A 2nd Beast: The False Prophet
I have been showing you in ch. 13, during the tribulation period, a worldwide dictator who will arrive on the scene. In this ch., he is called the beast out of the sea. But he is more commonly referred as the anti-christ. Now, I have shown you his dictatorship, shown you his description. I have shown you his desirability. I have shown you his determination. Now finally, I want to show you his deception. And in showing you his deception, I am going to introduce you to a new person who will also arrive on the scene during the tribulation period.
Now during the tribulation, the anti-christ is going to dazzle the world, dominate the world by means of deception. And his agent of deception is the second beast mentioned in the chapter. Look again at vs. 11.
In scripture, he is commonly referred to as the false prophet. Now, the Lord Jesus said that many false prophets would come before the end of the world. But this false prophet is going to be a culmination of all of the false prophets that have come before. Just as the anti-christ is going to be a culmination of all the world dictators of the past. This false prophet will be the culmination of all of the false prophets that have ever lived on the face of the earth.
So, the false prophet is the agent of the anti-christ during the tribulation period. Don’t confuse the anti-christ with the false prophet, they are two different people. Let me show you the false prophet in several places in the book of Revelation. Revelation 16:13. / Rev 19:20. / Rev 20:10.
I have introduced this character called the false prophet.
Three things about the false prophet.
I want to give you the first two tonight and them I am going to spend an entire message on the third one next week.
Number one, the false prophet completes the satanic trinity.
You say, “What in the world are you talking about when you say the false prophet completes the satanic trinity?” You remember that the devil likes to imitate God. And do you remember when I said that for everything God has, Satan has a counterfeit? I gave you three examples. I said Satan has counterfeit Christians, and I gave you a verse for that. I said that Satan has counterfeit ministers, and I said that Satan has a counterfeit gospel and I gave you verses on each of those things.
Well, here is another example of Satan trying to imitate God Almighty. You see God is a trinity and so Satan wants to be a trinity. Now God’s trinity is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The devil’s trinity is Satan, the anti-christ, and the false prophet. Satan tries to imitate God the Father. Do you remember what Lucifer said when he fell from Heaven. “I will be like the Most High God.” So Satan tries to imitate God the Father. The anti-christ is going to try to imitate God the Son. I showed you last week he is going to even try to simulate the resurrection.
The false prophet tries to imitate the Holy Spirit. Look again at Rev. 20:10.
Now, as far as I know, this is only one of two instances where all three members of the satanic trinity are mentioned together. I think it is interesting that in that text when they are all mentioned together…the substance of that text is God Almighty casting them into hell. Now I just want to say something tonight that is a bit parenthetical but needs to be said. I never take pleasure in the thought of people going to hell. I don’t take pleasure in the thought of Hitler going to hell even as terrible as that man was. Or even Timothy McVeigh or UBL going to hell. I don’t rejoice in the thought of anyone going to hell. But when it comes to the devil’s unholy trinity, I will make an exception.
By the way, let me say this about that verse. The verse does away with the doctrine of annihilation. The doctrine of annihilation says that when somebody dies and goes to hell, they do not suffer eternally. The doctrine of annihilation says that you burn up like a piece of paper and then that’s the end of them. They burn up and they're gone, they do not suffer eternally. Well, this verse does away with the doctrine of annihilation. Look again at the verse I showed you in chapter 19 and verse 20. This is when the anti-christ and the false prophet are cast into hell.
Notice this, these both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. Now, how much time has elapsed between that verse and Rev 20:10. We’ll look at Rev 20:4…
They lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. That thousand years is called the millennium. “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years was finished. And when the thousand years expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison.”
How much time has elapsed since the beast and the false prophet was cast into hell? A thousand years.
Now look at verse 10, “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are.” Does it say where the beast and the false prophet were (had been consumed?) No. It says where the beast and the false prophet are. As far as I am concerned that verse does away with the doctrine of annihilation.
