Pro and Con 382
WHO IS THE REAL ANTICHRIST? THE BEAST OR THE FALSE PROPHET?
Jackson Smith and I are both trying our best to understand the three end-time characters, Satan, the Beast and the False Prophet, correctly and to identify the various scriptures that speak of each. We don't always agree on every passage, but we discuss the pros and cons with an open mind and in Agape love. Any additional insight readers might share with us will be appreciated. May we all be blessed with deeper understanding in these latter days.
by Marilyn Agee
There are many antichrists, but one final Antichrist. Jesus said, "I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if ANOTHER shall come in his own name, him ye will receive" (Jn. 5:43). This is the false Messiah that Israel will accept, the true Antichrist. I think this man is "ANOTHER beast coming up out of the earth" (Israel) in Rev. 13:11-18, the False Prophet.
Although there are clearly three end-time players, SATAN, the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET (Rev. 20:10), the so-called Satanic trinity, many confuse the accounts concerning the three, and admittedly, they are not always easy to separate in Scripture. The term Antichrist is frequently applied by many people to the Beast, the first one of Rev. 13, but I think the False Prophet, the second beast of Rev. 13, seems to be the final vile Satan-possessed Antichrist, the second and final son of perdition.
Judas Iscariot was the first son of perdition, and Satan entered into him. Concerning Judas, Jesus said, "none of them (the apostles) is lost, but the SON OF PERDITION" (John 17:12). Lu. 22:3 says, "Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot." Satan will also enter into the False Prophet. When Satan is cast down to Earth Mid-Trib, he will enter into the False Prophet.
Concerning the False Prophet, II Thess. 2:3 says, "...and that man of sin be revealed, the SON OF PERDITION; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God...And then (after the Holy Spirit stops restraining him) shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders."
This ties in with the signs and wonders done by the False Prophet in Rev. 13:14. It also ties in with Rev. 17:8,11: "The beast (Satan) that thou sawest was (in Judas), and is not (in man now); and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into PERDITION...And the beast that was, and is not (Satan), even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into PERDITION."
In comparing scriptures, we need to look for what I call match marks, similar terms or events, such as "PERDITION" and "ANOTHER," that show that we are to put these scriptures together at this point and think about the larger picture, possible types and end-time applications. Many types exist. Historical fulfilments teach us much about the final fulfilment to come. Concerning Israel, "all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world (lit. ages) are come."
In Unger's Bible Handbook, the section under Antichrist is typical of the confusion that exists. It says, "Early Christians looked for Antichrist as a person and not a polity or system. The general opinion of those who closely followed the Scriptures was that he would be a man, IN WHOM SATAN WOULD DWELL UTTERLY AND BODILY and who would be armed with Satanic and demonic powers. In the O.T. he is prefigured under the 'king of Babylon' (Isa. 14:4); 'Lucifer' (Isa. 14:12), 'the little horn' (Dan. 7:8;8:9), 'the king of fierce countenance' (Dan. 8:23), 'the prince that shall come' (Dan. 9:26), 'the wilful king' (Dan. 11:36). In the N.T. he is called 'the man of sin,' 'the son of perdition,' that 'Wicked One' (II Thess. 2:3-8), 'Antichrist' (I John 2:18) and 'the Beast' (Rev. 13:1-10). This sinister demon-inspired leader will rise to dominate the world in the end-time, persecute the saints, seek to destroy the Jew and banish the name of God and His Christ from the earth, and thus take over" (all emphasis mine).
Where is the False Prophet in this account? I think he is the final Satan-possessed Antichrist. He is the one that speaks "as a dragon" in Rev. 13:11. Looking at the above quote, doesn't it seem as if everything is rolled into the Beast of Rev. 13:1-10? In all my years of study, I have gradually come to the conclusion that more scriptures contribute to the picture of the final Antichrist, the False Prophet, than many recognize. This man of sin is the opposite of Christ, the worst one to come along in all of time. It makes sense that Scripture would bring to the foreground and concentrate information on the best and the worst, Christ and Antichrist. The whole Angelic Conflict is reflected in these two. To me, the first beast of Rev. 13 is not Satan possessed, although Satan gives "him (the Beast) his (Satan's) power, and his (Satan's) seat (lit., throne), and great authority" (Rev. 13:2).
