Vol. 17, No. 8 – February 25, 2018
Eph 6 :10-24, Stand in Warfare!
1. The Empowerment, vs. 10.
2. The Enemy, vs. 11-12.
3. The Equipment, vs. 13-17.
4. The Energy, vs. 18-20.
5. The Encouragement, vs. 21-24.
2) The Enemy, vs. 11-12.
Eph 6:11, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.”
The Beast and The False Prophet, Rev 13.
The Second Beast, the False Prophet, Rev 13:11-18.
1.) His Appearance, Likeness, and Goal, vs. 11-12.
2.) The deceptive miracles of the False Prophet cause the world to make and worship the image of the Antichrist, vs. 13-14.
Vs. 14, “And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life.”
In this verse, we see the deceptive power of the False Prophet to deceive the entire world and lead them into making an image of the first beast, the Antichrist.
“Deceives” is the Verb PLANAO, πλανάω that means a variety of things including, “lead astray, mislead, deceive, seduce, delude, err, or sin.” In classical Greek, it was first used in a simple geographical sense:
- To lead someone on a journey astray so he does not arrive at his goal.
- It also refers to a sheep that goes astray and is separated from its flock and shepherd.
- It later developed a figurative sense of being led astray in matters of truth or wandering off the path of correct moral conduct.
It is used in the NT to refer to:
- The nature of life apart from faith in Christ: 1 Peter 2:25, “You were continually straying like sheep.”
- Christians who are carelessly inattentive to sound doctrine and so let themselves be deceived, 1 Cor 6:9; 15:33; Gal 6:7.
- Its predominant NT use, (over 20 times), it is the deliberate deception practiced by Satan and false teachers to mislead the world and Christians about Christ and God: Rev 12:9, “. . . Satan, who deceives the whole world.”
The goal of the False Prophet is to deceive the world, both believers and unbelievers, into thinking that the Antichrist is the Christ and God. He deceives by the “signs” he performs, including as noted in vs. 13, “making fire come down out of heaven.” He is able to perform these signs and wonders not by his own power but by the power given to him by Satan.
As we noted above, this imitates the signs of Moses and Elijah and the two witnesses of God of the Tribulation, Rev 11:1-14. Up to this time, the two witnesses have been ministering at the temple in Jerusalem, but “the beast” will slay them and take over the temple. When God raises the two witnesses from the dead and takes them to heaven, the false prophet will answer that challenge by giving life to the image of “the beast.” Not only will the image move, but it will speak, Rev 13:15!
When Pharaoh lifted himself up against God, and His two witnesses, Moses and Aaron, the magicians were summoned as necessary helpers, to compete with their miracles, and to withstand their claims. So too, are the two witnesses of Satan, the Antichrist and False Prophet, raised up because of the signs and wonders they perform.
In addition, throughout the Bible we see rebellious individuals raised up because of a close companion and co-conspirator. Likewise, the final Antichrist could not be the Antichrist without his great spiritual consociate and false prophet. Though opposing God and exalting himself, “above all that is called God, or that is worshipped,” he still finds it essential to have a religion and a religious leader which the false prophet satisfies.
This verse also tells us he performs miracles “in the presence of the first beast.” This means that the first beast, the Antichrist is giving instruction and approval for the False Prophet to perform them. This means the False Prophet will be performing miracles while the Antichrist is standing by giving his approval, as the False Prophet will be subservient to him, his puppet religious leader.
Christ is Prophet, Priest, and King; and he who proposes to take His place, and to be the true Christ as against the incarnate Son of God, must fill out the same departments. To do this his devil given wisdom simply inverts the order, assigns to himself the central and all-conditioning position of absolute King, and accepts and adopts a grand religious establishment, whose head and center is another great Beast, administering in the department of priesthood and prophecy.
As noted above, Jesus warned that false prophets and false Christs would arise, Mat 24:24.
Mat 24:24, “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.”
