“A Great Storm Approaches” Part 11

The False Prophet

The following view is one which is accepted by many brethren, its interpretation could possibly be
correct however to us it appears to lack that sufficient catalyst necessary to infuse the churches back
into respect and influence over the people
.

“The history of the false prophet is considerably more obscure
than that of the First Beast. It is first
mentioned in
Revelation 16:13 where it appears suddenly and without introduction. Fortunately a
comparison of two other texts allows us to have a reasonable certainty about its origin and identity.

Its identity is inseparably linked to the
two-horned beast of Revelation 13. This two horned beast has
been reasonably identified by Bible Students as the Church of England, anon-Protestant separation from
the Roman church. Chapter 13 gives us information regarding this two-horned beast:

1) Its origin, unlike the ten-horned beast, is not out of restless turmoil (sea), but out of an
already-established social order (earth)
, Verse 11.

2) It is so strongly linked to its supporting state (dragon) that its expression comes from the
monarch who is considered to be its head
, Verse 11.

3) It is barely distinguishable in doctrine and practice from its predecessor so that it contributes
to the successful healing of its predecessor,
Verse 12.

4) By its daring act of separation, it convinces others that separate parts of Christianity can be
successful,
Verse 14.

5) It gets the opportunity and power to vitalize this break-away (Protestant Christianity, an
image of the beast),
Verse 15.

These points are essential to identify the false prophet. A careful reading of Revelation 19:20
supplies additional needed information. The false prophet is said to have
performed the signs in
[the beast’s] presence
,and to have deceived those ... who dwell on the earth,and to causea
mark
.All of these things are said of the two-horned beast in 13:12-16. It is, therefore,
inescapable that the two-horned beast is part of this false prophet
.

It is clear that theimage of the beastin Chapter 13 is a separate entity from the two horned
beast
but still closely connected to it. The two-horned beast “suggests” the making of the image and
also gives it “
breath (life).” But the image also, like the two-horned beast, simply disappears from view in
Revelation; its demise is not shown.
Revelation 19:20 acknowledges the place which the image played in
history, but seems to dismiss it as an entity of the past.
The strong implication is that the false
prophet is not the two horned beast, nor is it the image
. It is the result of the two-horned beast’
s giving
breathto the image. In other words, once the false prophet appears on the scene, the
Church of England and the Protestant federation of churches go off the scene as actors and are
replaced by
a combination of the two which becomes known as the false prophet. This change
apparently happens during the progress of the seven plagues of
Chapter 16. Note that the first plague
(
16:2) is upon those worshipping the image. By the time the sixth plague is in progress, the image has
vanished, and the false prophet is functioning. (
The Herald of Christ Kingdom, July/Aug 2001, Pages
19, 20
)

In essence what is being said here is this,

Verse 11Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a
lamb and spoke like a dragon
.”

This two-horned beast (the Church of England and Ireland) which was born out of organized society, that
is relatively peaceful order loving peoples, spoke like a dragon, like a civil power or authority, in fact the
monarch (the king) is not only considered the head of state, (figuratively speaking today), but is likewise
considered the head of the Church.

Verse 12And 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, who’s deadly wound was healed
.”

The Church of England’ claims to all the same rights and privileges of the Papacy, lends credence,
support to all of Papacy’s claims and thus aids in the healing of Papacy’s wound inflicted by the
Reformation
.

Verse 13He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the
earth in the sight of men
.”

The two-horned beast follows in the footsteps of its predecessor visiting fire, judgments, punishments,
persecutions upon all its dissenters’
.  

Verse 14And he deceives those 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
.”

In successfully succeeding from the Mother Church and by boldly claiming and exercising all the same
rights and privileges as she in plain view to all, the two-horn beast thus gives evidence i.e. a “
sign” or
confirmation that it’s ok for others to do likewise
.    

Verse 15He 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
.”

This sign or confirmation to others that it’s ok to set up church systems in the image (or in a similar
manner) as that of the first beast, is the breath of life to these systems, it gives rise to the birth of
Protestantism and likewise to their own brand of persecutions upon dissenters
.

A Review

Let’s review some of the various things expected which many believe shall be the “change” that
empowers or brings “
life” to the image of the beast, which in turn restores the churches influence over
the people.

