Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 2 * BOOK 12
ANTI-CHRIST – “FALSE PROPHET”
We try to get folks to understand what the Bible really says. A lot of the time we have an idea that it says something that it doesn’t say. Which is just as important as missing what it does say. In our last lesson we were talking about the 144,000 that will be administering the Gospel of the Kingdom during the Tribulation. Let’s back up to the opening of the Tribulation in Revelation 13. Here is yet another introduction of the man Anti-christ. We talk a lot about the Anti-christ as he is the central figure in these seven years. He is the very emissary of Satan, and will try at the end of the seven years to make war against the coming Christ. So we should have a complete understanding of who and what He is, and what we are seeing tonight that indicates that the time is not too far off for his appearance. So now let’s read what John sees here:
“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.”
Be careful. I’m sure you’ve all seen posters and books with all of these different looking animals that people have portrayed as the Anti-christ. But we are not talking about a beast per se; we are talking about a government. Remember, Daniel, Ezekiel, and John here in Revelation write in symbolic language. You have to search the Scriptures to reduce these symbolisms to a literal thing. It’s going to be a government headed up by the one man, Anti-christ.
The beast here in Chapter 13 is first and foremost the revival of the old ancient Roman Empire. And the reason it is referred to as a beast here, as well as in Daniel, is that the government will be so bestial in its operation, there will be no concerns about individual or human rights. And then the seven heads and ten horns and ten crowns – this again is a twofold picture I think, as Satan is often referred to as the seven heads and so forth, referring I think to his power and his authority. But usually we think of the seven heads and ten horns as the revived Roman Empire. It will be a consortium of ten nations coming out of the Old Roman Empire territory. And I think we are seeing it coming on the scene even tonight as the Common Market, or European Community. At the present time, I think there are twelve nations that make up the EC (it may go a little higher), but when the peace treaty is signed between the Anti-christ and the Nation of Israel there will be only 10. And we will be showing that as we come through our study of Revelation.
Back in verse 1 of Chapter 13, John “stood upon the sand of the sea.” And remember that the sea here is the sea of humanity, the masses of people around the globe. The world is getting “global.” That’s the word you hear and see lately. So out of this mass of humanity will come this empire that has been dead since about 300 AD and will be headed up by this man of sin, the Anti-christ. Now verse 2:
“And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon (Satan) gave him his power, and his seat (throne), and great authority.”
Go back again to Daniel 7. When we studied Daniel several lessons ago I stressed then that when we studied Daniel we would have to study Revelation and Matthew 24 and 25. They just all fit together so nicely. You can’t study one without the other two. Now that mandates a lot of repetition. But as I have learned over the years, repetition is one of the best tools of learning. Here, Daniel is describing a vision that he has had. Which, of course, is looking forward down through history, and he uses practically the same language.
“Daniel spake and said, `I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.” There’s that symbolism again with the mass of humanity. And out of that sea of humanity the following happened:
“And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.” These were governments, not animals.
“The first was like a lion (that was Babylon)… And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear (that was the Medes and Persians empire)… After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard (that was the Greek empire under Alexander the Great)… After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast (or empire), dreadful and terrible (this was the Roman empire)…”
The Roman empire was noble in some aspects, but it was bestial in many others. It had no concern for the lower classes of people. They threw people to the lions and thought nothing of it. They also became grossly immoral, wicked and evil. And, consequently, the empire finally fell in on itself. If you compare this passage with Revelation 13, you will see that John doesn’t list the Roman empire. He begins with the Greek, the leopard, because he is speaking at a time when the Roman empire is still on the scene. So he doesn’t have to list that one. But out of this Roman Empire you are going to see the residue of the previous three great world empires. But here John lists the empires in reverse order. These four empires are the ones the Bible concerns itself with as the times of the Gentiles. We read about the Roman empire that faded off the scene, but now is coming back on the scene in verse 7:
“After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it;and it had (what?) ten horns.”
Now back to Revelation 13:3. Let’s take this slowly so that we don’t lose the overall picture. We have ancient Babylon, the ancient Medes and Persians, Greek, and Roman empires. Daniel sees all the residue of those empires coming back together in the revival of that fourth (Roman) empire that was dreadful and terrible:
“And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast (this empire).
Let’s bring it right up to the present time. Western Europe is coming together more and more as the United States of Europe. Tonight, I think they are at the number twelve, and like I said, they may go to thirteen or more. But whatever transpires, we know they will drop back to ten. This is a revival of that empire that existed what – almost 2000 years ago? It was dead, and yet here it is coming back full force. And the world is amazed. How can this be. Just fifty years ago most of the great cities of Europe were in heaps of rubble, ravished by war. Their industries had been destroyed. Yet where are they tonight. They are almost looking down on us.