The Antichrist and his False Prophet will be the climax of that kind of deception, but the people will not realize the miracles of the False Prophet are deceptive at first. On the basis of him wielding this power in the likeness of Elijah and Moses, and the two witnesses, it makes an impression on the unbelievers of the Tribulation described as “those that dwell on the earth,” (in other words, “those of like mindedness, earthly, or worldly thinking). As a result, the second beast urges them to make an image of the first beast, just as the Israelites did when Moses was receiving the Law, in the golden calf episode, where the Israelites fashioned and worshipped the image of a god, while Moses was receiving the Law from God, Ex 32:1-4f; Deut 9:8; Psa 106:19-21; Acts 7:41.
Psa 106:19-22, “They made a calf in Horeb and worshiped a molten image. 20Thus they exchanged their glory For the image of an ox that eats grass. 21They forgot God their Savior, Who had done great things in Egypt. 22Wonders in the land of Ham and awesome things by the Red Sea.”
The “image” of the beast is referred to three times in this chapter and mentioned seven more times in the book of Revelation, Rev 13:15; 14:9, 11; 15:2; 16:2; 19:20; 20:4. “Image” is the Greek noun EIKON, εἰκών that means, “image, likeness, form, an appearance or a representation.” It implies the illumination of its inner core and essence.
Therefore, the False Prophet is going to lead the people to make an image, (statue, hologram, robot, etc.), in the likeness of the beast so that they worship it.
This is another form of counterfeit to Jesus Christ God, as Jesus is the image of God, 2 Cor 4:4; Col 1:15.
2 Cor 4:4, “In whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
Col 1:15, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.”
As we noted above in vs. 4, when the people worship the first beast or his image, they are worshipping Satan, Rev 13:4.
The great deception of worshipping the image of the Antichrist is the culmination of the apostasy of the world, Rom 1:18, 21-23.
Rom 1:18, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.”
Rom 1:21-23, “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
Rather than worshipping a false image of God, people should become the image of God, by reflecting the Christ-like nature in their lives, Rom 8:29; 2 Cor 3:18; Col 3:10.
Rom 8:29, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren.”
2 Cor 3:18, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”
Col 3:10, “And have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him.”
This edict by the False Prophet will take place near the midpoint of the Tribulation, most likely in the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, Mat 24:15; 2 Thes 2:2-12; Cf. Dan 9:27; 11:31; 12:11.
Mat 24:15, “Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand).”
Dan 9:27, “And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”
Dan 11:31, “And forces from him will arise, desecrate the sanctuary fortress, and do away with the regular sacrifice. And they will set up the abomination of desolation.”
2 Thes 2:3-4, “Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.”
The image is the center of the false worship and the focal point of the final state of apostasy, the culmination of the idolatry which has been the false religion of so many generations. This is a rendition of what the idol could look like in the reign of the Antichrist.
“It is interesting to note that the Lord Jesus did not permit anything connected with His physical appearance to survive. But the likeness of the Antichrist will evidently be placed in the temple at Jerusalem.” (Thru The Bible with J. Vernon McGee).
This image also reminds us of the forerunner of the “abomination of desolation,” Antiochus IV Epiphanes, whose name means, “God manifest.”
He was a Hellenistic Greek king of the Seleucid Empire from 175 BC until his death in 164 BC. He was a son of King Antiochus III the Great. His original name was Mithradates (alternative form Mithridates) that means “given by the deity Mithra.” He assumed the name Antiochus after he ascended the throne.
He was the first Seleucid king to use divine epithets on coins as depicted below, where the Greek reads, “King Antiochus, God Manifest, bearer of victory.”
The Seleucids, like the Ptolemies before them, held a mild suzerainty over Judea: they respected Jewish culture and protected Jewish institutions. This policy was drastically reversed by Antiochus IV, resulting in harsh persecutions around 168 BC and a revolt against his rule, the Maccabean revolt.
Prior to the Maccabean revolt he ordered the worship of Zeus as the supreme god, 2 Mac 6:1-12, as he presented himself as the earthly embodiment of Zeus, and he had the Olympian Temple of Zeus built.
