SECOND TREE

CHRISTIANITY EXPLAINED

THE THEOLOGY JOURNAL OF CHUCK PORRITT

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UNDERSTANDING THE FALSE PROPHET

SERVANT AND ALLY OF THE BEAST

DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS?

At the beginning of each page of the Prophecy Section of this journal I ask this question, and explain God's timetable for the second coming of Jesus Christ. That timetable is Daniel's '70th Week'. The first four pages of my Prophecy Section correspond to four links in a divine 'prophetic chain':

A side-by-side comparison of the three versions of Jesus' Olivet Discourse (from Matthew, Mark and Luke), combined with an examination of the four visions of John's Little Book (in Revelation chapters 11-13), leads to the undeniable conclusion that Daniel's 70th Week is the 'Great Week of the Abrahamic Covenant':


If John's 'Little Book' did not exist, I myself would feel compelled to embrace one of the other two major views on Daniel's 70th Week; either Post-Millennialism or Dispensationalism. But John's Little Book does exist. I present the four visions from that 'Little Book' in the four diagrams below:

1) THE TEMPLE AND THE COURTYARD (Revelation 11:1-2)

2) THE TWO WITNESSES (Revelation 11:3-12)

3) THE WOMAN, THE CHILD AND THE DRAGON (Revelation 12)

4) THE BEAST FROM THE SEA (Revelation 13)

While I encourage my visitor to examine each of my first four prophecy pages, I also offer a condensed PDF version of their combined message in the following link:

SIMPLIFYING THE SECOND COMING (PDF)

THE BEAST AND ITS THREE ALLIES:

(The False Prophet, The City of Rome, The United States)

This is the second in a series of four web pages in which I explain four 'prophetic characters' in the book of Revelation; the Beast and its 'allies'. And I explain these 'characters' in the order in which we encounter them in Revelation. And so in this second page I explain 'the Beast from the Earth' (the False Prophet), which is first encountered in the second half of Revelation chapter 13.

In my first page titled Understanding the Beast I have already thoroughly described the Beast. In explaining the rise and fall of the Beast, I have necessarily had to include the rise and fall of its 'close associates' with it. And so I would encourage my visitor to read that page about the Beast first; because it provides important background information for the three pages that follow.

THE BEAST FROM THE EARTH

We first encounter Revelation's primary 'Beast' in the first half of Revelation chapter 13. In that passage the Beast is described as coming up 'out of the sea'. And then in the second half of Revelation chapter 13, a second Beast is also described; a Beast that comes up 'out of the earth':

And I beheld another Beast coming up out of the earth. And he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the power of the first Beast before him, and causes the earth and them which dwell in it to worship the first Beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

Revelation 13:11-12

This second Beast derives its authority from the first Beast, and serves the first Beast. In the following passages of Revelation the first Beast is simply referred to as 'the Beast', while the second Beast is referred to as 'the False Prophet'.

And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon (Satan), and out of the mouth of the Beast, and out of the mouth of the False Prophet.

Revelation 16:13

And the Beast was taken, and with him the False Prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the Mark of the Beast, and them that worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

Revelation 19:20

And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the Beast and the False Prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Revelation 20:10

What is the significance of 'the sea' and 'the earth' in relation to these two Beasts? I do not know. I can appreciate those who suggest that 'the sea' that the first Beast comes out of is 'the great sea of humanity'. I believe that there is scriptural support for this idea. But the significance of the second Beast coming 'out of the earth' is not clear.

Maybe a simple and satisfactory explanation can be found as we look at the angel who first gave the 'Little Book' to John. He set one of his feet on 'the sea', and his other foot on 'the earth':

And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud. And a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire. And he had in his hand a Little Book open. And he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth.

Revelation 10:1-2

What is the significance of the angel's feet upon the 'sea' and 'earth'? The angel himself gives us the explanation:

And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven and swore by Him who lives for ever and ever, Who created heaven (the sky) and the things that are there, and the earth and the things that are there, and the sea and the things which are there, that there should be delay no longer.

Revelation 10:5-6

These verses remind us that God has created our entire planet. It belongs to Him and He has authority over all of it. It is within this frame of reference that we might best understand the Beasts from 'the sea' and 'the land'; as beings allowed by God to operate everywhere throughout the planet.

