If it's difficult to correctly determine which nation the anti-Christ will be a citizen of, with all the abundant treatment in the Bible concerning him, imagine how practically impossible it is to be certain of the nationality of the False Prophet. There are, as far as we know, only 7 verses in the Bible describing his activities, all of them found in Revelation 13:11-17 (he is called "false prophet" in Revelation 19 and 20).
I say "as far as we know" because he may in fact be treated in other Biblical books, but if he is there is no special indication. The Old-Testament prophecies seem strangely silent about this person/power highly involved with the end-time remnants of the Roman empire. Daniel wrote about the anti-Christ becoming great by a power not his own, yet this may refer to Satan's power, or even to God's, as much as to the False Prophet's.
The significance of the False Prophet, in my opinion, is that he is the major factor in the western world which bonds the Russian anti-Christ to the West, and reassures the peoples that all is well amid a very explosive situation...after the Russian has invaded several Middle-Eastern countries, including Israel. The anti-Christ's invasion of the Middle East cannot come to pass without opposition (military or otherwise) from at least a large portion of the West, but when it does come about -- and it will -- the situation will require calculated, non-military measures by the West, to pacify the Russian. That's the sort of partnership I'm predicting: phony! It is my guess that efforts to tame Gog will have everything to do with asking him to represent/rule the European Union (or the United Nations). When he receives the leadership position, the world will only be too happy to see an alliance with him rather than gamble with a nuclear threat.
As the situation will need constant care to still tensions, the peoples will be prodded to give constant esteem to the alliance. That, too, will be the job of the False Prophet, and this could be the fulfillment of his engineering a program which the Bible calls "worship" of the "image of the beast."
Below is a quasi-revelation of the False Prophet's national identity:
"And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and it had two horns like a lamb, and it spoke as a dragon" (11).
While the anti-Christ beast (earlier in the Revelation chapter) is seen coming out of the "sea," this beast comes out of the "earth" (or "land"). Some prophecy educators feel that "sea" and "earth" are reciprocal terms, on the one hand suggesting an anti-Christ stemming from the "sea" of Gentile nations, while on the other hand "earth" is said to represent Israel. This reasoning suggests a False Prophet of Jewish background.
I don't find that argument very convincing. While some Biblical texts (e.g. Psalm 144) use "waters" to indicate the Gentiles (there is also one in Revelation itself: 17:15), I have never noticed "earth/land" referring expressly to Israel. We see a better argument in his "two horns like a lamb," which are not especially indicative of Jewry as much as Christianity, for Christ is the Lamb. The two horns imply a duality of power (e.g. two offices, two countries) of some sort, and yet this beast is treated as one man judging from Revelation 19:20.
He will not be devoted to the Lamb because he speaks "like a dragon," wherefore his Christ-like religion will be a facade. The fact that he is called a "prophet" at all suggests that he will use his Christian facade to a great extent, but if the purpose isn't to honor Christ, then it's self-interested. Ask yourself why a wicked man of Satan would want to portray himself as a Christian. Phony Christianity has been a tactic used for centuries by the Vatican, Masons and various Illuminatists. It's no different than when Satan took control of ancient Israel with the religio-political Pharisees and Sadducees in efforts to spoil God's plans. Satan is not like an enemy who from the outside fires bombs into the house, but like an uninvited guest who slips insidiously into your party, dropping dope into the drinks of the other guests for to lead them into any philosophy he so chooses. That's why he's depicted as a snake rather than a charging rhino.
Anti-Christians dressed as Christians are everywhere in evangelical and charismatic Christianity, but beware the special push beginning about now to feed Christiandom (and perhaps the entire world) a gnostic Christianity, a re-defining of Jesus himself as the gnostics did of old...for example, as a secret fornicator with Mary of Magdala, or as a secret homosexual with the 12 Apostles. If this is "illumination," then it's black light, and so know the difference.
Again, the exact nation(s) in which the False Prophet will reside and rule is not specified. Yet, what I think the prophecy can do for us is to help eliminate several regions of the world. Rule out Asia, since there are not likely going to be any Christian "lambs" ruling powerful countries there. Rule out the bulk of Africa for the same reason. Don't look to the Middle East, for that's Muslim country. That leaves Europe and the New World, though I doubt very much that he will be associated with any South or Central American country simply because there is not one which holds enough prominence in world affairs to be a skincode leader.