2 Mac 6:1-2 (KJVApocrypha)
“1Not long after this the king sent an old man of Athens to compel the Jews to depart from the laws of their fathers, and not to live after the laws of God: 2And to pollute also the temple in Jerusalem, and to call it the temple of Jupiter Olympius (Zeus); and that in Garizim, of Jupiter the Defender of strangers, as they did desire that dwelt in the place.”
Jupiter is the god of the sky and thunder and king of the gods in ancient Roman religion and mythology. The Romans regarded Jupiter as the equivalent of the Greek Zeus, the name means, “O Father Sky-god.”
2 Mac 6:4-7 (KJVApocrypha)
“4For the temple was filled with riot and revelling by the Gentiles, who dallied with harlots, and had to do with women within the circuit of the holy places, and besides that brought in things that were not lawful. 5The altar also was filled with profane things, which the law forbiddeth. 6Neither was it lawful for a man to keep sabbath days or ancient fasts, or to profess himself at all to be a Jew. 7And in the day of the king’s birth every month they were brought by bitter constraint to eat of the sacrifices; and when the fast of Bacchus was kept, the Jews were compelled to go in procession to Bacchus, carrying ivy.”
2 Mac 6:9 (KJVApocrypha)
“9And whoso would not conform themselves to the manners of the Gentiles should be put to death. Then might a man have seen the present misery.”
1 Maccabees 1:54-61 (KJVApocrypha)
“54Now the fifteenth day of the month Casleu, in the hundred forty and fifth year, they set up the abomination of desolation upon the altar, and builded idol altars throughout the cities of Juda on every side; 59Now the five and twentieth day of the month they did sacrifice upon the idol altar, which was upon the altar of God.”
Rabbinical sources refer to him as HARASHA הרשע, “the wicked.”
Below are more passages from the book of Maccabees describing the struggles they had with Antiouchus IV.
1 Maccabees 1:20-23 (KJVApocrypha)
“20And after that Antiochus had smitten Egypt, he returned again in the hundred forty and third year, and went up against Israel and Jerusalem with a great multitude, 21And entered proudly into the sanctuary, and took away the golden altar, and the candlestick of light, and all the vessels thereof, 22And the table of the shewbread, and the pouring vessels, and the vials. and the censers of gold, and the veil, and the crown, and the golden ornaments that were before the temple, all which he pulled off. 23He took also the silver and the gold, and the precious vessels: also he took the hidden treasures which he found.”
1 Maccabees 1:29-31 (KJVApocrypha)
“29And after two years fully expired the king sent his chief collector of tribute unto the cities of Juda, who came unto Jerusalem with a great multitude, 30And spake peaceable words unto them, but all was deceit: for when they had given him credence, he fell suddenly upon the city, and smote it very sore, and destroyed much people of Israel. 31And when he had taken the spoils of the city, he set it on fire, and pulled down the houses and walls thereof on every side.”
1 Maccabees 1:41-43 (KJVApocrypha)
“41Moreover king Antiochus wrote to his whole kingdom, that all should be one people, 42And every one should leave his laws: so all the heathen agreed according to the commandment of the king. 43Yea, many also of the Israelites consented to his religion, and sacrificed unto idols, and profaned the sabbath.”
1 Maccabees 1:44-49 (KJVApocrypha)
“44For the king had sent letters by messengers unto Jerusalem and the cities of Juda that they should follow the strange laws of the land, 45And forbid burnt offerings, and sacrifice, and drink offerings, in the temple; and that they should profane the sabbaths and festival days: 46And pollute the sanctuary and holy people: 47Set up altars, and groves, and chapels of idols, and sacrifice swine’s flesh, and unclean beasts: 48That they should also leave their children uncircumcised, and make their souls abominable with all manner of uncleanness and profanation: 49To the end they might forget the law, and change all the ordinances.”
