In this book, I have detailed many reasons why the actions of the False Prophet seem to suggest that he is attempting to make people believe he is the return of Elijah, the prophet. I have also noted that many modern prophecy students, in their attempts to force Islamic eschatology into biblical eschatology, have suggested that the False Prophet is the Islamic version of Jesus, who is called “Isa.” The passage they refer to as supporting this claim is Revelation 13:11, which says: “Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon” (Revelation 13:11).
They argue that because the False Prophet is said to have “two horns like a lamb,” he is attempting to imitate Jesus, who is often referred to as “The Lamb.”
I believe the correct way to interpret this passage is in light of Jesus’ warnings about false prophets in Matthew 7:15, which says “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but, inwardly, they are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15).
Jesus said that false prophets would come in sheep’s clothing, but would, inwardly, be like wolves. In this passage, it seems clear that Jesus is not using the sheep imagery to refer to Himself but to suggest that false prophets would act as though they are meek and harmless like lambs. He is, essentially, using the sheep imagery the same way He does in many other places in Scripture1—in a generic sense, to speak of people who are meek and harmless.
This seems to be confirmed by the context of Revelation 13:11, because it goes on to contrast the False Prophet’s looking like a lamb with his speech, which is like a dragon: “Then I saw another beast coming up from the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but2 was speaking like a dragon” (NET).
This is virtually the same illustration Jesus gave about false prophets: They dress up like sheep but are really wolves. However, in this case, a dragon is used instead of wolves, which is probably to link the speech of the False Prophet to the satanic doctrine he will be teaching.
The idea that the False Prophet has two horns like a lamb is to be understood as him trying to seem like a genuine lamb, because this is the normal number of horns for a lamb which they grow just after they are weaned. In other words, the concept of having two horns like a lamb is to be connected with the idea of having “sheep’s clothing.” This has been noted in many Bible commentaries, such as the theologian Johann Peter Lange’s Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical, Volume 10, which says:
We do not translate, like the lamb.… The two horns, therefore, are not to be placed in the category of a defect, in accordance with Ebrard: the Beast (ver. 11) has but two horns, and is thus distinguished, as a natural sheep.
In addition to this, I draw the reader’s attention to how Jesus used the term “false prophets” in the Olivet Discourse, which almost certainly has the False Prophet of Revelation 13 in mind:
Then, if anyone says to you, “Look, here is the Christ!” or “There!,” do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. (Matthew 24:23–24)
Here, Jesus is contrasting the false prophets who show “great signs,” (the same Greek phrase John uses to describe the False Prophet’s signs in Revelation) with false christs. The fact that Jesus makes a clear distinction between these last-days false christs and false prophets makes it very unlikely that the False Prophet will also be a false christ, because it seems clear he is warning of two distinct types of last-days deceivers, and not one deceiver who will be both a false christ and a false prophet. In fact, this gives all the more weight to the thesis of this book, because the False Prophet of Revelation 13 is using his “great signs” to promote the worship of the Antichrist, which, if we follow the pattern in the Olivet Discourse, means that the Antichrist is a false messiah or false christ.