At the end of the world, 'Satan'(dragon) and 'Antichrist'(beast) and 'false prophet' will appear as the Trinity of Evil, confronting God, conquering this world, and deceiving people.
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3. THE SATANIC TRINITY
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the Devil, as a 'roaring lion,' walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." 1Pet. 5:8.
He "walketh," he "roareth," he is to be "chained." Rev. 20:1-3. These could not be said of a "principle of evil." He has many names or aliases-"Satan," "Devil," "Beelzebub," "Belial," "Adversary," "Dragon, " "Serpent." He is mentioned by one or the other of these names 174 times in the Bible.
He is a great "Celestial Potentate." He is
"The Prince of the Powers of the Air."
"The God of this World" (Age.)
He is the "God" not of the earth, for that belongs to its Maker God. "The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof." Satan is the God of the
of the habitable earth. These "World Systems" embrace business, society, politics, and religion. Satan is the Ruler of the "Powers of Darkness" of the "Spirit World," (Eph. 6:11, Eph. 6:12), and his position is so exalted that even Michael the Archangel dare not insult him. Jude 9. So mighty is he that man cannot successfully resist him without Divine help.
I. His Origin.
This is more or less shrouded in mystery. One thing is certain, he is a "created being," and that of the most exalted type. He was before his fall
"The Anointed Cherub That Covereth."
That is, he was the guardian or protector of the "Throne of God." He was perfect in all his ways from the day that he was created, until iniquity was found in him. In him was the "fulness of wisdom," and the "perfection of beauty," but it was his "beauty" that caused the pride that was his downfall. He was clothed in a garment that was covered with the most rare and precious gems, the sardius, topaz, diamond, beryl, onyx, jasper, sapphire, emerald, carbuncle, all woven in with gold. He dwelt in Eden, the "Garden of God."
This probably refers not to the earthly Eden, but to the "Paradise of God" on high, for Satan dwelt on the "Holy Mount of God." All this we learn from Eze. 28:11-13, where the Prophet has a "foreview" of the Antichrist under the title of the "King of Tyrus," and as Antichrist is to be an incarnation of Satan, the Prophet here describes Satan's original glory from which he fell. There never has been as yet such a King of Tyrus as is here described.
The cause of Satan's fall is given in Isa. 14:12-14. He is there called-
Lucifer, Son of the Morning.
This was his glorious title when he was created, and this world of ours was made, at which time-
"The 'Morning Stars,' (probably other glorious created ruling beings like himself), sang together, and all the 'Sons of God,' (angels), shouted for joy." Job 38:7.
It is well to note that the one here called "Lucifer, Son of the Morning," is in verse four, (Isa. 14:4), also called the "King of Babylon." As there never has been a King of Babylon like the one here described, the description must be that of a "future" King of Babylon. And as "Antichrist is to have for his Capital City Babylon rebuilt," this is probably a "foreview" by the Prophet of Antichrist, as indwelt by "Lucifer, or "Satan, " in that day when he shall be "King of Babylon."
Some think that when this world was created and fit for habitation, Satan was placed in charge of it, and it was then, as Isaiah declares, that Satan said in his heart-
"I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the 'Stars of God' (other ruling powers) ; I will sit also upon the Mount of the Congregation, in the sides of the North. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like
The MOST HIGH:"
and that it was for this presumptuous act that the "Pre-Adamite World" became a chaos, and "without form and void," as described in a Gen. 1:2.
This would justify the claim of Satan that this world belongs to him, and that he had the right and power to transfer the "kingdoms of this world" to Christ, if He would only acknowledge Satan's supremacy. (Matt. 4:8, Matt. 4:9.) And it accounts for the persistent war Satan is waging against the Almighty to retain his possession of the earth.
II. His Present Location.
The common notion is that Satan and his angels are imprisoned in Hell. This is not true. The angels described in 2Pet. 2:4, and Jude 6, as having left their "first estate," and being "reserved in everlasting chains under darkness," are not Satan's angels. They are a special class of angels whose sin caused the Flood. They are the "Spirits in Prison" of whom Peter speaks in 1Pet. 3:18-20. See the chapter on "Rightly Dividing the Word," under the cause of the Flood. Satan and his angels are at liberty. We read in the first and second chapters of job that it was the custom in job's day for the "Sons of God" (angels), to appear at stated times in the presence of God to give an account of their stewardship, and that Satan always appeared with them.
When the Lord said to Satan-"Whence comest thou? " he replied, "From going to and fro in the earth and from walking up and down in it." Job 1 :7; 2:2. Satan then was at liberty "on the earth," and had "access to God, " and was "not cast out of Heaven" in job's day, B.C. 2000. Milton in his book "Paradise Lost" describes Satan as having been cast out of Heaven in the time of Adam and Eve, and bases his description on Rev. 12:7-9. But as the Book of Revelation is a prophecy of "Things to Come," and that were all "future" in the Apostle john's day, Satan had not been cast out of heaven up to that time, A. D. 96, and as he has not been cast out since, he must still be at liberty in the heavenlies and on the earth.
III. His Kingdom.Satan is a King, and has a Kingdom.
From this we see that his Kingdom consists of "Principalities," "Powers," "Age Rulers of Darkness," and "Wicked Spirits it Heavenlies."
These "Principalities" are ruled by "Princes," who control certain nations of our earth, as in the days of Daniel the Prophet, when a heavenly messenger was sent to Daniel, but was hindered "three weeks" from reaching him by the
"Prince of the Kingdom of Persia, "
Satan's ruling "Prince of Persia," until Michael the Archangel came to his rescue. Dan. 10:10-12.
The subjects of Satan's Kingdom are-
1. Angels. Not the angels that kept not their first estate who are reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the Judgement of the Great Day, (Jude 6), but angels who are at liberty, are now with Satan in the heavenlies (Rev. 12:9), and who, with are to be cast into the "Lake of Fire" prepared for the Devil and angels. Matt. 25:41. Rev. 20:10.
2. Demons. There is but one Devil. Where the word "devils" occurs in the New Testament we should substitute the word "demons." These demons are a race or order of "bodiless spirits," supposed by many to be the bodiless spirits of the inhabitants of the Pre-Adamite Earth, who seek to re-embody themselves by taking up their abode in human beings. This we know they can do under certain conditions. Demon possession was common in Christ's day.
These demons are wicked, unclean, vicious, and have power to derange both mind and body. Matt. 12:22; Matt. 15:22; Luke 4:35; Luke 8:26-28; Luke 9:42. They are the "Familiar Spirits" and "Wizards" of the Old Testament, and the "Seducing Spirits" of whom Paul warned Timothy. 1Tim. 4:1.
3. Unregenerated Human Beings. All unregenerated human beings are the subjects of Satan. Jesus called the "Tares" the "Children of the Wicked One," (Matt. 13:38), and He told the Pharisaical Jews that their father was the Devil. John 8:44.