THE FALSE PROPHET'S CHARACTER: HYPOCRISY

The one fundamental personality trait of the False Prophet is his deceitful hypocrisy. The original word 'hypocrite' comes from the Greek theatre. It meant someone who wears a mask and pretends to be something that they are not; an actor.

Good actors have been praised and appreciated throughout history; in ancient Greece, in Shakespeare's England and in America's Broadway and Hollywood. But the False Prophet is not an actor in some fictional drama. He is a very real tool of both Satan and the Beast, while he tries to pass himself off as gentle and concerned about truth, justice and humanity's welfare:

And I beheld another Beast coming up out of the earth. And he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke like a dragon.   Revelation 13:11


LOOKS LIKE A SHEEP
SPEAKS THE WORDS OF THE DRAGON; SATAN

We are warned about false prophets by the Lord Jesus:

Beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.   Matthew 7:15-16


For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they might deceive the very elect.   Matthew 24:24


BEHIND A MASK

WHEN DOES THE FALSE PROPHET ARISE?

While Revelation 13 tells us that the Beast has been authorized to continue on earth since 70 AD, there is no indication that the False Prophet has existed that long. The only thing that we know for sure is that he will be present at the second coming of Christ:

And I saw the Beast, the kings of the earth and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him (Christ) who sat on the horse, and against His army. Then the Beast was captured, along with the False Prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the Mark of the Beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the Lake of Fire burning with brimstone.   Revelation 19:19-20


Personally I believe that the False Prophet is a creature of our modern age; that its existence began recently.

MIRACULOUS SIGNS OF MODERN TIMES

The three 'Great Signs' that the False Prophet performs correspond to modern-day technology:

    GREAT SIGN #1) Calling down fire from the sky upon the earth in the sight of men.

And he does great wonders, so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.   Revelation 13:13


I believe that the ability to call down fire from heaven represents the modern invention of powered flight; beginning with the ability of the nations since World War I to employ airplanes in war. Today the nations of the world bring down 'fire from heaven' in many ways; like with rockets and cruise missiles. And we may soon see space-based weapons being used to attack targets on earth.

CALLING DOWN FIRE

And the use of drone technology is no longer limited to international warfare. Now nations, states and even municipalities use these drones for surveillance; and will soon use them as weapons. This is an irresistible technology that will be increasingly applied throughout the world.

    GREAT SIGN #2) Creation of an 'image' that is 'alive', and that speaks. It will command that people worship its message, and will tell the public what to think and what is 'true'.

And he deceives them that dwell on the earth by means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the Beast, saying to them that dwell on the earth that they should make an image to the Beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the Beast, that the image of the Beast should both speak and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the Beast should be killed.   Revelation 13:14-15


The world has had images that are 'alive' and that 'speak' since sound was added to silent movies in 1927. Since the 50's these 'images' have entered our homes through televisions. And now the message of the False Prophet not only speaks to us in theaters and stadiums, but we carry it around with us in our pockets. And with this saturation of the world by media devices has come the power of media organizations to 'define truth', to influence public opinion and to dominate the world.

AN IMAGE THAT IS 'ALIVE' AND 'SPEAKS'

And with this saturation of the world by media devices has come the power of media organizations to 'define truth', to influence public opinion and dominate the world. It is the propaganda power of deceitful media organizations, pretending to love 'social justice' while they blaspheme God and criminalize Christianity, that characterizes our world today.

This False Prophet uses the tactic of 'victim politics'; dressing itself in the costume of 'tolerance', 'diversity', 'inclusivity' in order to ultimately isolate the righteous. And the False Prophet attacks truth by labeling it as 'misinformation' and 'hate speech'.

For modern society morality is no longer an absolute. It is now defined by people, and by whether or not something offends somebody or 'hurts their feelings'. God has warned that this turn toward man-centered morality will lead to 'perilous times':

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves.

2 Timothy 3:1-2

Soon this power of the media to promote lies will be accompanied by the power of censorship and the removal of all dissenting opinion. And this will lead to a point where the world will call for the deaths of anyone who might disagree with the narrative of the humane and 'loving' False Prophet.

There have always been false prophets throughout the history of the world, but the False Prophet of Revelation is not a single person. It is a conspiracy of persons in these last days who, through technology and dishonesty, will gives themselves to the service of Satan. God does not despise or condemn technology. He does not condemn airplanes, televisions or computers. But He does warn us about how those technologies will be used in these last days.

