“…while he looks like a lamb it says he will sound like a dragon. What do we make of it? Its the idea that the final false prophet, like all false prophets in history, will pretend to be one thing while in reality he is something else.”
False prophets have come and gone like the flowers in the field. We’ve seen the Zedekiah’s, the Ahab’s, the Hanoniah’s the Shemaiah’s, the Balaam’s, the Bar-Jesus’ and the Noadiah’s in Biblical history. They came and they went. Sadly, they will keep coming.
The Bible warns believers that Satan will continue to send his ambassadors throughout this world to lead people away from salvation and the knowledge of God.
Satan gets the greatest enjoyment however from successfully sending false prophets into the Church. When the Church adulterously welcomes and entertains false prophets it is an even better victory than winning the attention of the lost.
But God lets him do this. Why? In Deuteronomy 13:1-5 it says that God was going to test the Israelites faithfulness to Him by letting false prophets come into their midst. Would they test the false prophets and stone them (Dt. 18:20) like they were supposed to? Or, would they foolishly embrace them?
Jesus applauded the Ephesian Church in Revelation 2 for effectively detecting who were false apostles.
Satan is hungry for power and worship. He is very involved in the course of politics as well as religion. We’ve looked extensively at his political work in the end of days. Now let’s turn towards his spiritual ambitions via the false prophet. The false prophet is here referred to as a second beast. But in Revelation 19 he is called the false prophet and seen as the partner in crime with Antichrist.
#1: His Appearance (v11)
First we are told of the Appearance of the False Prophet in verse 11, “…”
He is called another beast. The word “another” in the Greek means “of the same kind”. The second beast is going to be of the same kind as the first. In what way? His power will come from Satan. His purpose will be the exaltation of Satan. His career will promote evil and deception. He will be like the first beast. His career will complement that of the first beast. God had His two witnesses, now, these two will be the dynamic duo of Satan on earth.
Notice he looks like a lamb. Interesting. It contrasts with the frightening appearance of the first dragon. This second beast has 2 little lamb horns while the first beast is called the imposing horn (Dan. 7:20). But, while he looks like a lamb it says he will sound like a dragon. What do we make of it? Its the idea that the final false prophet, like all false prophets in history, will pretend to be one thing while in reality he is something else. We recall what Jesus’ said in Matthew 7, “Beware of false prophets, they come in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”
Quote Macarthur, pg 59
The false prophet’s ferocity will be cloaked in benevolence. He will come across as a lamb – gentle, kind, compassionate – while in reality he will be a dragon – evil, deceptive, murderous, power hungry. Satan came across that way to Adam and Eve. You never see them alarmed at any point in their conversation with him. They saw Satan as offering something beneficial to them. Something they thought God was keeping from them. Was that Satan’s goal? To help Adam and Eve? No. But to achieve his goal he had to make them believe that. His goal was nothing less than to murder them. And that is what he did. He knew they were dead if they ate from the tree and that is what he wanted. He didn’t care for their betterment and well-being, he hated them with every fiber of his own being. That is how false teachers are. They are ambassadors of Satan and they lie, just like their father the Father of Lies, in order to murder and steal.
False prophets and teachers put on a face – a face they know will gain them public favor. They know how to talk the language of the times, appeal to the contemporary thinking on morality, offer themselves as solutions to modern problems and help people be on “the right side of history”. The final false prophet will come across as a unity builder, someone who is non-judgmental and promotes tolerance and healing. He will be the chief spokesman for “Co-exist” advocates. He will seem kind, accepting, compassionate, helpful and concerned. All of these things can be good, but, all of these things can be deceptively used to achieve a sinister agenda. It is a way of collecting the public’s support and favor, from which the true plans can be implemented. They like him! He’s great! Let’s do what he says!
Christians be on guard. Ephesians 4:14 says, “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and ther by every wind of teaching aby the cunning and craftiness of men in tehir deceitful scheming.” Paul warned with tears about such lying men and women in Acts 20:29, “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in amog you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the trut in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.” He spoke this way to the Corinthians too in 2 Corinthians 11. “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by th4 sserpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your siner and pure deotion to Christ. For if someon comes to you and preaches a jesus, other than the Jesus we preached ….” He then says later in the chapter, “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an agnele of light. It is not surprising then if his servants masquerade as servant of rihgteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.”