Now how does the false prophet imitate the Holy Spirit? I said that Satan imitates the Father, I said that the anti-christ imitates the Son and I said the false prophet imitates the Holy Spirit. How does the false prophet imitate the Holy Spirit of God? Let me show you. But first I have to show you the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Turn to John 16:13,14, and the Lord Jesus tells us a little bit here about the Holy Spirit of God. Jesus is speaking and notice what Jesus says about the Holy Spirit of God. “Howbeit when he (the Holy Spirit is not a gift it is a He), the Spirit of Truth is come, He will guide you to all truth. Notice this, “for he (that’s the Spirit) will not speak of himself. But whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak and he will show you things to come.” Now notice he, the Holy Spirit shall glorify who? Me, Jesus is speaking. The Lord Jesus says that the Holy Spirit is coming for this reason. The Holy Spirit is coming, (the Lord says), to point people to Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit coming to glorify Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is here to cause people to worship Jesus Christ.
Now again, I am making practical application as I go along. The Holy Spirit never wants to be in the spotlight. The Holy Spirit never wants center stage. The Holy Spirit never wants attention drawn to himself. If you are ever in a church that majors on the Spirit, automatically you know it’s not of God. And all they talk about are the gifts of the spirit, and all they talk about is (not accepting Christ) but have you been filled with the Holy Ghost? Then you know that that Ministry is not of God, because all the Holy Spirit wants to do is point people to Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is never so out of place as when the spotlight is being shined on Him. The Holy Spirit wants to stay in the background and when Christ is glorified you know that the Holy Spirit is in it.
When Christ is lifted up, you know the Spirit is in it. The Bible says that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess. The Lord Jesus himself said that if I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me. Now with that in mind look at the unholy ministry of the false prophet.
Revelation 13:12 [read]
That’s the anti-christ whose deadly wound was healed. What is the false prophet doing during the tribulation period? He is pointing people to the anti-christ. He is encouraging people to worship the anti-christ. He is doing for the anti-christ exactly what the Holy Spirit does for Jesus Christ.
Look at verse 14. [read]
We are going to study this later in great detail. What you are reading about here is the abomination of desolation. The abomination of desolation is when some sort of statue is erected in the temple of God. It's a statue or monument to the anti-christ and the people of the world will be expected to bow down and worship the anti-christ as God. It’s bad enough to make a graven image, the Bible prohibits that. To make a graven in the temple of God in Jerusalem and then to place that image in the temple of God is the height of blasphemy. It is the most despicable act ever to be committed against God Almighty. That is why it’s called the abomination of desolation.
Guess whose idea it’s going to be? According to this verse, “The false prophet”. And so the false prophet is to the anti-christ what the Holy Spirit is to Jesus Christ. So number one, the false prophet completes the satanic trinity.
Number two, the second thing is this… The false prophet will be a religious leader. Look again at verse eleven, Revelation 13:11, “And I beheld another beast coming out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.” Realizing that is symbolism, what is that talking about? When the Bible says that the false prophet has two horns like a lamb, that means that the false prophet is going to be involved in some kind of an imitation Christianity. I can show you dozens of verses where God’s people are compared to lambs and sheep. The Bible says “We are the sheep of His pasture.” The Bible says that the Lord Jesus knows His sheep by name. And the false prophet is going to be involved in some type of imitation Christianity, because he has horns like a lamb. But the Bible also says that he speaks like a dragon. The Lord is telling us that if you are here during the tribulation period [and I hope you are not. I said I hope you are not.] He is saying to those who will be here during the tribulation period that when the false prophet arrives on the scene, don’t let the sheep's clothing fool you. Now the Lord Jesus warned us about wolves in sheep's clothing. Here we have something far worse. Here we have a dragon in sheep's clothing. He will appear to be leading the world to God worship. But he will plunge the world headlong into devil worship. Listen very carefully, and I will teach you something about the rest of the book of Revelation. In our study of the book of Revelation, I have talked a lot about a one world government. I have told you that