IV. His Methods.
1. He Is the Deceiver of the World.
By the "World" is meant all those who belong to the "Satanic System." All those who are entangled in Satan's mesh.
"And we know that we are of God, and the whole World (the Satanic System). lieth in the Wicked One, (Satan)." 1John 5:19, R. V.
Satan deceives by "blinding" the eyes of the world.
"If our Gospel is hid, it is hid to them that 'are lost'; in whom the 'God of this World' (Satan), hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." 2Cor. 4:3, 2Cor. 4:4.
To this end Satan has his preachers who preach "another gospel." Gal. 1:6-8. That gospel is the "doctrine of devils." 1Tim. 4:1.
He is the instigator of
"The Great Apostasy."
Peter, speaking of the "latter times" says-
'There shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall; bring in 'Damnable Heresies, ' even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their 'Pernicious Way, ' by reason of whom the 'WAY OF TRUTH' shall be evil spoken of." 2Pet. 2:1, 2Pet. 2:2.
These "false teachers" are to be seen on every hand. They are those who deny the "Virgin Birth," "Deity, " "Bodily Resurrection" and "Personal Premillennial Return" of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Satan is very subtle in his methods, and if it were possible he would deceive the very elect. He knows all the great Scripture subjects that are of universal interest to humanity, and he is too wise to attack them openly, so he adulterates them with false doctrine. He has tried to rob the Church of her "Blessed Hope" of the Lord's return, by mixing with it a lot of false teaching and "time setting" as seen in "Millerism," "Seventh Day Adventism" and "Millennial Dawnism." To prevent mankind from turning to the Lord for healing, he has invented the systems of "Christian Science" and "New Thought."
To satisfy the craving of the human mind to know what is going on in the Spirit World, Satan invented "Spiritualism." And when interest in it began to wane he revived it under the name of "Psychical Research." This system has existed from the earliest ages and has the unqualified condemnation of the Scriptures.
"There shall not be found among you any one that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a Consulter With Familiar Spirits,
or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord." Deut. 18:10-12.
Spiritualism is only another name for "Demonism," and all professed impersonations are either counterfeit, or demonic. Christian Science teaches that there is such a thing as "Malicious Animal Magnetism" by which one person may afflict another. It is only another name for "Diabolism." Those who dabble in "Spiritualism" or "Psychical Research are liable to have their "understanding darkened" and come under the power of demons.
Satan seeing that he could not stamp out the Church by violence and persecution, has changed his tactics and is now trying to seduce her into conformity to the world, and to try to better an "Age" that God has doomed to destruction. His present purpose is to build up a "magnificent civilization," and he has deceived the Church into believing that it can bring in the "Millennium," without Christ, by the Betterment of Society.
His hope is that the "Gospel of Social Service" will take the place of the "Gospel of Grace," and by diverting the attention of Christian people to "secondary" things, they will neglect the primary work of soul saving, and thus delay the evangelization of the world, and postpone the Return of the Lord, and his own confinement in the Bottomless Pit.
2. He Is the Adversary of God's People.
The warfare between "Good" and "Evil," as recorded in the Bible from Gen. 3:15 to Rev. 20:10, is most intensely interesting reading. Satan tempts Eve. She -eats, and Adam with her. They are both cast out of the Garden. First victory scored by Satan. Satan enters Cain. The result Abel is murdered. Victory number two for Satan. The "Sons of God" at Satan's instigation marry the "daughters of men." Result the Flood. Victory number three for Satan. Noah delivered from the Flood is tempted to drink, yields, and a curse falls on Ham. Victory number four for Satan. The people multiply and Satan fills their hearts with pride and presumption. The Tower of Babel is built, the result the "Confusion of Tongues," and the unity of the race broken up. Victory number five for Satan.
Then God calls Abraham through whom the promised "Seed of the Woman," the Second Adam, should come who was to bruise Satan's head. Now the fight begins in earnest. We have only space to indicate it. First Satan closes Sarah's womb. Then when Isaac is born he seeks to have him slain by his father's hand on Mt. Moriah. He makes enmity between Esau and Jacob, hoping that the tragedy of Cain and Abel would be repeated. Then he causes Potiphar's wife to tempt Joseph, seeking to get him out of the way. When the time came for Moses, the deliverer of the Children of Israel, to be born, he puts it in the heart of Pharaoh to order that all male Hebrew children shall be destroyed at birth.
But the story is too long. The sin of David was Satan's work, and at one time the "seed royal" was narrowed down to one child. 2Chron. 2:4-6; 2Chron. 22:10-12.
When the time came that Christ was born, it was Satan who prompted Herod to destroy all the male children at Bethlehem under two years of age. It was Satan who tried to overcome Christ when weakened by fasting in the Wilderness, and who suggested that Christ throw Himself down from the Pinnacle of the Temple. The attempt of the people to throw Him from the hilltop at Nazareth, and the two storms on Galilee were all attempts of Satan to destroy Christ. And when foiled in these Satan renewed the fight through Priests and Pharisces, and succeeded at last in getting Judas to sell his Master.
Then amid the shades of Gethsemane he sought to kill Christ by physical weakness before He could reach the Cross. When Christ was crucified Satan thought he had conquered, but when Christ rose from the dead Satan's rage knew no bounds. In all probability Satan and his angels contested the Ascension of Christ, and the history of the Christian Church is but one long story of the "Irrepressible Conflict" between Satan and God's people. Paul writing to the Thessalonians said:
Even Paul's "thorn in the flesh" was the "Messenger of Satan" to buffet him.
V. His Expulsion From the Heavenlies.
As we have seen Satan still has his abode in the "Heavenlies" and has access to God. But the time is coming when he shall be cast out of the "Heavenlies." It is described in Rev. 12:7-9.
"And there was war in Heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the 'Dragon,' and the 'Dragon' fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in Heaven. And the 'Great Dragon' was cast out, that old 'Serpent, ' called the 'Devil, ' and 'Satan, ' which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out Into the Earth and his angels were cast out with him.
"And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, now is come Salvation, and Strength, and the Kingdom of God, and the Power of His Christ; for the Accuser of Our Brethren IS CAST DOWN, which accused them before our God day and Wright."
While Satan has been the "Accuser of the Brethren" in all Ages, the context shows that reference is here made to the "Jewish Remnant," (the brethren of Christ), who during the first three and one-half years of the "Tribulation Period" (for Satan is cast out in the Middle of the "Last Week," or Tribulation Period), pass through great persecution, and die as "martyrs." They are referred to in Rev. 6:9-11 as the "souls of them that were slain for the Word of God," and we are here told (Rev. 12:11) that they overcame by the "Blood of the Lamb, " and the "word of their testimony," and died as "martyrs," for they "loved not their lives unto the death."