1 Maccabees 1:50-52 (KJVApocrypha)
“50And whosoever would not do according to the commandment of the king, he said, he should die. 51In the selfsame manner wrote he to his whole kingdom, and appointed overseers over all the people, commanding the cities of Juda to sacrifice, city by city. 52Then many of the people were gathered unto them, to wit every one that forsook the law; and so they committed evils in the land;”
1 Maccabees 1:54-61 (KJVApocrypha)
“54Now the fifteenth day of the month Casleu, in the hundred forty and fifth year, they set up the abomination of desolation upon the altar, and builded idol altars throughout the cities of Juda on every side; 55And burnt incense at the doors of their houses, and in the streets. 56And when they had rent in pieces the books of the law which they found, they burnt them with fire. 57And whosoever was found with any the book of the testament, or if any committed to the law, the king’s commandment was, that they should put him to death. 58Thus did they by their authority unto the Israelites every month, to as many as were found in the cities. 59Now the five and twentieth day of the month they did sacrifice upon the idol altar, which was upon the altar of God. 60At which time according to the commandment they put to death certain women, that had caused their children to be circumcised. 61And they hanged the infants about their necks, and rifled their houses, and slew them that had circumcised them.”
Judah Maccabee (or Judas Maccabeus, also spelled Machabeus, or Maccabaeus, Hebrew: יהודה המכבי (Yehudah ha-Makabi) was a Jewish priest and a son of the priest Mattathias. He led the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire (167–160 BCE). The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, “Dedication,” commemorates the restoration of Jewish worship at the temple in Jerusalem in 164 BC, after Judah Maccabeus removed all of the statues depicting Greek gods and goddesses.
Unfortunately, the people of the world during the Tribulation will accept the False Prophet’s miracles as proof of the beast’s claims that he is a god, the real Christ, so much so that he will talk the people into making an image of the beast and be dedicated to the beast. It will probably be a giant robot, hologram, or maybe a statue like the one Nebuchadnezzar had erected for the worship of himself, Dan 3:1.
The people will place the image of the beast (the Antichrist) in the temple to be rebuilt in Jerusalem, Dan 9:27; Mat 24:15; 2 Thes 2:4, just as Antioch Epiphanes set up the statue of Zeus in the Temple 300 years before Christ’s First Advent. Thus, the image will become a focal point for the false worship of the beast.
Finally, once again we have the description of the Antichrist as having the fatal wound, “the one which had the wound by a sword and lived.” This is the third time it is given in this chapter, cf. vs. 3, 12. It is being emphasized more so, because it will be the greatest sign and wonder to deceive the people into believing he is the Christ, the God of heaven and earth.
“Sword” here is MACHAIRA, μάχαιρα, “a (small) sword, large knife.” This may allude to warfare and rebellion. It may be an assassination attempt from someone within his regime, as was common in ancient Rome. Nevertheless, he survives the mortal wound which is then used as a sign that He is god or the Christ.
But, at the same time, this sign will be the greatest prophetical sign to the believers of that day and the Jews that he is actually the antichrist, the beast out of the sea, so that they are not deceived and do not follow and worship him.
3.) The False Prophet gives breath to the image of the beast and all are required to worship the Antichrist through the image, Rev13:15.
Rev 13:15, “And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
No great movements or revolutions in history have ever come without preparative conditions and causes, some preliminary plantings which gradually mature until they ripen into the great ultimate results. When gigantic changes come, they typically have had their roots in something which has gone before, subtlety but surely, where the nature of the times has served to favor and develop its final fruits. In Germany under Hitler, it took months to vilify and condemn the Jews, so that eventually the population would ultimately join wholeheartedly to the point of exterminating them. So will be the way of the False Prophet in the Tribulation. So will be the case of the false worship of the Antichrist.
Being a prophet, the False Prophet must have a doctrine, a system which he puts forth, an economy which he seeks to sustain, and the ability to convince his followers to cooperate with him. Having the name “prophet,” it has to do with the religious element; and the coming of this “beast out of the earth” may refer to the evolution of his system out of the religions that have been placed among men throughout history, and the progress of human society with reference to beliefs and spiritual things.