It appears, then, that the False Prophet will either come from North America or Europe; still several countries to choose from. Yet, that's not a bad start, and it suggests a Western power.
Bill Clinton is an example of a dragon with the horns of a lamb as he attempts a Christian act while towing the abortion, homosexual, and Hollywood line. Certainly, there was a great fire lit in his soul against Christian "fundamentalists," whom he blames for putting him down in shame during his second term. It wouldn't surprise me if he were to become the False Prophet by taking an office in the UN or some other global institution. In any case, every American president, no matter how opposed they are to Biblical fundamentals, is forced to appear "Christian" in order to win/retain the many Christian voters, and this makes anyone who holds the office in the future a candidate for being the False Prophet.
The unity between the False Prophet and the anti-Christ will probably be snake-skin deep, if not a complete sham. The motives of the False Prophet must be selfishly his own, and not generated by simplistic loyalty to the anti-Christ. This makes much more sense, for this is not a pair of godly men who in loyalty and with mutual respect make worthy plans, but they are both under the influence of Satanic spirits. Therefore, they are bent on using each other for their respective purposes, for such is how I read the following verse:
"And it [False Prophet] exercises all the authority of the first beast [anti-Christ] before it" (12).
Some get the idea here that the anti-Christ has, in the False Prophet, a "vice-president" who loyally expends himself for his big boss. But couldn't we see the False Prophet as superior while exploiting the political powers of the anti-Christ? As we read on in the Revelation, it becomes evident that the False Prophet is the leading figure in both military power and economic influence. In that capacity, he will take the military warthog of the Middle East, wash him up all nice and clean with a new image (i.e. "image of the beast"), and then pin him up as his poster-partner in a global Cause. It is the False Prophet who makes Gog great.
With or without the Russian presidency, it no longer appears as though a Russian elite could be considered superior worldwide. And remember that the anti-Christ rises up in the Middle East with only a few soldiers, as a "little horn," prior to becoming great. It is this small beginning which allows me to argue confidently that he will be politically inferior to certain western governments, including the False Prophet.
An inferior power cannot elevate the Little Horn to a greater height; it takes someone superior to elevate another, and it will take someone superior in the world to elevate the Little Horn to a global leadership role. Rather than serving the anti-Christ, then, as his manager, the False Prophet can take advantage for his own purposes, which apparently is to reinforce Globalism.
The Little Horn must give the False Prophet something dear in return for elevation to the global scene, and that something would be to get his Assyrian empire tamed and in line with Western globalism. Gog will agree, but then argue that he can't help it if the Arabs and Iranians once under him continue to ravage the Middle East. Isn't it true that Russia already uses two faces in this way, one friendly toward the United Nations, and one friendly towards Iraq?
I think it's safe to say that the False Prophet, as his end of the bargain, will get the skincode system promoted in the Russio-Arabic kingdom....so that Western Globalism itself will spread more successfully. But Gog, while concerned for globalism, will not be concerned in the least for Western globalism. He will allow the False Prophet, and other Western partners, to ride on his back, but in the end he will destroy the Harlot (see end of Revelation 17).
Many Russians and Muslims will already be hailing Gog prior to his global elevation, not because of his warthog characteristics, but because he will have successfully invaded Israel. But when the leaders of the West give him high-level recognition, and especially if he becomes a successful bargaining chip within the UN for quelling the terrorists -- and is thereby made a symbol of world stability -- appreciation from non-violent Muslims and Westerners may also catch fire. Then, in his new-found success, he will strut his stuff like a god, the spirit of Satan within him will gloat, and as is his nature he will continue to kill, steal and destroy...right up until the end of the Week (Daniel 11:36-45).
The flimsiness of Gog-Globalism is assured by the need of today's Western members to tread softly on each others sovereign-toes. Meanwhile, extremist Muslims will rather conquer the world, or just be a stench within it, than unify willingly under the Western game plan. And there's yet another empire looking cross-eyed at all this -- the Orientals -- so that the False Prophet, with firm, if not dictatorial, insistence...
"...makes the earth and the ones dwelling in it worship the first beast, of which was healed its stroke of death."
It sounds to me like the False Prophet is being demanding. and it certainly reveals his serious commitment to making Gog a global Figurehead. But why? Surely he will know that world stability will be strained all the more by a Gog who up until the final 42 months was an invader of the Middle East.
