The False Prophet

by Harold E. Stough
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The Scriptures are always revealing new truths to us, and I find something fresh from them every day. Recently, I was reading Mr. David Davidson's private papers, which should be more widely circulated, in my opinion. He pointed out that all the antagonists of God (the embodiments of evil) bear different names. Another name for Satan is "Prince of this World", another interesting aspect comes from the Greek names for God which in the Book of Revelation, is Kronos. This name is also applied to Satan. Kronos was, besides being the father of Zeus and other gods of the Greek pantheon, the god of Time, whence our term, chronology.

Time has existed ever since the fall of Man, when Satan became the Prince of this World. We are at present in the time sequence which is dominated by Satan. The Scriptures tell us that at the end "Time shall be no more:"

And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: (Revelation 10:6) We often call Time the "Enemy".

There are other references to Satan, names like the Lawless One, the Son of Perdition and the False Prophet. It is this latter appellation which we will study. The False Prophet is part of the "Beast" system, and he is only mentioned after the Bible mentions the signs of Our Lord's imminent return. This means that it is a particular revelation of Satan which comes just prior to Our Lord's return, and has not existed throughout all Time. This aspect appears for the first time in Revelation 16.

The prophet Habbakkuk wrote in chapter 2, verses 2 and 3:

And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. [This means as a messenger of the vision.] For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

If we now go to verse 14 we read:

For the earth shall he filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

Compare this with Isaiah 11:9:

They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowIedge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

The glory is something which follows knowledge, sealing it. Let us take the last verse also:

But the Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him. (Habkkuk 2:20)

What is this holy temple? Some of the great theologians of the past, including Bishop Lightfoot, have agreed that this cannot be a structure of bricks and mortar. It cannot be a temple which was destroyed, or anything which Man has built. Neither can it be spiritualised as the temple of your body, which is the temple of the Holy Ghost, because it refers to something more of a corporate sense than an individual faith. So it must be something else.

"The Lord is in his temple". Let us go back to Revelation 13, verses 5 to 8:

And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

We are told that power was given to the Beast, or Satan, who spoke great blasphemies, and people worshipped him. Power was given to him to make war with the saints (who must be Israel), and he was given power over all nations. Every one on earth whose names were not in the Lamb's Book of Life, would worship the Beast system.

The reference to "The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" shows that the Atonement did not just happen 1900 years ago, but it was something which was ordained from the foundation of the world. The signs of the Heavens in the ancient Zodiac give the promise of a Redeemer, plus Satan and the Archer and the Lamb. The symbolism of this tremendous fact was written into the Constellations from the foundation of the Universe!

To continue in Revelation 13:, verses 10 and 11:

He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. 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.

This tells us that a counterfeit Lamb comes out of the earth, having horns, but speaking like a dragon. It is a beast of power and strength, attempting to counterfeit Christ Himself, deceiving the earth. In Revelation 17:11 we read:

And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

The beast had seven heads and two horns. The horns represent men having power as kings, but they receive no kingdom, this being a clear reference to the dictators of recent years. This is the last fling of Satan, and he deceives them, (verse 15):

And he saith unto me, the waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

There is also a reference to these people having a mark in their right hands and on their foreheads, and then it says, in Revelation 13, verse 18:

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.

The comparison between the true Lamb and the counterfeit is rather interesting. For instance, Christ is the Head, and He said:

And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. (John 12:32)

An analogy of this attraction is like electromagnetic energy, for it draws up metals to itself, and they cling to it. This is a picture of spiritual gravitation, in which Christ, being the Head, draws His church, His body to Himself. (I am not talking about the organised church of the world, but that body of true believers, who are sealed to Himself.) The body then becomes magnetic and draws the nation, which becomes magnetised in its turn, and draws the other nations.

On the other hand, the Beast system is an amorphous mass of evil, and at the end time, it sprouts its own head upwards, which is the reverse of the Lamb's gravitation. The Evil has the body which sprouts a head, instead of the Head drawing the body. In other words, that Evil one who will be revealed in the very last days will be the head of the Beast system, the mystery of lawlessness, the Son of Perdition, the exact opposite of the Christ. The reference to the number on the hand and the forehead means that everyone will be subject to the Beast system, and the symbolism is that the hands do the work and the head is the intellectual power, in other words, the teachers, the statesmen and the professors and all those in administration.

