Clever False Prophet
#1. Signs of the False Prophet (2Cor -15, Mat 24:24)
Please open your Bibles to the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Rev 13:1 (2X). Today’s sermon is one where you need to take notes, for only then will you retain some of this information. We have seen that Rev 13 is a chapter to be understood entirely symbolically. Last week we have seen the identities of the first beast and of the second beast that appeared on the scene in Rev 13. The first beast looks just like the dragon described in Rev 12. Of course, this is all cloaked in symbolism. We read in Rev 13:1,
Re 13:1 ¶ And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
And then the second beast enters the scene. This beast is also called “the false prophet”, but he is a highly intelligent false prophet. And thus the title of this sermon is “The Clever False Prophet” (2X).
We have seen that the first beast does not represent one man, but represents a confederation of all the nations of the world, for in verse 3 we read that all the world wondered after the beast. Satan does not mind the difference in nations or languages, as long as they all contribute to his grand worldwide kingdom. We have seen that the second beast does not represent one religion, but represents a great coalition of all religions in the world who have agreed to tolerate one another with respect and mutual honor. Satan does not mind other religions, for they all lead people to the same Hell. But the second beast is the spiritual power of the first beast. The second beast exists entirely for the purpose of letting the first beast accomplish the great things that he is allowed to do in Rev 13:3-8. Therefore the second beast is called “the false prophet”. This does not mean that all religions of the world will follow one man who is the false prophet, but symbolically all religions will follow their leader the Devil, even though they do not know that they are following the Devil, for he is the master deceiver. We read in ,
Re -14 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
Re 13:15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
Re 13:16-17 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
Re Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
When we read this passage, the first thing we notice is that this second
beast does great signs and wonders. Why is he so active in signs and
wonders? It is to establish himself as a legitimate prophet of God. The
apostles and many of the prophets demonstrated with many signs and wonders that
God has sent them. When the apostle Paul justified his God-given apostleship to
the church at
#1. Signs of the False Prophet (2Cor -15, Mat 24:24)
Please turn in your Bibles to the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, 2Cor (2X). First of all this second beast comes looking like a lamb, with only two horns like a little lamb. He comes looking like Christ. He speaks words of peace, but his doctrines are doctrines of devils. Satan does not manifest himself as an evil beast, for evil beasts scare people away. But Satan comes as an angel of light. God says in 2Cor -15, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness whose end shall be according to their works.” Naturally a prophet must do signs and wonders. These must establish his prophetic authority. For example, he causes fire to come down from heaven; he has power to make an image of the Devil to speak; he causes people to receive a mark of the beast in their right hand or in their foreheads, and so on. The Lord Jesus Christ gave us advance warning that this prophet would come with signs and wonders. He said in Mat 24:24, “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” This is how these false prophets would come, with great signs and wonders. The context is, according to verse 7, that he makes war with the saints and overcomes them. Let me now give a run down of the seven miracles that this false prophet does in this passage.
And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
The word “exerciseth” in this verse is a very common verb meaning to
make or to do or to cause. In other words, “the false
prophet causes all the power of the first beast before him”. The second
beast is the driving force of the first beast, which represents the embodiment
of the Devil and his angels. Therefore the false prophet causes the first beast
to have entrance into the churches where worship is spoken of, and the false
prophet causes the churches to open up to his false doctrines by showing his
legitimacy through signs and wonders. Throughout the OT time and
including the time of the Apostles after Christ went back to heaven, God
permitted signs and wonders to be done by Christ and by the Apostles. And to
avoid confusion during this time, the Devil was not permitted to perform
miracles. But near the end of the Apostolic era, most notably after Paul’s
Please turn in your Bibles to the First Epistle to the
Corinthians, 1Cor 12:9 (2X). The charismatic movement of these last days
was born in
1Co 12:9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
1Co -11 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
God described there three gifts that He gave to the church at
Re 22:18-19 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Verse 18 says that if any man claims to have another message from God, he is lying, and he is still subject to all the plagues of the unsaved, for God will not give any more divine messages nor will He give any more non-verbal messages. God has finished speaking. And the prophecies that are now in the Bible are the complete revelation of God. Nothing may be added, and nothing may be taken away. Now this can only be understood correctly when we realize that the Bible is One Book, not 66 books. I asked my brother, who is a Mormon, how he can justify the Book of Mormon, when the Bible clearly commands that nothing may be added to the Bible. His answer was that this command only applies to the Book of Revelation. Likewise, the charismatic movement claims that God is still speaking today (2X). This is their basic principle, but it is a principle that is borrowed from the Roman Catholics, who always have believed that the saints spoke messages from God. This is based on a misinterpretation of and on ignorance that the Bible is One Book. Similar interpretations are floating around in other denominations. They all believe that the Bible consists of 66 books. In February of 1999 I have proved from the Scriptures beyond all doubt that the Bible is One Book. Once you realize this it does not take a genius to understand that if God would give another message in a tongue He would violate His own rule of . It is amazing that so very few people understand this, but God ordained that this be so. We are living in the end times. As far as I know, only one small Christian denomination opposes the tongues movement. All other churches have let the back door open so that in time they will be run over by the charismatic movement. Let us now turn again to .
