Activities of the false prophet and what could happen at the mid-way point of the tribulation period
Today, I am going to introduce what could happen around the midway point of the tribulation period and a seldom mentioned character who will play a significant role in the last world empire. He is the false prophet. It is not completely clear when the false prophet will come on the scene. He could have been there from the beginning but stayed behind the scenes until his hour had come.
It’s not apparent what position he will hold but his mission is clear. I believe he will head up the religious side of Babylon and the world church. I am quite sure that he is alive and well today in the world church system although his future rise is not yet apparent to him. He will work his way up through the future global religious system and one day ascend to its highest position, but in the end, he will betray them. His power will be astonishing and his bond with the Antichrist will be unshakeable. From Dwight Pentecost’s book Things To Come is a description of the false prophet and his purpose:
In close association with the Beast, the head of the federated empire, is another individual known as the “False Prophet” (Rev. 19:20; 20: 10), called “the second beast” in Revelation 13:11-17, where his fullest description is given. In that passage of Scripture there are some important factors concerning him to be observed: (1) This individual is evidently a Jew, since he arises out of the earth, or land, that is Palestine (13: 11); (2) he is influential in religious affairs (13: 11, “two horns like a lamb”); (3) he is motivated by Satan as the first beast is (13:11); (4) he has a delegated authority (13:12, “the power of the first beast”); (5) he promotes the worship of the first beast and compels the earth to worship the first beast as God (13:12); (6) his ministry is authenticated by the signs and miracles which he does, evidently proving that he is Elijah that was to come (13:13-14); (7) he is successful in deceiving the unbelieving world (13:14); (8) the worship promoted is an idolatrous worship (13:14-15); (9) he has the power of death to compel men to worship the beast (13:15); (10) he has authority in the economic realm to control all commerce (13:16-17); (11) he has a mark that will establish his identity for those who live in that day (13:18). (pp. 336-37)
Although the false prophet will eventually be as powerful as the Antichrist, his only goal will be to promote the worship of the beast. In further discussion about the false prophet, Charles C. Ryrie goes on to say in his book Revelation that, “In order to accomplish his aim, this second beast (false prophet) will be empowered to do certain things…He will make fire come down on the earth in imitation of the power of the two witnesses, to show the world that he has as much power as they had (p. 98).” He will act as a spokesperson for the Antichrist and erect a statue that he will cause to speak. This statue will command that every person on earth take a mark either on the forehead or right hand (Revelation 13:13-18).
In doing these miracles, he will deceive the world into worshipping the Antichrist as God. God will allow this display of wizardry to ultimately sift out those who will serve Him from those who will serve the Antichrist.
Around the midway point of the tribulation period, Satan will take possession of the Antichrist and proceed toward his ultimate plan. Of course, at this time, Satan has lost the war in heaven and has been confined to the earth (Revelation 12:7-9). It's unknown whether Satan will possess the Antichrist before or after he declares himself to be God, but in a surprise twist of events, someone assassinates the Antichrist. I’m sure this will send shock waves around the world. What happens next is described in Revelation 13:2-4:
"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 gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. 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. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?"
As shocking as his assassination will be, somehow he will rise again. Just as Christ died and rose again, so the Antichrist will duplicate this same feat. How he is healed or by what power is not apparent. We can only guess that Satan is behind this false resurrection and God has allowed it to happen. This will complete the unholy death and resurrection of the Antichrist. Consequently, those evil ones imitate the divine trinity of God. The dragon corresponds to the Father; the Antichrist corresponds to the Son; and the false prophet corresponds to the Holy Spirit. As God the Father gives all His power to Jesus, and the Holy Spirit does honor to Jesus, so the dragon gives all his power to the Antichrist, and the false prophet does honor to the Antichrist.
The world will be in awe of him. For he was dead and now has come back to life. He will declare himself to be God and command that all the world worship him and freely they will. With the false prophet at his side and Satan indwelling him, the world will see him as a messiah. For they will say, "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" He will literally trick the world into worshipping him.
Immediately, the Antichrist will break his treaty with the Jews and declare war and a mass execution. Although many will die, God will intervene and protect his people providing a hiding place that they may find refuge for the remaining 3 ½ years.
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