As they overcame by the "Blood of the Lamb, " then the Time of their overcoming must be subsequent to the shedding of Christ's blood on Calvary, that is, Satan, according to this account, could not have been cast out of the "Heavenlies" prior to the Crucifixion of Christ. When Jesus said-"I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven, " (Luke 10:18), He was not referring to some past fall of Satan, but it was a prophetic utterance, by way of anticipation, of his future fall, when he shall be cast out of Heaven by Michael the Archangel. As further evidence as to the "Time" of Satan's casting out, Daniel the Prophet tells us that it will be at the "Time of Trouble," (The Great Tribulation), that is to come upon Daniel's people, the Jews, for it is at that time that Michael the Great Prince is to stand up and they shall be delivered. Dan. 12:1.
As still further evidence that the casting out of Satan did not happen "before" the Fall in Eden, we are told that it "follows" the birth and catching out of the "Man Child," (Christ), (Rev. 12:5), that the earth shall be full of inhabitants, that is, thickly populated, and that Satan shall be full of wrath, because he knoweth that he has but a "short time" (3 1/2 years), in which to finish his devilish work. (Rev. 12:12.)
VI. His Incarnation.
When Satan is cast out of the Heavenlies on to the earth, he is going to "incarnate" himself in the Antichrist. See the Chapter on "The Antichrist."
VII. His Doom.
When Christ shall return to the Mt. of Olives at the close of the "Tribulation Period," the "Beast" and the "False Prophet" shall be cast "alive" into the "Lake of Fire," and an angel from Heaven will seize Satan and bind him with a great chain, already forged, and cast him into the "Bottomless Pit," where he shall remain for 1000 years. Rev. 20:1-3. At the close of which time he shall be loosed for a season, and then with his angels, demons, and the human beings who have fallen under his power, he shall be cast into the "Lake of Fire" prepared for him in the long ago. Rev. 20:7-9; Matt. 25:41.
2. The Antichrist
In our study of prophecy we lay much stress on the "Second Coming of Christ," forgetting that there are two other comings of "individuals" that are just as momentous as Christ's coming. The first is that of Antichrist, and the other is that of Satan.
In both the Old and New Testament we are told of a
Mysterious and Terrible Personage
that shall be revealed in the "Last Times." He is described under different names and aliases, and it is only by a careful examination and comparison of these names, and the Person they describe that we see that they refer to one and the same individual. These names are-
The Jews rejected Jesus as their Messiah, when the Antichrist comes they will accept him.
I. His Personality.
The Apostolic Church believed that Antichrist was to be a "person," the embodiment of human blasphemy and wickedness, but toward the close of the Twelfth Century many began to look upon the Pope as Antichrist, and this view has been largely advocated by Protestant commentators. The arguments in favor of this view are ingenious and plausible, but they are hard to reconcile with the Word of God. This view makes Antichrist a "System" rather than a Person, and would see in the "Papal System" the Antichrist. But this is disproved by the Word of God.
"Exalt himself and magnify himself above every god." Dan. 11:36, Dan. 11:37. "So that he AS GOD sitteth in the Temple of God showing himself that he IS GOD." 2Thes. 2:4.
However false and impious the claims of the Papacy, it always recognizes its subordination to God, and the Pope's highest claim is that he is the "Vicar of Christ."
4. "All the world wondered after the Beast (the Antichrist), and they worshipped the Dragon (the Devil), which gave power unto the Beast." Rev. 13:3, Rev. 13:4.
The "Papal System" worships the "Virgin" and the "Saints," but it is not true that it worships the Devil.
5. "If any man worship the Beast and His Image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the Wrath of God, ...and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone; ....and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and forever; and ever they have no rest day nor night, who worship the Beast and His Image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name." Rev. 14:9-1 Rev. 14:1.
If the "Papal System" is the Antichrist, it follows from the above that all its worshippers, instead of being saved, are doomed to eternal torment.
Again, the Lord, who destroys Antichrist "at His Coming," comes to Jerusalem, not to Rome, the seat of the "Papal System."
While there are many things in the history of the Church of Rome, and in the conduct of her Popes that "foreshadow" the Antichrist, yet it is clear from the preceding scriptures that the "Papal System" is not the Antichrist, and that these scriptures can only be fulfilled in the person of some "Individual" yet to appear.
Antichrist is not a "Rival" or "Counterfeit" Christ, he is an "Opposing" Christ. This is clearly seen when we compare him with Christ in a series of-
1. Christ came from Above. John 6:38.
4. Christ Despised. Isa. 53:3; Luke 23:18.
7. Christ came to Save. Luke 19:10.
8. Christ is the Good Shepherd. John 10:4-6.
1. Isaiah's Foreview.
In Isa. 11:4-a chapter which is evidently Messianic-we read that among other things which the Messiah will do-
"He shall smite the earth with the 'rod of His mouth,' and son and with the 'breath of His lips' shall He slay The Wicked."
The word translated "The Wicked," is in the singular number, cannot refer to wicked persons in general, but to some one perwho is conspicuously wicked. The expression is strikingly like that of Paul's in 2Thes. 2:8-
"Then shall that 'Wicked' be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the 'Spirit of His Mouth,' and shall destroy with the 'Brightness of His Coming."'
It is evident that Isaiah and Paul refer to the same individual, who can be no other than the Antichrist.
In Isa. 14:4-6 there is a description of a "King of Babylon" who shall smite the people in his wrath, and rule the nations in anger, and shall in his pride say-
"I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the 'Stars of God' (Heavenly Rulers). I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High."
This king is called LUCIFER, "Son of the Morning," and his "fall" is described. He is cast down to Hell (Sheol, the Grave or Underworld), where his coming creates a great stir among the kings of the earth that have preceded him, and who exclaim when they see him-
"Art thou also become weak as we? Art thou become like unto us? ........... Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; that made the world as a wilderness and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? "
There has never as yet been such a king of Babylon as is here described. It must therefore refer to some "future ruler" of Babylon when Babylon shall be rebuilt, as it is to be.
Verses 12 to 14 evidently refer to Satan, and are descriptive of him before his fall, but as he is to incarnate himself in the Antichrist, who is to be a future King of Babylon, it explains the source of the pride and presumption of Antichrist, which will lead to his downfall, as it did to Satan's.
2. Daniel's Foreview.
In the chapter on "The Gentiles" we described how Daniel saw come up among the "Ten Horns" on the head of the Fourth Wild Beast a "Little Horn," and that this "Little Horn" had "eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things." Dan. 7:7, Dan. 7:8. Daniel was told that this "Little Horn" was a king that should arise, and that he would be a "person" of remarkable intelligence and great oratorical powers, having a "mouth speaking great things." That he would be audacious, arrogant, imperious and persecuting, and change "times and laws" and that the "Saints of the Most High" (Daniel's own people, the Jews) would be given into his hands for a "Time" and "Times" and the "dividing of Time," or 3 1/2 years. Dan. 7:23-25.
Later Daniel had a vision of a Ram and a He-Goat contesting for supremacy. Dan. 8:1-3.