Let's look at the scriptures Unger mentioned.
(1) the 'king of Babylon' Isa. 14:4.
Isa. 14:4-8 says, "take up this proverb against the KING OF BABYLON, and say, How hath THE OPPRESSOR ceased! the golden city ceased (as in Rev. 18)! The LORD hath broken the staff of THE WICKED ('that Wicked,' II Thess. 2:8), and the sceptre of the rulers. He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations (World Government) in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth. The whole earth is AT REST (Christ's kingdom), and is quiet: they break forth into singing....Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us." This king of Babylon is the LAST human king to rule before Babylon's destruction. That is the Satan possessed False Prophet of Rev. 13:11-18.
(2) 'Lucifer' (Isa. 14:12).
Isa. 14:12-15 says, "How art thou fallen from HEAVEN, O Lucifer (Satan), son of the morning (his planet, Rahab, was at times a morning star as seen from the Earth)! how art thou cut down to the ground (Mid-Trib, Rev. 12:6,14), which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I WILL ascend into heaven, I WILL exalt my throne above the stars of God.: I WILL sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I WILL ascend above the heights of the clouds; I WILL be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit." Satan is the one that falls from HEAVEN, etc. (Rev. 12:8,9).
Satan is the primary willful one, that inhabits the willful king of Dan. 11:36, who is "that Wicked," the last "king of Babylon." The first Beast of Rev. 13 rules during the first half of the Tribulation, the False Prophet, the second beast of Rev. 13 rules during the last half. I think the first is the forerunner, the second the Antichrist.
(3) 'the little horn' (Dan. 7:8;8:9).
Dan. 7:7-9; 8:9 says, "fourth beast (Rome)...devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with THE FEET of it (i.e., the time is the days of the feet of the image in Nebuchadnezzar's dream, our days): and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it (it is Ecclesiastical): and it had ten horns"
This ties in with Rev. 13:1, where we see that the 10 kings are crowned at the beginning of the Tribulation. When the 10 kings are crowned, the 6th head of the great red dragon, the first beast of Rev. 13 is also crowned. In v. 2, Satan gives the Beast "his power, and his seat (lit., throne), and great authority." In v. 7, the Beast is given power "over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations." He and the 10 subordinate kings head up the World Government. The Beast rules 42 months, or 1260 days, (Rev. 13:5) before the False Prophet takes over his office.
Dan. 2:44 says, "And in the days of these kings (the ten toes) shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed." The days of the ten kings means the Tribulation. They were not in power in 30 AD, were not in power in 70 AD, were not ten successive Roman Emperors, and could not come to power until the dissolution of the Roman Empire and the rise of our present world system, separate nations bound together by the United Nations. In the next step, the ten divisions will be both the Roman Ecclesiastic Empire (iron) and other nations (clay). I think the Tribulation Pope will be elected head of the one-world government and the ten regional divisions of this world will each be headed up by one king. These ten divisions have already been decided on. All that is left is to elect a leader over each division and elect the Tribulation Pope the secretary general over all to try to bring peace to this troubled world. The Roman Catholic (meaning universal) Church has already spread across the world.
Continuing, Dan. 7:8,9 says, "I considered the horns (the 10 kings), and, behold, there came up among them ANOTHER LITTLE HORN, before whom there three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in THIS HORN were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things. I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit."
Since Christ's kingdom will be set up in the days of the ten kings (ten toes of the image), when the three kings are plucked up, they are probably replaced by other kings that take those positions in the world government.
