The two major characters have been introduced to you through John. The dragon is Satan and the beast is the Antichrist. In order to complete the work that the Antichrist wishes to accomplish on earth, he needs some an additional person who is totally and utterly dedicated to Satan and the Antichrist. This person comes in the form of the person called the False Prophet. This is a very evil person; but, is "third" in the infernal trinity or Unholy Trinity.
v11: At this point in scripture, this person is referred to as the "beast coming up out of the earth". The "beast", Greek therion means a venomous, dangerous animal. This comes "up out of the earth" (Greek Ge -> earth, ground, land). So, this is not a very nice person. He is called later the False Prophet (Rev. 16:13,; 19:20; 20:10). He did not come out of the sea as the first beast. He probably comes out of the land masses around the Mediterranean. In order to become the term prophet must have some preaching or prophecying involved. Somehow, he may show himself to be some kind of a miracle worker. Remember, whatever prophecies are stated, they did not come from God; they come from Satan. In order to sell his ideas, he would have to persuade the masses that he speaks from God. BUT, WHAT GOD? Jesus Himself predicted false prophets (Matt. 24:24). In scripture, the term "Antichrist" is not used with reference to the beast or THE Antichrist of Revelation. It is used to describe anyone who deceives men by professing to serve God while at the same time denying the supernatural birth and the divine/human nature of Christ (1 John 2:18; 4:3; 2 John 7). The term Antichrist has been used in Christian literature to define the person in the end times of Revelation.
This person is clearly a religions spokesman of some kind. He may be the leader of the all one religion of the end times (to come in chapter 17). There are actions now in society to combine religions into one all powerful religion. There are people that are saying today that there are many ways to get to God (not just by Jesus); that God is the same in all religions; have services together to show togetherness and similarities; etc. Just remember, this is not scriptural. This will come clearer later.
This appears to be a person (rather than representing an empire). The Beast of Revelation confirmed the Beast in Daniel with its ten heads. The two horns could refer to the power of two future empires which are not identifiable definitely. However, consider that he is a false prophet. Therefore, he is counterfeiting someone. In this case, he will show the gentleness of Jesus (the Lamb) and a human friend . He will have the power of the two horns (probably the powers of Satan and the Antichrist). The horns must represent power or rulership. Perhaps he will be a head of two world organizations. However, he will be speaking from Satanical backing. This person could come from the people of the time such as Palestine (be an Israelite?). No one knows.
Think about this very carefully. It appears, Satan is trying to simulate or duplicate the "Eternal Trinity" or "Holy Trinity" with the "Infernal Trinity" or the "Unholy Trinity".
|v12: The False Prophet causes people to worship the "son" who was killed and was raised from the dead (Rev. 13:3). Are you seeing the similarity enough to possibly fool spiritually weak people? Now they will put their seal on the "converts" to the Antichrist. Then they will be able to have "communion" with the Antichrist. You will shortly find out, without the seal, one will not be able to buy food, etc. The sequence of events also, Prophet after Antichrist is resurrected; Holy Ghost after Jesus is resurrected.
v 13: The Prophet somehow does "wonders". Perhaps he is a great technical mind or is counseled by some great technical minds to do these "wonders"; OR perhaps it is Satanically inspired supernatural events. Remember, Satan has all kinds of power for the 3-1/2 years. Somehow, he shows miracles that involve the effects of fire coming down from heaven. With technical abilities and the power of the Antichrist behind him, he could by simple understanding of atmospheric conditions "show" to the non-believers his power and the power of the god, the Antichrist. The speaking with fire could be associated with showing his power over the two witnesses that also could control fire and atmosphere (Rev. 11:3-7).
v14: Men have always been slaves to idolatry. It may not be a statue; but, could be money, power, houses, cars, etc. The Prophet has so much influence now that he can persuade the people to "make graven images' of the Antichrist. They could then take these into their homes to remember who "god" is, the Antichrist, and to worship the idol. Perhaps this will be similar as the idol (golden statue) of Nebuchadnezzar. It is expected that a large image will be constructed and put into the Temple. This would give rise to the Abomination of Desolation spoken of by Jesus
v 15: It appears the Prophet will be able to make the image of the Antichrist "have life". Perhaps he will be able to press a button and make the image "speak'. Whatever this means, the Antichrist will be expressing himself on the people to worship (honor, bow to, show reverence) him. Those who do not will be killed as martyrs. Remember, God already said to the pulled up martyrs (fifth seal) there must be more deaths (i.e. martyrs) before the End.
Matt. 24:24; John 16-13-14; 2 Thes. 2:3-4, 9, 11; 2 Kings 1:9-16; Dan 3; Matt 5:10-12
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