The stage is set for the fulfillment of God’s purposes. Satan has had his way with the world. The Great Deception is almost complete. Eternity is but steps away.
THE END OF THINGS
“Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.” (Luke 21:32-33)
The rebellion that started in the Garden is coming to its inevitable end. For centuries Satan has laid the groundwork, preparing the hearts and the minds of people to abandon the way of God and accept his rule. In the last days a False Prophet will come to power using “lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved”. However note the very next passage. It is “for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness”. (2Thessalonians 2:9-12)
The False Prophet that will come will be a man of religion, and a man of miracles. In Revelation 13:11 John saw one who “had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon”. There is a lot to this imagery. Now horns in the Bible are a symbol of power. Like a lamb he has 2 horns, the confirmed junior partner to the 10-horned Antichrist.[i] In addition as a lamb, he stands as a symbol of the unthreatening nature of religion. Even the False Religion of the End Times will be cloaked in ultra-tolerant language and non-threatening imagery. In that way, – and in that way only, – he will offer himself as an imitation of Jesus, the true Lamb of God. Finally, the two horns may represent the twin sources of his power, an apostate form of Roman Catholicism and Islam. That’s a conclusion drawn by no less a scholar of the End Times than Perry Stone.[ii] Now a bit of conjecture: With what we have looked at thus far, it is not unlikely that this False Prophet will be a future Pope who will abandon the Faith, – denying even the divinity and Resurrection of Christ in order to bring all religions, – including Islam, – under the sway of the papacy. It is likely that he will use the common ground of the worship of Mary to do so. Stone believes that a Marian vision in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount could be the catalyst that gets all of this in motion.
Whatever the exact event, this False Prophet will cause “the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast”. (Revelation 13:12) He will use great signs to convince the masses, including making “fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men”. His power will extend to both the spiritual and the financial. He will have “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. 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, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Revelation 13:13, 15-17) The beast will give his power to the Antichrist. [As we have seen, this is right in line with the plans of the Illuminati to establish a monolithic political, religious and financial control, – and reduce world population in the process.]
The world will follow the Antichrist; despite the fact that he will take a stand against all that is holy. He will lead the persecution of the believers in the True God. “And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Revelation 13:5-8) His arrogance will be unprecedented. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 tells us that when “the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped” he will sit “as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God”.
The time of trial called the Tribulation is in full swing now, God’s catastrophic judgments are visited upon the earth. The End Times Religion that has gripped man is ushered in by the Unholy Trinity of Satan counterfeiting the role of the Father, with Antichrist playing God’s Son and the False Prophet His Holy Spirit. Together they lead the whole world into open, military rebellion against God. “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” (Revelation 16:3-4)
Of course man is no match for God. So what follows is the “judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication” (Revelation 17:1-2) This ‘Great Harlot’ represents the entire Antichrist System; – political, economic and religious. God will sit in judgment on the sovereign power and religious influence of this false religion that will have infected all the nations of the earth.[iii]
This is a system overflowing with riches. John describes it as “arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” (Revelation 17:4-5) Conservative scholar John MacArthur believes that this refers to a spiritual Babylon whose identity has not yet been revealed. Others say that there will surely be a physical revival of the ancient city of Babylon in Iraq, where all False Religion originated. Saddam Hussein started to rebuild the ancient capital under his reign. Still others see this as referring to the Roman Religion. With all the persecution under Roman rule during the early Christian era, the term ‘Babylon’ became a code word for Roman power. And most certainly, it will involve a form of open triumph of the pagan religious system which has been preserved by the secret societies since even the days of Nimrod. Masons, Rosicrucians, Kabbalists, Theosophists and others have long sought and prophesied the coming of an enlightened avatar, – a man with perfected knowledge of the occult powers, – who would restore the Ancient Mysteries. They are looking for nothing less than the triumph of the revived religion of Nimrod and Babylon; – an open worship of Satan himself. [With God’s word so often fulfilled on multiple levels, I would not be surprised to see some combined fulfillment of this prophecy.]
We are told too that this will be a bloody system, slaughtering God’s people; – saints and Jews. “I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.” (Revelation 17:6) Again there is controversy as to just what this referred to by this verse. Some point to the Inquisition to implicate Catholicism. But as Walid Shoebat points out, Islam has far exceeded the total of any Christian on Christian persecution. In addition Catholicism does not deny the divinity of Jesus, – though this future religious amalgamation under a future pope just may. Then, it is pointed out that the method of murder will be beheading; – always an Islamic favorite.[iv]
In the end it is the politically minded Antichrist himself that destroys the False Prophet and his One World Religion. Ultimately, the political despises the religious. Here’s how John puts it in Revelation 17:16-18: “And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth”
So God destroys this world system of the Beast in whose sins “all the nations” and “the kings of the earth” have participated. God’s judgment comes in a single hour. He sends an angel to pronounce the sentence. “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons”. The unrepentant world will “weep and mourn over her” for the loss of their business. (Revelation 18:3, 10, 2, 11) But heaven will rejoice. And this is the indictment pronounced in Revelation 18:23-24: “For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived. And in her was found the blood of the prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth”.
[i] John MacArthur, The John MacArthur Study Bible, notes on Revelation 13, found on pg 2010
[ii] A good case is made for this conclusion by Perry Stone, in his book, The Pope, The Eagle And The Iron Sickle,
Voice of Evangelism, 2006
[iii] John MacArthur, The John MacArthur Study Bible, notes on Revelation, pgs 2011 & 2015
[iv] Walid Shoebat, from his presentation at the International Prophecy Conference 2007