I think the eyes of man represent the man that is in office when the Ancient of days will sit, i.e., the FALSE PROPHET. He has a MOUTH SPEAKING great things. In Rev. 13:11, he speakes as a dragon (Satan). This speaking great things is emphasized. It appears in v. 20. Verses 19-22 is in the interpretation of the previous vision. It says that the fourth beast "stamped the residue with his FEET (representing the latter days); And of the ten horns (10 kings) that were in his head (the Beast), and of THE OTHER (False Prophet) which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows (because he is Satan possessed). I beheld, and THE SAME HORN (False Prophet) MADE WAR WITH THE SAINTS, AND PREVAILED AGAINST THEM; UNTIL THE ANCIENT OF DAYS CAME."
This ties in with the last half of the Tribulation. Rev. 12:17 says, "And the dragon (who indwells the FALSE PROPHET) was wroth with the woman (Israel), and went to make WAR with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."
The False Prophet will be both the leader of Israel and the leader of the World Government. He will probably travel back and forth between Babylon and Jerusalem, as secretary generals of the UN travel back and forth between their countries and New York now.
We find the same report as in Dan. 7:8 repeated the third time. Dan. 7:23-26 says that "the fourth beast shall be the fourth KINGDOM (the first Beast of Rev. 13 is KING of it) upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and SHALL DEVOUR THE WHOLE EARTH, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces (the 10 divisions). And the ten horns OUT OF THIS KINGDOM are ten kings that shall arise: and ANOTHER shall rise AFTER THEM (after the first king, the Beast, and after his ten subordinate kings); and he (the False Prophet) shall be diverse (different) from the FIRST (first king of the New World Government, the Beast), and he (ANOTHER) shall subdue three kings. And he (the False Prophet) shall speak great words against the most High (Christ), and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws; and they (the saints) shall be given into his (ANOTHER'S) hand until a time and times and the dividing of time" (the last 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation). But the judgment shall sit (this is the Judgment of the Nations after the full seven years have run), and they (Christ and his saints, Psa. 149:5-9) shall take away his dominion (both Satan's and the False Prophet's), to consume and to destroy it unto the end" (of Armageddon, which breaks out after the Judgment of the Nations).
Dan. 8:9 gives us some more details about the LITTLE HORN that came up among the 10 kings. He comes out of one of the four divisions of Alexander the Great's Empire. I think that since Antiochus Epiphanes was a type, this LITTLE HORN will probably also come from Syria. Dan. 8:9-11 says, "And out of one of them (i.e., Syria) came forth a LITTLE HORN, which waxed EXCEEDING GREAT, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land (he is exceeding great in Israel, i.e., their False Messiah). And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven (Satan is in the False Prophet) and it (the 'great red dragon,' i.e., Satan, Rev. 12:3) cast down some of the host and of the stars (i.e., angels) to the ground, and stamped upon them. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him (the Satan-possessed False Prophet) the daily sacrifice was taken away (when he sits in the temple "shewing himself that he is God, II Thess. 2:4), and the place of his sanctuary was cast down."
Rev. 12:3,4 ties in. It says, "And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads (the Beast is the sixth head, the False Prophet the seventh head; therefore this is Mid-Trib, when the False Prophet comes to full power and becomes Satan possessed). And his tail (Satan) drew the third part of the stars (angels) of heaven, and did cast them to the earth."
(4) 'the king of fierce countenance' (Dan. 8:23).
Dan. 8:23-25 says that out of the four kingdoms, And in THE LATTER TIME of their kingdom (Mid-Trib), when the transgressors are come to the full, a KING OF FIERCE COUNTENANCE (the Satan-possessed False Prophet), and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power (by Satan's): and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. 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 (Christ); but he shall be broken without hand."
(5) 'the prince that shall come' (Dan. 9:26).