Put out of your mind the idea in Revelation 13:3 that, as a man, the anti-Christ will suffer a fatal head wound only to be miraculously resurrected to a glorious following worldwide. This idea has no basis in Scripture, but merely has appeal in its imitation of Christ's Resurrection. The fact is that "heads" is pluralized. That is, "one of the [seven] heads" of the beast will be revived, not at all meaning the anti-Christ's own head of hair. I view the revival of that one head as the revival of the Revelation-12 Dragon depicting ancient-Roman rule.
There is coming a time, and has already arrived, when the European Union will advertise itself as the rising up from the ashes of the great Phoenix, a mythical eagle depicting ancient Rome itself. It is a little interesting that my dictionary includes "purple red, crimson" in its definition of Phoenix, the color used to describe both Mystery Babylon and the Dragon. In fact, "Phoenicia" is a term likewise rooted in the color purple, while in Greek mythology, the goddess Europa (and therefore Europe) was the daughter/brother of Phoenix, the mythical depiction of Phoenicia. That is, the Greek secret societies believed that Europe was an extension of their bloodline in Phoenicia.
As of the present, the Roman beast has had its re-awakening, but it (the EU) is having a hard time getting up on its feet, and European Christians opposing European unity -- because they recognize what persecution it's leading to -- have been a significant factor along with others in keeping it tied down politically. It will be the False Prophet's job to jolt that beast to its feet while putting down all opposition with an iron will. [Europeans are already, very rudely I may add, partaking in American elections, for they freely showed their disapproval of Bush in both of his elections/terms in efforts to get a Democrat back in the White House. The Europeans in their clamoring may get their way soon, only to adopt a pair of snakes Ordained to be their bitter end].
May we ask why the False Prophet must "make" (i.e. force) the world worship the beast? Usually, a man worshipped in the common sense of the word attracts his own followers by his own charisma, knowledge, wisdom, mystery, or charity, and by these things he breeds in his followers a certain loyal attachment, be it called adoration or faith. But where in the Bible do we ever read that the anti-Christ will be adored or trusted for such virtues?
See how Daniel discusses his lovable qualities: a) in 11:21: "a rejected one..." b) in 9:27: "the desolator" c) in 11:44 "he will set out in a great rage to destroy and annihilate many." The New Testament has no better descriptions. Nor Isaiah. Where, then, do we ever get the idea that he will be a peaceful, loving, and compassionate leader worthy of worship when everything written describes the man as an arrogant, loud-mouthed, war-boar? The anti-Christ will be as attractive as a tank's nozzle pointed at your nose.
Prophecy outside of Revelation is silent on the worship of anti-Christ, the man, even amid Daniel's lengthy treatment of him. Worship of the beast is mentioned four times in chapter 13, and on two, perhaps three, of those instances, it corresponds to the revival of the head wound, wherefore I tend to view the "worship" as esteem for the empire more than worship of the man. Yet, there is one instance where the beast given worship is identified as "him" (v 8), and this would apparently refer to Gog.
Note that the peoples also "worship the dragon because he gave authority to the beast." On account of our secular society, I have always found it difficult to view this sentence as the open/recognized worship of Satan. Yes, to some extent there are certain powers active today seeking to motivate the peoples to an involved worship of Lucifer, but just the same I more-easily accept the Revelation quote as esteem for the Roman empire which the chapter-12 Dragon represents. The picture of the Dragon handing power to the anti-Christ beast is in my mind a picture of Europe handing the baton of power to the Russian Gog. Perhaps it speaks to the temporary/rotating leadership position of the EU/UN.
It's precisely due to the return of the seven-head power structures of ancient Rome that "the whole world was amazed with the beast...and they worshipped the beast, saying, 'Who is like the beast, and who can make war with it?'" (13:3, 4). Therefore, it's not likely the religious components of the empire that are worshiped...because it's not the religious components that are emphasized in the quote. Rather, it's the military components that the people gloat over. More precisely, it's what the military components promise: security. Recall how the peace of ancient Rome was instilled by its raw military powers. And see also that the military of the False Prophet is emphasized:
"And [the False Prophet] does great signs, so that it even makes fire come down from the sky onto the earth before men" (13).
I don't believe this "fire" from the sky is a Satanic "miracle" in the true sense of the word, but, quite likely, it's a reference to computerized "smart bombs" and the like. For this reason, I believe that the False Prophet represents a world leader in the military space program. Who but the United States can force the world to give special esteem to Globalism while also showing unmatched ability to drop fire from the sky?