, And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.
We must remember that Rev 13 is written entirely in symbolic language.
Satan cannot literally bring down fire from heaven. Only God can bring down
fire from heaven, and He does so in Rev 20:9. And thus, to avoid
confusion, Satan is not allowed to literally bring down fire from heaven. But
what does the fire represent? Please turn the page to Rev 11:5 (2X). We
have already seen in Rev 11:5 that fire proceeds out of the mouth of the two
witnesses and it devours their enemies. What was that fire? In Rev 11:5 we have
seen that the fire represent the wrath of God. We have seen how Jer
5:14-15 proves this and that the context of Jer -15
shows that it refers to the charismatic movement. The enemies of the two
witnesses are defeated by the Word of God that is in the mouths of the two
witnesses, and before that Word the enemy shall not be able to stand. And thus the
fire represents the wrath of God. In this sense Satan can cause the wrath
of God to fall upon people and upon churches, and this is meant by Satan
causing fire to come down from heaven. Let us look at just one example HOW
Satan causes the wrath of God to come down on the churches. Please turn
in your Bibles to the prophecy of Isaiah, Isa 28:11 (2X). In Isa 28:11
God warned the
Isa 28:11-13 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
If I may paraphrase, God said, “The people to whom God sent the Gospel, and He sent it even by the means of stammering lips and another tongue, yet for all that will they not listen to Him. Instead the Word of God was unto them only a long list of precept upon precept, line upon line, with no coherence. And thus, instead of believing the entire Word of God they just picked a verse here and a passage there. And God’s wrath upon them was that they will fall backward, and be broken spiritually, and snared in their own deception, and spiritually taken prisoners of Satan.” And thus the phenomenon of falling backwards in the charismatic movement is a sign of God’s wrath upon them, and this falling backwards has become equivalent to Satan calling down fire from heaven. By the instigation of Satan this ceremony of falling backwards was introduced in the charismatic churches. It is amazing that people believe this to be a blessing. In all four cases in the Bible where people fell backwards it points to the wrath of God. But by God’s grace, God has tagged the charismatic movement with this phenomenon of falling backwards, in order that the saints may know that this is a false gospel. Next:
Please turn again to the Revelation of Jesus Christ, (2X). We read here about the power that God has given to Satan near the end of time to secure his stranglehold on those who are not God’s elect. In several places we read that near the end of time Satan shall be released for a season.
Rev 13:14-15 And (he) deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do (cause) in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make (cause) an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
The meaning is that Satan comes with signs and wonders in the end-time, only because God has given him the right to break the silence between the supernatural and the natural. But believers are not to be taken in by miracles, “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2Cor 5:7). Earlier the Lord Jesus said in Mat , “An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas”. Therefore, near the end of time the unsaved will be interested in seeing visible signs, but for the saints the only sign will be the sign of the cross. God will give Satan permission to increasingly do signs and wonders during the FTP, because God will not be doing them.
Please turn in your Bibles to the prophecy of Ezekiel, Ezek 14:1 (2X). We must remember that Rev 13 is written in a highly symbolical manner. What is meant by the image to the beast? In the OT time pagan worship was typically characterized by the worship of idols. This is still the character of pagan worship in the NT, but now the idols are not any more of wood and stone, but the idols are false images of God in our minds. I am not pulling this out of my own imagination. God spoke about this form of idolatry in Ezek 14:1-5, and God condemned this form of idolatry. We read in Ezek 14:1,
Then came certain of the elders of
Eze 14:4-5 Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols; That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.
These elders of
Re And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in (Lit: ON) their right hand, or in (Lit: ON) their foreheads:
Let us consider the context, and let us move ahead to Rev 14:1 (2X). And there we read,
Re 14:1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in (Lit: ON) their foreheads.
Here we see the Lamb and His 144,000 faithful ones, having His Father’s Name written on their foreheads. Why do they have that name written on their foreheads? It means it is not just an outward show, but the Lord God has placed His mark of ownership in the hearts and minds of His elect people, who are the remnant saved by grace from all nations and kindred and peoples and tongues. They have the seal of God on their foreheads. On earth no one could see that, but God can. Likewise, all the non-elect have received the mark of Satan on their foreheads or on their right hand, and are the property of Satan. No one can see that on the outside, but Satan can. Satan has placed his mark of ownership on all the non-elect, for that is what Rev 13:8 teaches us. All those whose names were NOT written in the Book of Life of the Lamb are all the non-elect. It pictures their total enslavement to Satan in all the works that they do with their hands, as well as in all the thoughts they have in their minds. It pictures again that anyone who is saved must give all the credit to God for his or her salvation. No one can break himself loose from his bondage to Satan. Only God can act and save people.