Dan. 9:25-28 says, "from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince (Christ) shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks...And after threescore and two weeks (weeks of years, i.e., 483 years) shall Messiah be cut off (karath, killed), but not for himself (for us) (483 - BC 454 + 1 because there is no zero year = 30 AD): and the people (Romans) of the PRINCE THAT SHALL COME (the False Prophet that takes over leadership of the Roman Catholic Church heading up the the World Church; 'he exerciseth ALL the power of the first beast,' Rev. 13:12) shall destroy the city and the sanctuary (in 70 AD); and THE END thereof (at the end of this age) shall be with A FLOOD, and unto the end of the war (Armageddon) desolations are determined. And he (the False Prophet) shall confirm the covenant with many for ONE WEEK (the Tribulation): and IN THE MIDST OF THE WEEK (Mid-Trib), HE (the False Prophet) shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease (as soon as he is Satan possessed, he sits in the temple 'shewing himself that he is God,' II Thess. 2:4), and for the overspreading of abominations (idols) HE (the False Prophet) shall make it (the temple) desolate, even until the consummation (end of this Age), and that determined (including the asteroid impacts, Rev. 8:8,10) shall be poured upon the desolate (lit., desolator)."
I think the desolator of the temple is the Satan possessed False Prophet. I believe that it is not the first beast that desolates the temple, but the one in whom Satan resides. If the first beast is a Roman, it is only because he is the head of the Roman Catholic Church. He may actually be from some other country. The present Pope is from Poland. Just as the Beast becomes a Roman by heading up Ecclesiatical Rome, the False Prophet becomes a Roman by heading up Ecclesiatical Rome.
When what is probably a binary asteroid, "the curse," the flying rolling thing that is twice as long as wide (Zech 5:2), strikes, we are told in Zech. 5:4, "I will bring it forth, saith the LORD of hosts (Christ), and it shall enter into the house of the thief (the False Prophet, who steals the church), and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name (the Pope, the Beast): and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it with the timbers thereof and the stones thereof."
Dan. 9:26 said, "THE END thereof shall be with A FLOOD." Psa. 90:5,9 says, "Thou carriest them away as with a FLOOD...in THY WRATH." I think this flood is a tsunami caused by the mountain burning with fire impacting the Mediterranean Sea (Rev. 8:8; Zech. 2:4,5). Jer. 47:2-7 says, "Behold, waters rise up out of the north, and shall be an overflowing FLOOD, and shall overflow the land, and all that is therein; the city, and them that dwell therein...for the LORD will spoil the Philistines, the remnant of the country of Caphtor. Baldness is come upon Gaza; Ashkelon is cut off with the remnant of their valley...O thou sword of the LORD...the LORD hath given it a charge against Ashkelon, and against the sea shore? there hath he appointed it." Nahum 1:1-8 says, "THE burden of Nineveh...the Lord hath his way in the whirlwind...He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth. The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. Who can stand before his indignation...his fury is poured out like fire, and THE ROCKS (asteroids) ARE THROWN DOWN BY HIM. The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. But with an overrunning FLOOD he will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue his enemies."
(6) 'the wilful king' (Dan. 11:36)
Dan. 11:31,35-37 says, "And arms shall stand on his (the False Prophet's) part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength (the temple), and they shall place the abomination (idol) that maketh desolate." The idol is the "image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live" of Rev. 13:14.
Continuing, Dan. 11:35-37 says, "And some of them of understanding shall fall, TO TRY THEM, and to purge, and to make them white, even to THE TIME OF THE END (of this age): because it is yet for a time appointed. And THE KING (False Prophet that rules during the Great Tribulation, the last 3 1/2 years of this age) shall do according to HIS WILL; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify HIMSELF above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper TILL THE INDIGNATION BE ACCOMPLISHED (i.e., the asteroid impacts Earth): for that that is determined shall be done."
When the asteroid impacts Earth, "I will bring it forth, saith the LORD of hosts (Christ), and it shall enter into the house of the thief (the False Prophet that steals the church), and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name (The Tribulation Pope, the Beast): and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it with the timber thereof and the stones thereof." The one that sweareth falsely by the name of the Lord has to be the first Beast. The Antichrist, False Prophet, "denieth the Father and the Son: (I Jn. 2:22). He magnifies "himself above every god." He is "the son of perdition" of II Thess. 2:3-9.