The He-Goat had a "notable horn" between his eyes. This "Great Horn" was broken, and in its place "four notable horns" sprang up, and out of one of them sprang forth a "Little Horn"
When Daniel asked for the meaning of the vision he was told that the Ram stood for the Medo-Persian Kingdom, and the He-Goat for the Grecian, and that the "Four Horns" that came up in the place of the "Great Horn" stood for "Four Kings" and that the "Little Horn" that came up on one of the "Four Horns" stood for a King of "Fierce Countenance," who in the "latter time" of their kingdom (the Four Worldwide Kingdoms and not the four Kingdoms into which the Grecian Empire was divided, for the "time" will be that when the "transgressors are come to the full"), shall stand up.
This King shall understand "dark sentences," and
"His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power (Satan shall incarnate himself in him), and he shall destroy, wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice and shall destroy the mighty and the Holy People (the Jews). And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand (no one shall be able to buy without the 'mark of the Beast.' Rev. 13:17), and he shall magnify himself in his heart (2Thes. 2:3, 2Thes. 2:4), and by peace shall destroy many; he shall also stand up against the 'Prince of Princes,' but he shall be broken without hand." Dan. 8:23-25.
This clearly identifies the "Little Horn" or "King of Fierce Countenance" which came out of one of the "Four Horns" that took the place of the "Notable Horn" on the head of the He-Goat as the Antichrist, for Antiochus Epiphanes (B. C. 175-165) nor any other ruler of the past has ever stood up against JESUS, the"Prince of Princes."
Neither was Antiochus Epiphanes "broken without hand; " he died a natural death at Tabae in B.C. 165. But the Antichrist is to be "broken without hand." His Kingdom is to be destroyed by a "stone cut out of the mountain without hands," the "Stone Kingdom" of the Lord Jesus Christ, Dan. 2:34, Dan. 2:35, Dan. 2:44, Dan. 2:45, and he himself shall be "paralyzed" by the "brightness of the Lord's Coming" (1Thes. 2:8), and be cast "a-live" into the Lake of Fire. Rev. 19:20.
Two "good" men, Enoch and Elijah, were translated to Heaven without dying," and two "bad" men, spoken of officially as the Beast and the False Prophet, shall be cast into the Lake of Fire "without dying."
Those who claim that the "Little Horn" of Dan. 7, and the "Little Horn" of Dan. 8, are not the same, because the "Little Horn" of Dan. 7 arises amid the "Ten Horns," of the Fourth Beast, which represents the Roman Empire, and the "Little Horn" of Dan. 8, arises on one of the Four Horns," that take the place of the "Great Horn" on the head of the He-Goat, which represents the Third Beast, the Grecian Empire, forget that the vision that the Apostle John had of the revived Roman Empire (Rev. 13:1, 2-the Roman Empire in its last stage), reveals the fact that the "last stage" of the Roman Empire will include "all the characteristics" of the whole Four Empires, Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Grecian and old Roman. This is seen in the character of the "Beast" John saw come up out of the sea. It was like unto a Leopard (Greece), with the "feet" of a Bear (Medo-Persian), and the "mouth" of a Lion (Babylon). The fact that the "body" of the Beast was like a Leopard (Greece) reveals the fact that the preponderating feature of the revived Roman Empire will be Grecian, and that therefore the "Ten Federated Kingdoms" will include the Four Kingdoms into which the Grecian Empire was divided, viz., Egypt, Macedon, Thrace and Syria. It follows therefore that the "Little Horn" that arises on the "Fourth Horn" of the He-Goat (Greece) is identical with the "Little Horn" of the Fourth Beast (Rome). Those who claim that the "Little Horn" that came up on one of the "Four Horns" of the He-Goat was fulfilled in Antiochus Epiphanes (who was a king of Syria) overlook the fact that while Antiochus Epiphanes devastated Palestine and caused an "idol altar" to be erected on the altar of the Temple, on which he offered swine's flesh, which was an abomination to the Jews, he does not fulfill the description of the "Little Horn" of the He-Goat. Dan. 8:9-11. He does not compare with him for Satanic malice.
The "Abomination of Desolation" that Daniel refers to (Dan. 9:27) is to occur in the "last half" of "Daniel's Seventieth Week," and as Jesus spoke of it as still unfulfilled in His day (Matt. 24:15), it is clear that Antiochus Epiphanes was not the fulfillment of the "Little Horn" of Dan. 8:9-11.
While it was revealed to Daniel that the "Little Horn," or Antichrist, should come out of one of the "Four Horns" that took the place of the "Great Horn" on the head of the He-Goat, he needed further light as to which one.
We now know from history that the "Great Horn" represented Alexander the Great, and that the "Four Notable Horns" that took the place of the "Great Horn" at the death of Alexander the Great represented the Four Kingdoms into which his Kingdom was divided, visible, Egypt, Macedon, Thrace and Syria, which included Assyria. These Four Kingdoms were in time all absorbed into the "Fourth World Kingdom," the Roman Empire, the last to lose its identity being Egypt, which succumbed in B.C. 30.
That Daniel might know in which one of these Four Kingdoms the "Little Horn," or Antichrist, should arise, 15 years after his vision of the "Ram and He-Goat" the Lord gave him a third vision, that of two kings, the "King of the North" and the "King of the South." Dan. 11:1-3.
The "King of the North" was the King of Syria, and as his character and conduct is described (Dan. 11:36-38) as similar to that of the "Little Horn" that came out of one of the "Four Horns" it is clear that the Antichrist is to come from Syria.
That the "King of the North" spoken of in Dan. 11:21-23 was Antiochus Epiphanes there can be no question, but that he was not the "Little Horn," or the Antichrist, who is to come out of Syria in the "latter days" is clear from the remainder of the chapter from the 35th verse, which describes the conduct of the future Antichrist.
The intervening verses, the 32d to the 35th inclusive, fill in the gap between the time of Antiochus Fpiphanes and the appearance of the Antichrist.
There is no intimation that Antiochus Epiphanes is even to be regarded as a "type" of Antichrist. They are distinct historical personages, each dealt with in his own place, and though they resemble each other in some respects, yet they must not be confounded with each other.
The terms "North" and "South" are applied to Syria and Egypt because of their geographic relation to Palestine (the Pleasant or Glorious Land. Dan. 8:9; Dan. 11:16, Dan. 11:41). In the thought of Jehovah Jerusalem is at once the geographic and moral centre of the earth. We are to understand therefore by the "King of the North" the King of Syria, which also included Assyria. This fixes the locality from which the Antichrist shall come, for we read in Isa. 10:12-
And we read in Isa. 14:25-
The context shows that this prophecy is connected with the restoration of Israel to their own land and the time of the downfall of Antichrist.
To recapitulate, we see from the three visions of Daniel that-
1. He learned from the "Little Horn" of the Fourth Wild Beast, that a Mysterious and Terrible Personage was to arise in the "Latter Days."