You do see that the fire is made to fall "before men," as in "showing off" the firepower. What purpose can there be in this exhibition but to amaze and/or intimidate in an effort to bring all alongside the wishes of the global rulers? You can see how fragile the Global Cause will be, however, when the means of bonding the world's people is through the use of military display. Russia was famous for using the public display of its military to give the Russian people a sense of security, but look at what those people now have available for breakfast, lunch and dinner: lots of jaw-breaker bullets and hot 'n spicy nuclear warheads!!
Do you remember the firepower in relation to the 1991 Iraqi invasion, and how the world sat in amazement before television sets as they watched military leaders brag about their ability to drop smart bombs down chimney shafts? That's the sort of rallying that comes to my mind in the above quote. But there must yet be another show of firepower in the future, to fulfill the False Prophet's fire, and rather than being merely a display of firepower, wouldn't it make more sense that it will be fire used in actual war, to support Gog in his Middle-East military campaigns?
Not only does Daniel (11:37) verify the atheism of the anti-Christ by revealing his refusal to worship any standard god, but it goes on to tell us that he will worship only the "god of fortresses," which translates into the god of war. All in all, this sounds just like an old-school Russian. Note that God uses religious terms through Daniel to depict military things, even as the Revelation text does. The military of Daniel's northern king is said to be a "god"; the fires of the False Prophet are said to be "miracles"; and the dependence of the world upon their combined military is said to be "worship." In the next verse, see how the military of the False Prophet is used to bond the peoples to Gog's Rome:
"And [the False Prophet] deceives the ones dwelling on the earth because of the signs [from the sky] which it was given to do before the beast..." (14).
As the fire-from-the-sky performed before the peoples is said to "deceive" them, it can only mean that the False Prophet's purpose for displaying them is successful. He hooks the peoples so that they "worship" his Cause, but they are duped because they don't realize how it's all leading to Armageddon rather than to stabilty. This is not to say that his purpose is engineered to lead to Armageddon, for he himself will hope to stave off Armageddon and to install an opposite situation.
Notice that it's neither the Roman empire nor the anti-Christ which will perform the miracles in the sky, suggesting that the False Prophet is stronger than both in that respect. Look now at how the mighty False Prophet "tells" the world what to do:
"...telling the ones dwelling on the earth to make an image to the beast, who has the stroke of the sword and lived again" (15).
If the purpose in the display of firepower will be to deceive the nations into willing compliance, wouldn't it also make sense that the image of the beast will serve the same/similar purpose? My impression is that the "image of the beast" is a mind-conditioning tool, for we see the image portrayed with the ability to dispense information:
"And it was given to [the False Prophet] to give spirit to the image of the beast, in order that the image of the beast might even speak..."
More religious terms: "spirit" and "image." The Biblical idea of an "image" for worship has almost always been a statue or carving. This doesn't sit well with me here, however, because I can't see some sort of talking statue or robot being made to represent the European Union (or even anti-Christ the man) for the purpose of speaking to the world. However, if by "image" an icon is envisioned, while it has the ability to "speak," then right away I think of a picture on television. In this way, through some sort of optical screen image, a program devoted to the global Cause can be set up and communicated (sold) to the world.
It just so happens that the word used in Revelation for "image" is not "eidolon," meaning idol, but "eikon," meaning icon. Therefore, don't look for a statue or cast object, but look for some form of picture, for that is what an icon is. Here is how the verse could be understood: "And it was given to the False Prophet to create the picture of the beast, in order that the picture of the beast might even communicate." Or, more amplified: "And it was given to the United States to create the Globalism television program, in order that the program might even spew out propaganda." The next verse spells out the fervor with which the Cause is cherished:
"...and it [the False Prophet] might force as many as might not worship the image of the beast to be killed" (15).
Does the reader still dispute the overwhelming, even dictatorial, power of the False Prophet? And that's us he could be gunning for! On the other hand, and this is very comforting for Christians in the West, those killed by the False Prophet may turn out to be Muslims and all others who reject Western Globalism. If true, then I'd say we're seeing the beginning of that killing machine on our televisions...in Iraq! That's not to suggest that George Bush and Tony Blair are the two horns of the False-Prophet beast, but that another duo with similar firepower, and a similar program for world security via the Westernization of the Middle East, will continue subsequent to them.