    GREAT SIGN #3) Introduction of a 'Mark' in the body, identifying every person and controlling all worldwide business and commerce.

And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a Mark in their right hand or in their foreheads. And that no man might buy or sell, except he that has the Mark, or the name of the Beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that has understanding count the number of the Beast, for it is the number of a man: and his number is 666.

Revelation 13:16-18

First, it should be observed that the number '666' is not associated with the False Prophet, but with the Beast. The False Prophet may introduce and promote the mark and the number, but they are the mark and the number of the Beast; and will signify submission and allegiance to the Beast.

Secondly, we are told that the number of the Beast will be 'the number of a man'. This may indicate that each person upon the face of the earth will have a number that is unique to them. The vast majority of the nations of the world already 'number' their citizens. In many cases one of the groups of numbers associated with a person is his birth date; sometimes recorded by a six digit group in the MM/DD/YY format. This is only conjecture on my part, but the future 'number of a man' may consist of 3 groups of 6 digits, each group representing specific and unique personal information about that person. Such a system will seem logical and necessary when it is introduced.

As God has said, the heart of this new system will be an identifying Mark that people will be required to have either in their forehead or their hand (or both). I expect that this mark will be some kind of computer chip, inserted under the skin. It may be an RFID chip (Radio Frequency Identification Device) containing the information represented in a '666' format; enabling authorities to identify people even at a distance.

These chips have been commonly placed within people's pets and livestock for several years, using a hypodermic needle. And so it will be a technology that many people will be comfortable and familiar with.

THE NEXT 'JAB'?

This 'Mark' may be the foundation of a new medical system and cashless economy in which business and government will be able to collect fees and taxes from every financial transaction that takes place; while also monitoring and controlling people through their bank accounts.

This system and its chip will incorporate people into what is now referred to as the 'Internet of Things' (IoT). This is a system that will allow not only for the exchange of money digitally throughout the world, but will also enable the exchange of physical property, intellectual property and personal information that will be completely secure, verifiable and inexpensive to operate.

The apostle Paul wrote about mankind's confidence in knowledge. The Jews trusted in moral knowledge (the Law of Moses, their 'sign and miracle-working' prophet), and the Greeks trusted in intellectual knowledge:

For the Jews require a (miraculous) sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom. But we preach Christ crucified; unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and unto the Greeks foolishness. But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

1 Corinthians 1:22-25

GOD'S DREADFUL WARNING ABOUT THE MARK

In the book of Revelation God gives a dreadful warning about the judgment that will come upon those who have taken the 'Mark of the Beast'. He warns that they will suffer torment eternally in the Lake of Fire. How could God do such a thing to anybody? The justification is seen in Jesus' words on the Mount of Olives:

And this Gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.   Matthew 24:14


The world will have heard God's warnings about the 'Mark' before deciding to disobey God. We like to think of Christ's Gospel as the sweet message that God so loved the world that He gave His only Son; to provide a righteous way of forgiveness and reconciliation with Himself (John 3:16). And this is true. But the Gospel also includes the messages of the three angels below:

And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL to preach unto them that dwell on the earth; and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people. Saying with a loud voice...
"1) FEAR GOD, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment has come. And worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters".

And there followed another angel, saying...
"2) BABYLON IS FALLEN, is fallen, that great city; because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication".

And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice...
"3) IF ANYONE WORSHIPS THE BEAST AND HIS IMAGE, AND RECEIVES HIS MARK in his forehead or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation. And he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever. And they have no rest day nor night, who worship the Beast and his image, and whosoever receives the Mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints. Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus".

Revelation 14:6-12

Just as God began His relationship with mankind by giving us one commandment in the Garden of Eden,

'SIMPLY BELIEVE ME, AND DO NOT EAT THE FORBIDDEN FRUIT',

so now He is closing His dealings with mankind with another single commandment:

'SIMPLY BELIEVE ME, AND DO NOT TAKE THE FORBIDDEN MARK'

It will not be easy for people to obey God as they face the hatred of Satan and the world in these last days; but it will be simple. The issues inherent in both the forbidden Fruit and the Mark of the Beast are the same. It is the same moral choice between knowledge, or the acknowledgement of God.