2. He learned from the "Little Horn" that came up on one of the "Four Notable Horns" that took the place of the "Great Horn" on the He-Goat, that that "Terrible Personage" was to come out of one of the Kingdoms into which the Grecian Empire was divided at the death of Alexander the Great.
3. He learned from the vision of the "King of the North" that that "Terrible Personage" would come out of the Syrian division of Alexander's Kingdom.
The Antichrist, therefore, in all probability will be a Syrian Jew, for it is not likely that the Jews will accept as their Messiah one who is not a Jew, unless the claimant by false pretence makes them believe he is one. This, however, does not prevent the Antichrist being a Roman citizen, and a king of the revived Roman Empire, for Saul of Tarsus was both a Jew and a Roman citizen.
3. Paul's Foreview.
Writing to the Thessalonians, Paul says-
In the American Standard Edition of the Bible the Antichrist is called the "MYSTERY OF LAWLESSNESS" or the "LAWLESS ONE." As such he is not the cause of "Lawlessness," he is the result or fruit of it, for he will arise out of the seething cauldron of "Lawlessness" that is now becoming pronounced and manifest in the world The name that the Apostle Paul gives the Antichrist, the-"SON OF PERDITION, " is not without significance. The name is used but twice in the Scripture. It is first used by Christ of JUDAS (John 17:12), and then here of ANTICHRIST. The Apostle also calls the Antichrist in this passage the "MYSTERY OF INIQUITY." What does that mean? In 1Tim. 3:16, Christ is spoken of as the "MYSTERY OF GODLINESS." That is, that He was GOD MANIFEST IN THE FLESH. How did He become "manifest in the flesh"? By being born of the Virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit. Thus it was that Jesus became the "SON OF GOD." Luke 1:35. Now as iniquity is the opposite of Godliness, then the "MYSTERY OF INIQUITY" must be the opposite of the "MYSTERY OF GODLINESS." That is, if Christ is the "MYSTERY OF GODLINESS, " Antichrist must be the "MYSTERY OF INIQUITY, " and as Christ was the "SON OF GOD, " then Antichrist must be the "SON OF PERDITION, " that is of SATAN. And as Christ was born of a virgin by the Holy Spirit, so Antichrist will be born of a WOMAN (not necessarily a virgin) by Satan. This is no new view for it has been held by many of God's spiritually minded children since the days of the Apostle John, and there is some warrant for it in the Scriptures. In Gen. 3:15, God said to the Serpent (Satan), "I will put enmity between thee and the woman ' and between 'THY SEED' and 'HER SEED'." Now the Woman's SEED was CHRIST, then the Serpent's SEED must be ANTICHRIST. In John 8:44 Jesus said to the Jews-"Ye are of your father THE DEVIL..... When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar, and the father of IT." In the Greek there is the definite article before "lie, " and it should read "THE LIE, " so when the Devil speaks of "THE LIE, " he is speaking of his own (child), for he is a liar, and the FATHER OF "IT"-"THE LIE." And it is worthy of note that in the verse (vs. 11) that follows the passage we are considering that the Apostle says-"And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie." ' Here again the definite article is found in the Greek, and it should read "The LIE, " the "SON OF PERDITION." the ANTICHRIST.
But why was Judas called the "SON OF PERDITION"? Was he a child of Satan by some woman, or was he simply indwelt by Satan? Here we must let the Scriptures speak for themselves. In John 6:70-71 we read that Jesus said "Have not I chosen you Twelve, and one of you is a DEVIL? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon; for he it was that should betray Him, being one of the Twelve." In no other passage than this is the word "Devil" applied to anyone but to Satan himself. Here the word is "diabolus, " the definite article is employed, and it should read-"and one of you is THE DEVIL." This would make Judas the Devil incarnate, or the "MYSTERY OF INIQUITY." and explains why Jesus in John 17:12, calls him the "SON OF PERDITION."
This is the only place in the Scriptures where the word "diabolus" is applied to a human being, and it implies an incarnation.
While "Perdition" is a PLACE (Rev. 17:8, 1 1), it is also a "condition" into which men may fall (1Tim. 6:9; Heb. 10:39), and while men who have committed the "Unpardonable Sin" are "sons of perdition, " because they are destined to the place of the irrevocably lost, yet Judas and Antichrist are the "SONS OF PERDITION" in a special sense, for they are the SONS of the author of "Perdition"THE DEVIL. That is they are not merely "obsessed" or controlled by the Devil, the Devil has incarnated himself in them, and for the time being, to all practical purposes, they are the very Devil himself.
The next question that arises is, "If Judas and the Antichrist are both called the 'SON OF PERDITION, ' are they one and the same, or are there two 'Sons of Perdition'? " Here we must anticipate. Turning to Rev. 11:7, we read that the "Beast" that slays the "Two Witnesses" ascends out of the "Bottomless Pit" (ABYSS), and that "Beast" is the ANTICHRIST. Now how did he get into the "ABYSS"; ' Well, if there is only one "SON OF PERDITION, " and Judas and Antichrist are one and the same, then he got in the ABYSS when Judas went to his "Own Place" (the ABYSS). Acts 1:25. Of no other person is it said anywhere in the Scriptures that he went "to his own place." Again in Rev. 17:8 it is said-"The 'Beast' that thou sawest was, and is not: and shall ascend out of the 'Bottomless Pit' (Abyss), and go into PERDITION." As this "Beast" is the same that slays the "Two Witnesses" he is the ANTICHRIST. Now there are four things said of him. First, he "WAS." Second, he "IS NOT." Third, he shall "ASCEND OUT OF THE BOTTOMLESS PIT." Fourth, he shall "GO INTO PERDITION." From this we learn that in John's day the "Beast" "Was Not, " but that he had been before on the earth, and was to come again, that he was to ASCEND FROM THE BOTTOMLESS PIT. This is positive proof that the ANTICHRIST has been on the earth before, and that when he comes in the future he will come from the "ABYSS."
The question then arises, when was "Antichrist" on the earth before? If Judas and Antichrist are one and the same the enigma is solved. When Judas was on the earth, he WAS; when Judas went to his "Own Place" he "WAS NOT"; when Judas comes back from the "Abyss" he will be-THE ANTICHRIST. The Author does not insist on this view of Judas and Antichrist being correct, but with open mind he accepts it, because it seems to be the only logical solution of both Judas and Antichrist being called the "SON OF PERDITION."
On the Isle of Patmos the Apostle John had his vision of the Antichrist.