People who hold on to the charismatic movement, or who are in another one of the many self-help gospels, are filled with fear for a future appearance of the Mark of the Beast. They believe that it is by their own free will that they can choose whether to accept or to reject the Mark of the Beast. They do not know that this decision has been made before the foundation of the world, according to Rev 13:8.
Re And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
In other words all the unsaved, who have the mark of the beast, are buying and selling. However, this chapter was written in symbolic language. This cannot refer to common economic activities, for what has that to do with the Gospel? A person’s salvation does not depend on his financial ability to buy and sell. Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel according to Matthew, Mat (2X). When we think of buying and selling in the context of the Gospel we think of merchandizing the Gospel. And indeed selling sermon tapes has become a big business these days. It seems that preachers are afraid that they will run out of money and that they will have to close down the business if they do not charge for the tapes. But what does God have to say about this? The Lord Jesus said in Mat 10:8, “freely ye have received, freely give.” If we still have the resources to provide tapes we should give them freely. And if our money expires before we do, then it was God’s decision to stop the distribution of free tapes. Let God decide what He wants to do with our resources, for these are His resources. We can also see that merchandizing the Gospel for selfish gain has been a practice already since OT times. Four times do we read in the Gospel accounts that Jesus cleansed the temple. Let us follow the account in Mat 21
¶ And Jesus went into the
Mt And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
Were they merchandizing the Gospel? Absolutely Yes! The temple servants sold sacrificial animals at a profit. They had a monopoly in this business. Was it God’s will that the temple servants engaged in selling animals for sacrifices? Absolutely not! Let free enterprise reign outside the temple, but the religious leaders of the Jews should distance themselves from this secular business. The Lord Jesus called them “thieves”. The people that were merchandizing the Gospel were called “thieves”.
Now, let us apply this information to our days. TV evangelists are raking in many millions of dollars, and the charismatic movement has become even more lucrative than the TV evangelists. More and more churches are jumping on the bandwagon of the charismatic movement because it is so profitable. The pastors of those churches are selling their constituents a bundle of doctrines that is absolutely worthless, for their kind of gospel cannot save anyone. But the people are buying it, for they think that this is finally the church that they feel comfortable with. It is the business of buying and selling false gospels. It is the business of deceit. That is why the Lord Jesus called them “thieves”. And who is interested doing that? Only those who have the mark of the beast are interested in this business.
Re Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the
a man (Lit: it is man’s number); and his number is
Six hundred threescore and six.
This is a number that is of great concern to all those in the charismatic movement. They are in great fear for everything that resembles the number 666. Please turn in your Bibles to the prophecy of Ecclesiastes, Ec (2X). You find Ecclesiastes right after Psalms and Proverbs, in the middle of your Bible. Here in Ec 7:27 the preacher gets busy counting to find the account of his sins. We read in Ec 7,
Ec 7:27-28 Behold, this have I found, saith the preacher, counting one by one, to find out the account (= the reckoning) Which yet my soul seeketh, but I find not: One man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found.
Only One man among a thousand has he found for the reckoning which his soul seeks. What does His soul seek? The forgiveness of sins is the obvious answer. Who is this one man? It is the Lord Jesus Christ who enters the reckoning which his soul seeks. And He is one man among a thousand. 999 are remaining. Please turn in your Bibles to the prophecy of Job, Job 33:23 (2X). You find Job just before the Psalms. In this passage Elihu is speaking to Job about how man can be righteous before God. Elihu is not one of the three unfriendly friends of Job. Elihu is much more on the side of Job.
Job 33:23-24 If there be a Messenger with him, an interpreter, One among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness (if there is any): Then He is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.
Who is this Messenger, One among a thousand, who can show unto man his uprightness, if there is any? It is the Lord Jesus Christ who can show us our uprightness, or the absence of it. All those who are upright in the sight of God are those for whom the Lord Jesus Christ has paid the ransom, so that we do not have to go down to the Pit. And Christ is one among a thousand. There are 999 remaining.
Please turn in your Bibles to the prophecy of Zechariah, Zec 13:8
(2X). You find Zechariah close to the end of the OT, just before Malachi and
Matthew. The context in this passage of Zechariah is the binding of Jesus in
Zec 13:8-9 And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on My name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is My people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.
Remember the 999 remaining symbolically represent the entire human race, Christ excluded. One third of them will call on Christ’s Name, and Christ will say, “It is My people”. But two thirds shall be cut off and die. Two thirds of 999 is 666. This number 666 is symbolically the number of men belonging to the beast, for they represent all the non-elect. begins with “Here is wisdom”. Let us not become wise in our own deceits, but let us realize what God shows us here: All the seven signs of the false prophet are all related to the charismatic movement. We must be grateful to God for showing us these, for it is only by grace that we can obtain wisdom. AMEN. Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.