during the tribulation period the whole world is going to come to together under one flag. Now if you don’t see that happening already then you must be living in a cave somewhere. The stage is being set. Why in the world do you think the United Nations has been given so much power? Because the stage is being set for the new world order. A one world government. Why do you think the United States of America is giving away her sovereignty piece by piece? It is a calculated maneuver. Do you remember here a few years ago a soldier that refused to wear a symbol of the United Nations? He said that I did not pledge my allegiance to the United Nations, I pledged my allegiance to the United States of America. He got in trouble for that. Can you imagine? Our sovereignty is being ripped right out from under us! Every night on the news, a term you hear often is global community. The stage is being set. For new Christians, they have never heard this before. During the tribulation, not only will there be a one world government, but there will also be a one world church. Every one in the world will be forced to conform to one religion. It will be Satanic worship. You will either bow down to the anti-christ or you will die. Look at Rev 13:15, “And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, but the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed." You will either worship the beast or you will die. Who is going to head up this one world religion? The false prophet. What do we know about the one world church? We will discuss the one world church in greater detail later in chapter 17. But tonight let me give you some broad principles concerning this one world church headed up by the false prophet. Number 1- the one world church will somehow imitate Christianity in its initial stages. Because the false prophet is described as a lamb with 2 horns. Number 2- The one world church is going to be associated with the city of Rome…Catholicism [or possibly Istanbul, Turkey…Islam?]. Now I say that based on Rev 17:9. The one world church is referred to as a woman in this verse. The one world church is called a harlot. This makes me think Rome, because the harlot cheats on her bridegroom for money, and that is more descriptive of Catholicism than Islam, which worships an entirely different god.
Sometimes we refer to the one world church as Ecclesiastical Babylon. There is political Babylon, headed up by the antichrist, but there is Ecclesiastical Babylon headed up by the false prophet.
Number 1- It involves some sort of imitation Christianity.
Number2- it comes to power, likely in Rome.
Number 3-the one world church succeeds in convincing people that a human being on earth is capable of being equal with God. The one world church will succeed in convincing people that a human being is capable of speaking ex-cathedra and the result is going to be the worship of the beast which in essence is the worship of Satan. Now that lays a foundation for everything we study in chapter 17. Let me give you a brief practical application about this one world church.
Be very, very careful of the modern day ecumenical movement. What do I mean by the modern day ecumenical movement? I am talking about that movement that says let's lay aside our doctrine and let's all get together and let's be unified regardless of what we believe. That is not of God. No where does the Bible place unity as a higher priority than good doctrine. God considers doctrinal truth to be paramount in importance. Be careful of any movement that says let's tear down the walls regardless of what we believe.
The most descriptive term I have ever heard was by John MacArthur. He called the ecumenical movement a “greased slide” towards the one world church. The pride of the day is tolerance of unity. What are they trying to do? They are trying to position you to do this. To break down our defenses. To accept anyone and anybody that labels themselves as Christians. But the Bible says to test the spirits. To contend for the faith. Mark them which teach doctrine, stick to the doctrine which you have learned and avoid them.
(it’s promise 6 of Promise Keepers)
…for instance, here’s a quote from their leader:
“…redeeming worship centers on the Lord’s table…whether your tradition celebrates it as communion, the Eucharist, the mass, or the Lord’s Supper, we are all called to this centerpiece of Christian worship.”
I’m sorry, but I have a problem w/ that…putting our Lord’s supper on the same level as a Catholic mass?
For 1 thing, it’s an ordinance, not a sacrament (means of receiving justification)
#2—Catholics believe in transubstantiation—literal elements! And they use real wine (not biblical, fermentation ruins the picture)
So, the false prophet will complete the Satanic Trinity, he will be a religious leader…and #3, next week:
The false prophet will help the antichrist dominate the world by promoting the mark of the beast! (Jesus gives you a name, antichrist a number) At the end of time, will your name be called? Or will your number be up?
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