As noted above, having the two horns may represent the ultimate convergence of the world’s two greats, the thinking of man and the thinking of God, or the gods. Here is the convergence of science and religion. We could call this the convergence of naturalism and supernaturalism; that is, the conclusions of natural conscience and reason, deemed sacredly obligatory, because it is believed to be good and true, with the presence of revelations, or what are accepted as revelations, from the superior powers, and held to be Divine and binding.
Therefore, the False Prophet will be at once a naturalist and a supernaturalism, a scientist and a spiritualist, a rationalist, yet asserting power above ordinary nature and in command of nature.
In other words, he claims to be the bearer of the sum total of the universal wisdom, in which all reason and all revelation are fused into one great system, claiming to have and be the ultimate of all truth. Professing to have everything natural and supernatural solved and crystallized, as the one eternal and perfect wisdom, he will present himself as the one absolute apostle and teacher of all, that should command the thoughts, faith, and obedience of man.
Yet, having the two horns like a lamb, he speaks like a Dragon. He is lamblike in that he proposes to occupy only the meek, mild, and inoffensive position of spiritual adviser; gentle and innocent in counselling people how to live and act, for the securement of their happiness! But, his words are like the Dragon, in that forthcoming edicts are in fact the assumption of absolute dominion over the minds, souls, consciences, and hearts of men, to bind them irrevocably, and to compel them to think and act only as he prescribes and dictates.
Thus, the False Prophet imposes on the world, wins credence to his professions and claims, and sways the public sentiment to the acknowledgment of a new divinity, demanding a new religion, whose vulgar abominations are thought to be right and reasonable.
“And it was given to him,” the Aorist, Passive, Indicative of DIDOMI that means, “to give, bestow, or delegate,” tells us that the ensuing empowerment of the image was not of his own but bestowed on him by both Satan and the Antichrist. He is performing as their puppet prophet to deceive the entire world.
“To give breath to the image of the beast,” is the Aorist, Active, Infinitive of DIDOMI with the Nouns PNEUMA, EIKON, and HO THERION.
PNEUMA, commonly translated “spirit, soul, or breath,” also can mean, “a spirit, (angelic or demonic),” and is used for the Holy Spirit. It is quite different from ZOE, which means “life.”
Expositors usually hold that the extraordinary powers given by Satan to the false prophet do not extend to giving life to that which does not possess life, because this is a prerogative of God alone.
The intent of the passage seems to be that the image has the appearance of life manifested in breathing, but actually it may be no more than a hologram or robot that may be possessed by an evil or demonic spirit. This may be a ventriloquist type demon who controls the vocal cords of unbelievers when they are demon possessed, as we will see below in Acts 16:16.
The ventriloquist demon could work in two ways, according to the OT scriptures. The voice could be thrown from out of the ground as though the dead were speaking from their burial place, or the voice could be thrown from the mouth of some individual who was demon-possessed. The Greeks had a word for it and this same demon is called “engasthrimuthos.” So, the ventriloquist demon is designated PNEUMA or spirit. The noun PNEUMA does not always refer to demons but it does in, Mat 8:16; Mark 1:27; 6:7; 3:11; 5:13; Acts 5:16; 8:7; 1 Tim 4:1.
We see this ventriloquist demonic influence further in Rev 16:13-14.
The image is further described as “would even speak,” HINA KAI and the Aorist, Active, Subjunctive of LALEO, to “speak, proclaim, say, or utter.” Therefore, by an indwelling breath or spirit the image will speak.
This is a faculty easily accomplished by mechanical means. In fact, in ancient times, religious ventriloquism was sometimes used to give the impression of supernatural speech, a practice confirmed by archaeological excavations in Corinth.
In Acts 16:16, the slave girl possessed of a demon was able to bring gain to her masters by soothsaying. She also supernaturally recognized Paul and his companions as, “servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation,” Acts 16:17.
