlot Church, as it will serve Satan's agenda in deceiving the world that the God of the Bible is not the true God, he will not lead it either.

Alford, a recognized Greek scholar, describes the second beast of Revelation 13 as:

An important distinction exists between the two beasts, in that this second one has two horns like a lamb. In other words, this second beast puts on a  mild and lamb-like appearance, which the other did not. But its speaks like a dragon; its words, which carry its real character are fierce and unrelenting;  while it professes that which is gentle, its behests are cruel. And now I appeal to the reader...the last form of the secular power, which was the Empire of Pagan Rome: I mean the sacerdotal persecuting power, which was gentle in its aspect and professions, yet cruel in its actions, which did all the deeds of the Empire in its presence...Surely, it is this Latin Christianity in its ecclesiastico-secular form, not identical with, but as preparing the way for the great apostasy, helping so to speak, to place the woman on the beast as in Revelation 17...It is this which, owing its power in the main to imposture and unwarrantably assumed spiritual authority, deserves the name of the false prophet, expressly given to this second beast...(Alford, The Greek New Testament, Revised by Everett Harrison).

Obviously, Alford identifies the second beast and the False Prophet with the Papacy and the Harlot Church. However, notice that he says the Papacy is not necessarily identical to the Harlot. He seems to take the position that the Papacy is leading the world into apostasy, yet not the apostasy per sae, but it lis the False Prophet that will seat the woman, the Harlot on the beast. It sounds like double-speak unless he means the False Prophet deceives the Harlot by placing her on the beast (Antichrist) in order to eventually destroy her. In that sense I would agree with Alford. However, I am not saying I believe the Papacy is the False Prophet, as taken in its historical mode, more resembles the Antichrist as the vicar of Christ or the substitute Christ.  Neither Walvoord or Alford attempt to identify the nature of the two horns.

Another prophecy scholar from the past, William Newell, believes both the Antichrist and the False Prophet are men and not systems:

The second beast is nothing but the prophet of the first beast. Once admit (which we shall find we must do) that the first beast is a man, and not any kind of a system, not even the Fourth Empire as such (Revelation 13:18) and we are driven to conclude that the first Beast of Revelation 13 is "the man" of sin II Thess. 2 - the lawless one...There is no hint that the second beast of Revelation 13 ever has been anything other than subservient to, or prophet of, the first beast!

If we compare the history of the first beast as seen in Revelation 13 with the career of the willful king of Daniel 11:36 and the man of sin of II Thessalonians 2, we find complete simplicity and accord, the second  beast of Revelation 13 coming in merely as what he is called - a prophet of the first. But if we take to name the second beast a Jewish Antichrist, deceiving that nation finally into worship of the civil power, the Roman ruler, we cannot claim either II Thessalonians 2 or Daniel 11 as referring to him, because these passages set forth one operating "in his own name," in resistless power, and in self-deification. (Newell, The Book of Revelation, pp. 196-198).

Hyper-dispensationalist, Clarence Larkin (Many pretribbers swear by Larkin's eschatology), also believes both beasts of Revelation 13 are persons not systems of government:

The Second Beast has a name. He is called the False Prophet three times. First in Revelation 16:13, then in 19:20 and 20:10. Twice he is associated with the First Beast, (Antichrist) and once with the Dragon (Satan) and the First Beast, and as they are PERSONS so must he be. The fact that he is called the False Prophet is proof that he is not the Antichrist. Jesus had a foreview of him when He said, - "There shall arise FALSE CHRISTS and FALSE PROPHETS, and shall show great signs and wonders: insomuch that, if it were possible they shall deceive the very elect. Matthew 24:24. Here Jesus differentiates between the FALSE CHRISTS and FALSE PROPHETS, therefore, the ANTICHRIST and the FALSE PROPHET (Larkin uses many capital letters for emphasis,which can be somewhat distracting) cannot be the same. (Clarence Larkin, The Book of Revelation, p. 126).

While it was my intent to examine the two horns of the second beast in this article and compare him with the Harlot who rides the first beast, apparently the Holy Spirit wanted me to continue the concept of the second beast being a person like the first beast and not a system of government. That is fine with me and  proves the Holy Spirit is guiding my writing and that it is not just coming out of my head, even though I have about 40 years of study crammed in there somewhere.

I leave you with this thought; consider how most modern nations, particularly the Western nations and Israel, have both a President and Vice President type leadership.  Some nations have a President and a Premier like Russia, China, and Israel. Whatever designation they use, the fact is two top men or women are the leaders and rulers of the nations.  If according to Daniel, the ten horns (ten world super states) must form and be in place before the Antichrist rises to power, would it not seem possible that one nation could produce two end-time personages that the Bible describes as the two beasts or the Antichrist and False Prophet?  However, that does not mean it has to occur that way. The Antichrist can come from within one nation and the False Prophet another. The main point is both will be persons - human beings that will head-up and lead the nations of the world in the great apostasy that denies the God of heaven exist and his Word the truth.  In fact, it is my opinion that Satan will use the Antichrist and False Prophet to convince the world that the Bible was really speaking about him and his two witnesses and not the Father God and His Son Jesus. What greater deception than using God's own Word to deceive and convince unbelievers who hate the Lord anyway, that Jesus was "the false Messiah and false Prophet" and that the writers of the Word fabricated a lie to deceive the people that Satan is really not whom we have been led to believe, but actually the real God. This is the deception of all deceptions and many are going to and already are falling for it - THE GREAT END-TIME LIE OF II THESSALONIANS 2: 9-12.

The Lord bless His Word.