The message of the Bible in these last days is 'Fear God, and give Him glory!'. The message of the False Prophet is that knowledge is enabling mankind to evolve toward immortality and travel into space. And those who take the Mark of the Beast will indeed achieve immortality. But it will be 'immortality' experienced in the Lake of Fire.

JUDGMENT OF THE BEAST AND THE FALSE PROPHET

In Revelation 16 we are told that demonic spirits will come out of the mouths of the Dragon (Satan), the Beast and the False Prophet; and that these spirits will then go forth to deceive the world:

And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the Dragon, and out of the mouth of the Beast, and out of the mouth of the False Prophet. 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.

Revelation 16:13-14

And in Revelation 19, both the Beast and the False Prophet are captured and cast alive into the Lake of Fire:

And I saw the Beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the Beast was taken, and with him the False Prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the Mark of the Beast, and them that worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

Revelation 19:19-20

These two passages would seem to indicate that the Beast and the False Prophet are individual persons. But I would disagree with that. I believe that the Beast and the False Prophet will be comprised of all of those people, still surviving on earth when Christ comes, who will have taken the Mark of the Beast and promoted it.

First of all, the Beast is something that was authorized by God to continue in existence from 70 AD to the present; for over 1950 years. Secondly, the Beast upon which the 'Woman' sits is synonymous with the 'many waters' of worldwide humanity that the Roman Whore sits upon (Revelation 17:15). Therefore the Beast and the False Prophet are not individual persons. They represent bigger and more long-lasting things.

To understand the casting of the Beast and the False Prophet alive into the Lake of Fire, we need to look at what Jesus says about His judgment of the world that will occur at His second coming:

When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory. And before Him shall be gathered all nations. And He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides His sheep from the goats. And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand "Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world".

Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand "Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.

Matthew 25:31-34, 41

At this judgment, all of the members of the human race who will still be surviving on earth will be brought before the Son of God. This judgment will occur at the beginning of Jesus' Millennial reign upon the earth. It should not to be confused with Jesus' judgment of the dead at the Great White Throne (Revelation 20:11-15), which will occur after the Millennium.

What is important to notice here is that wicked people will be cast alive, directly into the Lake of Fire. This is the capturing and 'casting alive' of the Beast and the False Prophet into the Lake of Fire in Revelation 19. They are one and the same event. Just as there will be Christians who will not die before the Lord Jesus comes, but who will be 'raptured' directly into eternal life, so there will also be enemies of God who will not die either; but who will be cast directly into the eternal Lake of Fire.

As we consider this judgment, it is important to note the basis upon which the Lord Jesus will bless the righteous and condemn the wicked:

For I was hungry, and you gave Me meat. I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink. I was a stranger, and you took Me in. Naked, and you clothed Me. I was sick, and you visited Me. I was in prison, and you came unto Me.

Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying "Lord, when did we see You hungry, and fed You? Or thirsty, and gave You drink? When did we see You a stranger, and took You in? Or naked, and clothed You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and came unto You?"

And the King shall answer and say unto them "Truly I say unto you, inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, you have done it unto Me.

Matthew 25:35-40

This basis of Christ's judgment upon the nations corresponds perfectly with the circumstances that will precede His coming. It will have been a time when the 'Mark of the Beast' was imposed, and when those who rejected it and warned against it were hated, persecuted and killed.

On the other hand, for God-fearing people who refused the Mark and were compassionate toward Christians, there will be mercy. It will be within that context, and upon the basis of how people will have treated each other prior to Christ's coming, that this judgment will be made. And the righteous will have had their faith tested and proven:

And he said "Go your way, Daniel. For the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tested. But the wicked shall do wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand. But the wise shall understand.

Daniel 12:9-10

And this is the condemnation; that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

John 3:19

For Jesus to have spoken to His disciples on the Mount of Olives about the Beast and his Mark would have been confusing to them. They would not have known what to do with the information. It pertained to something that would not make sense until after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.

But for God to close the Bible by broadcasting a warning forward in time about the Beast makes perfect sense.

This is why we have two different descriptions of Jesus' judgment of the world at His coming. Both are true and accurate descriptions of the same event. One was understandable to the apostles, while the other provides important additional information for our post-apostolic world.

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SECOND TREE

CHRISTIANITY EXPLAINED

THE THEOLOGY JOURNAL OF CHUCK PORRITT

[email protected]


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AUDIO TRACKS

(FROM THE VIDEOS IN THIS SITE)