October 5. 2014

The Prophet of Antichrist

 Revelation 13:

11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. 12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. 14 And he deceives those[e] who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. 15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or[f]the name of the beast, or the number of his name.  NKJV

At Revelation 19:20, the Beast referenced above is referred to as the “False Prophet”. Evangelicals sometimes refer to this Beast as “The Prophet of Antichrist” – Antichrist himself being the Beast in Revelation 13:18 referred to by the number 666 (at least this is the most widely held understanding).

The questions in the minds of those with inquiring spirits is whether or not Antichrist and his Prophet are discrete individuals or whether they are symbolic of classes of individuals or are a composite individual, if you will? Christians ask this question because they want to understand how to recognize Antichrist and his Prophet and thus avoid and resist his deceptions and machinations, thereby maintaining spiritual integrity and holiness.

I am of the mind and I teach that Antichrist is Satan himself and his prophet is a composite individual made up, not just of people, but of institutions as well. This concept is analogous to Christ as the principle seed of the “Woman” at Genesis 3:15 and the faithful as the “Bride” of Christ (or that Woman) or common “seed”. Let me explain.

The prophesy at Genesis 3:15 reads as follows:

5 And I will put enmity

Between you and the woman,

And between your seed and her Seed;

He shall bruise your head,

And you shall bruise His heel.”  NKJV

The “Woman” referenced in the verse is the church. It is the composite body of faithful believers through the centuries, spanning back to Abel. The church has its descendants or “seed”. They are the individuals derived of the church, that is, those who carry on faithful in generational succession through time to the end of the age. The totality of the faithful through the generations are referred to as the “Bride” of Christ in Revelation. There they are pictured as marrying Christ in an act of perfect relational unity. The symbolism of marriage is used because it is the only relational concept expressible and understandable in human terms that approximates the closeness of the personal relationship that God wants to have with His people. Christ is the principle seed. He too derives from the “Woman” in human terms. He is physically born of the faithful. Because Christ is also truly and properly God he becomes the instrument of redemption who defeats the devil. The seed of the woman (Christ) has his prophets. The prophets of Christ are the individuals through the ages who have had special commissions to bring God’s Word. The prophets of Christ however, are larger in scope than just mere individuals. The church itself and the institutions and fellowships that compose it are also God’s prophet. They have proclaimed God’s truth through the ages. You, as a faithful believer are also a “prophet” when you witness to the gospel.

You will note in the Genesis passage that Satan also has “seed”. Who are the seed of Satan? They are individuals who, in like manner to the church faithfully carrying on God’s Word, carry on the lies of Satan generationally through to the end of the age. Just as the church is composed of institutions and fellowships, so too the seed of Satan have spawned various institutions, which carry on, or proclaim if you will, his lies.

What are some of these institutions? – Various false religions, political ideologies, and institutions that disseminate anti-Christian teaching in the guise of knowledge. Islam is an example of a religious institutions that is proactively anti-Christ. Communism is an example of a political ideology that is proactively anti-Christ. Harvard University is an example of an educational institution that is proactively anti-Christ. The New York Times is an example of a media institution that is proactively anti-Christ.

The lies of Satan that these institutions propagate and disseminate are fundamentally a righteousness that derives from human effort and a denial of God’s holiness. “You can be like God knowing good and evil” Satan boasts – and so the Islamists sit in Godlike judgment of all who disagree with them; the communists deny God and worship human effort; The Universities teach that there is no God and that we will find our salvation in science; and the New York Times disseminates any lie and/or anti-God sentiment you can think of that will advance the cause of the statists that control world political systems.

To be sure, these institutions have their leading exponents. They can rightly be said to be prophets of Antichrist (Satan). The “Beast” of Revelation Chapter 13, who is called the false prophet however, is a composite of all the institutions and individuals that propagate the lies of the devil. The Prophets of Antichrist then are all of the religious, political, educational and media institutions that seek to steer you away from God and compel you to worship the Antichrist – Antichrist being principally Satan himself and also the coercive world governments and political forces that derive from him that he uses to control the world alienated from God.

We will have more on Antichrist later.