When we compare these "Foreviews, " and note the similarity of conduct of Daniel's "LITTLE HORN, " Paul's "MAN OF SIN, " and John's "BEAST, " and that Daniel's "LITTLE HORN" and John's "BEAST" are to continue for the same length of time-"Forty and Two Months, " or 3 1/2 years, and that Daniel's "LITTLE HORN, " Paul's "MAN OF SIN, " and John's "BEAST, " are all to be destroyed in the same manner at Christ's "Second Coming, " we see that they all prefigure the same "Evil Power" which is after the "Working of Satan, " and which John in 1John 2:18, calls THE ANTICHRIST. In other words when we find in prophecy "Three Symbolic Personages" that come upon the stage of action at the same time, occupy the same territory, exhibit the same character, do the same work, exist the same length of time, and meet the same fate, they must symbolize the SAME THING.
Before we examine in detail John's "BEAST, " it would be well for us to compare it with Daniel's
While both "Beasts" have TEN HORNS, they differ in that John's had "SEVEN HEADS" while Daniel's had but ONE, and among the "TEN HORNS" on Daniel's "Beast" there came up a "LITTLE HORN." which is not seen amid the "TEN HORNS" of John's Beast. These, as we shall see, are features that refer to the last stage of the "Beast" and show that we cannot understand the last stage of the "Beast" without carefully comparing Daniel's and John's "Beasts," for the "LITTLE HORN" of Daniel's "Beast" plucks up THREE of the "TEN HORNS" and destroys them, or takes their kingdom away, a thing that John omits to tell us. Again the Antichristian character of Daniel's "Beast" is seen in its "LITTLE HORN" whose conduct corresponds with not a part, but the whole of John's "Beast," and that for the same length of time"TIME" and "TIMES" and the "DIVIDING OF TIME" which equals "FORTY AND TWO MONTHS."
It now remains to analyze the "Beast" that John saw come up out of the sea, and try to discover the meaning of its various members.
We have two descriptions of this "Beast."
Daniel's "Fourth Wild Beast" as we have seen, represents the Roman Empire as it existed from B.C. 30, until as a nation it shall cease to exist. While it was divided in A. D. 364, as the result of an ecclesiastical schism, into its Eastern and Western Divisions, and lost its national life as a world power, yet it has never lost its religious existence or influence as seen in the continuance of the Greek and Roman Churches, and Roman Law is still a controlling power in our laws. In this sense the Roman Empire in its influence has never ceased to exist. We are now to consider it in its last stage as outlined in John's "Beast."
John's Two Visions of the Beast
In the two descriptions of John's Beast as given above it is very important to see that the "Beast" has a "Dual" meaning. It represents both the revived Roman Empire, and its Imperial Head the Antichrist. As the revived Roman Empire it is seen coming up out of the sea of the nations, as the Antichrist it comes up out of the ABYSS. For instance it cannot be said of the Roman Empire of John's day, that it WAS, and IS NOT, for it was at the height of its power in John's day. Neither can it be said of it that it shall ascend out of the pit and go into PERDITION, that could only be said of a person. Again we must distinguish between the body of the "Beast" and its heads and horns. The body being that of a LEOPARD, with the feet of a BEAR, and the mouth of a LION is to show that the revived Roman Empire in its last stage will include the characteristics of the first "Three Wild Beasts" of Daniel, that is, of the LION (Babylon), the BEAR (Medo-Persia), and the LEOPARD (Greece), and as the largest part of the "Beast," the body, is represented by the LEOPARD, the prevailing characteristic of the revived Roman Empire will be GRECIAN.
The "Beast" that comes up out of the sea (Chap. 13) has SEVEN HEADS and TEN HORNS, and the "Horns" are CROWNED. This represents the "Beast," or Empire, at the height of its power, when it will have all its "Heads, " and when the TEN KINGS, the heads of the TEN KINGDOMS into which the Empire shall be divided, will have been crowned. The "Beast" that comes up out of the ABYSS also has SEVEN HEADS and TEN HORNS, but they are not crowned, for the TEN KINGS represented by the TEN HORNS, have not as yet received their kingdom. (Rev. 17:12.) This implies that the "Beast" of Rev. 17, represents the Antichrist at the beginning of the "Week." As confirmation of this view the "WOMAN" is seen at this stage riding the "Beast." For while the "Scarlet Clothed Woman" is not seen until chapter 17 it is clear that she rides the "Beast" from the beginning of the "Week," for she represents the "PAPAL CHURCH" that comes into power after the true Church has been caught out. During the wars preceding the rise of Antichrist the nations that will then be found in the geographical limits of the Old Roman Empire will form an "Alliance" for mutual protection. Those nations will be ten in number, represented by the "TEN HORNS" of the Beast. No doubt the "Papal Church" will play a prominent part in those proceedings. She will be rewarded by restoration to political power, and this union of Church and State, in which the Church will have control, is shown by the WOMAN riding the Beast, thus dominating it. But when the "Ten Kings" shall receive their Kingdoms and be CROWNED, they "shall hate the WHORE, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire." (Vs. 16.)
While we are told in Rev. 17:9 that the "SEVEN HEADS" of the "Beast" represent "SEVEN MOUNTAINS" (this is to identify it with the Roman Empire), we are told in the next verse (R. V.) that they (the "Seven Heads") also represent "SEVEN KINGS" of whom "Five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh he must continue a short space." That is, in John's day "Five" of these Kings had fallen, one was the then ruling Emperor, and the "Seventh" was yet to come. Who are meant by the first "Five Kings" that had fallen we do not know. The King that was on the throne in John's day was Domitian, who had banished John to the Isle of Patmos. The last or "SEVENTH KING" who is yet to come is undoubtedly the ANTICHRIST. - We are told in Rev. 13:3, that one of the "SEVEN HEADS, " or "KINGS, " received a deadly wound." Which one is not stated. The inference is that it is the last, for the Beast has all of his "HEADS" before one of them is wounded. In Rev. 17:11 he is called the Beast that WAS, and IS NOT, even he is the "EIGHTH, " and is of the "SEVENTH, " and goeth into PERDITION. The only clear explanation of this passage is that the "SEVENTH HEAD"-THE ANTICHRIST, is the one who receives the "deadly wound, " probably at the hand of an assassin, and as his body is lying in state prepared for burial, he rises from the dead (Rev. 13:14) and thus becomes the "EIGHTH, " though he is of the "SEVENTH." By this resurrection of the Antichrist, Satan imitates the Resurrection of Christ and makes the world "wonder after the Beast" (Rev. 13:3), and this adds to his prestige and power. If this happens at the "Middle of the Week," at the time the Dragon is cast out of Heaven, it will account for the great change that takes place in the Antichrist, for before receiving his "deadly wound" he will be sweet and lovable, but after his resurrection or recovery lie becomes Devilish, the result of the Dragon incarnating himself in him. It is at this time that he breaks the Covenant with the Jews and desecrates the Temple by setting up the "Abomination of Desolation" which is an "Idol Image" of himself-the "DESOLATOR." As the "LITTLE HORN" of Daniel's "Fourth Wild Beast" he will destroy three of the "Ten Kings" and firmly establish himself in the place of power, and as he, as the "LITTLE HORN, " does not appear until after the "TEN HORNS, " or "Ten Federated Kingdoms," come into existence, it is clear that the Antichrist does not form the Federation, but is the outgrowth of it.