Her power of speech was under demonic control, as will be the mouth of the image of the beast. Whether completely natural in its explanation, or whether some supernatural power is used to create the impression of life and speech, the image apparently is quite convincing to the mass of humanity and helps to turn them to a worship of the first beast as their god. So, this is going to have to be something that was not seen or done before, and well beyond what people may expect in order to impress them enough to gain their allegiance and worship.
This will be a counterfeit to the power of God Who restores breath and life to the Two Witnesses, Rev 11. Therefore, the False Prophet, as the arch magician, will have power to give animation and speech to this dead statue. Therefore, the image, though made by man, likewise takes on of the supernatural, so as to refute God’s Word regarding idols.
Psa 135:15-18, “The idols of the nations are but silver and gold, the work of man’s hands. 16They have mouths, but they do not speak; they have eyes, but they do not see; 17they have ears, but they do not hear, nor is there any breath at all in their mouths. 18Those who make them will be like them, Yes, everyone who trusts in them.”
Hab 2:19, “Woe to him who says to a piece of wood, ‘Awake!’ To a dumb stone, ‘Arise!’ and that is your teacher? Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, and
there is no breath at all inside it.”
Therefore, we see that this idol is very different. The powers of falsehood have by this time become mightier than of old, because this image will have a perception of breath / life and speech. As a result, men will be carried away by it, because of their previous unbelief of the possibility of anything of the sort.
“Old Pagan and Christian writers have recorded instances in which the idols spoke, and gave forth oracles. The papists affirm the same veritable truth concerning some of their images. The Hindus to this day hold and maintain that a degree of life and supernatural power takes possession of their images when solemnly consecrated according to the prescribed ceremonies.” (The Apocalypse: A Series of Special Lectures on the Revelation of Jesus Christ.)
With the Antichrist systematically deified, an image set up and consecrated to his adoration, and the testimony, argument, and eloquence of a great miracle-working Prophet ringing through the world in his behalf, the Image speaks and issues edicts “causing as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.”
By doing this, the False Prophet will be able to claim divine power for himself and for the first beast, the Antichrist. This will be his greatest deception, as the gullible people will consider him deity. Then the prophecy of 2 Thes 2:10-11, will be complete.
2 Thes 2:10-11, “And with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false.”
This verse gives us the negative scenario of not worshiping the Antichrist, but we first must realize from this phrase that because of the “fatal wound” and now the “animation of the image,” many will worship the Antichrist as God.
In the ancient writing of Homer, we see that the heroes of old we considered the “sons of gods,” and Alexander though a young man when he died was claimed to be more than a natural man and received honors as a god. He thought himself to be the son of Jupiter, and so announced to the priests, who gave oracles proclaiming him such, and exhorted all inquirers to render to their victorious king the honors of a deity. We have also noted above the similar story of Antiochus Epiphanes. Likewise, Herod, with all his corruptness and crimes, was hailed as a god, and took it as his due, Acts 12:21-23. Julius Caesar was honored as a god, and after his death many temples were raised and frequented for his worship. Statues, temples, altars, and trophies were consecrated to Augustus Caesar, as were to the Caesars Tiberius, Nerva, Trajan, Caligula. The King of Parthia, kneeling before Nero, said to him: “You are my God, and I am come to adore you as I adore the sun. My destiny is to be determined by your supreme Will;” to which Nero replied: “I make you King of Armenia, that the whole universe may know it belongs to me to give or to take away crowns.” Domitian filled the world with his statues, to which sacrifices were continually offered, and required that all letters written or published in his name should always begin, “Our Lord and God commands.”
The chief reason for the martyrdom of the Christians of their day was that they would not sacrifice to the emperor as God.
We could say that these were ancient, pagan, and unenlightened times, and that such abominations can never again be willed upon mankind. But they were the times which produced our classics. The same has also occurred in later days, with characters such as Hitler, with far less reason or apology, and among those who claimed to be the most advanced and enlightened of people.
