End Times: The False Prophet
Prophet Elisee Yao / 8 May 2020
The Bible mentions two beasts which are different from each other in a number of ways. The first beast (Revelation 6 and 13:1-10) is the Antichrist who is released when the first seal is broken. While the second beast (Revelation 13:11-18) is better known as the false prophet.
Revelation 6:2, New International Version
I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.
Revelation 13:11-18, New International Version
11Then I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. 12It exercised all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. 13And it performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of the people. 14Because of the signs it was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived the inhabitants of the earth. It ordered them to set up an image in honour of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. 16It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, 17so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name. 18This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666.
A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
The second beast has two horns: it looks like a lamb but speaks like a dragon. Therefore, these types of people have the appearance of a harmless lamb, while beneath the surface, who they are at their core, is extremely dangerous.
Matthew 7:15, New International Version
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
This is the second beast: a false prophet; a trusted religious figure. The false prophet will lead and run the religious wing within the system of the antichrist. He will manipulate people through deception. A religious figure with the appearance of a lamb who will deceive many people.
A similar deception comes to mind...
Genesis 27:22, New International Version
Jacob went close to his father Isaac, who touched him and said, “The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau.”
Jacob was in the process of deceiving his brother to steal his blessing (birth right), so he had to disguise himself as if he was his older brother. This is the spirit of the false prophet at work. Jacob had to clothe himself with goat hair to deceive his father into thinking he was Esau. When Jacob went in to receive the blessing from his father, Isaac said that his voice sounded like Jacob, but that his hands felt like Esau. Ultimately, Isaac was skilfully misled and gave Esau’s birth right to Jacob. Just like Isaac, many will be deceived in the end times because the false prophet will appear to be a religious figure with seemingly positive spiritual influence, but he will not carry the Holy Spirit: he will carry the spirit of deception along with ‘strange fire’.
The false prophet will appear to be a religious figure with a seemingly positive spiritual influence.
Revelation 13:13, New International Version
And it performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of the people.
Satan is a Copycat
Remember that Satan is a copycat. He does not have the power to create anything, he can only copy.
1 Kings 18:38, New International Version
Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.
Malachi 4:5-6, New International Version
5“See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. 6He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.”
In 1 Kings, Elijah prayed and fire came down from heaven, and later in Malachi, God confirms that He will bring Elijah back before Jesus returns. In true ‘copycat’ style, the false prophet will come in the false spirit of Elijah and will perform ‘great signs’ and cause ‘fire to come down from heaven’. The false prophet will enter in like Elijah, and will perform miracles similar to him, and in so doing will deceive the elect. Revelation 13:14 confirms that he will ride on the wings of deception.
Satan is a copycat. He does not have the power to create anything, he can only copy.
Two Images and the Heart of Worship
Next, the false prophet will ask people to ‘set up an image’ (statue) for the beast. But, why? Imitation. If we look closely at the Old Testament, we will notice that the spirit of the antichrist has come into play as far back as the garden of Eden. He has just slowly and progressively been at work right the way through into the new Testament, until he finally rises (in the flesh) at his appointed time during the end times.
There are former incidents in the Bible of images being set up so we need to line scripture up with scripture:
Revelation 13:15, New International Version
The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed.
Daniel 3:1, New International Version
King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon.
Daniel 3:15, New International Version
Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”
With Satan, nothing is new: an image was set up in the kingdom of Babylon (Daniel 3), so the false prophet of the end times will also set up an image and he will ask the people to worship it (Rev 13). In both cases, the consequence for not worshipping the image is death. The difference between the two, however, is that the first image (Daniel 3) does not have the power to speak, while the image that the false prophet will erect for the beast does.
The devil fiercely opposes the worship of God, and he will do everything in his power to divert it, because the truth is that Satan wants all the worship for himself. It was his pride and deep desire to be worshipped that lost him his position in heaven to begin with; it led him to the lake of fire. Yet, Satan persists. At the end, he will again inspire the false prophet to set up an image and he will persuade and influence people from all walks of life (rich or poor; any nation or race) to worship it. Satan doesn’t care about what you look like, who you are, or how much you have in your bank account; all he wants is your heart.
The devil fiercely opposes the worship of God, and he will do everything in his power to divert it.
Escaping the Flames
Similar to the attempt on the life of Daniel’s friends, all who do not worship the end times image will be sentenced to death. But there is hope! Daniel’s friends refused to worship the Babylonian figure bearing the mark of the beast (666). If Hananiah, Mischael, and Azariah (also known by their Babylonian names: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego) courageously refused to bow down and worship a false god, yet escaped the fiery furnace not even smelling of smoke, what more can be said of us if we are faced with a similar situation?
The same Power that kept Daniel’s friends alive, is able to keep us from harm. God is with us, and there is no trial on earth greater than the power of the Living God to overcome it.
Daniel 3:17-18; 25-27 , New International Version
17If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
25He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” 26Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.
 Do you know that the image in the book of Daniel bore the mark of the antichrist: 666? The height was 60 cubits, the breadth was 6 cubits, and it was made out of gold. On the periodic table of elements, gold is classified in period 6. Therefore, when you put it all together, you realize that the statue of Daniel bears the mark of the beast. The false prophet will just reproduce what happened in Babylon because his spirit was already at work there.