Considering how peculiar this “beast” is, what kind of image would you make for it?
Perhaps you could make a portrait of it and focus on the “eyes”; since scripture tells us that “it” is given a mouth, then maybe that is a good starting place.
There is a problem, as I recall, and that is that Islam detests all expressions of art. Evidence for this could be seen as the United States, under the direction of “President” Biden, tucked its tail and abandoned Afghanistan and many of the people who had allied with us. The Taliban swooped in, or maybe they were already there, waiting for their opportunity to emerge. Well, they emerge did, and one of the first things they did was to destroy music schools, crush musical instruments, and beat the youths that were there to learn.
Did you actually believe that they would allow expressions of art, a symbol of American influence and freedom, to flourish?
Not a chance; and so I do see how they would be thrilled with this “Jewish high priest” making an image and commanding everyone to worship it, but then there are those miracles that the false prophet, or as the Muslims will call him – Jesus, performing the same miracles that the two witnesses performed.
Everyone who is still alive (I say this because there has been a prolific and deadly onslaught against people, in addition to the outpouring of God’s wrath from above. It would probably be safe to say that half the population could be dead by this time.) and aware of what has been going on would know that you can’t do things like the false prophet has done unless you are empowered (Ah, but by what?). To the Muslims, it will seem as if this “high priest” turned Muslim is empowered by Allah.
Not so clear, is it?
Whatever this convert to Islam decides Allah should look like, he will make an image of it and will demand that all the inhabitants of earth worship this thing that now talks.
Let’s assume that many of you have never been to Disneyland. There, they have a place called the Haunted Mansion. As you walk to the “doom buggy” that will take you through the attraction, paintings follow you with their eyes. In a short distance, you come into a room with a ladies head in a glass ball, and she talks eerily to the audience; tombstone heads come alive, sort of, and sing; graves open and characters sing to you; and, there is a grand ballroom where ghostly characters dance in a classical style to some organ music. Every time I go through it, I try to figure out how they did that. It’s really not much different from an illusionist’s act, where misdirection keeps you from seeing the apparatus that makes it all work.
He will force the entire world to take the mark and worship the beast.
Back in 2017, I could see how Islam might have dominion over the Middle East, but you would never be able to enforce this nonsense over a Modern nation.
But what have we seen in the last couple of years?
I used to think that it would be impossible to effectively force the world to worship a man or an image and take some form of a mark, but the years 2020 through 2022 have demonstrated that most of the population can be herded like sheep and made to believe that they have to comply with the demands of some cackling governing body, and inject multiple versions of some poison into their bodies without question.
We also experienced an Islamic invasion, first in the European nations, and then President Barack Obama (he was the President in 2017 when I wrote this) took multitudes of them into this nation. Thousands of people, many of whom we know, were interspersed among veteran Jihad fighters, and this invasion is a form of Jihad/warfare. Combine that with Islam’s gradual and intentional infiltration of our governing bodies, like school boards and congress (another form of Jihad), where they are making quiet inroads into establishing Sharia law as the law of the land (consider Detroit, Michigan, and a few others). Once they establish a strong foothold, they will, under Sharia law, give themselves free rein to slaughter outsiders – infidels; and it will be the unified call from the Mosques that directs them.
Assuming that the rapture has happened, what has been going on in Jerusalem?
God sends his two witnesses.
Let me point something out that most do not catch.
“And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. And if anyone would harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes. If anyone would harm them, this is how he is doomed to be killed. They have the power to shut the sky so that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying, and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they desire. And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that rises from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them, and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city that symbolically is called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified. For three and a half days, some from the peoples and tribes and languages and nations will gaze at their dead bodies and refuse to let them be placed in a tomb, and those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry and exchange presents because these two prophets had been a torment to those who dwell on the earth. But after the three and a half days, a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood up on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here!” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies watched them.” (Revelation 11:3-12 ESV)
There is speculation on who they are, but is it important that we know that?
What is important is what they do, what they say, and when they get here. I happen to believe they show up right after the rapture, and here is the significant reason – they stop the rain.
Why is that a big deal?
Because this second beast, the false prophet, causes the rain to come back again, and that buys him notoriety. They also perform signs, and the false prophet mimics those also.
So what do the two witnesses do?
The first and most important thing they do is, as Revelation 11:3 tells us, “they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days.”
Look up the word prophesy in your concordance, and you will find the Greek word prophēteuō; it means to foretell events, or as the Word Study Dictionary conveys, it means “to declare truths through the inspiration of God’s Holy Spirit.” If you are NOT a follower of Jesus Christ, this probably means nothing to you. I am, therefore, I can see these two telling the Jews directly and subsequently, thanks to the 24-hour news, the whole world that Jesus is coming and His return is attached, now, to a clear and definite timeline.
Nobody is telling them the ABCs of salvation. The message is to align yourself with Jesus and NOT the antichrist. Followers of Christ, during this time, will be martyred; that may look like an Islamic sword coming down upon your neck, but there are guillotines and the brutality of other humans who will hate you.
“if anyone would harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes.”
No doubt that is impressive, but there is more.
“They have the power to shut the sky so that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying.”
Ah, there is that no rain thing. Not quite as impressive as the fire, but the economic aspects are devastating to an agrarian society.
“ they have power over the waters to turn them into blood.”
