Could the Antichrist and the False Prophet be the same person?

Email Received:

What if there is no false prophet? What if there is only a first beast empire and the second beast is the antichrist? It is only Revelation 11:11-18 that speaks of a second beast, who has been assumed to be the false prophet. Here is an article that discusses this possibility: Is the False Prophet the Antichrist?

Ted's Response:

I have heard that theory before. It may be that the points raised by Britt Gillette are correct; anything is possible. However, I will note some things that seem to point to the traditional view, with the Antichrist and False Prophet being two different men, since I continue to lean toward that perspective.

I agree that the wounded head that is healed (Revelation 13:3) most likely is referring to the re-establishment of the beast kingdom or empire rather than the resurrection of a man who was dead. However, it seems to me that the "mouth" (13:5) given to the beast kingdom represents a man who will be the leader of the beast kingdom: the Antichrist.

That "mouth," which seemingly will not be the collective delegates of a kingdom speaking at once, will utter proud words and blasphemies, "he" will exercise "his" authority for 42 months, and "he" will do other things (Revelation 13:5-7). In numerous other places in Revelation, "he" is the pronoun given to the beast. Likening the first beast to being a kingdom may be similar to how pre-tribbers believe that the "he" (or the restrainer) in 2 Thessalonians 2:7, who is holding back the power of iniquity or lawlessness, is the Spirit-filled church of collective believers. (Some say that it is the Holy Spirit Himself, but then I've always had a problem with the concept of God removing Himself out of the way). Yet pre-wrathers believe that "he" is a single person: the angel Michael.

I see the beast with seven heads (Revelation 13:1) as being the overall pagan, ungodly system throughout human history. Its "heads" are individual kingdoms or empires and are the same as the seven heads of Daniel's four beasts (Daniel 7:2-7). The seven heads are empires corrupted by the heathen Babylonian system, but they also represent seven kings or rulers of those kingdoms (Revelation 17:9,10); and the "mouth" of the first beast (13:5,6) appears to be an eighth king (17:11). Presumably, this also was described by Daniel as the "little horn" with "eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke boastfully" (Daniel 7:8,11), and it also is the end-time version of "the stern-faced king." All of these were and will be men. The overall Babylon system, its kingdoms throughout history, and the kings respresenting or ruling over them all can be considered to be "beasts."

The President of the USA is the primary spokesperson and representative of the nation, just as I feel that the Antichrist will be the "mouth" given to the beast kingdom. The Vice President of the USA promotes, reflects, and voices everything the President says and does. They are a unit. For all intents and purposes, the Vice President is expected to be a "copy" or "replica" of the President in all public venues. Likewise, if the first and second beasts are two separate men who will be unified in all principles and policies, it will be natural for the second beast (False Prophet) to support, endorse, advance, and act on the entire agenda of the first beast (Antichrist), as though they are one entity.

In the United Nations, there is one ambassador from each nation. During a General Assembly meeting, there are not numerous representatives from each nation present; there is only one envoy present. That ambassador is not the nation itself; he/she simply has a single "mouth" that speaks for his/her nation.

During the Fifth Bowl Judgment, the punishment will be directed upon the seat or throne of the beast, and "his" kingdom will be plunged into darkness (Revelation 16:10). Evidently, this seat or throne will have been given to a man by the dragon, Satan (13:2). This sounds to me to be distinguishing between the leader of the kingdom, a man, and the kingdom itself.

During the Sixth Bowl Judgment (Revelation 16:12-14), three unclean or evil spirits are observed coming out of the mouths of the dragon (Satan), the (first) beast, and the False Prophet (or second beast). Since we know that the dragon and the second beast are two single individuals, it seems reasonable to regard the first beast as an individual, not as an entire kingdom.

In Revelation 19:20 are the words "he" and "him" again, which seem to be pointing to a person. I realize that those who feel that the Antichrist and False Prophet are the same person believe that this person and his entire beast kingdom will be thrown into the lake of fire at that time. That is not something that I easily and readily can accept, although I suppose that it could be possible.

I always have seen the relationship between the False Prophet and the Antichrist as being similar to that between John the Baptist and Jesus. Many felt that John himself was the Christ (Luke 3:15), but John spoke of one mightier than he to come (3:16). When asked directly if he was the Christ, he stated that he was not (John 1:19,20; Acts 13:25). I've always felt that, when the False Prophet came on the scene, people would look to him as "the one," but he would point to someone else, the Antichrist, instead.

Also, just as there is a Holy Trinity (Father and Son and Holy Spirit), it seems logical that there also may be a counterfeit, unholy trinity: Satan (the dragon), Antichrist (the first beast), and False Prophet (the second beast). And just as John the Baptist, who was filled with the Holy Spirit while he still was in the womb (Luke 1:15), was a true prophet pointing to the true Christ to come, it seems plausible that the second beast may be a false prophet pointing to the false christ to come.

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