III. His Character.
He will be a "composite" man. One who embraces in his character the abilities and powers of Nebuchadnezzar, Xerxes, Alexander the Great and Caesar Augustus. He will have the marvellous gift of attracting unregenerate men, and the irresistible fascination of his personality, his versatile attainments, superhuman wisdom, great administrative and executive ability, along with his powers as a consummate flatterer, a brilliant diplomatist, a superb strategist, will make him the most conspicuous and prominent of men. All these gifts will be conferred on him by Satan, whose tool he will be, and who will thus make him the-
He will pose as a great humanitarian, the friend of men, and the especial friend of the Jewish race, whom he will persuade that he has come to usher in the "Golden Age" as pictured by the prophets, and who will receive him as their Messiah.
He will intoxicate men with a strong delusion and his never varying success. And when he shall be slain and rise again he will have lost none of these powers, but will be in addition the embodiment of all kinds of wickedness and blasphemy.
"He shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws." Dan. 7:25.
"He shall also stand up against the 'Prince of Princes"' (Jesus). Dan. 8:25.
"He shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of Gods." Dan. 11:36.
"Who opposeth and exaltetli himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he AS GOD sitteth in the Temple of God (at Jerusalem) showing himself that he IS GOD..... whose coming is after the Working of Satan with all Power and Signs and Lying Wonders." 2Thes. 2:3-5.
There has never as yet appeared on this earth a person who answers the description given in the above Scriptures. Such a character is almost inconceivable. No writer would have invented such a character.
IV. His Reign.
He shall reign for seven years, or during the whole of Daniel's "Seventieth Week."
"And he shall confirm the Covenant with many for ONE WEEK (Daniel's Seventieth week) and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease." Dan. 9:27.
After the Church has been caught out the Jews will be gathered back to their own land unconverted. About this time ten of the Nations occupying the territory of the old Roman Empire will enter into a Federation. Among the Ten Kings of those nations will arise the Antichrist. He will soon prove himself to be a Great Ruler and will be made PRESIDENT. The Government will be a Democratic Monarchy.
The President will make a "Covenant" with the Jewish people. It may be a Covenant restoring to them their own land. Whatever its character, the Prophet Isaiah speaks of it as a "Covenant With Death and Hell." Isa. 28:15.
For 3 1/2 years the President of the Federation will keep the Covenant. Then he will break it. For the balance of his reign, 3 1/2 years, he will cause an awful persecution of the Jews, called "The Great Tribulation."
It will not, however, be limited to them, for we read in Rev. 13:7, Rev. 13:8, that he shall be given power
"Over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the Book of Life."
For a description of this period see the Chapter on "The Great Tribulation."
V. His Doom.
At the end of the seven years the allied armies of the Ten 'Federated Nations will gather together in the Valley of Megiddo, north of Jerusalem, to besiege that city. Zech. 14:2. The Lord will pour upon the "House of David" (Israel), and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the "spirit of grace and supplication" (Zech. 12:10). Then the Lord, at the head of the "armies of Heaven," will come to their rescue (Rev. 19:11-13), and the Jews will see Christ descend upon the Mt. of Olives (Zech. 14:4) and the Beast (Antichrist) and the kings of the earth, and their armies will gather together to make war against the Lord, and the Beast and the False Prophet will be taken and cast alive into the "Lake of Fire" and the remnant of those armies shall be slain with the sword of Him who sits upon the "White Horse," and the fowls of the air will be summoned unto the "Supper of the Great God" and shall feed on the flesh of kings, and captains, and of mighty men. Rev. 19:17-19.
3. The Satanic Trinity
As the God of this world (Age), he aims to "ape" God. As God sent His Son (Jesus) into the world, so Satan shall send Antichrist into the world. As God was in Christ, so Satan will incarnate himself in Antichrist.
The "Mystery of Godliness" is God manifest in the "flesh." 1Tim. 3:16. The "Mystery of Iniquity" will be Satan manifest in the "flesh." 2Thes. 2:7. Satan will see to it that Antichrist has all that Christ has.
I. Christ has a Church-the "Ecclesia; " Antichrist will have a church, the "Synagogue of Satan." Rev. 2:9; Rev. 3:9.
II. Christ will have a Bride, the "Church," Eph. 5:25-27; Antichrist will have a bride, the "Mystic Harlot Church." Rev. 17:1-3.
III. Christ has a Cup, "The Communion Cup," 1Cor. 10:16; 1Cor. 11:25; Antichrist has a cup,
the "Cup of Devils." 1Cor. 10:21.
IV. Christ's earthly ministry lasted for three and a half years, and Satan shall reign in Antichrist for the same length of time.
V. Christ died at the age of thirty-three years, and for ought we know Antichrist shall be smitten at the same age; the age at which Alexander the Great, the "Great Horn" of the He-Goat, died.
VI. The Godhead is a Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and Satan proposes, as the "God of this Age," to manifest himself as a Trinity. In contradistinction to the Divine Trinity we call this manifestation a
The members of it are-
1. "The Dragon"-the Anti-GOD."
We have spoken of the first two under the heads of Satan and Antichrist, all that we need to consider in this chapter is-
THE FALSE PROPHET
After the Apostle John had seen and described the "Beast" that came up out of the SEA, he saw another "Beast" come up out of the EARTH. This "Second Beast," while John does not say it was a lamb, had "Two Horns" "like a lamb, " that is, it was LAMB-LIKE. Because of this resemblance many claim that the "Second Beast" is the Antichrist, for Antichrist is supposed to imitate Christ. While the LAMB (Christ) is mentioned in the Book of Revelation 22 times, the description given of Him in chapter 5:6, is that of a lamb having "SEVEN HORNS" and not "TWO." This differentiates Him from the "lamb-like Beast" that comes up out of the earth, who, though he is "lamb-like in appearance SPEAKS AS A DRAGON."
The "Second Beast" has a name. fie is called the "FALSE PROPHET" three times. First in chapter 16:13, then in chapter 19:20, and again in chapter 20:10. Twice he is associated with the "First Beast" (Antichrist) and once with the "Dragon" (Satan) and the "First Beast," and as they are PERSONS so must he be. The fact that he is called the "False Prophet" is proof that he is not the "Antichrist." Jesus had a foreview of him when He said-"There shall arise 'FALSE CHRISTS' and 'FALSE PROPHETS, 'and shall show GREAT SIGNS AND WONDERS: insomuch that, if it were possible they shall deceive the very elect." Matt. 24:24. Here Jesus differentiates between "FALSE CHRISTS" and "FALSE PROPHETS." therefore the "ANTICHRIST" and the "FALSE PROPHET" cannot be the same.