If we do not become a political stench in their nostrils...if we are out of the way in the wilderness and no longer key players amid the political arena...the False Prophet and his partners might be totally unconcerned with whether or not we "worship" the image and, therefore, might just leave us alone. Perhaps this is why God warns us at all in this text, in order to send us a message to stay out of the False Prophet's way.
The skincode will act as the commercial base of the beast-empire. The Bible does not say that it will become illegal to refuse the skincode, or that we will be forced to receive it at pain of death, but if anyone launches a propaganda machine against the skincode, it'll be an attack on the beast itself that the image of the beast seeks to prop up as supreme. I am certain that there will be some who are not Christians who will refuse the skincode, for various reasons, and who will be permitted to do so freely, so long as they don't actively oppose the Cause. Scripture ties the image in with the mark in more than one place; here's one:
"If anyone worships the beast and its image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, even he shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, mixed undiluted in the cup of his wrath, and will be tormented by fire and sulfur before holy angels and before the Lamb" (14:9-10).
What if God considers it worship for us to be glued to televisions wishing and praying for the Americans to wipe out the Iraqi insurgents in an effort to set up their version of World Peace? Scary thought. Shouldn't we rather wish for world destruction so that Christ can bring the world forward to World Peace? Of course I realize that such a wish brings an awful lump to your throat, and that you don't want to see people killed or hurt in any way.
The reason that God did not clearly indicate the nationality of the False Prophet in Revelation, I can't say for sure, but if it represents the United States, as I believe it does, then one can see why it could not be included, since it was a nation not yet born and therefore not yet identifiable. But God left clues for future generations which I think point to that country. Aside from being the world leader in commanding the peoples' respect with fire from the sky, the United States is also the economic leader of the world and therefore a nation having every reason to promote a "global-friendly" skincode:
"And it [the False Prophet] makes all men, the small and the great, both the rich and the poor, both the free men and the slaves, that they should give to them a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, so that no one could buy or sell except for the one having the mark..." (16, 17).
We see that it is not anti-Christ the man who creates and regulates the skincode. Rather, it is the False Prophet who promotes it on what appears to be universal proportions...encouraging a "they" to dish it out to all peoples. This all makes sense since the anti-Christ will be from Russia, a country hardly in a position anymore to promote worldwide a high-tech economic system, while the United States is in just such a position.
Suppose that people with the mark will wish to trade products. Can the government force them to deal with electronic money? Of course not. Or suppose that they will wish to buy using gold. Will the government disallow this basic right? Of course not. Therefore, we will be able to barter in the tribulation, as well as to purchase in unconventional ways using any precious metals we might prepare. The question is, will God frown on our making purchases from, or trades with, from those who have the skincode? We shall have to wait and see what the Two Witnesses say and teach in public, so that we can follow suit.
I reject the False Prophet being a pope because popes are not military powers, nor are they in positions to spearhead the cashless society. Nor are popes in any position to kill those who won't succumb to the Cause. I don't foresee the powers of the Vatican coming back strong as they once were in the Holy-Roman empire. There is nothing in prophecy that indicates the Vatican specifically. The goblet of Christian blood that Mystery Babylon holds, and the purple robes that she wears, portrays the pagan Rome of the first three centuries much better than the Vatican of Inquisition times, for the Harlot's rule over the world's kings is in the present tense (Revelation 17:18).
I don't envision the people of the future in front of their television sets or computers, stooped to the floor before a screen image of a robed anti-Christ reciting Catholic prayers or New-Age meditations. This is not what the False Prophet will demand of the world's "worshipers" as he forces them to worship. A forced worship evokes something altogether different than one having a religious setting, and the False Prophet will be much more interested in promoting the one-world government than promoting the anti-Christ's "priestly" status (even if he had such a status).
The fact that the False Prophet must show a Christian face in an otherwise non-Christian world may mean that the United States will have sufficient numbers of Christians to reduce persecution in the tribulation wilderness. Yet, betrayals are predictable because two opposing brands of Christianity are constantly in our midst, the sheep answering only to God, and the wolves in sheep's clothing completely oblivious to these matters and therefore destined to honor the False Prophet's program. These are the liberal, modernist Christians, many of which are taking to Ecumenicalism...i.e. one-world religion. A third brand are the goats among the sheep but incapable of Christian love.
A New Jerusalem Temple Not Needed
There is Biblical indication that a Jerusalem Temple
may not be built in the tribulation period.
Daniel's peculiarities suggest this.
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