The Daily Word of Righteousness

The Antichrist, The False Prophet, and the Image, continued

Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. (Revelation 13:14—NIV)

About fifteen or so years ago I was walking and praying in the woods in Arkansas. The faith message was at its height and the preachers were telling us how rich we were going to be.

I knew even back then that this was the False Prophet. I asked the Lord how much power He was going to permit this movement to have. I believe the Lord answered my question by saying the faith-prosperity movement would die out for a while and then later would be revived and empowered.

According to our scenario the self-willed Christians will give power to the Image of Antichrist, which we believe to be money, so the Image can "speak" and cause all who refuse to worship money to be killed.

I believe this is a symbolic way of saying those Christians who turn to the Lord and refuse to become a part of the self-willed government and society, refuse to make money the main part of their life, will be killed (perhaps "killed" in the sense of being driven from society, for this is what other passages suggest).

Already we see democratic governments penalizing Christians who speak out against homosexuality. There also are ministers of the Gospel who believe bringing an individual under conviction is the worst harm we can do him or her. What is next—churches being sued because they make the listeners anxious or unhappy?

Having refused to participate in the Antichrist scheme the remnant will be forbidden to buy or sell. Thus the money "speaks," we might say, and they are "killed" by the lack of money. Note that "buying and selling" are the issue, that is, the use of money.

He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. (Revelation 13:15—NIV)

In addition the self-driven Christians will force all people, rich and poor, to adopt the worldly scheme of Christianity and democracy that has been established. No one will be permitted to buy or sell who does not become a part of the man-centered social order, acting and thinking according to the ways of the world.

He [the False Prophet] also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16,17—NIV)

This picture may seem far-fetched. But think of the controls exercised by both the Catholic and Protestant churches, from one historical period to another, in the nations of Europe! In fact some of the founders of America were fleeing the heavy hand of church rule in Europe. This is the reason for the stipulation in the American "Bill of Rights" that the government not be involved in religion.

To be continued.