I’ve said for years, that it almost seems that there was a conspiracy to destroy our United States of America. I still think there is. Right after World War II, when we had utterly demolished our enemies, the Marshall Plan came on the scene and we just literally rebuilt Europe with American dollars. Since then we have seen our industries leaving. We have all the oil resources we will ever need, but where do we get our oil? Foreign suppliers. Our industries are farmed out to Japan, Europe, Mexico, and Third World countries. Our steel business is almost gone. So you can see it seems there is a conspiracy to just bleed our beloved America dry. And all of it to enhance this revival of the ancient Roman Empire, or what we call the 10 nations of the European Community. But nevertheless, this is all in the end-time picture, and in this EC there will come this leader, this man, this human, who is the other aspect of the beast. So you almost use the term synonymously. Now verses 4 and 5:
“And they (the whole world) worshipped the dragon (or Satan) which gave power into the beast (the man Anti-christ: as well as that empire that he is ruling): and they worshipped the beast (the Anti-christ), saying, “Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?'” Because he will have all the economic and military clout at his disposal.
“And there was given unto him (by a sovereign God of course) a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies (remember, Daniel said that he would blaspheme God. Now here we have it in Revelation); and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.”
So what we find in this verse is that this man and empire makes its appearance at the signing of that seven-year treaty that we saw back in Daniel Chapter 9. In fact, we should look at that right now, so that we don’t take anything for granted, on face value, but what the Book says. So now Daniel Chapter 9:
“And he (the Anti-christ or this prince that shall come up in verse 26) shall confirm the covenant, with many (Israel) for one week (seven years in Bible language): and in the midst of the week (three and one half years) he shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it (the temple) desolate, even until the consummation (the end of the seven years), and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Or desolator, this man Anti-christ.
In other words, everything that prophecy declares will happen, will happen. It’s going to come. The scoffers can say what they want, but The Book has declared it, so it will happen. This is the seven-year period that all of Revelation is dealing with. Remember, events at the Beginning, Middle, and End of the Tribulation are so important. Now come back to Revelation Chapter 13, verse 5 again. The Anti-christ makes his appearance at the beginning of the seven years, and then in this verse 5 it says:
“…and power was given unto him to continue (which means to carry on. How long?) forty and two months (or 3 1/2 years).”
So how far does this verse bring us? To the mid-point of the Tribulation. I’m going to stop there in this portion concerning the Anti-christ. Now let’s drop down to verse 11. A couple of lessons ago I mentioned the fact that during the Tribulation there would be an unholy trinity. A counterfeit trinity, with Satan as the counterfeit of God the Father, with the Anti-christ as the counterfeit God the Son, and with the False Prophet, the religious leader as we will see here in verse 11, the counterfeit of the Holy Spirit. Not so much in his make-up, but in his operations.
“And I beheld another beast (this also is a man, but it is also a system. Not a government but a religious system) coming up out of the earth; …”
Stop a minute. The Anti-christ is described as coming up out of the sea, and since the Book of Revelation is dealing almost exclusively, or primarily with the Nation of Israel, it’s God dealing with His Covenant people once again, in preparation for His return. Naturally all the Gentile nations are going to be effected by it, but it’s Israel’s seven-year treaty that concerns itself with the time factor and everything that is taking place here. Israel will be so quick to accept the Anti-christ and his treaty, his offers of protection, and the Temple worship. I don’t say it to look down on the Jew in the least bit, but I feel that this man, Anti-christ, will be a Jew. An Apostate Jew to be sure. Otherwise I can’t see Israel so readily accepting his offers that he will make to them.
There is only one part of the land and earth that God concerns Himself with and that is the Land of Israel. So I would like to think that even this false prophet would be an Apostate Jew also. You might say, “Les, there is no way, you’re out in left field.” How many times have we seen Jews come right up to the throne rooms of Gentile empires. There was Moses, and Joseph in Egypt, and don’t forget Daniel. All of these Jewish men were second in command. What was Karl Marx? A Jew. What were some of the top leaders of communism? Jews. And even some of the top men in Hitler’s Reich were apostate Jews. Bring it right down to our own government. What have many of our top political leaders been? Jews. They have that ability and talent, and we are not demeaning the race one bit. But we can understand that this false prophet, this great religious leader of the Tribulation, will quite possibly be an Apostate Jew.
“And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him (here I must come back to Moses and Daniel. How far up the ladder did they go? Right next to the seat of power. And this man will do the same thing. He is going to exercise almost as much power as the political leader, the one who came up in verse l of this Chapter. But this fellow is not a political leader, but a religious leader. He will head up a global religion. Reading on, this is where he plays the role of the Holy Spirit. As the Holy Spirit today points mankind to God the Son, this false prophet will point mankind to the Anti-christ), and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast….”
Get the picture? He will have a great religious organization at his disposal, with enough power to convince those people under his religious umbrella to worship the counterfeit, the Anti-christ.
“And he (this false prophet) doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,” So he will use signs and miracles to convince the human race of who he is. He’s a counterfeit of course, but he will convince them that he is the truth. Now verse 14:
“And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles (now don’t ever forget that Satan has power to perform miracles. Pharaoh’s magicians in Egypt did it. Others throughout the Old Testament economy were able to do it. And they will do it again in the Tribulation) which he had power to do in the sight of the beast (the Anti-christ); saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast,…”
I think it will be an image or idol (whether one or several), but the whole world will worship that image of the Anti-christ. We will talk more of this in our next lesson.