Oh, this sounds familiar, as Moses turned Egypt’s waters to blood.
“ and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they desire”
Every kind of plague?
Moses and Aaron hit Egypt with a number of plagues, including one in which their firstborn would die. This terminology, “as often as they desire,” also sounds like God is giving them free rein to follow their emotions. I am sure that many will try to tell me no, but those last five words are telling.
Remember that I said that prophecy to the Jew is a pattern.
How many patterns do you think the Jewish readers are seeing?
In the days of Abram, God struck Pharaoh with plagues.
“But the LORD struck Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife.” (Genesis 12:17 NASB)
What happened immediately after Moses brought each plague upon Egypt?
In Exodus chapter eight, God struck the Egyptians repeatedly with plagues until Pharaoh finally let God’s people go. The bizarre part of this story is that the sorcerers in Pharaoh’s court replicated what Moses and Aaron did.
So Moses and Aaron came to Pharaoh, and thus they did just as the LORD had commanded, and Aaron threw his staff down before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh also called for the wise men and the sorcerers, and they also, the magicians of Egypt, did the same with their secret arts. For each one threw down his staff, and they turned into serpents. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. (Exodus 7:10-12 NASB)
Sorcerers – the Hebrew word is kâshaph and means those who practice or use witchcraft or sorcery. The Word Study Dictionary tells us that it is a verb meaning to practice magic, to practice sorcery. While the exact meaning of the word is obscure, it involved the use of supernatural powers that hardened hearts against the truth (And that is exactly what you see happening when you read this story.)
Magician is the Hebrew word ḥarṭōm. The Word Study Dictionary states that it is a masculine noun meaning engraver, a writer associated with the occult. (Perhaps this might be easier to grasp if you think about Ouija boards. These things are eerily associated with the occult.) These people seem to have had knowledge of astrology or divination and were commonly associated with the magicians of Egypt in Pharaoh’s court. (Keep in mind that) Pharaoh could not find any magicians to interpret his dream, so he called Joseph (Gen_41:24). Moses caused plagues to come upon Egypt, which the magicians could not reverse (Exo_9:11). (Emphasis mine.)
The false prophet will follow the two witnesses to the stage (so to speak), just as Pharaoh’s sorcerers followed Moses. It only makes sense that he repeats what the two witnesses just did. Odd, but it occurs to me that while many will stand in awe of the two witnesses and their message, others will see it as a circus sideshow; they will not perceive that these two are legitimate and from God, and that is why they are doing these signs (which, are an aspect of God’s wrath and mercy.) It is these signs and the trustworthiness that got this man the position as high priest, to begin with, and it is those very signs that promote the deception that will convince many of Israel’s religious elite.
It (the false prophet) performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people.
and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast, it deceives those who dwell on the earth,
Nonetheless, it is Pattern!
If I have lost you and you don’t know where these bullet points came from, let me remind you. Revelation 13:13. I strongly suggest that you reread Revelation 13, starting from verse 11, as it tells us that the false prophet is the guy who makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast.
Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? But let me show you how verse 12 ends in the NASB.
“whose fatal wound was healed.”
We have well-known Bible teachers who should know better, trying to tell you that a “world” leader will take a bullet to the head, die, and rise again. If you have bought into that fairy tale, then you are scoffing at me now. But let me show you something.
“And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; …”
(Revelation 13:2-3 NASB)
The beast is not a singular entity but a multi-headed monster. While many will attribute this to the “revived” Roman empire, it also fits the description of the Caliphate rule of Islam.
Are there many sects within Islam? The answer is yes, and they are all butting heads with each other.
“The dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority.”
This is all happening within one paragraph and applies to a multi-headed beast; yet, Jesus refers to this thing as him and then speaks in the singular about his throne and authority. We have been watching leaders within Islam struggle for power, and one, in particular, kept decreeing himself to leader of the reborn Ottoman empire. Where did that get off to?
“ I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed.”
So as you picture some freakish mutation with many heads, imagine one of those heads,
equivalent to perhaps a sect of Islam or a Caliphate, and it appears to have been killed; that could happen in so many ways. We are watching such a thing happen in real time with Ukraine. But the sentence does not say it died; it says “as if,” and in a sense, the Ottoman empire played possum as well. (This happened in 1924 when the British, with a bit of help, crushed and dismantled the Ottoman Empire. Although the world thought they were dead, like flickering embers from a wildfire that are thrown across vast regions by the wind, remnants from this empire, like the Muslim Brotherhood, continued to pursue their global domination.)
If I have opened your eyes and prompted you to study, then my job here is done.
He (meaning Jesus) is coming sooner than you can imagine, and He is coming for those who are waiting for Him. This is the rapture of the Church I am talking about. Should you miss that bus and then choose to follow Him, sorry, but you will die a martyr – for your testimony. On the plus side, Jesus will meet you on the other side, and you will be welcomed into the arms of the Father.
Do not think for a minute that you get to bring any selfish, foolish, and hateful attitude with you, as you will be changed, just as the church will be changed. Since the sinful nature is clearly attached to the body, then it might be safe to say that this body will experience death, no matter who it referred to when it comes to being in heaven.
And yes, many are dying as martyrs as we speak, so it is not an exclusive club, and whatever they are going through will come to your neighborhood sooner than you think.