That the "Second Beast" comes up out of the EARTH may signify that he will be a resurrected person. If, as was hinted at, "Antichrist" was Judas resurrected, why should not the "False Prophet" also be a resurrected person? There will be two persons, as we have seen, who shall come back from Heaven as the "Two Witnesses," Moses and Elijah, why not two persons come up from "The Underworld," brought up by Satan to counteract the work of the "Two Witnesses"? The fact that the "First Beast" (Antichrist) and the "Second Beast" (False Prophet) are cast ALIVE into the "Lake of Fire" (Rev. 19:20) is further proof that they are more than ordinary mortals, and that the "First Beast" is more than the last ruling Emperor of the revived Roman Empire. He is the Antichrist, Satan's SUPERMAN.
In the "Dragon," the "Beast," and the "False Prophet," we have the "SATANIC TRINITY, " Satan's imitation of the "Divine Trinity." In the unseen and invisible "Dragon" we have the FATHER (the ANTI-GOD). In the "Beast" we have the "SON OF PERDITION" (the ANTI-CHRIST), begotten of the Dragon, who appears on the earth, dies, and is resurrected, and to whom is given a throne by his Father the Dragon. In the "False Prophet" we have the "ANTI-SPIRIT" who proceeds from the "Dragon Father" and "Dragon Son," and whose speech is like the Dragon's. The "Dragon" then will be the "ANTI-GOD, " the "Beast" the "ANTI-CHRIST, " and the "False Prophet" the "ANTI-SPIRIT, " and the fact that all three are cast ALIVE into the "Lake of Fire" (Rev. 20:10) is proof that they together form a "Triumvirate" which we may well call "THE SATANIC TRINITY."
Again the "Antichrist" is to be a KING and rule over a KINGDOM. He will accept the "Kingdoms of this world" that Satan offered Christ, and that Christ refused. Matt. 4:8-10. He will also EXALT himself, and claim to be God. 2Thes. 2:4. But the "False Prophet" is not a King, He does not exalt himself, he exalts the "First Beast" (Antichrist). His relation to the "First Beast" is the same as the Holy Spirit's relation to Christ. He causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the "First Beast." He also has power to give life, and in this he imitates the 14oly Spirit. And as the followers of Christ are sealed by the Holy Spirit until the "Day of Redemption" (Eph. 4:30) ; so, the followers of Antichrist shall be sealed by the False Prophet until the "Day of Perdition." Rev. 13:16-17.
The False Prophet will be a "Miracle Worker." While Jesus was a "miracle worker," He did all His mighty works in the "power" of the Holy Spirit. Acts 10:38. Among the miracles that the False Prophet will perform he will bring down FIRE FROM HEAVEN. As we have seen under the work of the "Two Witnesses," Rev. 11:1-3, there will probably be a "FIRE-TEST" between Elijah and the False Prophet, and the test as to who is God of Mount Carmel will
be repeated. That Satan, who will then energize the False Prophet, can do this is clear from Job I:16, where Satan, having secured permission from God to touch all that Job had, brought down "fire from heaven" and burned up Job's sheep and servants.
The False Prophet then commands the people to make an
"IMAGE OF THE BEAST."
This is further proof that the "First Beast" is the Antichrist. It is a strange weakness of mankind that they must have some VISIBLE God to worship, and when the Children of Israel, who had been delivered from Egypt under Moses' leadership, thought he had forsaken them because he did not come down from the Mount, they called Aaron to make them gods which should go before them, and Aaron made for them the "GOLDEN CALF." Ex. 32:1-3. So the False Prophet will have the people make for the purpose of worship an "IMAGE OF THE BEAST." But the wonderful thing about the "IMAGE" is that the False Prophet will have power to give LIFE to it, and cause it to SPEAK, and to demand that all who will not worship it shall be put to death. In other words the "IMAGE" will be a living, speaking, AUTOMATON.
This "Image" reminds us of the "GOLDEN IMAGE" that Nebuchadnezzar commanded to be made and set up in the "Plain of Dura," in the Province of Babylon (Dan. 3:1-3), before which, at the sounding of musical instruments, the people were commanded to bow down and worship under penalty, for those who disobeyed, of being cast into a "BURNING FIERY FURNACE." Doubtless there will be many in the "Day of Antichrist" who will refuse to bow down and worship the "Image of the Beast, " and who will not escape as did the "Three Hebrew Children," though God may interpose in a miraculous way to deliver some. And as if this was not enough the False Prophet shall cause-"ALL, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a 'MARK' in their RIGHT HAND, or in their FOREHEAD; and that no man might BUY or SELL, save he that has the 'MARK' or the 'NAME OF THE BEAST, ' or the 'NUMBER OF HIS NAME'." This "MARK" will be known as the
"BRAND OF HELL."
This is what the world is fast coming to. The time is not far distant when the various "Trusts" and "Combinations of Capital" will be merged into a "FEDERATION OF TRUSTS, " at the head of which shall be a "NAPOLEON OF CAPITAL." Ultimately this "Federation of Trusts" will extend to the whole world, at the head of which shall be THE ANTICHRIST, and the producer and consumer will be powerless in the tentacles of this OCTOPUS, and no man shall be able to BUY or SELL who has not the "MARK OF THE BEAST" either upon his "right hand" or on his "forehead." This "Mark" will be BRANDED or burnt on. It will probably be the "NUMBER OF THE BEAST" or "666." The number "666" is the "NUMBER OF MAN, " and stops short of the perfect number SEVEN. Man was created on the SIXTH day. Goliath the opposer of God's people, a type of Satan, was 6 cubits in height, he had 6 pieces of armor, and his spearhead weighed 600 shekels. 1Sam. 17:4-6. Nebuchadnezzar's Image, a type of the "Image of the Beast," was 60 cubits in height, 6 cubits wide, and 6 instruments of music summoned the worshippers. Dan. 3:1-3.
In that day men will doubtless prefer to have the "MARK" on the back of their right hand so it can be readily seen in the act of signing checks, drafts, and receipts. There will doubtless be public officials in all public places of business to see that no one buys or sells who has not the "MARK." This will apply to women as well as men. No one can shop, or even buy from the huckster at the door, without the "MARK, " under penalty of DEATH. Those will be awful times for those who will not WORSHIP THE BEAST. If they can neither buy nor sell without the "MARK, " they must beg, or starve or be killed. The instrument of death will be the guillotine (Rev. 20:4), and the daily papers will contain a list of the names of those who were beheaded the day before so as to frighten the people into obedience to the law. The doom of the "Satanic Trinity" will be, that at the close of that awful time of Tribulation the Lord Jesus Christ will return, and the "Dragon, " the "Anti-God, " will be cast into the "BOTTOMLESS PIT" for a thousand years (Rev. 20:1-3), and the "Beast," the "Anti-Christ, " and the "False Prophet," the "Anti-Spirit, " will be cast ALIVE into the "LAKE OF FIRE." Rev. 19:20.
THE COMING OF HIS FEET
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