“And I saw another beast coming out of the earth; & he had 2 horns like a lamb, but he spoke as a dragon.” (Rev.13:11).
A religious impostor…
This is the 2nd beast of Revelation 13, who Revelation later also identifies as the “false prophet” of the End Times. (Rev.16:13, 19:20, 20:10). A prophet is a true man of God. But the false prophet (“antichrist”) will be a false man of God. A religious phony. Literally, he will be the greatest religious impostor the world will ever know. His world presence will be second to none. At first, the secular world & even unsuspecting believers will be fooled by his religious disguise. This is what John the Revelator described when he portrayed him as “having 2 horns like a lamb”. (Rev.13:11). Since a “lamb” always symbo- lizes sacrifice in the Bible, then clearly this End Time religious leader will appear (at first) as a wonderful, holy man of righteousness & as a man of “sacrifice” from the world’s perspective.
Of this false prophet, John also said he “spoke as a dragon” . This means that in the same manner that his outward religious facade is pleasing to the world’s eyes, then his outward speech will also appear as eloquent & attractive to most of the world’s people, no matter which religious view a person may claim. In fact, without close examination (scripturally) of this false prophet, then his religious double-talk will easily go unchecked to the unsus- pecting world’s view of him. His religious cloak & speech “will deceive those who dwell upon the earth“. (Rev.13:14). From the devil’s perspective, there is no greater disguise on earth than to dress up in a religious disguise as God’s servant & then mimic the true “lamb of God” (Jesus) in order to gain worship & adoration, & even deceive God's people. Of all false ministers, the Apostle Paul said:
“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his (satan’s) servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their deeds.”
“Coming up out of the earth….” (Rev.13:11)
The fact that the Apostle John saw the false prophet “coming up out of the earth” (Rev.13:11) shows that he will not just suddenly pop out of the woodwork in the End Times, as a “new” concept to the world. On the contrary, his religious image & End Time presence will have come forth as a result of having “grown” over many years (even centuries) of development in world history. Today, history proves that what John saw 2000 years in advance was the track record (from 314 AD to this day) of the beastly & blasphemous rise of the Roman Papacy. In nearing the 'start' of the 7 year Tribulation period (Rev.6:2), today's world will be highly aware of his foretold religious image & the continual evil religious history that trails him. Revelation shows the Papacy's iconic presence in the End Times will have 'grown' into an unprecedented religious "beast", unmatched in world clout, even "exercising all the authority" of the 1st beast, the final 10-horned governmental beast. (Rev 13:12). The full & final unleashing of the False Prophet's satanic powers will ignite during the final 3 1/2 years of Great Tribulation when he “will deceive those who dwell upon the earth” of those who perish, who refused Christ. (Rev.13:14).
About 586 years B.C., Daniel the prophet specifically pinpointed the origin of the End Times false prophet as being from Rome. Daniel predicted that “the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city & the sanctuary.” (Dan.9:26). In identifying the false prophet as coming from Rome, this scripture is key.
History proves that “the people” who destroyed the city (Jerusalem) & the sanctuary (the temple in Jerusalem) in 70 AD were the Romans under the Roman empire’s leader Titus. So without question, the future “prince who is to come” (the End Time false prophet) will also be based in & will arise from Rome, since Daniel linked the future false prophet (“the prince who is to come”) to the Romans of 70 AD.
A Modern-day “Caesar” of the End Times… (Rev.13:18)
Like Daniel, John the Revelator also pinpoints Rome as the false prophet’s place of origin in the End Times. But, John provides even larger insight into his profile other than him just arising from Rome.
In verse 18, John actually portrays him as being a mirror image of the monstrous & murderous leader of the Roman Empire of John's own time, Caesar Nero. The Apostle John states:
“Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast (the future false prophet); for the number is that of a man, & his number is 666.” (Rev.13:18).
The “wisdom” here is not a mathematical calculation. But, it is a spiritual appli- cation. John states that “the number” of this future false prophet “is” (mean- ing it already exists in John’s own time) the number which already belongs to another “man” altogether.
In other words, this End Time false prophet will come in the likeness of another “man” who existed in John’s own time, & whose number already “is” recog- nized (by John) as being 666. John knew this to be Caesar Nero‘s number.
During Nero’s horrific reign, it was public knowledge then that Nero’s own number was 666, which is the number of his name. (*see below). Therefore, when John attached Nero’s number (666) to the future false prophet, he clearly character- ized the false prophet of the End Times as, not only being from Rome, but as being a magnified extension of the Roman emperor, Caesar Nero. Herein lies this verse’s “wisdom”. Over the centuries, the title of "Caesar" has evolved into "Bishop of Rome" (314 AD - 500 AD) & then into its End Time title: "Pope".
In effect, Revelation depicts the End Time false prophet as a modern-day “Caesar” or Roman Emperor so to speak. However, unlike the Caesars of 2000 years ago who were known as emperors & political leaders, this End-Time “Caesar” will be solely known on the world’s stage as a “religious” figure. He will be a “false prophet” from Rome. (Rev.13:11, 18; Rev. 16:13; Rev.19:20). Clearly, the Popes of Rome (the Papacy), and no other, fulfill this End Time prophetical role.
[ Chapter 10 expounds on the facts & horrific history of the Papacy. ]
666, Caesar Nero‘s number...
Just like today’s social security number that is linked to each American‘s name, the 1st century Roman Empire also had the same kind of registry in account- ing for people. Each person was identified by his own name & the number of his name, since each letter of the Greek (& Hebrew) alphabet had a num- erical equivalent attached to it. During Nero’s era, it was public knowledge (& known by the Apostle John) that Nero’s name had the numerical equivalent of 666.
“Caesar Nero” in the Greek text is “Kaiser Neron ”. When transliterated by experts into Hebrew (QSR NRWN) then Nero’s name adds up to exactly 666:
Caesar: (Greek: “Kaiser”)
Q=100 , S=60 , R=200.………………….360
Nero: (Greek: “Neron”)
N=50, R=200, W=6, N=50…………….306
= 666 (Caesar Nero’s number)
Also, experts have shown that transliterating the Latin form of “Caesar Nero” into Hebrew adds up to 616. This explains the variance in the numbers 666 (from Greek letters) vs. 616 from the Latin letters, as noted in some modern Bible versions. However, whether the translation is from Greek or Latin, both numbers still add up to Caesar Nero’s name, making Revelation’s message the same.