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Lying Wonders of the False Prophet

03 Dec
Lying Wonders

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John tells us that the false prophet did great wonders, which he used to deceive the people (Revelation 13:13-14. The same Greek word for wonders (G4592) in verse-13 is translated into miracles in verse-14. These signs, wonders or miracles are, as I concluded in the study of verse-13 were ‘lying’ wonders. That is, they were common things that occurred, perhaps even catastrophes, that were given special significance by the false prophet. What he taught about those natural occurrences deceived those who dwelt “on the earth”, that is, those Jews who resided in Judea and Galilee and everywhere else in the empire, who may have heard what the false prophet said about the things that were done.

What the false prophet did, he did in the presence of the beast, mentioned in Revelation 13:1 that rose up out of the sea. Notice that doing the things he did (called wonders) in the presence of the beast is much the same as “saying to them that dwell upon the earth…” (Revelation 13:14). The term, the earth (G1093) is often used in the New Covenant text to refer to Jewish lands. So, if, as I concluded in previous studies, the beast is apostate Israel, then the “dwellers of the earth” were the people who made up apostate Israel, which the Apocalypse calls the beast. So, the false prophet interpreted his lying wonders (2Thessalonians 2:9) in the presence of the beast (apostate Israel), thus deceiving the people who dwelt therein.

The question arises, then. What might those signs have been? In an earlier study, I pointed out that people came to Jesus to tell him what Pilate had done to certain Galileans, who protested his taking Temple funds to pay for an aqueduct that brought water to Jerusalem.[1] In reply, Jesus also mentioned the deaths of those who died, when the Tower of Siloam fell (Luke 13:1-6). That is to say, there is no special significance in these deaths, except the people were in the wrong place at the wrong time. God didn’t cause these things to occur, nor were those who died judged by him in the incident that occurred. In other words accidents happen (Ecclesiastes 9:11). Yet, many people believed God was behind these tragedies in some way. Why? Perhaps the spiritual authorities in Jerusalem had taught such things were true, and the people believed their interpretation. It was this sort of spin on things that spiritual leaders often give to current events or tragedies,[2] claiming they bear the signature of God, interpreted so, in order to support their own agenda, which is often nothing more than selling their yarn and profiting thereby.

In the context of Revelation 13:14, I believe the false prophet probably interpreted the killing off of Jesus’ witnesses, i.e. the writers of the New Covenant Scriptures: Peter and Paul, James (the Lord’s brother) and the other Gospel writers and those who wrote the epistles,[3] as a sign from God of his support for the beast. After all, why would God permit Jesus’ servants to be killed and destroy the Jewish movement Jesus had begun, if, indeed, it were legitimate and the work of God? Such might have been the reasoning of the false prophet and the yarn he spun to interpret the part he played in those murders, telling others what he did in killing them was the real and legitimate work of God.[4]

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[1] See my study: The Plot Against Jesus; and compare Josephus; Antiquities of the Jews 18.3.2; cf. Wars of the Jews 2.9.4.

[2] Consider the Harbinger spin on current events and tragedies offered by Jonathan Cahn. He has absolutely no proof for the tales he tells in his books and videos, but he testifies of these things as though they were the Gospel truth. His stories, in as much as I am able to see, are nothing more than myth, but people believe him, and he may even have helped score a winning Republican ticket in the 2016 Presidential elections.

[3] See my earlier study: Who Are the Two Witnesses?

[4] See my earlier study: Who Is Able to Fight the Beast, which mentions the work, the poieo (G4160) of the beast, which in this case would have been directed by the false prophet.

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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