The rest of Revelation chapter thirteen is controversial as well, but understandable to all who are willing to study to understand it. The second beast, the Antichrist’s false prophet, exercises all of the authority of that first beast—the Antichrist—and uses it to pressure the world’s entire population (now over 7,000,000,000 people) to worship the first beast—the Antichrist.

Remember that Satan has always wanted to be worshipped, and the people’s worship of the Antichrist will be as close as he will ever come to being worshipped himself. The devil tried that trick on Jesus (Luke 4:5-8), but Jesus did not fall for Satan’s lies. He said we must worship God alone. That is one reason I point out that it is not God Who will grant authority to the Antichrist. The Antichrist will use his devil-granted-authority to force unbelievers to worship him in the place of God, and to war against and overcome the Tribulation saints. Therefore, God cannot be behind the Antichrist’s effort to gain illegitimate worship, or his plot to defeat those who believe in their Creator and Redeemer. Jesus taught that a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand, and God is certainly not divided against Himself. However, Satan’s kingdom will be divided. Zechariah 14:13 foreshadows that great battle of Armageddon, prophesying that just when Antichrist’s army is ready to attack Jerusalem, his soldiers will begin to fight and kill one another right there on the battlefield. God’s people Israel will not fall!     Revelation 13:13 tells us the false prophet will be able to perform great signs before men to impress them with his power. He can even call fire down from heaven—the sky. Second Thessalonians 2:9 calls them lying wonders—false miracles. Fire from the sky may impress people, but it cannot heal broken bodies or redeem soiled souls. All of the devil’s supposed miracles are deceptions. He has never healed anyone of any sickness. Revelation 13:14 says those signs will deceive the people into thinking the Antichrist is someone to be worshipped, and the false prophet will pressure them to make an image of that beast whose deadly wound will be healed in the last days. But remember, those seven heads represent seven world kingdoms and the angelic beings who have and will reign over them. In other words, the wounded head will be a past fallen kingdom being revived in the last days. The legs and feet of that image Nebuchadnezzar saw represent the old Roman Empire and its last-days form—ten toes—and the leopard-like kingdom Daniel saw in his vision was Greece. Thus, the Antichrist’s kingdom will have residual characteristics of both of those ancient kingdoms. The fallen angelic being which ruled over the Grecian kingdom will obviously be the same angelic being that will rule under Satan and over the Antichrist and his kingdom. That healed head will obviously be the revival of the old Grecian kingdom, with additional traits of the Roman Empire.     The false prophet will supposedly give breath to that image, so that it will be able to speak. But remember, all of his signs and wonders will be false ones. Nevertheless, the people will be so impressed by the signs that they will obey that supposedly live image, and receive the mark of the beast, in order to buy and sell. Without that mark, nobody will have access to the necessities of life. Multitudes will have his mark or number 666 on their forehead, or their right hand. Such is how the Antichrist will dominate people. Those who willingly take that mark will eventually go to hell, while many who refuse to take the mark will be beheaded for their faith (Revelation 14:9-13). To be continued…
(Ron Craig is pastor, teacher and author of Christian books; and these articles. You may view all the books by logging onto www.livingwayfellowshiponline.org. While logged on the website you can even listen to audio Bible-lesson podcasts. You may also send your questions or comments to ronwritercraig@gmail.com)

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