The Pastor stated,

"When the Earthquake, or Revolution, so prominently mentioned in the Scriptures (Rev 16:18),
shall have come, that, no doubt; will be the time when the kings and the captains of industry, of
finance and of politics
will in self-defense greatly exalt the power of religious leaders. Then we
may expect that the Federation of Churches will exercise a power in the world such as has not been since
the days of Papal supremacy. In the symbolic language of Revelation, that will be the time in which the
'Image of the Beast' will have life, and work great wonders, threatening, commanding, in the name of
Heaven.-
Rev 13:11-18."--Z '15-3.

Likewise consider the following from the Herald,

One of the most significant things mentioned is that when this "Image" is fully developed it will
"
both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast [bow down to
its decrees] should be killed
." The meaning of this is that it will assume and exercise authority in both
civil and religious matters. This will require a union of church and state. The assumption and exercise of
such authority would mark it as having symbolical "
Beast" qualities. This, we have noted in a previous
exposition, was a power usurped and exercised by Papacy in the "
dark ages," and still claimed by it.
Therefore, to be an image or likeness of Papacy would require on the part of organized
Protestantism, co-operation in some very marked way with the civil governments in a similar -
exercise of power
. The being clothed with such power is described in the symbol as that of giving breath
(
life) to the Image.” (The Herald of Christ Kingdom, Feb 1920, Page 43)

Our thoughts,

As we had previously stated unless some dramatic change occurs in the churches whereby their influence
over the people is restored we cannot possibly see how any joint alliance between themselves and the
civil powers could prove of much benefit. Now we have not forgotten that it was the unification between
the church and the state (Ahab and Jezebel) which exalted Papacy and gave it the ability to inflict (literal)
judgments upon its dissenters, but at the time the people were not as enlightened as they are now, there
was no such thing as freedom of religion, nor the separation of church and state. Even if the state were
to attempt to exalt the churches the people would rebel, not only the irreligious classes but likewise the
religious as well as none would be willing to accept any one creed over another.

Now do we believe that this is an impossibility? Not necessarily, not if certain other factors are brought
into play.     

The Pastor stated,

We pointed out that the important matter waited on and necessary to the power and activity of
the Protestant
'Image' is the 'life' which it is to receive from the Protestant Episcopal System."--
Z. '10-308.

Speaking of the time when this apostolic succession will be conferred, he further remarks:

"Then, they think, we will present to the world a large system and a bold front and command their
attention to the voice of the Church and the Voice of God coming down through the
'apostolic
succession'
--just as the Catholics do--a mild 'Image' of Catholicism, but full of its power and vigor. . .
To us the Scriptures indicate that the prosperity of the Federated Protestant '
Image' will for a, little time
be so great, so pronounced, and its arrogance become so great that the sympathy of the masses will be
entirely alienated and turned into bitterness. Hence the Scriptures show us that the climax will come
suddenly, unexpectedly, '
In one hour.'--Rev 13:15-17."--Rev 18:10. Z '10-309.

Our thoughts,

There is much talk about
apostolic succession as being the “life” principle or vitalization which is to be
given to
the image of the beast, and how once this has been conferred upon the Protestant sects this
will lead to a great revitalization in the churches, that this supposed new authority and power invested in
the clergy will induce a newfound respect and greater influence of the church over the people, but is this
true? At one time perhaps, possibly in the Pastor’s day, in the dark ages we know it worked well, but this
was long before the great Euphrates began drying up, will it work now? We think not
.

Papacy has made this same claim for centuries now to no avail, how has this claim in modern times, in
the age of enlightenment had any positive effect or influence over church membership or respect for the
clergy? The same Euphrates which is drying up for the rest of the churches has been drying up for the
Roman Church as well. The fact that they claim
apostolic succession makes no difference, so what
makes anyone imagine that if the same privilege were conferred upon the Protestant sects that they
would reap any more success. The fact is apostolic succession would prove to be nothing more than a
political move within the churches in the vain efforts to shore up the rapidly drying Euphrates
.

When the time comes and this apostolic succession is conferred it may prove a big deal to those in the
ecclesiastical heavens, but to the rank and file who have already lost most of their respect for the clergy
we hardly doubt that this will make much of a difference, it will simply be seen as another baseless
boasts of the church and the clergy in order to set themselves apart from the rest of the flock. When
mentioned most will probably just yawn, and pass it off as just another vain attempt by the churches to
exercise control over the people
.

Nevertheless do we believe that this will eventually take place? most certainly, however as said its effects
will have very little effect upon the people in general, that is unless other factors are likewise brought
into play, which we will attempt to address in our next post.

In our next post we will give our take on events on what we believe is what really changes the equation
leading to the temporary rise of the Church Nominal in great power and influence over the people
.


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