As the Shekinah Glory in the Old Testament left the Temple, so did Our Lord leave the Temple, as we are told in Matthew 24:1.

And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.

However, He rebuked them, saying that there was One greater than the Temple. The Lord is also the Light of the Temple, and all members of the Body of Christ become temples of the Holy Spirit.

We may compare this Scripture with II Thessalonians 2:3:

3. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

In other words, the evil is now being revealed as in verse 4:

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.

II Thessalonians and Revelation 13 are complementary. They are a double witness to establish the facts.

In Revelation 11 there are references to Satan as a great red dragon. In Revelation 12:6?9, the woman (who is Israel) fled into the Wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God.

And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

The woman was the Bride of Jehovah, and her child (the Christ) was caught up to God and His throne. The woman's time in the Wilderness was 1260 days, and then there was war in heaven, when Michael and his angels fought with the dragon and cast him out. The dragon was Satan, "which deceiveth the whole world". The accuser was overcome by the Blood of the Lamb.

Heraldry is a very important part of Israel identity, and in the heraldry of Ulster, originally the harp had the wings of an eagle. This is a symbol of the northern House of Israel being gradually gathered into the Isles of the West and the western and northern coastlands.

The attempts to trap and destroy the woman still continue. Today the Babylonian system is trying to trap Britain/Israel and to bring her back into the orbit of Babylonian Europe. Revelation 11:3 speaks about the witnesses, and by the time of their appearance, the destruction, the earthquake and the other tribulations are past. In verse 15 and verse 19, we read:

(15). And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

(19). And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

This must be a spiritual interpretation, as the victory is complete.

In Revelation 16 the vials of wrath are mentioned. In verse 12 the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the River Euphrates and the water was dried up. It has been speculated that this was a symbol for the Ottoman Empire which once controlled all the Euphrates valley and the Eastern Mediterranean. However, there is another interpretation, by Davidson. He pointed out that the River Euphrates flowed through ancient Babylon and was the vehicle for the trade and communication of the Babylonian system. When all this dries up, so does the Babylonian system. Then you have judgement upon our world system of finance. 666 is the number of gold, a measure of wealth, and it is drying up now.

This is witnessed by the enormous repercussions of the downfall of the oil prices. Russia suffered from this.

The dragon is Satan the Beast and the military and political power of the nations which he holds. The mouth of the False Prophet is the false monetary system which deludes men that they shall be as gods.

We come to chapter 16 verse 14, which is, at the present time, near to the battle of the great Day of God Almighty.

For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

Napoleon thought that Armageddon was a good geographical setting for such a huge battle, as he is reputed to have said "Look, there's room for all the armies of the world to marshal together here". Ezekiel 38 and 39 point to their fulfilment in this area. Armageddon means "The Valley of Judgement", and the valley Jehoshaphat means "The place of Judgement". If the prefix "Ar" is put before Megiddo, it means "The Supreme Height of Judgement". Here the sheep and the goat nations are to be gathered together.

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. (II Peter 3:10)

This surely refers to an atomic explosion, but it is not going to be universal, as it means that all evil and wrong is going to be purged by God.

And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. (Revelation 16:17)

There is a power which is sitting in the very temple of God, and these are the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who had falsely claimed that the land was theirs. They claim to be God, and are in possession of His Temple. Jerusalem of old was the holy place of God. The Law went forth from Zion, and the Word of the Lord went forth from Jerusalem. This was the place of His power, and His glory shone from the Ark of the Covenant. It was His Sanctuary, and the western equivalent is Parliament and Westminster Abbey. When He comes to take over His Throne, He will take over His Temple.

The Lord is in His Temple, and let all the earth keep silence. He is coming to His Temple, and His feet shall touch that day upon the Mount of Olives. There will be a great earthquake, and when that happens it will be the Sign of the Son of Man coming, as the Star in the East foretold his first coming.

For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (Matthew 24:27)

So not only shall the way of the kings of the East be prepared, but also the great sunrise of the Christ as He returns to his Temple and His Throne. The new Jerusalem descends, and you have the great marriage of Heaven and Earth once more.

Orange Street Congregational Church