Who is the false prophet?
Who gives him his authority and power of miracles?
Why would anyone believe him? What proof signs does he perform?
How does he deceive?
11 Then I saw another savage beast ascending out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon.
[This is the false prophet. He is one who has dedicated his life to lucifer, the commander, the power of the air, the dragon, the serpent, the liar, the murderer, the one who seeks to destroy all that Yahweh has promised. He is the false Elijah to deceive Israel. He wins his battles by lies to seduce and brain wash. He is totally evil and wicked. He hates the Jews and hates anything that Yahweh approves of. As one reads further in the revelation, the time will come when the King of all kings and Lord of all lords—Jesus Christ—will return and defeat him and his followers. We wait, but Jesus will come].
12 He exercises all the authority of the first savage beast in his presence and causes all the earth and those who live in it to worship the first savage beast whose fatal wound was healed.
13 He does great signs, so that he even makes fire to come down from heaven to the earth in the presence of people.
14 He deceives my own [people] who live on the earth by those miracles which he had power to do in the presence of the beast telling those who live on the earth that they must make a statue of the beast who had the wound by a sword and lived.
[It’s possible that the text reads ‘He deceives those who live on the earth’ meaning all people. Other texts read ‘my own,’ that is, John’s own, who are Jews. Let the reader study it out. Compare Daniel 9:27. Also compare Pickering’s notes and the WEB and EMTV translations. The point is that because definition of truth has been changed (thereby, rejecting reality, that is, truth) those who believe the lie (Jew or Gentile) will accept this individual as messiah. The two (possibly three) signs given here to deceive Israel is calling fire to come down from heaven (like Elijah—1 Kings 18:36-39), give life to a lifeless statue (like Jesus gave breath to Adam—Genesis 2:7) and, possibly, the first beast (anti-Christ) receiving a wound causing death, yet coming to life again (similar to Jesus’s resurrection). This gives the second beast—the false Elijah—the authority to declare the first beast—the anti-Christ—to be the messiah. The first savage beast is the anti-Christ, the false messiah. The second savage beast is the false prophet, the false Elijah].
15 He was allowed to give breath to the statue of the beast, so that the statue should both speak and cause all who would not worship the statue of the beast to be killed.
16 He also makes all whether small or great, rich or poor, free or servant to receive a mark on their right hand or on the forehead,
17 So that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, name of the beast, or number of his name.
[Note how the false messiah places a seal on those who follow him. The anti-Christ’s attitude and main character traits include violence of all types, unbridled sex and sexual perversions, and absolute control over everything. There is no freedom, except freedom to sin without accountability or consequences].
18 Wisdom is needed here. Let him who has understanding compute the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is six hundred sixty-six.
[The meaning of the number of the beast—anti-Christ—is so corrupted that no one will know until the Tribulation. They will recognize who this number belongs to. Any guesses now are not reliable. Believers will have been raptured already and enjoying the Marriage Feast of the Lamb. Those who believe during the Tribulation will be given special grace, but many will die as martyrs].