(7) 'the man of sin,' 'the son of perdition,' that 'Wicked One' (II Thess. 2:3-8)
II Thess. 2:3-9 says, "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day (Day of the Lord) shall not come, except there come a falling away (apostasia, departing, the Rapture) first, and that MAN OF SIN be revealed, THE SON OF PERDITION; Who opposeth and EXALTETH HIMSELF above all that is called God (Dan. 11:36), or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God....he (the Holy Spirit) who now letteth will let (lit., hindereth will hinder), until he be taken out of the way. And then (after the Pre-Trib Rapture) shall THAT WICKED (False Prophet) be REVEALED (when he confirms the covenant with the Beast and many others at the beginning of the Tribulation), whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him (the False Prophet), whose coming is after the working of Satan (Rev. 13:11) with ALL POWER AND SIGNS AND LYING WONDERS (Rev. 13:13,14)."
Only two sons of perdition are mentioned, Judas Iscariot and the False Prophet. Satan indwells both.
(8) 'Antichrist' (I John 2:18)
I Jn. 2:18-22 says, "Little children (i.e., the last generation, Mt. 24:34), it is the last time (year?): and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come (next year?), even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time (year?). They (the Tribulation Pope and the False Prophet) went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they haad been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us (like Judas Iscariot). But ye have an unction (annointing) from the Holy One, and ye know ALL THINGS....Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is ANTICHRIST, that denieth the Father and the Son."
The first Beast "sweareth falsely by my name" (Zech. 5:4), but the ANTICHRIST, denies "the Father and the Son." He claims that he is the Messiah instead of Christ. He magnifies "HIMSELF ABOVE ALL" (Dan. 11:37). In Jn. 5:43, Jesus said, "I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if ANOTHER shall come in his own name, him ye will receive."
(9) 'the Beast' (Rev. 13:1-10)
As the sixth head of the great red dragon, Rev. 13:1-10 does refer to the Beast. Rev. 13:11-18 refers to the seventh head, the False Prophet, the Satan possessed ANTICHRIST, who speaks "as a dragon" (v. 11).
Here are some other scriptures that tie in with this subject:
Rev. 12:13-17: "And when the dragon (Satan, the tail, inhabiting the seventh head, the False Prophet, crowned Mid-Trib) saw that he (Satan) was cast unto the earth, he (the tail) persecuted the woman (Israel) which brought forth the man child. And to the woman (Israel) were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness (Moab, Edom and Ammon?), into her place (Petra, in Edom), where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time (3 1/2 years), from the face of the serpent (Satan in the False Prophet). And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a FLOOD after the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."
At the time the wine cup of God's fury is poured out, Edom, and Moab, and the children of Ammon.....and ALL THE KINGDOMS OF THE WORLD, WHICH ARE UPON THE FACE OF THE EARTH" (Jer. 25:21,26) will be devastated, "And the slain of the LORD shall be at THAT DAY from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth" (Jer. 25:33).
However, during the Great Tribulation, when the False Prophet rules, "He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon" (Dan. 11:41). Why? because the Israelites flee to the wilderness when they see the abomination of desolation put in the temple by the Desolator.
Mt. 24:15 says, "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains." Petra is in Edom. Moab and Ammon are above Edom on the east side of Dead Sea and some of the Jordan Valley above it. Rev. 12:15,16 shows why this area excapes Satan/False Prophet's grasp. It says, "And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth." To me, this has to be the Satan possessed False Prophet and the Great Tribulation.
Dan. 9:26,27: "the people (Romans) of the PRINCE THAT SHALL COME (False Prophet, final head over the World Church and World Government) shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and THE END thereof shall be with a FLOOD, and unto the end of the war (Armageddon) desolations are determined. And HE (False Prophet) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week HE (False Prophet) shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations (idols) HE (False Prophet) shall make it (the temple) desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate (lit., desolator)."
The False Prophet is the desolator. When Satan is cast out of heaven Mid-Trib, he immediately takes up residence in the False Prophet, takes the reins of leadership away from the Beast and heads for the temple "shewing himself that he is God" (II Thess. 2:4). Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. From that time, there are only 1260 days left of the seven years (Rev. 12:6).
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