“At this very time, there resides a man in the city of Rome, whom one-half of Christendom itself hails, honors, and adores as the Vicar of Jesus Christ, the Vicegerent of God upon earth, Infallible, and sole possessor of the Keys of heaven,—a man whom the greater festivals exhibit as a Divinity, borne along in solemn procession on the shoulders of consecrated priests, whilst sacred incense fumes before him, and blest peacocks’ feathers full of eyes wave beside his moving throne, and every mortal on the street where he passes, uncovers, kneels, and silently adores;—a man who, once a year, takes his seat upon the high altar of the sublimest church in Christendom, in the broad light of this favored century, and there receives the adoration of the whole college of his most exalted subjects, who reverently bow amid chants, music, and burning lights to kiss the toe of ‘His Holiness!’” (The Apocalypse: A Series of Special Lectures on the Revelation of Jesus Christ.)
So, there will come a man from among the enlightened of both reason and revelation, by signs and wonders, with invincible power and whatever else marks the glory of the mighty; a great prophet to exercise all this in one direction of a new universal religion, advising and urging with meekness, eloquence and miracle, in the name of absolute wisdom, the worship and adoration of that man, the Antichrist, as the only right worship in the universe.
And as such, there will be a new religion for the world, as scientists and reformers already claim and proclaim. It will be a powerful and universal religion. It will ground itself in pretensions to the profoundest wisdom, intelligence, reason, truth, and progress. It will deceive the earth, and carry with it all who are not written in the Lamb’s book of life. It will be the final coronation of the progressivism of human perfectibility. But it will be a religion whose god is Antichrist, and whose seal of damnation is inevitable and eternal.
And as our verse tells us, the absolute authority of both the first and second beasts is such that those who will not worship the image of the beast are sentenced to be killed.
As we have noted, there will be some in those days who do not accept the new worship. These are the elect ones, whose names God has written in the Lamb’s book of life, who will not be deceived. There will be believing Jews, (beginning with the 144,000 and the two witness who evangelize), who are ingrained never to accept the worship of an idol, along with Gentile believers, who cannot be move moved to an abomination so foul and blasphemous.
And as this verse tells us, for those who “do not worship the image of the beast,” they are “to be killed.” Here, the Greek negative ME is used with the Aorist, Active, Subjunctive of the Verb PROSKUNEO, προσκυνέω that means to, “fall down and worship, bow down to, show reverence to, welcome respectfully, etc.” It comes from PROS – “face to face” and KUNEO – “to kiss.”
“The origin of this term probably lies in the ancient custom of putting one’s hand on one’s mouth in a kissing gesture and then extending the hand toward a person of higher status, especially a deity. Among other things, ancient Egyptian reliefs show how worshipers with outstretched hands offered kisses to the deity (Schönweiss and Brown, “Prayer,” Colin Brown, 2:876). Or it may stem from the custom of kissing the feet of a superior (or idol).” (Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary)
This reminds us of both the “hiel Hitler” hand arm and hand gesture and the kissing of a spiritual leader’s hand / ring.
This is used with the Aorist, Passive, Subjunctive of the Verb APOKTEINO, ἀποκτείνω that means, “to kill or deprive of spiritual life.” The image will give a decree demanding that all who refuse to worship the image of the first beast, the Antichrist, are to be killed. This further reinforces the demand of the false prophet and shows that those who resist the Antichrist and continue to worship the Lord Jesus Christ will be martyred for their faith, Cf. Rev 6:9; 14:12, 13; 17:9-17. Thus, it is clear that Antichrist will not follow a secular, humanistic, atheistic philosophy. He will want religion, but he will use religion to exalt himself as a god, as did the ancient kings of Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, and Rome.
Frustrated religion always resorts to violence to get its way. The use of violence to coerce volition reveals the Satanic nature of volition both now and in that future day.
Therefore, No one, of any class or race, is allowed to live under the dominion of these Beasts, if unwilling to conform to the worship they set up. And as we see from the Greek, this is a very visible gesture of worship. If someone does not demonstrate this worship visibly, they will be put to death, as we will see in the next verse regarding the “mark of the beast.”
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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.
Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life. So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I Welcome You to the Eternal Family of God !!!